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Short poem

Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

Astrophel and Stella XX

              1Fly, fly, my friends, I have my death wound, fly!
              2See there that boy, that murd'ring boy, I say,
              3Who, like a thief, hid in dark bush doth lie
              4Till bloody bullet get him wrongful prey.
              5So tyrant he no fitter place could spy,
              6Nor so fair level in so secret stay,
              7As that sweet black which veils the heav'nly eye;
              8There himself with his shot he close doth lay.
              9Poor passenger, pass now thereby I did,
            10And stay'd, pleas'd with the prospect of the place,
            11While that black hue from me the bad guest hid;
            12But straight I saw motions of lightning grace
            13And then descried the glist'ring of his dart:
            14But ere I could fly thence it pierc'd my heart.


2] boy: Cupid.

6] so fair level: so well take aim.

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 ROBA.
First publication date: 1591
RPO poem editor: F. D. Hoeniger
RP edition: 3RP 1:119.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/11

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: ababababcdcdee

Other poems by Sir Philip Sidney