Explain When Fortune Smiles not, Only Patience Comforteth by Sir Thomas Wyatt. "Patience! Though I have not..."

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Sir Thomas Wyatt was a member of Henry VIII's court and imprisoned - more than once - in the Tower of London. When Fortune Smiles Not,Only Patience Comforteth is an ode, very popular in The Renaissance, with a noticeable lyrical rhythm. Wyatt feels himself wrongly accused and is accordingly forced to wait patiently for his pardon, which he receives for several purported, "For I offended nought," wrongdoings. He feels unjustly treated as "Patience without offence / Is a painful Patience." There is nothing Wyatt can do "Since there is no redress" and patience is his only option when others use their authority against his success; "For Fortune is my foe."  

Wyatt's poem is characteristically full of personal emotions.

On his first incarceration in The Tower for being apparently involved with Ann Boleyn, he had watched her execution from his window.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial