Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Astrophel and Stella
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Astrophel and Stella
Other Songs of Variable Verse
Ninth Song: Go my flock! go get you hence!
Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
 
GO my flock! go get you hence!
Seek a better place of feeding;
Where you may have some defence
Fro the storms in my breast breeding
And showers from mine eyes proceeding.        5
 
Leave a wretch in whom all woe
Can abide to keep no measure:
Merry flock! such one forego,
Unto whom mirth is displeasure:
Only rich in mischief’s treasure.        10
 
Yet, alas, before you go,
Hear your woeful master’s story;
Which to stones I else would show.
Sorrow only then hath glory,
When ’tis excellently sorry.        15
 
STELLA! fiercest shepherdess!
Fiercest but yet fairest ever!
STELLA! whom O heavens do bless!
Though against me she persèvere;
Though I bliss inherit never.        20
 
STELLA hath refusèd me!
STELLA, who more love hath provèd
In this caitiff heart to be;
Than can in good ewes be movèd,
Towards lambkins best belovèd.        25
 
STELLA hath refusèd me!
ASTROPHEL that so well servèd,
In this pleasant spring, must see,
While in pride flowers be preservèd
Himself only winter-starvèd.        30
 
Why, alas, doth she then swear
That she loveth me so dearly?
Seeing me so long to bear
Coals of love that burn so clearly:
And yet leave me helpless merely?        35
 
Is that love? Forsooth, I trow,
If I saw my good dog grievèd,
And a help for him did know;
My love should not be believèd,
But he were by me relievèd.        40
 
No, she hates me, welaway!
Feigning love somewhat to please me:
For she knows, if she display
All her hate; death would soon seize me,
And of hideous torments ease me.        45
 
Then adieu, dear flock! adieu!
But, alas, if in your straying,
Heavenly STELLA meet with you:
Tell her in your piteous blaying,
Her poor slave’s unjust decaying.        50
 
 
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