Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"Whoso list to hunt" by Thomas Wyatt


Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, helas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore
Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere for Caesar’s I am,
And wild for to hold though I seem tame.’

Source of the text – Sir Thomas Wyatt: The Complete Poems, edited by R.A. Rebholz.  London: Penguin Books, 1997, p. 77.

TJB: Dear-hunt. With wild syntax and tame semantics, the poet declines to poach his king’s concubine—or is he just tired? And why clue others in?

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