Please provide an analysis of Sir Thomas Wyatt's poem "I have sought long with steadfastness."

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This poem, which is also titled, "That Right Cannot Govern Fancy," and describes the attempts of the speaker to win the heart of a particularly cruel woman. Even though the poem begins by stating how the speaker has sought the affections of this woman with "steadfastness," note how these affections are met:

But nought availeth faithfulness

To grave within your stony heart.

Wyatt uses a metaphor to describe his attentions and attempts to attract this woman as somebody shooting blind, and he goes on to personify Love as somebody that is blind, therefore making his attempts all the more unlikely to succeed:

Right so it fareth by the shot

Of Love, alas! That is so blind.

The poem ends with Wyatt's recognition that in this situation, "Fancy ruleth." Love is an emotion that overwhelms our "right," or our intellect and common sense, and even though Wyatt's case is so hopeless, he will continue to persevere, because of his love for this woman that he is addressing.

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