THEY FLEE FROM ME
~ by Thomas Wyatt
They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
That now are wild and do not remember
That sometime they put themself in danger
To take bread at my hand. And now they range,
Busily seeking a continual change.
Thanked be fortune it hath been othewise
Twenty times better. But once in special,
In thin array after a pleasant guise,
When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
And she me caught in her arms long and small.
Therewithall sweetly did me kiss
And softly said, “Dear heart, how like you this?”
It was no dream. I lay broad waking,
But all is turned now through my gentleness
Into a strange fashion of forsaking,
And I have leave to go, of her goodness,
And she also, to use newfangleness.
But since that I so kindly am served
I fain would know, What hath she deserved?
Please also see Thomas Wyatt’s Whoso List To Hunt, a sonnet on Wyatt’s onetime passion for the tragic Anne Boleyn, who’d become the queen of Henry VIII. Both that poem and this one uses the conceit of a deer park wherein the once tame “pet” now wildly flees.