Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Sonnets and Poetical Translations
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Sonnets and Poetical Translations
XXVI. The smokes of Melancholy
Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
WHO hath ever felt the change of love,
And known those pangs that the loosers prove,
May paint my face, without seeing me;
And write the state how my fancies be:
The loathsome buds grown on Sorrow’s Tree.        5
But who, by hearsay speaks, and hath not fully felt
What kind of fires they be in which those spirits melt,
      Shall guess, and fail, what doth displease:
      Feeling my pulse; miss my disease.
O no! O no! trial only shows        10
The bitter juice of forsaken woes;
Where former bliss, present evils do stain:
Nay, former bliss adds to present pain;
While remembrance doth both states contain.
Come learners then to me! the model of mishap!        15
Engulfèd in despair! slid down from fortune’s lap!
      And as you like my double lot,
      Tread in my steps, or follow not??
For me, alas, I am full resolved
These bands, alas, shall not be dissolved;        20
Nor break my word, though reward come late;
Nor fail my faith in my failing fate;
Nor change in change, though change change my state.
But always one myself, with eagle-eyed truth to fly
Up to the sun; although the sun my wings do fry:        25
      For if those flames burn my desire,
      Yet shall I die in Phœnix’s fire.

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