Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Astrophel and Stella
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Astrophel and Stella
IV. Virtue! alas, now let me take some rest
Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
VIRTUE! alas, now let me take some rest.
Thou sett’st a bate between my will and wit:
If vain love have my simple soul opprest;
Leave what thou lik’st not! deal not thou with it
  Thy sceptre use in some old CATO’s breast:        5
Churches or schools are for thy seat more fit.
I do confess, pardon a fault confest!
My mouth too tender is for thy hard bit.
  But if that needs thou wilt usurping be
The little reason that is left in me;        10
And still th’effect of thy persuasions prove:
  I swear my heart, such one shall show to thee,
That shrines in flesh so true a deity;
That VIRTUE! thou thyself shalt be in love!

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