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Short poem

Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

Astrophel and Stella XXIII

              1The curious wits, seeing dull pensiveness
              2Bewray itself in my long-settl'd eyes,
              3Whence those same fumes of melancholy rise,
              4With idle pains and missing aim do guess.
              5Some, that know how my spring I did address,
              6Deem that my Muse some fruit of knowledge plies;
              7Others, because the prince my service tries,
              8Think that I think state errors to redress;
              9But harder judges judge ambition's rage--
            10Scourge of itself, still climbing slipp'ry place--
            11Holds my young brain captiv'd in golden cage.
            12O fool or over-wise! alas, the race
            13Of all my thoughts hath neither stop nor start
            14But only Stella's eyes and Stella's heart.

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 1:120.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/11

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: ababababcdcdee

Other poems by Sir Philip Sidney