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Short poem

Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust
From Certain Sonnets

              1Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust;
              2And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things;
              3Grow rich in that which never taketh rust;
              4Whatever fades but fading pleasure brings.
              5Draw in thy beams and humble all thy might
              6To that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be;
              7Which breaks the clouds and opens forth the light,
              8That both doth shine and give us sight to see.
              9O take fast hold; let that light be thy guide
            10In this small course which birth draws out to death,
            11And think how evil becometh him to slide,
            12Who seeketh heav'n, and comes of heav'nly breath.
            13Then farewell, world; thy uttermost I see:
            14Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me.


1] A. B. Grosart, the nineteenth-century editor, printed this sonnet as the concluding poem (No. cx) of the Stella cycle. But his attribution is debatable. It does not appear in any of the 1591 quartos of Astrophel and Stella.

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, The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, 3rd edn. (R. Field for W. Ponsonbie, 1598). STC 22541. Facs. edn. Delma: Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1983. PR 2342 A5 1983.
First publication date: 1591
RPO poem editor: F. D. Hoeniger
RP edition: 3RP 1:124.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/11

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: ababcdcdefefgg

Other poems by Sir Philip Sidney