Sir Thomas Wyatt: "And wilt thou leave me thus." I want to paraphrase this poem.

Expert Answers

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

This is one of Wyatt's most famous poems, but the language can indeed be a little impenetrable. Roughly rendered in modern English, the poet is saying:

Will you leave me like this?
Say no, say no, and save yourself from bearing the burden
Of all my grief and complaint.
Will you leave me like this? Say no!

Will you leave me like this—you,
who has loved you for such a long time,
in times of wealth and of sadness?
Is your heart really strong enough to leave me like this?
Say no!

Will you leave me like this—I,
who have given you my heart, and who
will not leave you, not even if
you injured me.
Will you leave me like this? Say no!

Will you leave me like this,
And have no pity on the man who loves you?
Alas, that would be cruel of you!
Say no, say no!

As you can gather, the stanzas are all in much the same vein as each other—the lover is imploring his beloved not to leave him because he loves her so much.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

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

This poem is a love poem.  The speaker in the poem is begging his (I assume) love not to leave him.  Here is a brief paraphrase of each stanza.

Will you leave me?  Say no, so that you will not be responsible for making me sad.

Will you leave me when I have loved you so much for so long?  Is your heart that strong?  Say no!

Will you leave me when I have given you my heart and would never take it back?  Say no!

And will you leave me and not have any pity?  Alas for your cruelty?  Say no!

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

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