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Short poem

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

I Find no Peace

              1I find no peace, and all my war is done.
              2I fear and hope. I burn and freeze like ice.
              3I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
              4And nought I have, and all the world I season.
              5That loseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison
              6And holdeth me not--yet can I scape no wise--
              7Nor letteth me live nor die at my device,
              8And yet of death it giveth me occasion.
              9Without eyen I see, and without tongue I plain.
            10I desire to perish, and yet I ask health.
            11I love another, and thus I hate myself.
            12I feed me in sorrow and laugh in all my pain;
            13Likewise displeaseth me both life and death,
            14And my delight is causer of this strife.


1] The source of the poem is Petrarch's 134th (104th) sonnet (Mestica, 203-4):

Pace non trovo, e non ò da far guerra;
E temo e spero, ed ardo e sono un ghiaccio;
E volo sopra 'l cielo, e giaccio in terra;
E nulla stringo, e tutto 'l mondo abbraccio.
Tal m' à in pregion, che non m' apre né serra;
Né per suo mi riten, né scioglie il laccio:
E non m' ancide Amore e non mi sferra;
Né mi vuol vivo, né mi trae d' impaccio.
Veggio senza occhi; e non ò lingua, e grido;
E bramo di perir, e cheggio aita;
Et ò in idio me stesso, ed amo altrui:
Pascomi di dolor, piangendo rido;
Egualmente mi spiace morte e vita.
In questo stato son, Donna, per vui.
The title is a "description of the contrarious passions in a lover" (Tottel).

4] season: seize on.

5] That: that which (presumably love).

6] scape: escape.

7] letteth: prevents.

9] eyen: eyes.
plain: complain.

12] Egerton reads "laught" (Devonshire MS 17492, B.L. Add. MS 36529 (Park-Hill), and Tottel read "laugh."

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. 20; cf. Richard Harrier, Canon (1975): 123-24.
First publication date: 1557
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1997.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/24

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: abbaabbacdecde

Other poems by Sir Thomas Wyatt