One of my favourite poets is Sir Thomas Wyatt; I’d never even heard of him until I did my degree, even though I loved poetry and read a lot which was not on our school syllabus. We had a very gifted lecturer, and he introduced us to Wyatt and many others. it was my first year away from home, and a very exciting time, and having lecturers who had a much broader remit in terms of what they could teach, and also were teachers of a different sort from those we had at school, was thrilling.

When we recently saw portraits of people contemporary to the Phelips family who had Montecute House built, I didn’t expect to find Thomas Wyatt on the wall; this is not the original painting, but one of many done at the time. I got into conversation with one of the guides and she told me that Sir Thomas had been buried not far from here, in Dorset, and there was a plaque in his memory in the abbey at Sherborne… a trip, I fancy!

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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 themself 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;
Therewithall 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 kindly am served
I would fain know what she hath deserved.
Sir Thomas Wyatt

6 thoughts on “It was no dream

    • Those opening lines… so captivating… and then the almost erotic second stanza… I guess part three does fall a bit flat… maybe how he felt after being rejected! But to think it was written nearly 500 years ago is amazing!

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