My galley charged with forgetfulness Thorough sharp seas in winter nights doth pass 'Tween rock and rock; and eke mine enemy, alas, That is my lord, steereth with cruelness; And every oar a thought in readiness, As though that death were light in such a case. An endless wind doth tear the sail apace Of forced sighs, and trusty fearfulness A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain, Hath done the wearied cords great hinderance; Wreathed with error and eke with ignorance, The stars be hid that led me to this pain; Drowned is reason that should me consort, And I remain despairing of the port.
Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind
Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, hélas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.