Verse > Sir Thomas Wyatt > Poetical Works
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Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–42).  The Poetical Works.  1880.
 
Odes
An earnest Request to his cruel Mistress either to pity him or let him die
 
  AT last withdraw your cruelty,
Or let me die at once;
It is too much extremity,
Devised for the nonce,
To hold me thus alive,        5
In pain still for to drive:
What may I more sustain,
Alas! that die would fain,
And cannot die for pain?
  For to the flame wherewith ye burn,        10
My thought and my desire,
When into ashes it should turn
My heart, by fervent fire,
Ye send a stormy rain
That doth it quench again,        15
And make mine eyes express,
The tears that do redress
My life, in wretchedness.
  Then when these should have drown’d,
And overwhelm’d my heart,        20
The heart doth them confound,
Renewing all my smart;
Then doth flame increase,
My torment cannot cease;
My woe doth then revive,        25
And I remain alive,
With death still for to strive.
  But if that ye would have my death,
And that ye would none other,
Shortly then for to spend my breath,        30
Withdraw the one, or t’other;
For thus your cruelness
Doth let itself doubtless;
And it is reason why!
No man alive, nor I,        35
Of double death can die.
 
 
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