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Of Thy Life, Thomas, This Compass Well Mark

Of thy life, Thomas, this compass well mark:
Not aye with full sails the high seas to beat,
Ne by coward dread, in shunning storms dark,
On shallow shores thy keel in peril freat
. [to fret]
Whoso gladly halseth
the golden mean [to embrace]
Void of dangers advisedly hath his home,
Not with loathsome muck, as a den unclean,
Nor palace-like whereat disdain may glome
. [frown]
The lofty pine the great wind often rives;
With violenter sway fallen turrets steep;
Lightnings assault the high mountains and clives
. [splits]
A heart well stayed, in overthwarts deep
Hopeth amends; in sweet doth fear the sour.
God that sendeth, withdraweth winter sharp.
Now ill, not aye thus. Once Phoebus to lour
With bow unbent shall cease, and frame to harp
His voice. In straight estate appear thou stout;
And so wisely, when lucky gale of wind
All thy puffed sails shall fill, look well about,
Take in a reef. Haste is waste, proof doth find.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

49 sec read
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Henry Howard

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, KG, (courtesy title), was an English nobleman, politician and poet. He was one of the founders of English Renaissance poetry and the last known execution by King Henry VIII. He was a first cousin of both Queen Anne Boleyn and Queen Catherine Howard, second and fifth wives of King Henry VIII. His name is usually associated in literature with that of Wyatt, who was the older poet of the two. He was the son of Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey and when his father became Duke of Norfolk (1524) the son adopted the courtesy title of Earl of Surrey. Owing largely to the powerful position of his father, Surrey took a prominent part in the Court life of the time, and served as a soldier both in France and Scotland. He was a man of reckless temper, which involved him in many quarrels, and finally brought upon him the wrath of the aging and embittered Henry VIII. He was arrested, tried for treason and beheaded on Tower Hill. more…

All Henry Howard poems | Henry Howard Books

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    "Of Thy Life, Thomas, This Compass Well Mark" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Apr. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/17404/of-thy-life,-thomas,-this-compass-well-mark>.

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