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Short poem

Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

Astrophel and Stella XXXIII

              1I might!--unhappy word--O me, I might,
              2And then would not, or could not, see my bliss;
              3Till now wrapt in a most infernal night,
              4I find how heav'nly day, wretch! I did miss.
              5Heart, rend thyself, thou dost thyself but right;
              6No lovely Paris made thy Helen his,
              7No force, no fraud robb'd thee of thy delight,
              8Nor Fortune of thy fortune author is;
              9But to myself myself did give the blow,
            10While too much wit, forsooth, so troubled me
            11That I respects for both our sakes must show:
            12And yet could not by rising morn foresee
            13How fair a day was near: O punish'd eyes,
            14That I had been more foolish,--or more wise!


1] This sonnet may well express Sidney's self-reproaches for not carrying out his proposed marriage with Penelope Devereux, and for not realizing the depth of his love for her until it was too late.

11] respects: hesitancies, consideration.

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