The Golden Gift that Nature did thee Give

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.
2To fasten friends and feed them at thy will
5Whose hidden virtues are not so unknown
7Where beauty so her perfect seed hath sown
8Of other graces follow needs there must.
10That from above thy gifts are thus elect,
11Do not deface them then with fancies new,
13But mercy him, thy friend, that doth thee serve,
14Who seeks alway thine honour to preserve.


1] Tottel's title: "Request to his loue to ioyne bountie with beautie." Back to Line
3] form and favour: i.e., beauty. Back to Line
4] The conceit of Nature showing forth her greatest skill in a beautiful woman was a commonplace in the Renaissance. Back to Line
6] lively dooms: alert judges, men of insight. Back to Line
9] certes: certainly. Back to Line
12] change of minds: changefulness, caprice. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.14.