Poem introduction

'I abide and abide' – this is a beautifully slow poem. There are very long, drawn-out vowel sounds, and so the whole poem actually forces you to wait in the way that Wyatt himself is waiting.

I abide and abide and better abide

I abide and abide and better abide,
And after the old proverb, the happy day;
And ever my lady to me doth say,
"Let me alone and I will provide."
I abide and abide and tarry the tide,
And with abiding speed well ye may.
Thus do I abide I wot alway,
Nother obtaining nor yet denied.
Ay me! this long abiding
Seemeth to me, as who sayeth,
A prolonging of a dying death,
Or a refusing of a desir'd thing.
Much were it better for to be plain
Than to say "abide" and yet shall not obtain.

 

Recordings

1Behold Love

2What vaileth Truth

3The Longe Love that in my Thought

4Whoso list to hunt

5Help me to seke

6My lute awake

7I abide and abide 8Stond who so list