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My Lute Awake Analysis



Author: Poetry of Sir Thomas Wyatt Type: Poetry Views: 1597



My lute awake! perform the last
Labour that thou and I shall waste,
And end that I have now begun;
For when this song is sung and past,
My lute be still, for I have done.

As to be heard where ear is none,
As lead to grave in marble stone,
My song may pierce her heart as soon;
Should we then sigh or sing or moan?
No, no, my lute, for I have done.

The rocks do not so cruelly
Repulse the waves continually,
As she my suit and affection;
So that I am past remedy,
Whereby my lute and I have done.

Proud of the spoil that thou hast got
Of simple hearts thorough Love's shot,
By whom, unkind, thou hast them won,
Think not he hath his bow forgot,
Although my lute and I have done.

Vengeance shall fall on thy disdain
That makest but game on earnest pain.
Think not alone under the sun
Unquit to cause thy lovers plain,
Although my lute and I have done.

Perchance thee lie wethered and old
The winter nights that are so cold,
Plaining in vain unto the moon;
Thy wishes then dare not be told;
Care then who list, for I have done.

And then may chance thee to repent
The time that thou hast lost and spent
To cause thy lovers sigh and swoon;
Then shalt thou know beauty but lent,
And wish and want as I have done.

Now cease, my lute; this is the last
Labour that thou and I shall waste,
And ended is that we begun.
Now is this song both sung and past:
My lute be still, for I have done.

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




.: :.

Y lute awake, perform the last
Labour, that thou and I shall waste,
And end that I have now begun :
And when this song is sung and past,
My lute ! be still, for I have done.
As to be heard where ear is none ;
As lead to grave in marble stone ;
My song may pierce her heart as soon.
Should we then sigh, or sing, or moan ?
No, no, my lute ! for I have done.
The rocks do not so cruelly
Repulse the waves continually,
As she my suit and affection :
So that I am past remedy ;
Whereby 2 my lute and I have done.
Proud of the spoil that thou hast got
Of simple hearts through Love\'s shot,
By whom, unkind, thou hast them won :
Think not he hath his bow forgot,
Although my lute and I have done.
Vengeance shall fall on thy disdain,
That makest but game on earnest pain ;
Think not alone under the sun
Unquit 3 to cause thy lovers plain ;
Although my lute and I have done.
May chance thee 4 lie withered and old
The winter nights, that are so cold,
Plaining in vain unto the moon ;
Thy wishes then dare not be told :
Care then who list, for I have done.
And then may chance thee to repent
The time that thou hast lost and spent,
To cause thy lovers sigh and swoon :
Then shalt thou know beauty but lent,
And wish and want as I have done.
Now cease, my lute ! this is the last
Labour, that thou and I shall waste ;
And ended is that we begun :
Now is this song both sung and past ;
My lute ! be still, for I have done.

| Posted on 2010-12-07 | by a guest


.: :.

Both of the above analysis are very well articulated, but there is one small detail that I think has been missed. When Wyatt begins the poem, he starts by saying \"the last/labour that thou and I shall waste\" which indicates that perhaps he has already given up on her love and is merely replaying his pursuit in song, or in hopes to reach her. Another indication that his pursuit has already failed is by the line \"and end that I have now begun\" because he recognizes that there is an end to this story, knows what that end is. Were he still in the midst of pursuing her, there were be no end. As well, there is the use of \"for I have done\" which indicates that he knows how his pursuit failed.
On another note, both of the interpretations fail to notice that in the first three stanzas, Wyatt is referring to the woman as \'her\', in a way appearing to be telling the tale to the lute. And the final ones the woman is referred to in first person as \'thou\', so he is directly addressing the woman of his past affections.
The ending of the stanzas also have importance. The ending of the first three stanzas, where he addresses her as \'her\': \"My lute be still, for I have done\", \"No, no, my lute, for I have done\", and \"Whereby my lute and I have done\"; they all seem to indicate a present conflict against the \"for I have done\" in the second part of each ending. When he starts to directly refer to her in the following stanzas, the endings change to \"Although my lute and I have done\", and the others. He is acknowledging that he has already tried those many chores in trying to gain her heart, but knows that it has failed.
For remaining analysis, please read the above entries (which are very thorough). -TR

| Posted on 2010-10-12 | by a guest


.: :.

Great interpretation of Ellie Reed 2009. Thank You Very Much.

| Posted on 2010-03-01 | by a guest


.: :.

