Verse > Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey > Poetical Works
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Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–47).  The Poetical Works.  1880.
 
Songs and Sonnets
The Lover excuseth himself of suspected Change
 
THOUGH I regarded not
The promise made by me;
Or passed not to spot
My faith and honesty:
Yet were my fancy strange,        5
And wilful will to wite,
If I sought now to change
A falcon for a kite.
 
All men might well dispraise
My wit and enterprise,        10
If I esteemed a pese 1
Above a pearl in price:
Or judged the owl in sight
The sparhawk to excel;
Which flieth but in the night,        15
As all men know right well.
 
Or if I sought to sail
Into the brittle port,
Where anchor hold doth fail
To such as do resort;        20
And leave the haven sure,
Where blows no blustering wind;
No fickleness in ure, 2
So far-forth as I find.
 
No! think me not so light,        25
Nor of so churlish kind,
Though it lay in my might
My bondage to unbind,
That I would leave the hind
To hunt the gander’s foe.        30
No! no! I have no mind
To make exchanges so.
 
Nor yet to change at all;
For think, it may not be
That I should seek to fall        35
From my felicity.
Desirous for to win,
And loth for to forego;
Or new change to begin;
How may all this be so?        40
 
The fire it cannot freeze,
For it is not his kind;
Nor true love cannot lese
The constance of the mind.
Yet as soon shall the fire        45
Want heat to blaze and burn;
As I, in such desire,
Have once a thought to turn.
 
Note 1. A pea. [back]
Note 2. Practise. [back]
 
 
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