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Short poem

Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

Astrophel and Stella LXXI

              1Who will in fairest book of nature know
              2How virtue may best lodg'd in beauty be,
              3Let him but learn of love to read in thee,
              4Stella, those fair lines which true goodness show.
              5There shall he find all vices' overthrow,
              6Not by rude force, but sweetest sovereignty
              7Of reason, from whose light those night-birds fly;
              8That inward sun in thine eyes shineth so.
              9And, not content to be perfection's heir
            10Thyself, dost strive all minds that way to move,
            11Who mark in thee what is in thee most fair.
            12So while thy beauty draws thy heart to love,
            13As fast thy virtue bends that love to good:
            14But "Ah," Desire still cries, "Give me some food!"


7] night-birds: i.e., vices.

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 1:122.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/11

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: abbaabbacdcdee

Other poems by Sir Philip Sidney