In the poem Wyatt is playing his lute for the woman he loves one final time. He seems to know his efforts to win her over are fruitless: ‘Labour that thou and I shall waste’, but he continues because he wants to finish what he has started: ‘end that I have now begonne’ and then he can finish trying to woo her altogether: ‘And when this song is song and past:/ My lute be still for I have done’.
His song falls on deaf ears: ‘As to be heard where ear is none’. Wyatt is again reiterating that his efforts are fruitless with a simile comparing his efforts to engraving marble with lead: ‘As lead ti grave in marble stone’. His frustration grows as he contemplates whether or not to continue despite his failures. However, he determines that he has completed his task: ‘No, no, my lute for I have done’.
Wyatt then contemplates the cruelty of rejection, using violent images, such as the waves crashing against the rocks. This metaphor conveys the image of the woman he is pursuing as a cold character: she is as hard and impenetrable as rock, suggesting she has no emotions or won’t allow people to come close to her emotionally.
This harsh image prevails in the following verse, where the woman seems proud that she has broken so many hearts. The imagery of war is used: ‘spoil’, ‘shot’, ‘thou hast won’ and ‘bow’. Using such a metaphor invokes images of the destruction of war and the cruelty of the victor. Indeed those whose hearts have been broken are portrayed as vulnerable victims : ‘simple hearts’. However, there is a warning at the end of the verse: ‘Think not he hath his bow forgot’. This refers to Cupid and the possibility that the woman could one day fall victim to love herself.
The next verse turns ever more vengeful following this warning. Wyatt talks of situation reversal for the woman who ‘makest but game on earnest payne’. He states that she is not the only person who can cause their lovers pain: ‘Think not alone under the sunne/ Unquit to cause thy lovers pain’. When grouped together Wyatt’s warnings are giving the woman he simple message that she too can fall victim to love (‘his bow forgot’) and if this happens she too may fall for someone who, like her, coldly rejects their lover’s advances. We can gather from the warning tone that Wyatt thinks this a fitting situation, a punishment for her treatment of others.
Wyatt then contemplates the lady’s future, and envisions her old and alone. When he talks of ‘winter nights that are so cold’ we think of the opposing situation, which is those couple snuggled up together keeping each other warm. This works to emphasise her loneliness by reminding us of the happiness and company the lady could have had. In Wyatt’s vision the woman lies there complaining and there is a hint that her situation has made her realise that she did want a partner after all: ‘Thy wishes then dare not be told’. She dares not reveal her wishes because she realises she has been a fool and that she could have fulfilled her wishes but for her cruel actions. This is confirmed in the following verse as Wyatt advances his theory that she will realise what she has missed out on and will become like those she rejected: ‘wish and want as I have done’.
The final verse is a mirror of the first. Instead of awakening his lute Wyatt asks his lute to ‘cease’ as he has now ‘ended’ what he had begun in the first verse. His song is ‘song and past’ as opposed to the first verse where he had not begun to sing his song: ‘when this song is sung and past’. The verse ends with a repetition of the final line of the first verse: ‘My lute be still for I have done’, showing that Wyatt has achieved what he first set out to do. This line also adds a finality to his infatuation.
Throughout the poem Wyatt becomes increasingly detached from his feelings towards this woman. This progresses through the final line of each verse. Indeed the repetition of ‘I have done’ at the end of each verse shows that these lines are a linked progression of Wyatt’s emotional state.
In the first instance: ‘No, no, my lute for I have done’ Wyatt is in danger of continuing his song ie continuing his infatuation. The panicked tone of ‘No, no’ shows he nearly falls into this trap but determines not to. Wyatt then concludes that he has ‘past remedy’, meaning he is beyond returning to this woman’s cold rejection and as such ‘my lute and I have done’; Wyatt is more solidly confirming he is done with this woman. However, he assures the woman that even though he is no longer interested in pursuing her affection this does not mean she is “off the hook” with regards to her cruel actions. This is conveyed at the end of the forth verse following his first warning: ‘Although my lute and I have done’ ie although Wyatt has stopped his pursuit the woman is still in danger of falling in love herself.
Wyatt progresses to a more nonchalant tone by the end of the next verse: ‘Care then who list, for I have done’. Here Wyatt invites those who want to care about the woman in her old and lonely state to do so, but the clear implication is that Wyatt himself does not care. This is the final phase of Wyatt’s recovery from his broken heart and this is confirmed in the ending of the next verse, which changes from the repetition of previous verses to: ‘And wish and want as I have done’. The use of the past tense with regards to his feelings confirms Wyatt’s emotional recovery. The final line again adds finality to this phase in Wyatt’s life confirming he has achieved what he set out to do.
Ellie Reed 2009

| Posted on 2009-02-22 | by a guest


.: :.

In “My Lute, Awake!” the author wants his instrument to awake and play for the last time fir the woman he loves. He is playing for her, but he is losing hope because he feels like she doesn’t love him. He thinks his music won’t have an effect on her and he is confused about what he should do. He then basically says that she will no go unrevenged for what she has done to him. That karma will come back around to her and she will be old and alone on cold winter nights, and when this happens she wants him but by then it will be too late.

| Posted on 2008-12-18 | by a guest




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