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Philip Sidney
1554 - 1586



A s t r o p h e l 
a n d
S t e l l a



Ouing in trueth, and fayne in verse my loue to show,
That she, deare Shee, might take som pleasure of my paine,
Pleasure might cause her reade, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pittie winne, and pity grace obtaine,
I sought fit wordes to paint the blackest face of woe;
Studying inuentions fine, her wits to entertaine,
Oft turning others leaues, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitfull showers vpon my sun-burnd brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Inuentions stay;
Inuention, Natures childe, fledde step-dame Studies blowes;
And others feet still seemde but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with childe to speak, and helplesse in my throwes,
Biting my trewand pen, beating myselfe for spite,
Fool, said my Muse to me, looke in thy heart, and write.


Not at the first sight, nor with a dribbed shot,
Loue gaue the wound, which, while I breathe, will bleede;
But knowne worth did in tract of time proceed,
Till by degrees, it had full conquest got.
I saw and lik'd; I lik'd but loued not;
I lou'd, but straight did not what Loue decreed:
At length, to Loues decrees I, forc'd, agreed,
Yet with repining at so partiall lot.
Now, euen that footstep of lost libertie
Is gone; and now, like slaue-borne Muscouite,
I call it praise to suffer tyrannie;
And nowe imploy the remnant of my wit
To make myselfe beleeue that all is well,
While, with a feeling skill, I paint my hell.


Let dainty wits crie on the Sisters nine,
That, brauely maskt, their fancies may be told;
Or, Pindars apes, flaunt they in phrases fine,
Enam'ling with pied flowers their thoughts of gold;
Or else let them in statlier glorie shine,
Ennobling new-found tropes with problemes old;
Or with strange similes enrich each line,
Of herbes or beasts which Inde or Affrick hold.
For me, in sooth, no Muse but one I know,
Phrases and problems from my reach do grow;
And strange things cost too deare for my poor sprites.
How then? euen thus: in Stellaes face I reed
What Loue and Beautie be; then all my deed
But copying is, what in her Nature writes.


Vertue, alas, now let me take some rest;
Thou setst a bate betweene my will and wit;
If vaine Loue haue my simple soule opprest,
Leaue what thou lik'st not, deale thou not with it.
Thy scepter vse in some old Catoes brest,
Churches or Schooles are for thy seat more fit;
I do confesse (pardon a fault confest)
My mouth too tender is for thy hard bit.
But if that needes thou wilt vsurping be
The little reason that is left in me,
And still th'effect of thy perswasions prooue,
I sweare, my heart such one shall show to thee,
That shrines in flesh so true a deitie,
That, Virtue, thou thyself shalt be in loue.


It is most true that eyes are form'd to serue
The inward light, and that the heauenly part
Ought to be King, from whose rules who do swerue,
Rebels to nature, striue for their owne smart.
It is most true, what we call Cupids dart
An image is, which for ourselues we carue,
And, foolse, adore in temple of our hart,
Till that good god make church and churchmen starue.
True, that true beautie virtue is indeed,
Whereof this beautie can be but a shade,
Which, elements with mortal mixture breed.
True, that on earth we are but pilgrims made,
And should in soule up to our countrey moue:
True, and yet true that I must Stella loue.


Some louers speake, when they their Muses entertaine,
Of hopes begot by feare, of wot not what desires,
Of force of heau'nly beames infusing hellish paine,
Of liuing deaths, dere wounds, faire storms, and freesing fires:
Some one his song in Ioue and Ioues strange tales attires,
Bordred with buls and swans, powdred with golden raine:
Another, humbler wit, to shepherds pipe retires,
Yet hiding royall bloud full oft in rurall vaine.
To some a sweetest plaint a sweetest stile affords:
While teares poure out his inke, and sighes breathe out his words,
His paper pale despaire, and pain his pen doth moue.
I can speake what I feele, and feele as much as they,
But thinke that all the map of my state I display
When trembling voyce brings forth, that I do Stella loue.


When Nature made her chief worke, Stellas eyes,
In colour blacke why wrapt she beames so bright?
Would she in beamy blacke, like Painter wise,
Frame daintiest lustre, mixt of shades and light?
Or did she else that sober hue deuise,
In obiect best to knitt and strength our sight;
Least, if no vaile these braue gleames did disguise,
They, sunlike, should more dazle then delight?
Or would she her miraculous power show,
That, whereas blacke seems Beauties contrary,
She euen in black doth make all beauties flow?
Both so, and thus, she, minding Loue should be
Plac'd euer there, gaue him this mourning weede
To honour all their deaths who for her bleed.


Loue, borne in Greece, of late fled from his natiue place,
Forc't, by a tedious proof, that Turkish hardned heart
Is not fit mark to pierce with his fine-pointed dart,
And pleas'd with our soft peace, staide here his flying race:
But, finding these north clymes too coldly him embrace,
Not vsde to frozen clips, he straue to find some part
Where with most ease and warmth he might employ his art;
At length he perch'd himself in Stellaes ioyful face,
Whose faire skin, beamy eyes, like morning sun on snow,
Deceiu'd the quaking boy, who thought, from so pure light,
Effects of liuely heat must needs in nature grow:
But she, most faire, most cold, made him thence take his flight
To my close heart, where, while some firebrands he did lay,
He burnt vn'wares his wings, and cannot flie away.


Queen Virtues Court, which some call Stellaes face,
Prepar'd by Natures choicest furniture,
Hath his front built of alabaster pure;
Gold is the couering of that stately place.
The door, by which sometimes comes forth her grace,
Red porphir is, which locke of pearl makes sure,
Whose porches rich (which name of chekes indure)
Marble, mixt red and white, doe interlace.
The windowes now, through which this heau'nly guest
Looks ouer the world, and can find nothing such,
Which dare claime from those lights the name of best,
Of touch they are, that without touch do touch,
Which Cupids self, from Beauties mine did draw:
Of touch they are, and poore I am their straw.


Reason, in faith thou art well seru'd that still
Wouldst brabbling be with Sense and Loue in me;
I rather wisht thee clime the Muses hill;
Or reach the fruite of Natures choycest tree;
Or seek heau'ns course or heau'ns inside to see:
Why shouldst thou toil our thorny soile to till?
Leaue Sense, and those which Senses obiects be;
Deale thou with powers of thoughts, leaue Loue to Will.
But thou wouldst needs fight with both Loue and Sence,
With sword of wit giuing wounds of dispraise,
Till downe-right blowes did foyle thy cunning fence;
For, soone as they strake thee with Stellas rayes,
Reason, thou kneeld'st, and offred'st straight to proue,
By reason good, good reason her to loue.


In truth, O Loue, with what a boyish kind
Thou doest proceed in thy most serious ways,
That when the heau'n to thee his best displayes,
Yet of that best thou leau'st the best behinde!
For, like a childe that some faire booke doth find,
With gilded leaues or colour'd vellum playes,
Or, at the most, on some fine picture stayes,
But neuer heeds the fruit of Writers mind;
So when thou saw'st, in Natures cabinet,
Stella, thou straight lookst babies in her eyes:
In her chekes pit thou didst thy pitfold set,
And in her breast bo-peepe or crouching lies,
Playing and shining in each outward part;
But, fool, seekst not to get into her heart.


Cupid, because thou shin'st in Stellaes eyes
That from her locks thy day-nets none scapes free
That those lips sweld so full of thee they be
That her sweet breath makes oft thy flames to rise
That in her breast thy pap well sugred lies
That her grace gracious makes thy wrongsthat she,
What words soere shee speake, perswades for thee
That her clere voice lifts thy fame to the skies,
Thou countest Stella thine, like those whose pow'rs
Hauing got vp a breach by fighting well,
Crie Victorie, this faire day all is ours!
O no; her heart is such a cittadell,
So fortified with wit, stor'd with disdaine,
That to win it is all the skill and paine.


Phoebus was iudge betweene Ioue, Mars, and Loue,
Of those three gods, whose armes the fairest were.
Ioues golden shield did sable eagles beare,
Whose talons held young Ganimed aboue:
But in vert field Mars bare a golden speare,
Which through a bleeding heart his point did shoue:
Each had his creast; Mars carried Venus gloue,
Ioue on his helmet the thunderbolt did reare.
Cupid then smiles, for on his crest there lies
Stellas faire haire; her face he makes his shield,
Where roses gules are borne in siluer field.
Phoebus drew wide the curtaines of the skies,
To blaze these last, and sware deuoutly then,
The first, thus matcht, were scantly gentlemen.


Alas, haue I not pain enough, my friend,
Vpon whose breast a fiecer Gripe doth tire
Than did on him who first stale down the fire,
While Loue on me doth all his quiuer spend,
But with your rhubarbe words ye must contend
To grieue me worse, in saying that Desire
Doth plunge my wel-form'd soul euen in the mire
Of sinfull thoughts, which do in ruin end?
If that be sinne which doth the manners frame,
Well staid with truth in word and faith of deede,
Ready of wit, and fearing nought but shame;
If that be sin which in fixt hearts doth breed
A loathing of all loose vnchastitie,
Then loue is sin, and let me sinfull be.


You that do search for euery purling spring
Which from the ribs of old Parnassus flowes,
And euery flower, not sweet perhaps, which growes
Neere thereabouts, into your poesie wring;
Ye that do dictionaries methode bring
Into your rimes, running in rattling rowes;
You that poore Petrarchs long deceased woes
With new-borne sighes and denisen'd wit do sing;
You take wrong wayes; those far-fet helps be such
As do bewray a want of inward tuch,
And sure, at length stol'n goods doe come to light:
But if, both for your loue and skill, your name
You seek to nurse at fullest breasts of Fame,
Stella behold, and then begin to indite.


In nature, apt to like, when I did see
Beauties which were of many carrets fine,
My boiling sprites did thither then incline,
And, Loue, I thought that I was full of thee:
But finding not those restlesse flames in mee,
Which others said did make their souls to pine,
I thought those babes of some pinnes hurt did whine,
By my soul iudging what Loues paine might be.
But while I thus with this young lion plaid,
Mine eyes (shall I say curst or blest?) beheld
Stella: now she is nam'd, neede more be said?
In her sight I a lesson new haue speld.
I now haue learnd loue right, and learnd euen so
As they that being poysond poyson know.


His mother deere, Cupid offended late,
Because that Mars, growne slacker in her loue,
With pricking shot he did not throughly moue
To keepe the place of their first louing state.
The boy refusde for fear of Marses hate,
Who threatned stripes if he his wrath did proue;
But she, in chafe, him from her lap did shoue,
Brake bowe, brake shafts, while Cupid weeping sate;
Till that his grandame Nature, pitying it,
Of Stellaes brows made him two better bowes,
And in her eyes of arrows infinit.
O how for ioy he leaps! O how he crowes!
And straight therewith, like wags new got to play,
Falls to shrewd turnes! And I was in his way.


With what sharp checkes I in myself am shent
When into Reasons audite I do goe,
And by iust counts my selfe a bankrout know
Of all those goods which heauen to me hath lent;
Vnable quite to pay euen Natures rent,
Which vnto it by birthright I do ow;
And, which is worse, no good excuse can showe,
But that my wealth I haue most idly spent!
My youth doth waste, my knowledge brings forth toyes,
My wit doth striue those passions to defende,
Which, for reward, spoil it with vain annoyes.
I see, my course to lose myself doth bend;
I see: and yet no greater sorrow take
Than that I lose no more for Stellas sake.


On Cupids bowe how are my heart-strings bent,
That see my wracke, and yet embrace the same!
When most I glory, then I feele most shame;
I willing run, yet while I run repent;
My best wits still their own disgrace inuent:
My very inke turns straight to Stellas name;
And yet my words, as them my pen doth frame,
Auise them selues that they are vainely spent:
For though she passe all things, yet what is all
That vnto me, who fare like him that both
Lookes to the skies and in a ditch doth fall?
O let me prop my mind, yet in his growth,
And not in nature for best fruits vnfit.
Scholler, saith Loue, bend hitherward your wit.


Fly, fly, my friends; I haue my deaths wound, fly;
See there that Boy, that murthring Boy I say,
Who like a theefe hid in dark bush doth ly,
Till bloudy bullet get him wrongfull pray.
So, tyran he no fitter place could spie,
Nor so faire leuell in so secret stay,
As that sweet black which veils the heau'nly eye;
There with his shot himself he close doth lay.
Poore passenger, pass now thereby I did,
And staid, pleas'd with the prospect of the place,
While that black hue from me the the bad guest hid:
But straight I saw the motions of lightning grace,
And then descried the glistrings of his dart:
But ere I could flie thence, it pierc'd my heart.


Your words, my friend, (right healthfull caustiks), blame
My young mind marde, whom Loue doth windlas so;
That mine owne writings, like bad seruants, show
My wits quicke in vaine thoughts, in vertue lame;
That Plato I read for nought but if he tame
Such coltish yeeres; that to my birth I owe
Nobler desires, lest else that friendly foe,
Great expectation, wear a train of shame:
For since mad March great promise made of mee,
If now the May of my yeeres much decline,
What can be hop'd my haruest-time will be?
Sure, you say well, Your wisedomes golden myne
Dig deepe with Learnings spade. Now tell me this:
Hath this world aught so fair as Stella is?


In highest way of heau'n the Sun did ride,
Progressing then from fair Twinnes golden place,
Hauing no mask of clouds before his face,
But streaming forth of heate in his chiefe pride;
When some fair ladies, by hard promise tied,
On horsebacke met him in his furious race;
Yet each prepar'd with fannes wel-shading grace
From that foes wounds their tender skinnes to hide.
Stella alone with face vnarmed marcht,
Either to do like him which open shone,
Or carelesse of the wealth, because her owne.
Yet were the hid and meaner beauties parcht;
Her dainties bare went free: the cause was this:
The sun, that others burn'd, did her but kisse.


The curious wits, seeing dull pensiuenesse
Bewray it self in my long-settl'd eies
Whence those same fumes of melancholy rise,
With idle paines and missing ayme do guesse.
Some, that know how my spring I did addresse,
Deem that my Muse some fruit of knowledge plies;
Others, because the prince my seruice tries,
Thinke that I think State errours to redress:
But harder iudges iudge ambitions rage:
Scourge of itselfe, still climbing slipperie place:
Holds my young brain captiu'd in golden cage.
O fooles, or ouer-wise. alas, the race
Of all my thoughts hath neither stop nor start
But only Stellaes eyes and Stellaes heart.


Rich fooles there be whose base and filthy heart
Lies hatching still the goods wherein they flow,
And damning their own selues to Tantals smart,
Wealth breeding want; more rich, more wretched growe:
Yet to those fooles Heau'n doth such wit impart
As what their hands do hold, their heads do know,
And knowing loue, and louing lay apart
As sacred things, far from all dangers show.
But that rich foole, who by blind Fortunes lot
The richest gemme of loue and life enioys,
And can with foule abuse such beauties blot;
Let him, depriu'd of sweet but vnfelt ioys,
Exild for ay from those high treasures which
He knowes not, grow in only folly rich!


The wisest scholler of the wight most wise
By Phoebus doom, with sugred sentence sayes,
That vertue, if it once met with our eyes,
Strange flames of loue it in our souls would raise;
But for that man with paine this truth descries,
Whiles he each thing in Senses balance wayes,
And so nor will nor can behold those skies
Which inward sunne to heroick mind displaies
Vertue of late, with vertuous care to ster
Loue of herself, tooke Stellas shape, that she
To mortall eyes might sweetly shine in her.
It is most true; for since I her did see,
Vertues great beauty in that face I proue,
And find th' effect, for I do burn in loue.


Though dustie wits dare scorne Astrologie,
And fooles can thinke those lampes of purest light
Whose numbers, waies, greatnesse, eternity,
Promising wonders, wonder do inuite
To haue for no cause birthright in the sky
But for to spangle the black weeds of Night;
Or for some brawl which in that chamber hie,
They should still dance to please a gazers sight.
For me, I do Nature vnidle know,
And know great causes great effects procure;
And know those bodies high raigne on the low.
And if these rules did fail, proof makes me sure,
Who oft fore-see my after-following race,
By only those two starres in Stellaes face.


Because I oft in darke abstracted guise
Seeme most alone in greatest company,
With dearth of words, or answers quite awrie,
To them that would make speech of speech arise;
They deeme, and of their doome the runour flies,
That poison foul of bubbling pride doth lie
So in my swelling breast, that only I
Fawne on my selfe, and others do despise.
Yet pride I thinke doth not my soule possesse
(Which looks too oft in his vnflatt'ring glasse):
But one worse fault, ambition, I confesse,
That makes me oft my best friends ouerpasse,
Vnseene, vnheard, while thought to highest place
Bends all his powers, euen vnto Stellaes grace.


You that with Allegories curious frame
Of others children changelings vse to make,
With me those pains, for Gods sake, do not take:
I list not dig so deep for brazen fame,
When I say Stella I do meane the same
Princesse of beauty for whose only sake
The raines of Loue I loue, though neuer slake,
And ioy therein, though nations count it shame.
I beg no subiect to vse eloquence,
Nor in hid wayes to guide philosophy:
Looke at my hands for no such quintessence;
But know that I in pure simplicitie
Breathe out the flames which burn within my heart,
Loue onely reading vnto me this arte.


Like some weak lords neighbord by mighty kings,
To keep themselues and their chief cities free,
Do easily yeeld that all their coasts may be
Ready to store their campes of needfull things;
So Stellas heart, finding what power Loue brings
To keep it selfe in life and liberty,
Doth willing graunt that in the frontiers he
Vse all to helpe his other conquerings.
And thus her heart escapes; but thus her eyes
Serue him with shot, her lips his heralds are,
Her breasts his tents, legs his triumphall car,
Her flesh his food, her skin his armour braue.
And I, but for because my prospect lies
Vpon that coast, am given vp for slaue.


Whether the Turkish new moone minded be
To fill her hornes this yeere on Christian coast;
How Poles right king means without leaue of host
To warm with ill-made fire cold Muscouy;
If French can yet three parts in one agree:
What now the Dutch in their full diets boast;
How Holland hearts, now so good townes be lost,
Trust in the shade of pleasant Orange-tree;
How Vlster likes of that same golden bit
Wherewith my father once made it half tame;
If in the Scotch Court be no weltring yet;
These questions busy wits to me do frame:
I, cumbred with good manners, answer doe,
But know not how; for still I thinke of you.


With how sad steps, O Moone, thou climbst the skies!
How silently, and with how wanne a face!
What, may it be that euen in heau'nly place
That busie archer his sharpe arrowes tries?
Sure, if that long-with-loue-acquainted eyes
Can iudge of loue, thou feel'st a louers case,
I reade it in thy lookes: thy languist grace,
To me that feele the like, thy state discries.
Then, eu'n of fellowship, O Moone, tell me,
Is constant loue deem'd there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they aboue loue to be lou'd, and yet
Those louers scorn whom that loue doth possesse?
Do they call vertue there vngratefulnesse?


Morpheus, the liuely sonne of deadly Sleepe,
Witnesse of life to them that liuing die,
A prophet oft, and oft an historie,
A poet eke, as humours fly or creepe;
Since thou in me so sure a pow'r dost keepe,
That neuer I with clos'd-vp sense do lie,
But by thy worke my Stella I descrie,
Teaching blind eyes both how to smile and weepe;
Vouchsafe, of all acquaintance, this to tell,
Whence hast thou ivory, rubies, pearl, and gold,
To shew her skin, lips, teeth, and head so well?
Foole! answers he; no Indes such treasures hold;
But from thy heart, while my sire charmeth thee,
Sweet Stellas image I do steal to mee.


I might (vnhappy word!) O me, I might,
And then I would not, or could not, see my blisse,
Till now wrapt in a most infernall night,
I find how heau'nly day, wretch! I did misse.
Hart, rend thyself, thou dost thyself but right;
No louely Paris made thy Hellen his;
No force, no fraud robd thee of thy delight,
Nor Fortune of thy fortune author is,
But to my selfe my selfe did giue the blow,
While too much wit, forsooth, so troubled me
That I respects for both our sakes must show:
And yet could not, by rysing morne fore-see
How fair a day was near: O punisht eyes,
That I had bene more foolish, or more wise!


Come, let me write. And to what end? To ease
A burthen'd heart. How can words ease, which are
The glasses of thy dayly-vexing care?
Oft cruel fights well pictur'd-forth do please.
Art not asham'd to publish thy disease?
Nay, that may breed my fame, it is so rare.
But will not wise men thinke thy words fond ware?
Then be they close, and so none shall displease.
What idler thing then speake and not be hard?
What harder thing then smart and not to speake?
Peace, foolish wit! with wit my wit is mard.
Thus write I, while I doubt to write, and wreake
My harmes in inks poor losse. Perhaps some find
Stellas great pow'rs, that so confuse my mind.


What may words say, or what may words not say,
Where Truth itself must speake like Flatterie?
Within what bounds can one his liking stay,
Where Nature doth with infinite agree?
What Nestors counsell can my flames alay,
Since Reasons self doth blow the coale in me?
And, ah, what hope that Hope should once see day,
Where Cupid is sworn page to Chastity?
Honour is honour'd that thou dost possesse
Him as thy slaue, and now long-needy Fame
Doth euen grow rich, meaning my Stellaes name.
Wit learnes in thee perfection to expresse:
Not thou by praise, but praise in thee is raisde:
It is a praise to praise, when thou art praisde.


Stella, whence doth these new assaults arise,
A conquerd yeelding ransackt heart to winne,
Whereto long since, through my long-battred eyes,
Whole armies of thy beauties entred in?
And there, long since, Loue, thy lieutenant, lies;
My forces razde, thy banners raisd within:
Of conquest, do not these effects suffice,
But wilt new warre vpon thine own begin?
With so sweet voice, and by sweet Nature so
In sweetest stratagems sweete Art can show,
That not my soul, which at thy foot did fall
Long since, forc'd by thy beams, but stone nor tree,
By Sences priviledge, can scape from thee!


My mouth doth water, and my breast doth swell,
My tongue doth itch, my thoughts in labour be:
Listen then, lordings, with good ear to me,
For of my life I must a riddle tell.
Toward Auroras Court a nymph doth dwell,
Rich in all beauties which mans eye can see;
Beauties so farre from reach of words that we
Abase her praise saying she doth excell;
Rich in the treasure of deseru'd renowne,
Rich in the riches of a royall heart,
Rich in those gifts which giue th'eternall crowne;
Who, though most rich in these and eu'ry part
Which make the patents of true worldy blisse,
Hath no misfortune but that Rich she is.


This night, while sleepe begins with heauy wings
To hatch mine eyes, and that vnbitted thought
Doth fall to stray, and my chief powres are brought
To leaue the scepter of all subiect things;
The first that straight my fancys errour brings
Vnto my mind is Stellas image, wrought
By Loues own selfe, but with so curious drought
That she, methinks, not onley shines but sings.
I start, look, hearke: but in what closde-vp sence
Was held, in opend sense it flies away,
Leauing me nought but wayling eloquence.
I, seeing better sights in sights decay,
Cald it anew, and wooed Sleepe again;
But him, her host, that vnkind guest had slain.


Come, Sleepe! O Sleepe, the certaine knot of peace,
The baiting-place of wit, the balme of woe,
The poor mans wealth, the prisoners release,
Th' indifferent iudge betweene the high and low!
With shield of proofe shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts Despaire at me doth throw.
O make in me those ciuil wars to cease;
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillowes, sweetest bed,
A chamber deafe of noise and blind of light,
A rosie garland and a weary hed:
And if these things, as being thine in right,
Moue not thy heauy grace, thou shalt in me,
Liuelier then else-where, Stellaes image see.


As good to write, as for to lie and grone.
O Stella deare, how much thy powre hath wrought,
That hast my mind (now of the basest) brought
My still-kept course, while others sleepe, to mone!
Alas, if from the height of Vertues throne
Thou canst vouchsafe the influence of a thought
Vpon a wretch that long thy grace hath sought,
Weigh then how I by thee am ouerthrowne,
And then thinke thus: although thy beautie be
Made manifest by such a victorie,
Yet noble conquerours do wreckes auoid.
Since then thou hast so farre subdued me
That in my heart I offer still to thee,
O do not let thy temple be destroyd!


Hauing this day my horse, my hand, my launce
Guided so well that I obtain'd the prize,
Both by the iudgement of the English eyes
And of some sent from that sweet enemy Fraunce;
Horsemen my skill in horsemanship aduaunce,
Towne folkes my strength; a daintier iudge applies
His praise to sleight which from good vse doth rise;
Some luckie wits impute it but to chance;
Others, because of both sides I doe take
My blood from them who did excell in this,
Thinke Nature me a man-at-armes did make.
How farre they shot awrie! The true cause is,
Stella lookt on, and from her heau'nly face
Sent forth the beames which made so faire my race.


O eyes, which do the spheres of beauty moue;
Whose beames be ioyes, whose ioyes all vertues be,
Who, while they make Loue conquer, conquer Loue;
The schooles where Venus hath learnd chastitie:
O eyes, where humble lookes most glorious proue,
Onely lou'd Tyrans, iust in cruelty,
Do not, O doe not, from poore me remoue:
Keep still my zenith, euer shine on me;
For though I neuer see them, but straightwayes
My life forgets to nourish languisht sprites,
Yet still on me, O eyes, dart down your rayes!
And if from majestie of sacred lights
Oppressing mortal sense my death proceed,
Wraceks triumphs be which Loue hie set doth breed.


Faire eyes, sweet lips, dear heart, that foolish I
Could hope, by Cupids help, on you to pray,
Since to himselfe he doth your gifts apply,
As his maine force, choise sport, and easefull stay!
For when he will see who dare him gain-say,
Then with those eyes he looeks: lo, by and by
Each soule doth at Loues feet his weapons lay,
Glad if for her he giue them leaue to die.
When he will play, then in her lips he is,
Where, blushing red, that Loues selfe them doe loue,
With either lip he doth the other kisse;
But when he will, for quiets sake, remoue
From all the world, her heart is then his rome,
Where well he knowes no man to him can come.


My words I know do well set forth my minde;
My mind bemones his sense of inward smart;
Such smart may pitie claim of any hart;
Her heart, sweet heart, is of no tygres kind:
And yet she heares and yet no pitie I find,
But more I cry, less grace she doth impart.
Alas, what cause is there so ouerthwart
That Nobleness it selfe makes thus vnkind?
I much do ghesse, yet finde no truth saue this,
That when the breath of my complaints doth tuch
Those dainty doors vnto the Court of Blisse,
The heau'nly nature of that place is such,
That, once come there, the sobs of mine annoyes
Are metamorphos'd straight to tunes of ioyes.


Stella oft sees the very face of wo
Painted in my beclowded stormie face,
But cannot skill to pitie my disgrace,
Not though thereof the cause herself she know:
Yet, hearing late a fable which did show
Of louers neuer knowne, a grieuous case,
Pitie thereof gate in her breast such place,
That, from that sea deriu'd, teares spring did flow.
Alas, if Fancie, drawne by imag'd things
Though false, yet with free scope, more grace doth breed
Than seruants wracke, where new doubts honour brings;
Then thinke, my deare, that you in me do reed
Of louers ruine some thrise-sad tragedie.
I am not I: pitie the tale of me.


I curst thee oft, I pitie now thy case,
Blind-hitting Boy, since she that thee and me
Rules with a becke, so tyranniseth thee,
That thou must want or food or dwelling-place,
For she protests to banish thee her face.
Her face! O Loue, a roge thou then shouldst be,
If Loue learne not alone to loue and see,
Without desire to feed of further grace.
Alas, poor wag, that now a scholler art
To such a schoolmistresse, whose lessons new
Thou needs must misse, and so thou needs must smart.
Yet, deare, let me his pardon get of you,
So long, though he from book myche to desire,
Till without fewell you can make hot fire.


What, haue I thus betray'd my libertie?
Can those blacke beames such burning markes engraue
In my free side, or am I borne a slaue,
Whose necke becomes such yoke of tyrannie?
Or want I sense to feel my misery,
Or sprite, disdaine of such disdaine to haue,
Who for long faith, tho' daily helpe I craue,
May get no almes, but scorne of beggarie.
Vertue, awake! Beautie but beautie is;
I may, I must, I can, I will, I do
Leaue following that which it is gain to misse.
Let her goe! Soft, but here she comes! Goe to,
Vnkind, I loue you not! O me, that eye
Doth make my heart to giue my tongue the lie!


Soules ioy, bend not those morning starres from me
Where Vertue is made strong by Beauties might;
Where Loue is chasteness, Paine doth learn delight,
And Humbleness growes one with Maiesty.
Whateuer may ensue, O let me be
Copartner of the riches of that sight.
Let not mine eyes be hel-driu'n from that light;
O look, O shine, O let me die, and see.
For though I oft myself of them bemone
That through my heart their beamie darts be gone,
Whose cureless wounds euen now most freshly bleed,
Yet since my death-wound is already got,
Deere killer, spare not thy sweete-cruell shot:
A kinde of grace it is to slaye with speed.


I on my horse, and Loue on me, doth trie
Our horsemanships, while by strange worke I proue
A horsman to my horse, a horse to Loue,
And now mans wrongs in me, poor beast! descrie.
The raines wherewith my rider doth me tie
Are humbled thoughts, which bit of reuerence moue,
Curb'd-in with feare, but with gilt bosse aboue
Of hope, which makes it seem fair to the eye:
The wand is will; thou, Fancie, saddle art,
Girt fast by Memorie; and while I spurre
My horse, he spurres with sharpe desire my hart.
He sits me fast, howeuer I do sturre,
And now hath made me to his hand so right,
That in the manage my selfe take delight.


Stella, the fullnesse of my thoughts of thee
Cannot be staid within my panting breast,
But they do swell and struggle forth of me,
Till that in words thy figure be exprest:
And yet, as soone as they so formed be,
According to my lord Loues oene behest,
With sad eies I their weak proportion see
To portrait that which in this world is best.
So that I cannot chuse but write my mind,
And cannot chuse but put out what I write,
While these poor babes their death in birth do find;
And now my pen these lines had dashed quite
But that they stopt his fury from the same,
Because their forefront bare sweet Stellas name.


Pardon mine ears, both I and they do pray,
So may your tongue still flauntingly proceed
To them that do such entertainment need,
So may you still haue somewhat new to say.
On silly me do not the burthen lay
Of all the graue conceits your braine doth breed,
But find some Hercules to beare, insteed
Of Atlas tyrd, your wisedoms heau'nly sway.
For me, while you discourse of courtly tides,
Of cunningest fishers in most troubled streames,
Of straying waies, when valiant Errour guides,
Meanewhile my heart confers with Stellas beames,
And is e'en woe that so sweet comedie
By such vnsuted speech should hindred be.


A strife is growne between Vertue and Loue,
While each pretends that Stella must be his:
Her eyes, her lips, her all, saith Loue, do this,
Since they do weare his badge, most firmly proue.
But Virtue thus that title doth disproue,
That Stella (O dear name!) that Stella is
That vertuous soule, sure heire of heau'nly blisse.
Not this faire outside, which our heart doth moue.
And therefore, though her beautie and her grace
Be Loues indeed, in Stellas selfe he may
By no pretence claime any manner place.
Well, Loue, since this demurre our sute doth stay,
Let Vertue haue that Stellaes selfe, yet thus,
That Vertue but that body graunt to vs.


