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THE LOVER EXCUSETH HIMSELF OF SUSPECTED CHANGE.

Henry Howard 1517 – 1547

THOUGH I regarded not
The promise made by me ;
Or passed not to spot
My faith and honesty :
Yet were my fancy strange,
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,
If I esteemed a pese1
Above a pearl in price :
Or judged the owl in sight
The sparhawk to excel ;
Which flieth but in the night,
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 ;
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,
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.
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
From my felicity.
Desirous for to win,
And loth for to forego ;
Or new change to begin ;
How may all this be so ?

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
Want heat to blaze and burn ;
As I, in such desire,
Have once a thought to turn.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:15 min 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…

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