So Cruel Prison

Original Text: 
Nott, George Fred., ed. The Works of Henry Howard earl of Surrey and of Sir Thomas Wyatt the elder. London: Longman, 1815-16. 2 vols. PR 2370 A1 1815 ROBA.
3With a king's son my childish years did pass
5Where each sweet place returns a taste full sour:
7With eyes cast up unto the maidens' tower,
8And easy sighs, such as folk draw in love;
10The dances short, long tales of great delight;
11With words and looks that tigers could but rue,
12Where each of us did plead the other's right;
14With dazed eyes oft we by gleams of love
15Have miss'd the ball and got sight of our dame,
18On foaming horse, with swords and friendly hearts,
21With silver drops the mead yet spread for ruth,
22In active games of nimbleness and strength,
23Where we did strain, trailed by swarms of youth,
24Our tender limbs that yet shot up in length;
25The secret groves which oft we made resound
26Of pleasant plaint and of our ladies' praise,
27Recording oft what grace each one had found,
31With cry of hounds and merry blasts between,
34Wherewith, alas, revive within my breast
35The sweet accord, such sleeps as yet delight,
36The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest;
37The secret thoughts imparted with such trust,
38The wanton talk, the divers change of play,
39The friendship sworn, each promise kept so just,
40Wherewith we pass'd the winter nights away.
41And with this thought the blood forsakes the face,
42The tears berain my cheeks of deadly hue,
43The which as soon as sobbing sighs (alas)
45"O place of bliss, renewer of my woes,
46Give me account--where is my noble fere?
47Whom in thy walls thou didst each night enclose,
50Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint.
51Thus I alone, where all my freedom grew,
52In prison pine with bondage and restraint;
53And with remembrance of the greater grief
54To banish the less, I find my chief relief.

Notes

1] Tottel's title: "Prisoned in Windsor, he recounteth his pleasure there passed." Written during the summer of 1537, while Surrey was confined at Windsor for having struck a courtier. He recalls the years he had spent there in his boyhood with Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son of Henry VIII (see line 3). Back to Line
2] lust: delight. Back to Line
4] Priam's sons of Troy: Back to Line
6] hove: linger. Back to Line
9] salles: halls, NS.: "sales." Back to Line
13] palm play: a game resembling handball.
despoiled for: disrobed for the sake of. Back to Line
16] leads: literally, the frames holding the glass of painted windows; here more probably the leaden window sills. Back to Line
17] sleeves: lady's sleeves worn by the knight as a love-token. Back to Line
19] cheer: facial aspect. Back to Line
20] darts: javelins. Back to Line
28] speed: success. Back to Line
29] holt: wood. Back to Line
30] aval'd: slackened, lowered.
ybreathed: breathing. Back to Line
32] a force: i.e., with dogs. Back to Line
33] eke: also. Back to Line
44] Upsupped: supped up. Back to Line
48] other lief: others dear. Back to Line
49] because Henry Fitzroy died the previous year. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1557
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.14.
Rhyme: