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Short poem

Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

Astrophel and Stella VII

              1When Nature made her chief work, Stella's eyes,
              2In colour black why wrapt she beams so bright?
              3Would she in beamy black, like painter wise,
              4Frame daintiest lustre, mix'd of shades and light?
              5Or did she else that sober hue devise,
              6In object best to knit and strength our sight;
              7Lest, if no veil these brave gleams did disguise,
              8They, sunlike, should more dazzle than delight?
              9Or would she her miraculous power show,
            10That, whereas black seems beauty's contrary,
            11She even in black doth make all beauties flow?
            12Both so, and thus,--she, minding Love should be
            13Plac'd ever there, gave him this mourning weed
            14To honour all their deaths who for her bleed.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Sir Philip Sidney, Sir P. S. his Astrophel and Stella ([J. Charlewood] for T. Newman, 1591). STC 22536. Facs. edn. (Menston: Scolar Press, 1970). PR 2342 A7 1591A Robarts Library. Cf. Sidney's Arcadia. Facs. edn. (Delma: Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1983). PR 2342 A5 1983
First publication date: 1591
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP.1.171; RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/11

Composition date: 1580 - 1582
Form: sonnet
Rhyme: ababababcdcdee

Other poems by Sir Philip Sidney