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
Tenth Song: O dear life! when shall it be
Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
 
O DEAR life! when shall it be
That mine eyes, thine eyes may see?
And in them, thy mind discover,
Whether absence have had force
Thy remembrance to divorce        5
From the image of the lover?
 
Or if I myself find not,
After parting ought forgot;
Nor be barred from Beauty’s treasure;
Let no tongue aspire to tell        10
In what high joys I shall dwell.
Only Thought aims at the pleasure.
 
Thought therefore I will send thee!
To take up the place for me;
Long I will not after tarry.        15
There, unseen, thou mayest be bold,
Those fair wonders to behold,
Which in them, my Hopes do carry.
 
Thought! see thou no place forbear!
Enter bravely everywhere!        20
Seize on all to her belonging!
But if thou wouldst guarded be,
Fearing her beams; take with thee
Strength of Liking, Rage of Longing!
 
[The next three stanzas first appeared in the edition of 1598.]

Think of that most grateful time!
        25
When my leaping heart will climb
In my lips to have his biding!
There those roses for to kiss,
Which do breathe a sugared bliss;
Opening rubies, pearls dividing.        30
 
Think of my most princely power!
When I blessèd shall devour
With my greedy lickorous senses
Beauty, Music, Sweetness, Love:
While she doth against me prove        35
Her strong darts, but weak defences.
 
Think! think of those dallyings!
When with dovelike murmurings,
With glad moaning passèd anguish;
We change eyes, and heart for heart        40
Each to other do depart:
Joying till joy make us languish.
 
O my Thought! my Thoughts surcease!
Thy delights, my woes increase.
My life melts with too much thinking.        45
Think no more! but die in me,
Till thou shalt revivèd be;
At her lips my nectar drinking.

F I N I S.
Sir P[HILIP] S[IDNEY].    
 
 
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