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Short poem

Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

Ring Out Your Bells

              1Ring out your bells, let mourning shows be spread;
              2For Love is dead--
              3    All love is dead, infected
              4With plague of deep disdain;
              5    Worth, as nought worth, rejected,
              6And Faith fair scorn doth gain.
              7    From so ungrateful fancy,
              8    From such a female franzy,
              9    From them that use men thus,
            10    Good Lord, deliver us!

            11Weep, neighbours, weep; do you not hear it said
            12That Love is dead?
            13    His death-bed, peacock's folly;
            14His winding-sheet is shame;
            15    His will, false-seeming holy;
            16His sole exec'tor, blame.
            17    From so ungrateful fancy,
            18    From such a female franzy,
            19    From them that use men thus,
            20    Good Lord, deliver us!

            21Let dirge be sung and trentals rightly read,
            22For Love is dead;
            23    Sir Wrong his tomb ordaineth
            24My mistress' marble heart,
            25    Which epitaph containeth,
            26"Her eyes were once his dart."
            27    From so ungrateful fancy,
            28    From such a female franzy,
            29    From them that use men thus,
            30    Good Lord, deliver us!

            31Alas, I lie, rage hath this error bred;
            32Love is not dead;
            33    Love is not dead, but sleepeth
            34In her unmatched mind,
            35    Where she his counsel keepeth,
            36Till due desert she find.
            37    Therefore from so vile fancy,
            38    To call such wit a franzy,
            39    Who Love can temper thus,
            40    Good Lord, deliver us!


1] Reprinted in England's Helcion (1600), with the title "Astrophel's love is dead." British Library Add. MS. 28,253 contains the poem with a note that it was given to the compiler on December 10, 1584.

8] franzy: frenzy.

21] trentals: masses for the dead.

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, Arcadia (1598). Facs. edn. (Delma: Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1983). PR 2342 A5 1983
First publication date: 1598
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP.1.177; RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/11

Composition date: 1584
Rhyme: aabcbcddee

Other poems by Sir Philip Sidney