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SIDNEY, Philip

O words which fall like summer dew on me,

O words which fall like summer dew on me,

O breath more sweet than is the growing bean,

O tongue in which all honeyed liquors be,

O voice that doth the thrush in shrillness stain:

Do you say still, this is her promise due,

That she is mine, as I to her am true.

Gay hair, more gay than straw when harvest lies,

Lips red and plum, as cherry's ruddy side,

Eyes fair and great, like fair great ox's eyes,

O breast in which two white sheep swell in pride:

Join you with me, to seal this promise due,

That she be mine, as I to her am true.

But thou, white skin, as white as cruds well pressed,

So smooth as sleekstone-like it smooths each part,

And thou, dear flesh, as soft as wool new dressed,

And yet as hard as brawn made hard by art;

First four but say, next four their saying seal,

But you must pay the gage of promised weal.

With How Sad Steps

With how sad steps, Oh Moon, thou climb’st 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 feels’t a lover’s case;

I read it in thy looks, thy languished grace,

To me that feel the like, thy state decries,

Then even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me

Is constant love deemed 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 there ungratefulness?

Come, Sleep! O Sleep

Come, Sleep! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace,

The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,

The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,

Th' indifferent judge between the high and low;

With shield of proof shield me from out the press

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 of noise and blind of light,

A rosy garland, and a weary head;

And if these things, as being thine in right,

Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,

Livelier than elsewhere, Stella's image see.

No more, my dear

No more, my dear, no more these counsels try;

Oh, give my passions leave to run their race;

Let Fortune lay on me her worst disgrace;

Let folk o'ercharg'd with brain against me cry;

Let clouds bedim my face, break in mine eye;

Let me no steps but of lost labour trace;

Let all the earth with scorn recount my case,

But do not will me from my love to fly.

I do not envy Aristotle's wit,

Nor do aspire to Caesar's bleeding fame;

Nor aught do care though some above me sit;

Nor hope nor wish another course to frame,

But that which once may win thy cruel heart:

Thou art my wit, and thou my virtue art.

Leave me, O Love

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.

O Sweet Woods

O Sweet woods, the delight of solitariness,

O, how much do I love your solitariness!

From fame’s desire, from love’s delight retired,

In these sad groves an hermit’s life I led;

And those false pleasures which I once admired,

With sad remembrance of my fall, I dread.

To birds, to trees, to earth, impart I this,

For she less secret and as senseless is.

Experience, which alone repentance brings.

Doth bid me now my heart from love estrange:

Love is disdained when it doth look at kings,

And love low placed is base and apt to change.

Their power doth take from him his liberty,

Her want of worth makes him in cradle die.

O sweet woods, the delight of solitariness,

O, how much do I love your solitariness!