Sir Tomas Wyatt the Elder

"Whoso List to Hunt"

This is one of the earliest sonnets in English.

Your textbook note points out the origins of this poem.

  1. According to Petrarch, deer were fitted with collars that said, "Noli me tangere quia Caesarus sum" (Touch me not, for I am Caesar's).
  2. He seems to have had an affair with Anne Boleyn, but when she became involved with Henry VIII in 1526, he had to leave her alone.

"They Flee from Me"

In a show I once saw at Silver Dollar City, the men had a song which went,

That is something of the theme here.  The women who came stalking him with bare feet in his bedroom were "gentle, tame, and meek."  Now they run away.  Why?  Maybe he got old; maybe he fell from favor, maybe he had a disease.  It's hard to say.

Lines 8 & 15 - remember our old friend Fortune and her wheel from Morte d'Arthur?  IT'S BACK.  Fortune has let him down.