Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SATIRE: 3. TO SIR FRANCIS BRIAN, by THOMAS WYATT

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SATIRE: 3. TO SIR FRANCIS BRIAN, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: A spending hand that always poureth out
Last Line: And coin to keep as water in a sieve.
Alternate Author Name(s): Wyat, Thomas
Subject(s): Bryan, Sir Francis (d. 1550)

A spending hand that alway poureth out
Had need to have a bringer in as fast,
And on the stone that still doth turn about
There groweth no moss. These proverbs yet do last.
Reason hath set them in so sure a place
That length of years their force can never waste.
When I remember this and eke the case
Where in thou stands, I thought forthwith to write,
Bryan, to thee who knows how great a grace
In writing is to counsel man the right.
To thee, therefore, that trots still up and down,
And never rests, but running day and night
From realm to realm, from city, street and town.
Why dost thou wear thy body to the bones,
And mightst at home sleep in thy bed of down
And drink good ale so nappy for the nones,
Feed thyself fat and hap up pound by pound?
Likest thou not this? No, Why? For swine so groans
In sty, and chaw the turds molded on the ground,
And drivel on pearls, the head still in the manger,
Then of the harp the ass to hear the sound.
So sacks of dirt be filled up in the cloister
That serves for less than do these fatted swine.
Though I seem lean and dry without moisture,
Yet will I serve my prince, my lord and thine,
And let them live to feed the punch that list,
So I may live to feed both me and mine.
By God, well said! But what and if thou wist
How to bring in as fast as thou dost spend?
That would I learn. And it shall not be missed
To tell thee how. Now hark what I intend.
Thou knowest well first who so can seek to please
Shall purchase friends where truth shall but offend.
Flee therefore truth: it is both wealth and ease.
For though that truth of every man hath praise,
Full near that wind goeth truth in great misease.
Use virtue as it goeth nowadays,
In word alone to make thy language sweet,
And of the deed yet do not as thou says;
Else be thou sure thou shalt be far unmeet
To get thy bread, each thing is now so scant.
Seek still thy profit upon thy bare feet.
Lend in no wise, for fear that thou do want,
Unless it be as to a dog a cheese;
By which return be sure to win a cant
Of half at least: it is not good to lese.
Learn at Kittson, that in a long white coat
From under the stall without lands or fees
Hath leapt into the shop, who knoweth by rote
This rule that I have told thee here before.
Sometime also rich age beginneth to dote:
See thou when there thy gain may be the more.
Stay him by the arm, where so he walk or go;
Be near alway and, if he cough too sore,
When he hath spit, tread out and please him so.
A diligent knave that picks his master's purse
May please him so that he withouten moe
Executor is and what is he the worse?
But if so chance you get naught of the man,
The widow may for all thy charge deburse
A rivelled skin, a stinking breath. What then?
A toothless mouth shall do thy lips no harm.
The gold is good and though she curse or ban,
Yet where thee list thou mayst lie good and warm.
Let the old mule bite upon the bridle,
Whilst there do lie a sweeter in thine arm.
In this also see you be not idle:
Thy niece, thy cousin, thy sister or thy daughter,
If she be fair, if handsome be her middle,
If thy better hath her love besought her,
Avance his cause and he shall help thy need.
It is but love, turn it to a laughter.
But ware, I say, so gold thee help and speed
That in this case thou be not so unwise
As Pandar was in such a like deed:
For he, the fool, of conscience was so nice
That he no gain would have for all his pain.
Be next thyself, for friendship bears no price.
Laughst thou at me? Why, do I speak in vain?
No, not at thee, but at thy thrifty jest.
Wouldst thou I should for any loss or gain
Change that for gold that I have ta'en for best
Next godly things, to have an honest name?
Should I leave that, then take me for a beast!
Nay then, farewell! And if thou care for shame,
Content thee then with honest poverty,
With free tongue what thee mislikes to blame,
And for thy truth sometime adversity;
And therewithal this thing I shall thee give --
In this world now little prosperity,
And coin to keep as water in a sieve.

Discover our Poem Explanations and Poet Analyses!

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net