Valentine’s hop through history


I really wanted to write something very special and very new for this event, but life had other plans for me.

So – I thought I would share Sir Thomas Wyatt’s poem that inspired my first novel, Dear Heart, How Like You This?, and my favourite love letter written by Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn.

If you would like to go into the draw for a kindle edition of Dear Heart, How Like You This?, please share with us your favourite love poem. Want a second chance to go into the draw? Just follow me here! Winner announced February 22nd!

By Sir Thomas Wyatt, the elder:

They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
That now are wild and do not remember
That sometime they put themself in danger
To take bread at my hand; and now they range,
Busily seeking with a continual change.

Thanked be fortune it hath been otherwise
Twenty times better; but once in special,
In thin array after a pleasant guise,
When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
And she me caught in her arms long and small;
Therewithall sweetly did me kiss
And softly said, “Dear heart, how like you this?”

It was no dream: I lay broad waking.
But all is turned thorough my gentleness
Into a strange fashion of forsaking;
And I have leave to go of her goodness,
And she also, to use newfangleness.
But since that I so kindly am served
I would fain know what she hath deserved.

And now for Henry VIII:

MY MISTRESS & FRIEND, my heart and I surrender ourselves into your hands, beseeching you to hold us commended to your favour, and that by absence your affection to us may not be lessened: for it were a great pity to increase our pain, of which absence produces enough and more than I could ever have thought could be felt, reminding us of a point in astronomy which is this: the longer the days are, the more distant is the sun, and nevertheless the hotter; so is it with our love, for by absence we are kept a distance from one another, and yet it retains its fervour, at least on my side; I hope the like on yours, assuring you that on my part the pain of absence is already too great for me; and when I think of the increase of that which I am forced to suffer, it would be almost intolerable, but for the firm hope I have of your unchangeable affection for me: and to remind you of this sometimes, and seeing that I cannot be personally present with you, I now send you the nearest thing I can to that, namely, my picture set in a bracelet, with the whole of the device, which you already know, wishing myself in their place, if it should please you.

This is from the hand of your loyal servant and friend,



For other great give-aways, please also visit these Hop Participants

Random Bits of Fascination (Maria Grace)

Pillings Writing Corner (David Pilling)

Sally Smith O’Rourke

Darcyholic Diversions (Barbara Tiller Cole)

Faith, Hope and Cherry Tea

Rosanne Lortz

Sharon Lathan

Debra Brown

Lauren Gilbert

Regina Jeffers

Ginger Myrick

Anna Belfrage

Fall in love with history (Grace Elliot)

Nancy Bilyeau

E.M. Powell

Georgie Lee

The Riddle of Writing (Deborah Swift)

Outtakes from a Historical Novelist (Kim Rendfeld)

The heart of romance (Sherry Gloag)

A day in the life of patootie (Lori Crane)

Karen Aminadra

Dunhaven Place (Heidi Ashworth)

Stephanie Renee dos Santos

17 Responses to Valentine’s hop through history

  1. Pingback: Valentine Blog Hop | Sharon Lathan

  2. That was lovely. Thanks for sharing the poem. :-)

  3. Pingback: Hearts Through History Blog Hop « Maria Grace

  4. Pingback: Hearts Through History Valentine Blog Hop & Giveaway » Ginger Myrick

  5. Pingback: ♥♥♥ Hearts Through History Blog Hop ♥♥♥ | a day in the life of patootie

  6. Pingback: Hearts Through History Hop » Sally Smith O'Rourke

  7. Favourite love letter that reads like a poem, at least for me, is from Cptn Frederick Wentworth to his love, Anne Elliot, in Persuasion by Jane Austen…

    “I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in
    F. W.
    I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never. ”

    A perfect love letter – stunning!
    THanks for participating in the hop! and your generous giveaway.. Every cont’d Success!

  8. Pingback: Hearts Through History Hop | The World of HEYERWOOD

  9. Pingback: Little Karin and the King – A Valentine Blog Hop post « Anna Belfrage

  10. Lisa S says:

    Oh, this is the second letter I have read from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn in this blog hop thus far. He certainly knew how to write a beautiful letter. Too bad he couldn’t live up to all that beauty in real life. Thank you so much for sharing it though. :)
    -Lisa (slapshinyhappy at yahoo dot com)

    • wendyjdunn says:

      Thank you, Lisa! Yes – HVIII wrote beautiful love letters…how it must have been for Anne Boleyn, waiting for death in those blood soaked days of May, 1536, remembering those letters, and knowing that the same hand that wrote them had now signed her death warrant.

  11. Wendy- I enjoyed reading your excerpt and here is a short but sweet love poem, that is my current favorite — enter into the drawing!

    Love Poem

    In order to describe

    this thing to you, I’d need

    the thousand beating wings

    of wild flocks of words.

    Rather, shall I show you

    like this?

    (Speechlessness) – Lisa Rosinsky

    Happy Valentine’s Day!


    Stephanie Renee dos Santos
    email: stephaniereneedossantos at

  12. Nice replies. I’d recommend The Lives of the Heart – a whole book by Jane Hirshfield. Totally unsentimental, but harbours the ring of truth.
    Your website is beautiful, Wendy.

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