In martiall sports I had my cunning tride,
And yet to breake more staues did mee addresse,
While, with the peoples shouts, I must confesse,
Youth, lucke, and praise euen fil'd my veines with pride;
When Cupid, hauing me, his slaue, descride
In Marses livery prauncing in the presse,
What now, Sir Foole! said he, (I would no lesse:)
Looke here, I say! I look'd, and Stella spide,
Who, hard by, made a window send forth light.
My heart then quak'd, then dazled were mine eyes,
One hand forgat to rule, th'other to fight,
Nor trumpets sound I heard, nor friendly cries:
My foe came on, and beate the air for me,
Till that her blush taught me my shame to see.


Because I breathe not loue to euery one,
Nor doe not vse sette colours for to weare,
Nor nourish speciall locks of vowed haire,
Nor giue each speech a full point of a grone,
The Courtly Nymphes, acquainted with the mone
Of them wich in their lips Loues Standard beare:
What, he! (say they of me): now I dare sweare
He cannot loue; no,no, let him alone.
And thinke so still, so Stella know my minde;
Profess in deede I do not Cupids art;
But you, fair maides, at length this true shall find,
That his right badge is but worne in the hart:
Dumbe Swans, not chattering Pyes, do louers proue;
They loue indeed who quake to say they loue.


Muses, I oft inuoked your holy ayde,
With choisest flowers my speech t' engarland so,
That it, despisde, in true but naked shew
Might winne some grace in your sweet grace arraid;
And oft whole troupes of saddest words I staid,
Striuing abroad a-foraging to go,
Vntill by your inspiring I might know
How their blacke banner might be best displaid.
But now I meane no more your helpe to try,
Nor other sugring of my speech to proue,
But on her name incessantly to cry;
For let me but name her whom I doe loue,
So sweet sounds straight mine eare and heart do hit,
That I well finde no eloquence like it.


Fy, schoole of Patience, fy! your Lesson is
Far, far too long to learne it without booke:
What, a whole weeke without one peece of looke,
And thinke I should not your large precepts misse!
When I might reade those Letters faire of blisse
Which in her face teach vertue, I could brooke
Somwhat thy leaden counsels, which I tooke
As of a friend that meant not much amisse.
But now that I, alas, doe want her sight,
What, dost thou thinke that I can euer take
In thy cold stuffe a flegmatike delight?
No, Patience; if thou wilt my good, then make
Her come and heare with patience my desire,
And then with patience bid me beare my fire.


Who hauing made, with many fights, his owne
Each sence of mine, each gift, each pow'r of mind;
Growne now his slaues, he forst them out to find
The thorowest words fit for Woes selfe to grone,
Hoping that when they might finde Stella alone,
Before she could prepare to be vnkind,
Her soule, arm'd but with such a dainty rind,
Should soone be pierc'd with sharpnesse of the mone.
She heard my plaints, and did not onely heare,
But them, so sweet is she, most sweetly sing,
With that faire breast making Woes darknesse cleare.
A pretie case; I hoped her to bring
To feele my griefe; and she, with face and voyce,
So sweets my paines that my paines me reioyce.


Doubt there hath beene when with his golden chaine
The orator so farre mens hearts doth bind,
That no pace else their guided steps can find
But as he them more short or slack doth raine;
Whether with words this soueraignty he gaine,
Cloth'd with fine tropes, with strongest reasons lin'd,
Or else pronouncing grace, wherewith his mind
Prints his owne liuely forme in rudest braine.
Now iudge by this: in piercing phrases late
Th' Anatomie of all my woes I wrate;
Stellas sweet breath the same to me did reed.
O voyce, O face! maugre my speeches might,
Which wooed wo, most rauishing delight
Euen those sad words euen in sad me did breed.


Deere, why make you more of a dog then me?
If he doe loue, I burne, I burne in loue;
If he waite well, I neuer thence would moue;
If he be faire, yet but a dog can be;
Little he is, so little worth is he;
He barks, my songs thine owne voyce oft doth proue;
Bidden, perhaps he fetched thee a gloue,
But I, vnbid, fetch euen my soule to thee.
Yet, while I languish, him that bosome clips,
That lap doth lap, nay lets, in spite of spite,
This sowre-breath'd mate taste of those sugred lips.
Alas, if you graunt onely such delight
To witlesse things, then Loue, I hope (since wit
Becomes a clog) will soone ease me of it.
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