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Short poem

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

What Needeth these Threat'ning Words

              1What needeth these threnning words and wasted wind?
              2All this cannot make me restore my prey.
              3To rob your good, iwis, is not my mind,
              4Nor causeless your fair hand did I display.
              5Let love be judge or else whom next we meet
              6That may both hear what you and I can say:
              7She took from me an heart, and I a glove from her.
              8Let us see now if th'one be worth th'other.


1] The source of the poem is Serafino, Opere (1516), fol. 170:

À che minacci, à che tanta ira e orgoglio,
Per questo non farai chel furto renda.
Non senza causa la tua man dispoglio
Rapir quel daltri non fú mai mia menda.
Famme citar dauanti amor chio uoglio,
Che la Ragion de luno & laltro intenda.
Lei il cor mi tolse, & io gli hó tolto un guanto
Vorró saper da te se un cor ual tanto.

5] meet: Tottel corrects the rhyme to "find".

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. 33; cf. Richard Harrier, Canon (1975): 141.
First publication date: 1557
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1997.
Recent editing: 2:2002/5/1

Rhyme: ababcbdd

Other poems by Sir Thomas Wyatt