Love through the ages

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

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Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)


n English lyrical poet, Wyatt is credited with introducing the sonnet into English. He held a position in the court of Henry VIII and was reportedly in love with Anne Boleyn. He fell in and out of favour with the King, being imprisoned in the Tower of London for a period. His poetry was not published until after his death.
They Flee From Me
They flee from me, that sometime did me seek,

With naked foot stalking in my chamber.

I have seen them, gentle, tame, and meek,

That now are wild, and do not remember

That sometime they put themselves in danger

To take bread at my hand; and now they range,

Busily seeking with a continual change.
Thanked be Fortune it hath been otherwise,

Twenty times better; but once in special,

In thin array, after a pleasant guise,

When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,

And she me caught in her arms long and small,

And therewith all sweetly did me kiss

And softly said, "Dear heart, how like you this?"
It was no dream, I lay broad waking.

But all is turned, thorough my gentleness,

Into a strange fashion of forsaking;

And I have leave to go, of her goodness,

And she also to use newfangleness.

But since that I so kindely am served,

I fain sould know what she hath deserved

Dissolution of the Monasteries – 1536-1541

The Act of Supremacy confirmed Henry VIII’s as Supreme Governor of the Church of England 1534.

The Renaissance – 1485-1660

Elizabethan Period – 1558-1603


ir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

Sir Philip Sidney was a prominent figure during the Elizabethan period. He was a poet, courtier and soldier and something of a celebrity at the time. He died from battle wounds in the Netherlands and is buried in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Sidney is best known for his epic ‘Astrophil and Stella’ and ‘The Defence of Poetry’

From Astrophil and Stella (written 1581, published 1591)

With how sad steps, Oh Moon, thou chimb’st the skies,

How silently, and with how wan a face!

What may it be, that even in heavenly place

That busy archer his sharp arrow tries?

Sure, if that long-with-love-acquainted eyes

Can judge of love, thou feel’st a lover’s case;

I read it in they looks, thy languished grace,

To me that feel the like, thy state descries.

That even of fellowship, Oh Moon, tell me,

Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?

Are beauties there as proud as here they be?

Do they above love to be loved, and yet

Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?

Do they call virtue there ungratefulness?

Anglo-Spanish War – 1585-1604

Defeat of the Spanish Armada - 1588

Renaissance Period – 1485-1660

Elizabethan Period – 1558-1603

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