Most people who have fallen in love with the wrong person have felt exactly what Thomas Wyatt described five hundred years ago; bafflement, hurt, disappointment, a sort of indignant resentment that honest and true feeling have been mistreated… and a tiny thread of embarrassment that such a mistake could have been made. How could I have loved him? How could I have fallen for her? I’m better off without you… I’ll forsake you, as you have forsaken me… I know I’m doing the right thing now, I’m trying to regain control… but… but…
Thomas Wyatt, born in 1503, died in 1542, has written many sonnets, verses and other poetic works, but many were not published until after his untimely death from fever; in 1557, ninety-six of his songs appeared in the first printed anthology of English poetry, as Songs and Sonnetts in Tottel’s Miscellany. Other pieces of his work have gradually been discovered among his papers and been shared with us.
My heart I gave thee, not to do it pain;
But to preserve, it was to thee taken.
I served thee, not to be forsaken,
But that I should be rewarded again.
I was content thy servant to remain
But not to be paid under this fashion.
Now since in thee is none other reason,
Displease thee not if that I do refrain,
Unsatiate of my woe and thy desire,
Assured by craft to excuse thy fault.
But since it please thee to feign a default,
Farewell, I say, parting from the fire:
For he that believeth bearing in hand,
Plougheth in water and soweth in the sand.