Representative Poetry Online
  Poet Index   Poem Index   Random   Search  
  Introduction   Timeline   Calendar   Glossary   Criticism   Bibliography  
  RPO   Canadian Poetry   UTEL  
by Name
by Date
by Title
by First Line
by Last Line
Poet
Poem
Short poem
Keyword
Concordance

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

I Abide and Abide and Better Abide


              1I abide and abide and better abide,
              2And after the old proverb, the happy day;
              3And ever my lady to me doth say,
              4"Let me alone and I will provide."
              5I abide and abide and tarry the tide,
              6And with abiding speed well ye may.
              7Thus do I abide I wot alway,
              8Nother obtaining nor yet denied.
              9Ay me! this long abiding
            10Seemeth to me, as who sayeth,
            11A prolonging of a dying death,
            12Or a refusing of a desir'd thing.
            13Much were it better for to be plain
            14Than to say "abide" and yet shall not obtain.

Notes

1] First printed by Nott.

2] old proverb. This proverb is found in the Envoy to the "Plaint," once attributed to Chaucer: "Better is it to suffer and fortune abide/Than hastily to clime and sodenly to slyde."

5] tarry the tide: bide my time, wait (proverbial).

6] Wyatt ironically observes that the lady ("ye") does fine with her "abiding speed" ("continuing success").

7] I wot alway: forever, for all I know.

8] Nother: neither.

10] as who sayeth: what one might call, as they say.

13] to be plain: say her mind, not equivocate, i.e., reject him.


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 Library Additional MS 17492 (Devonshire MS), fol. 77v; cf. Collected Poems, ed. Kenneth Muir and Patricia Thomson (Liverpool University Press, 1969): 231.
First publication date: 1815
RPO poem editor: F. D. Hoeniger, Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RP 1963: I.4; RPO 1994.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/24

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: abbaabbacddcee


Other poems by Sir Thomas Wyatt