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The lover describeth his restless state

Henry Howard 1517 – 1547

AS oft as I behold, and see
The sovereign beauty that me bound ;
The nigher my comfort is to me,
Alas ! the fresher is my wound.

As flame doth quench by rage of fire,
And running streams consume by rain ;
So doth the sight that I desire
Appease my grief, and deadly pain.

Like as the fly that see'th the flame,
And thinks to play her in the fire ;
That found her woe, and sought her game
Where grief did grow by her desire.

First when I saw those crystal streams,
Whose beauty made my mortal wound ;
I little thought within their beams
So sweet a venom to have found.

But wilful will did prick me forth,
Blind Cupid did me whip and guide ;
Force made me take my grief in worth ;1
My fruitless hope my harm did hide ;

Wherein is hid the cruel bit,
Whose sharp repulse none can resist ;
And eke the spur that strains each wit
To run the race against his list.

As cruel waves full oft be found
Against the rocks to roar and cry ;
So doth my heart full oft rebound
Against my breast full bitterly.

And as the spider draws her line,
With labour lost I frame my suit ;
The fault is her's, the loss is mine :
Of ill sown seed, such is the fruit.

I fall, and see mine own decay ;
As he that bears flame in his breast,
Forgets for pain to cast away
The thing that breedeth his unrest

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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…

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