Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Sonnets and Poetical Translations
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Sonnets and Poetical Translations
XXI. If I could think how these my thoughts to leave
Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
IF I could think how these my thoughts to leave;
Or thinking still my thoughts might have good end:
If rebel sense would reason’s law receive;
Or reason foiled would not in vain contend:
    Then might I think what thoughts were best to think;        5
    Then might I wisely swim, or gladly sink.
If either you would change your cruel heart;
Or cruel still, time did your beauty stain;
If from my soul, this love would once depart;
Or for my love, some love I might obtain:        10
    Then might I hope a change or ease of mind;
    By your good help, or in myself to find.
But since my thoughts in thinking still are spent,
With reason’s strife, by sense’s overthrow;
You fairer still, and still more cruel bent;        15
I loving still a love, that loveth none:
    I yield and strive; I kiss and curse the pain,
    Thought, reason, sense, time, you and I maintain.

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