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Short poem

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

Avising the Bright Beams

              1Avising the bright beams of these fair eyes
              2Where he is that mine oft moisteth and washeth,
              3The wearied mind straight from the heart departeth
              4For to rest in his worldly paradise
              5And find the sweet bitter under this guise.
              6What webs he hath wrought well he perceiveth
              7Whereby with himself on love he plaineth
              8That spurreth with fire and bridleth with ice.
              9Thus is it in such extremity brought,
            10In frozen thought, now and now it standeth in flame.
            11Twixt misery and wealth, twixt earnest and game,
            12But few glad, and many diverse thought
            13With sore repentance of his hardiness.
            14Of such a root cometh fruit fruitless.


1] The source of the poem is Petrarch's 173th (140th) sonnet (Mestica, 251):

Mirando 'l sol de' begli occhi sereno,
Ove è chi spesso i miei depinge e bagna,
Dal cor l' anima stanca si scompagna
Per gir nel paradiso suo terreno.
Poi, trovandol di dolce e d' amar' pieno,
Quant' al mondo si tesse opra d' aragna
Vede; onde seco e con Amor si lagna,
Ch' à sí caldi gli spron, sí duro 'l freno.
Per questi estremi duo, contrari e misti,
Or con voglie gelate, or con accese
Stassi cosí fra misera e felice.
Ma pochi lieti, e molti penser tristi;
E 'l piú si pente de l' ardite imprese:
Tal frutto nasce di cotal radice.

Avising: viewing.

2] he: presumably love, as below at lines 6-7.

7] plaineth: complains.

10] laugh: Egerton reads "though".

13] hardiness: boldness.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: British Library Egerton MS. 2711, fol. 22; cf. Richard Harrier, Canon (1975): 125-26.
First publication date: 1557
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1997.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/24

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: abbaabbacddcee

Other poems by Sir Thomas Wyatt