The Long Love that in my Thought doth Harbour

The Long Love that in my Thought doth Harbour

Original Text
British Library Egerton MS. 2711, fol. 5; cf. Richard Harrier, Canon (1975): 101-02.
3Into my face presseth with bold pretence
10Leaving his enterprise with pain and cry,
11And there him hideth and not appeareth.
12What may I do when my master feareth
14For good is the life ending faithfully.


1] The source of the poem is Petrarch's 140th (109th) sonnet (Mestica, 213-14):
Amor, che nel penser mio vive e regna,
E 'l suo seggio maggior nel mio cor têne,
Talor armato ne la fronte vêne:
Ivi si loca, et ivi pon sua insegna.
Quella ch' amare e sofferir ne 'nsegna,
E vôl che 'l gran desio, l' accesa spene
Ragion, vergogna e reverenza affrene,
Di nostro ardir fra sé stessa si sdegna.
Onde Amor paventoso fugge al core,
Lasciando ogni sua impresa, e piange e trema;
Ivi s'asconde, e non appar piú fôre.
Che poss' io far, temendo il mio signore,
Se non star seco infin a l' ora estrema?
Ché bel fin fa chi ben amando more.
Cf. Surrey's Love, that liveth, a translation of the same sonnet.

Title: "The lover for shamefastnesse hideth his desire within his faithfull hart."

longë: lasting (the final "e" was probably sounded).
harbour: temporarily reside. Back to Line

2] hert: Egerton MS. spelling (also line 9), playing on "hart" (=deer) and "heart." Back to Line
4] spreading his banner: the look of someone in love, displayed unashamedly (a lord showing himself openly on the field of battle). Back to Line
5] learneth: teaches. Back to Line
6] will: to will, i.e., to make sure that.
trust and lustës negligence: (public) confidence (in her love) and the neglect (of propriety in showing) sexual desire (for her). Back to Line
7] rayned: Egerton MS. spelling, playing on "reined" and "reigned." Back to Line
8] his: the god of Love's.
hardiness: boldness. Back to Line
9] the hert's forest: a phrase not in Petrarch, one that plays on "hart's"=(deer's) and "heart's." Back to Line
13] in the field with him: inconsistent with line 9 (the lord has fled to the forest). Back to Line
Publication Start Year
RPO poem Editors
F. D. Hoeniger; Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition
RP 1963: I.3; RPO 1994.