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Short poem

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

Ye Old Mule

              1Ye old mule that think yourself so fair,
              2Leave off with craft your beauty to repair,
              3For it is true, without any fable,
              4No man setteth more by riding in your saddle.
              5Too much travail so do your train appair.
              6        Ye old mule
              7With false savour though you deceive th'air,
              8Whoso taste you shall well perceive your lair
              9Savoureth somewhat of a Kappurs stable.
            10        Ye old mule
            11Ye must now serve to market and to fair,
            12All for the burden, for panniers a pair.
            13For since gray hairs been powdered in your sable,
            14The thing ye seek for, you must yourself enable
            15To purchase it by payment and by prayer,
            16        Ye old mule.


5] travail: hard labour.
train: those accompanying her, entourage?
appair: damage.

7] false savour: perfume.

9] Kappurs: colt's.

12] panniers: baskets.

14] The thing ye seek for: sex.

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. 25; cf. Richard Harrier, Canon (1975): 130.
Publication date note: modern
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1997.
Recent editing: 2:2002/5/1

Rhyme: aabbac aabc aabba

Other poems by Sir Thomas Wyatt