Innocentia Veritas Viat Fides Circumdederunt me intimici me

Thomas Wyatt

‘Innocentia Veritas Viat Fides Circumdederunt me intimici me’

Whilst imprisoned in the Tower in May 1536 Wyatt wrote this poem reflecting on the fate of those who rose high at court and experienced a reversal of fortune.

He ends each verse with a Latin phrase that translates as ‘Thunder rolls around the throne’.

Innocentia (Innocence)

Veritas Viat Fides (Truth, Wyatt, faith)

Circumdederunt me intimici me’ (My enemies have surrounded me)

Who list his wealth and ease retain,
Himself let him unknown contain.
Press not too fast in at that gate
Where the return stands by disdain,
For sure, circa Regna tonat.

The high mountains are blasted oft
When the low valley is mild and soft.
Fortune with Health stands at debate;
The fall is grievous from aloft,
And sure, circa Regna tonat.

These bloody days have broken my heart.
My lust, my youth did them depart,
And blind desire of estate.
Who hastes to climb seeks to revert.
Of truth, circa Regna tonat.

The Bell Tower showed me such sight
That in my head sticks day and night.
There did I lean out of a grate,
For all favour, glory, or might,
That yet circa Regna tonat.

By proof, I say, there did I learn:
Wit helpeth not defence too yern [eager],
Of innocency to plead or prate.
Bear low, therefore, give God the stern,
For sure, circa Regna tonat.


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