Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Astrophel and Stella
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Astrophel and Stella
XXIII. The curious wits, seeing dull pensiveness
Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
THE CURIOUS wits, seeing dull pensiveness
Bewray itself in my long settled eyes:
Whence those same fumes of melancholy rise,
With idle pains and missing aim, do guess.
  Some that know how my Spring I did address,        5
Deem that my Muse some fruit of knowledge plies:
Others, because the Prince my service tries,
Think that I think State errors to redress.
  But harder judges judge ambition’s rage—
Scourge of itself, still climbing slippery place—        10
Holds my young brain captived in golden cage.
  O fools! or overwise! alas, the race
Of all my thoughts hath neither stop nor start,
But only STELLA’s eyes and STELLA’s heart.

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