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SIR PHILIP SIDNEY

1554-1586

98                                                The Bargain

MY true love hath my heart, and I have his,
      By just exchange one for another given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
      There never was a better bargain driven:
            My true love hath my heart, and I have his.
His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
      My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
      I cherish his because in me it bides:
          My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

99                                                  Song

WHO hath his fancy pleasàd
    With fruits of happy sight,
Let here his eyes be raisàd
    On Natures sweetest light;
A light which doth dissever
    And yet unite the eyes,
A light which, dying never,
    Is cause the looker dies.
She never dies, but lasteth
    In life of lovers heart;
He ever dies that wasteth
    In love his chiefest part:
Thus is her life still guarded
    In never-dying faith;
Thus is his death rewarded,
    Since she lives in his death.
Look then, and die! The pleasure
    Doth answer well the pain:
Small loss of mortal treasure,
    Who may immortal gain!
Immortal be her graces,
    Immortal is her mind;
They, fit for heavenly places
    This, heaven in it doth bind.
But eyes these beauties see not,
    Nor sense that grace descries;
Yet eyes deprivàd be not
    From sight of her fair eyes
Which, as of inward glory
    They are the outward seal,
So may they live still sorry,
    Which die not in that weal.
But who hath fancies pleasàd
With fruits of happy sight,
Let here his eyes be raisàd
On Natures sweetest light!

100                                          Voices at the Window

WHO is it that, this dark night,
    Underneath my window plaineth?
It is one who from thy sight
    Being, ah, exiled, disdaineth
Every other vulgar light.
Why, alas, and are you he?
    Be not yet those fancies changàd?
Dear, when you find change in me,
    Though from me you be estrangàd,
Let my change to ruin be.
Well, in absence this will die:
    Leave to see, and leave to wonder.
Absence sure will help, if I
    Can learn how myself to sunder
From what in my heart doth lie.
But time will these thoughts remove;
    Time doth work what no man knoweth.
Time doth as the subject prove:
    With time still the affection groweth
In the faithful turtle-dove.
What if you new beauties see?
    Will not they stir new affection?
I will think they pictures be
    (Image-like, of saints perfection)
Poorly counterfeiting thee.
But your reasons purest light
    Bids you leave1 such minds to nourish.
Dear, do reason no such spite!
    Never doth thy beauty flourish
More than in my reasons sight.

1 leave: cease.

101                                                 Philomela

THE Nightingale, as soon as April bringeth
     Unto her rested sense a perfect waking,
While late-bare Earth, proud of new clothing, springeth,
     Sings out her woes, a thorn her song-book making;
        And mournfully bewailing,
        Her throat in tunes expresseth
        What grief her breast oppresseth,
For Tereus force on her chaste will prevailing.
     O Philomela fair, O take some gladness
     That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness!
        Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth;
     Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.
Alas! she hath no other cause of anguish
     But Tereus love, on her by strong hand wroken;
Wherein the suffering, all her spirits languish,
     Full womanlike complains her will was broken
        But I, who, daily craving,
        Cannot have to content me,
        Have more cause to lament me,
Since wanting is more woe than too much having.
     O Philomela fair, O take some gladness
     That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness!
        Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth;
     Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.

102                                              The Highway

HIGHWAY, since you my chief Parnassus be,
And that my Muse, to some ears not unsweet,
Tempers her words to trampling horses feet
More oft than to a chamber-melody,
Now blessàd you bear onward blessàd me
To her, where I my heart, safe-left, shall meet;
My Muse and I must you of duty greet
With thanks and wishes, wishing thankfully;
Be you still fair, honourd by public heed;
By no encroachment wrongd, nor time forgot;
Nor blamed for blood, nor shamed for sinful deed;
And that you know I envy you no lot
Of highest wish, I wish you so much bliss,
Hundreds of years you Stellas feet may kiss!

103                                        His Ladys Cruelty

WITH how sad steps, O moon, thou climbst the skies!
How silently, and with how wan a face!
What! may it be that even in heavenly place
That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?
Sure, if that long-with-love-acquainted eyes
Can judge of love, thou feelst a lovers case:
I read it in thy looks; thy languishd grace
To me, that feel the like, thy state descries.
Then, even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
Is constant love deemd there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
    Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
    Do they call virtue thereungratefulness?

104                                                  Sleep

COME, Sleep; O Sleep! the certain knot of peace.
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor mans wealth, the prisoners release,
Th indifferent judge between the high and low;
With shield of proof shield me from out the prease1
Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw:
O make in me those civil wars to cease;
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,
A chamber deaf to noise and blind of light,
A rosy garland and a weary head;
And if these things, as being thine by right,
    Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
    Livelier than elsewhere, Stellas image see.

1 prease: press.

105                                 Splendidis longum valedico Nugis

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

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