Verse > Sir Thomas Wyatt > Poetical Works
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Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–42).  The Poetical Works.  1880.
 
Odes
That the Season of Enjoyment is short, and should not pass by neglected
 
  ME list no more to sing
Of love, nor of such thing,
How sore that it me wring;
For what I sung or spake,
Men did my songs mistake.        5
  My songs were too diffuse;
They made folk to muse;
Therefore me to excuse,
They shall be sung more plain,
Neither of joy nor pain.        10
  What vaileth then to skip
At fruit over the lip
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
For fruit withouten taste
Doth nought but rot and waste.
  What vaileth under kay        15
To keep treasure alway,
That never shall see day.
If it be not used,
It is but abused.
  What vaileth the flower        20
To stand still and wither;
If no man it savour
It serves only for sight,
And fadeth towards night.
  Therefore fear not to assay        25
To gather, ye that may,
The flower that this day
Is fresher than the next.
Mark well I say this text:
  Let not the fruit be lost        30
That is desired most;
Delight shall quite the cost.
If it be ta’en in time
Small labour is to climb.
  And as for such treasure        35
That maketh thee the richer,
And no deal the poorer
When it is given or lent,
Methinks it were well spent.
  If this be under mist,        40
And not well plainly wist,
Understand me who list,
For I reek not a bean;
I wot what I do mean.
 
 
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