Poem introduction

'Behold Love' – this is a beautifully emphatic poem: I like its strength; I like the way the first words of each line are stressed words, apart from a couple of lines that become softer at the end.

Behold love

Behold, love, thy power how she dispiseth,
My great payne, how litle she regardeth.
The holy oth, wherof she taketh no cure
Broken she hath, and yet she bideth sure
Right at her ease and litle she dredeth.
Wepened thou art and she unarmed sitteth.
To the disdaynfull her liff she ledeth,
To me spitefull withoute cause or mesure.
            Behold love.

I ame in hold: if pitie the meveth,
Goo bend thy bowe that stony hertes breketh,
And with some stroke revenge the displeasure
Of thee and him, that sorrowe doeth endure,
And, as his lorde, the lowly entreateth.
            Behold love.

Where next?

Recordings

Thomas Wyatt

Thomas Wyatt Downloads read by Alice Oswald

1Behold Love

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2What vaileth Truth

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3The Longe Love that in my Thought

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4Whoso list to hunt

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5Help me to seke

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7I abide and abide

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6My lute awake

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8Stond who so list

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