Anonymous (possibly Sir Thomas Wyatt, early 16th century)
Horrible of hue, hideous to behold,Careful of countenance, his hair all clustered,With dead droppy blood that down his face rolled,Pale, painful, and piteously pierced,His heart in sunder sorrowfully shivered,Me thought a man, thus marvelously murdered,This night to me came and carefully cried.
‘O man misfortunate, more than any creature,That painfully yet lives more pain to perceive,What hardened hath thy heart this harm to suffer?Thy doubtful hope, [h]it do thee but deceive.No good nor grace to glad thee shalt receive,By pain from thy pain then pain to procure,So bitter it were than endless death to endure.
'Follow me,’ saith he, ‘hold here my hand.Too long is death in tears to prove!The sea shall sooner quench the brandOf the desire that hath thee thus undoneOr sooner send thee to a deadly swoon.Hold in thy hand the haft here of this knife,And with the blade boldly bereave thy life!
‘Come off,’ quod he, ‘I come’, quod I.Then therewith as me thoughtMy breast I piercèd painfully.My heart right soon I [h]it reached.But, lord! Alas! [h]it was for naught:For with that stroke I did awake.My heart for sorrow yet feel I quake.