I Abide and Abide and Better Abide

Original Text: 
British Library Library Additional MS 17492 (Devonshire MS), fol. 77v; cf. Collected Poems, ed. Kenneth Muir and Patricia Thomson (Liverpool University Press, 1969): 231.
3And ever my lady to me doth say,
4"Let me alone and I will provide."
9Ay me! this long abiding
11A prolonging of a dying death,
12Or a refusing of a desir'd thing.
14Than to say "abide" and yet shall not obtain.


1] First printed by Nott. Back to Line
2] old proverb. This proverb is found in the Envoy to the "Plaint," once attributed to Chaucer: "Better is it to suffer and fortune abide/Than hastily to clime and sodenly to slyde." Back to Line
5] tarry the tide: bide my time, wait (proverbial). Back to Line
6] Wyatt ironically observes that the lady ("ye") does fine with her "abiding speed" ("continuing success"). Back to Line
7] I wot alway: forever, for all I know. Back to Line
8] Nother: neither. Back to Line
10] as who sayeth: what one might call, as they say. Back to Line
13] to be plain: say her mind, not equivocate, i.e., reject him. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger; Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RP 1963: I.4; RPO 1994.