Yours Will I Be

Henry Howard (1517 – 1547)

Thus I alone, where all my freedom grew, In prison pine with bondage and restraint; And with remembrance of the greater grief, To banish the less, I find my chief relief.

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey

Sonnet 8 [Set me where as the sun doth parch the green]

By Henry Howard

Set me where as the sun doth parch the green,
Or where his beams do not dissolve the ice;
In temperate heat where he is felt and seen;
With proud people, in presence sad and wise;
Set me in base, or yet in high degree,
In the long night, or in the shortest day,
In clear weather, or where mists thickest be,
In lost youth, or when my hairs be grey;
Set me in earth, in heaven, or yet in hell,
In hill, in dale, or in the foaming flood;
Thrall, or at large, alive where so I dwell,
Sick, or in health, in ill fame or good:
Yours will I be, and with that only thought
Comfort myself when that my hope is nought.


The Canonization

(An Excerpt)

By John Donne (1572 – 1631)
Alas, alas, who’s injur’d by my love?
      What merchant’s ships have my sighs drown’d?
      Who says my tears have overflow’d his ground?
When did my colds a forward spring remove?
           When did the heats which my veins fill
           Add one more to the plaguy bill?
Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
      Litigious men, which quarrels move,
      Though she and I do love.
Call us what you will, we are made such by love;
      Call her one, me another fly,
      We’are tapers too, and at our own cost die,
And we in us find the’eagle and the dove.
           The phœnix riddle hath more wit
           By us; we two being one, are it.
So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit,
      We die and rise the same, and prove
      Mysterious by this love.
We can die by it, if not live by love,
      And if unfit for tombs and hearse
      Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;
And if no piece of chronicle we prove,
           We’ll build in sonnets pretty rooms;
           As well a well-wrought urn becomes
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
      And by these hymns all shall approve
      Us canoniz’d for love;

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A Sonnet Obsession

I am a life-long Minnesotan who resides in Minneapolis. I hope you enjoy my curated selection of sonnets, short poems and nerdy ruminations. I am pleased to offer Fourteenlines as an ad and cookie free poetry resource, to allow the poetry to be presented on its own without distractions. Fourteenlines is a testament to the power of the written word, for anyone wanting a little more poetry in their life.

One thought on “Yours Will I Be”

  1. As my knowledge of the Tudor era grows, my admiration for the poets dealing with the ever-shifting police state they lived in grows too. I’ve been working on a Thomas Wyatt piece this month, and brushing up on the intrigues of the time. One discovery: Howard’s father was a Machiavellian piece of work.


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