Friday, March 18, 2016

Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophil and Stella

Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophil and Stella from The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney, Ed William A. Ringler Jr, Oxford 1962.

Loving in truth, and faine in verse to my love to show,
That the deare She might take some pleasure of my paine:
Pleasure might cause her reade, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pitie winne, and pitie grace obtaine, (1, 1-4)

Now even that footstep of lost libertie
Is gone, and now like slave-born Muscovite,
I call it praise to suffer Tyrannie;
And now employ the remnant of my wit,
To make my selfe believe, that all is well,
While with a feeling skill I paint my hell. (2, 9-14)

When Nature made her cheife work, Stella’s eyes,
In colour blacke, why wrapt she beames so bright?
Would she in beamie black, like painter wise,
Frame daintiest lustre, mixt of shades and light?
Or did she else that sober hue devise,
In object best to knit and strength our sight,
Least if no vaile those brave gleames did disguise,
They sun-like should more dazzle then delight?
Or would she her miraculous power show,
That whereas blacke seemes Beautie’s contrary,
She even in blacke doth make all beauties flow?
Both so and thus, she minding Love should be
Placed ever there, gave him this mourning weed,
To honor all their deaths, who for her bleed (7)

The wisest scholler of the wight most wise
By Phoebus’ doome, with surged sentence sayes,
That Vertue, if it once met with our eyes,
Strange flames of Love it in our soules would raise;
But for that man with paine this truth descries,
While he each thing in sense’s balance ways,
And so nor will, nor can, behold the skies
Which inward sunne to Heroick minde desplaies,
Vertue of late, with virtuous care to ster
Love of her selfe, takes Stella’s shape, that she
To mortall eyes might sweetly shine in her.
It is most true, for since I her did see,
Vertue’s great beautie in that face I prove,
And find th’effect, for I do but burne in love. (25)

Though dustie wits dare scorne Astrologie,
And fooles can thinke those Lampes of purest light,
Whose numbers, ways, greatnesse, eternitie,
Promising wonders, wonder to invite,
To have for no cause birthright in the skie,
But for to spangle the blacke weeds of night:
Or for some brawle, which in that chamber hie
They should still daunce to please a gazer’s sight.
For me, I do Nature unidle know,
And know great causes, great effects procure:
And know those Bodies high raigne on the low.
And if these rules did faile, proofe makes me sure,
Who oft fore-judge my after-following race,
By only those two starres in Stella’s face. (26)

Come sleepe, o sleepe, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting place of wit, the balme of woe,
The poore man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release,
Th’indifferent Judge between the high and low;
With shield of proofe shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts, dispaire at me doth throw:
O make in me those civill warres to cease;
I will good tribute pay if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillowes, sweetest bed,
A chamber deafe to noise, and blind to light:
A rosie garland, and a wearie hed:
And if these things, as being thine by right
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
Livelier than else-where, Stella’s image see. (39)

O eyes, which do the Spheares of beautie move,
Whose beames be joys, whose joys all vertues be,
Who while they make Love conquer, conquer Love,
The schools where Venus hath learn’d Chastitie.
O eyes, where humble looks most glorius prove,
Only lov’d Tyrants, just in cruelty,
Do not, o do not from poore me remove,
Keepe still my Zenith, ever shine on me.
For though I never see them, but straight ways
My life forgets to nourish languish sprites;
Yet still on me, o eyes, dart down your rayes:
And if from Majestie of sacred lights,
Oppressing mortall sense, my death proceed,
Wrackes Triumph be, which Love (high set) doth breed. (42)

Alas poor wag, that now a scholler art
To such a school-mistresse, … (46, 9-10)

For me, while you discourse of courtly tides,
Of cunningest fishers in most troubled streames (51, 9-10)

Who hath the haire which, loosest, fasteth tieth,
Who makes a man live then glad when he dieth?
To you, to you, all song of praise is due:
Only of you the flatterer never lieth. (First Song, 25-29)

Love still a boy, and oft a wanton is,
School’d only by his mother’s tender eye:
What wonder then if he his lesson misse,
When for so soft a rod deare play he trie?
And yet my Starre, because a sugred kisse
In sport I suckt, while she asleepe did lie,
Doth lower, nay, chide; nay, threat for only this:
Sweet, it was saucie Love, not humble I.
But no scuse serves, she makes her wrath appeare
In Beautie’s throne, see now who dares come neare
Those scarlet judges, threatening bloudy paine?
O heav’nly foole, thy most kisse-worthie face,
Anger invests with such a lovely grace,
That Anger’ selfe I needs must kisse againe. (73)

Beware fulle sailes drowne not thy tottring barge: (85, 2)

Thine eyes my pride, thy lips my history: (90, 3)

Be your words made (good Sir) of Indian ware,
That you allow me them by so small rate?
Or do you cutted Spartanes imitate?
Or do you meane my tender eares to spare,
That to my questions you so total are?
When I demaund of Phenix Stells’s state,
You say forsooth, you left her well of late.
O God, thinke you that satisfies my care?
I would know whether she did sit or walke,
How cloth’d, how waited on, sighd she or smiled,
Whereof, with whom, how often she did talke,
With what pastime, time’s journey she beguiled,
If her lips daignd to sweeten my poore name.
Say all, and all well sayd, stille say the same. (92)

When far spent night perswades each mortall eye,
To whom nor art nor nature graunteth light,
To lay his then marke wanting shafts of sight,
Clos’d with their quivers in sleep’s armory;
With windows ope then most my mind doth lie,
Viewing the shape of darknesse and delight,
Takes in that sad hue, which with th’inward night
Of his mazde powers keeps perfit harmony:
But when birds charme, and that sweete aire, which is
Morne’s messenger, with rose enameld skies
Cals each wight to salute the floure of blisse;
In tombe of lids then buried are mine eyes,
Forst by their Lord, who is asham’d to find
Such light in sense, with such a darkned mind. (99)

The bote for joy could not to daunce forbeare (103, 5)


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