The long love that in my thought doth harbor, by Thomas Wyatt:


Title: The long love that in my thought doth harbor.

Author: Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder.

Date of publication: 1557.

Collection: Tottel’s MiscellanySonges and Sonnettes Written By the Ryght Honorable Lord Henry Horward, Earle of Surrey, and Others.

Poetic genre: Translation of a Petrarchan sonnet, from Italian into English. It is an Italian sonnet since it follows the structure octave (abba abba) + sestet (cdc cdc). The change from a rhyme group to the following one implies a change in the subject matter.

Metric: Decasyllabic lines. Free in accents.

Rhyme: abba abba cdc cde.


Major Themes:
  • Unreturned, non-reciprocal love.
  • Individualism: Men can also show their feelings during the Renaissance.

  • Love as war.
  • Love as hunting.
  • Association of love with thought instead of heart. ‘Intellectualisation’ of love.
  • Conquering the beloved’s love becomes an ‘enterprise’.

Literary devices:
  • Military semantic field : ‘banner’, ‘campeth’, etc.
  • Personification of love by the use of the adjective ‘long’ and the verb ‘harbor’.


© 2012 IHEL ESTIC, Universitat de València. UV UdIE