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Astrophel and Stella - Eight Song.

Sir Philip Sidney 1554 (Penshurst, Kent) – 1586 (Zutphen)

In a groue most rich of shade,
Where birds wanton musicke made,
Maie, then yong, his pide weedes showing,
New-perfum'd with flowers fresh growing:
Astrophel with Stella sweet
Did for mutual comfort meete,
Both within themselues oppressed,
But each in the other blessed.
Him great harmes had taught much care,
Her faire necke a foule yoke bare;
But her sight his cares did banish,
In his sight her yoke did vanish:
Wept they had, alas, the while,
But now teares themselues did smile,
While their eyes, by Loue directed,
Enterchangeably reflected.
Sigh they did; but now betwixt
Sighes of woe were glad sighes mixt;
With arms crost, yet testifying
restlesse rest, and liuing dying.
Their eares hungrie of each word
Which the deare tongue would afford;
But their tongues restrain'd from walking,
Till their harts had ended talking.
But when their tongues could not speake,
Loue it selfe did silence breake;
Loue did set his lips asunder,
Thus to speake in loue and wonder.
Stella, Soueraigne of my ioy,
Faire triumpher of annoy;
Stella, Starre of heauenly fier,
Stella, loadstar of desier;
Stella, in whose shining eyes
Are the lights of Cupids skies,
Whose beames, where they once are darted,
Loue therewith is streight imparted;
Stella, whose voice when it speakes
Senses all asunder breakes;
Stella, whose voice, when it singeth,
Angels to acquaintance bringeth;
Stella, in whose body is
Writ each caracter of blisse;
Whose face all, all beauty passeth,
Saue thy mind, which it surpasseth.
Graunt, O graunt; but speach, alas,
Failes me, fearing on to passe:
Graunt, O me: what am I saying?
But no fault there is in praying.
Graunt (O Deere) on knees I pray,
(Knees on ground he then did stay)
That, not I, but since I loue you,
Time and place for me may moue you.
Neuer season was more fit;
Never roome more apt for it;
Smiling ayre allowes my reason;
These birds sing, Now vse the season.
This small wind, which so sweete is,
See how it the leaues doth kisse;
Each tree in his best attiring,
Sense of Loue to Loue inspiring.
Loue makes earth the water drink,
Loue to earth makes water sinke;
And, if dumbe things be so witty,
Shall a heauenly Grace want pitty?
There his hands, in their speech, faine
Would haue made tongues language plaine;
But her hands, his hands repelling,
Gaue repulse all grace expelling.
Then she spake; her speech was such,
So not eares, but hart did tuch:
While such-wise she loue denied,
And yet loue she signified.
Astrophel, sayd she, my loue,
Cease, in these effects, to proue;
Now be still, yet still beleeue me,
Thy griefe more then death would grieue me.
If that any thought in me
Can tast comfort but of thee,
Let me, fed with hellish anguish,
Ioylesse, hopelesse, endlesse languish.
If those eyes you praised be
Halfe so deare as you to me,
Let me home returne, starke blinded
Of those eyes, and blinder minded;
If to secret of my hart,
I do any wish impart,
Where thou art not formost placed,
Be both wish and I defaced.
If more may be sayd, I say,
All my blisse in thee I lay;
If thou loue, my loue, content thee,
For all loue, all faith is meant thee.
Trust me, while I thee deny,
In my selfe the smart I try;
Tyran Honour doth thus vse thee,
Stellas selfe might not refuse thee.
Therefore, deare, this no more moue,
Least, though I leaue not thy loue,
Which too deep in me is framed,
I should blush when thou art named.
Therewithall away she went,
Leauing him to passion rent,
With what she had done and spoken,
That therewith my song is broken.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

3:15 min read

Sir Philip Sidney

Sir Philip Sidney was an English poet, courtier, scholar and soldier who is remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan age. more…

All Sir Philip Sidney poems | Sir Philip Sidney Books

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