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SIDNEY, Philip


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.