Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Astrophel and Stella
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Astrophel and Stella
I. Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show
Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
LOVING in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That She, dear She! might take some pleasure of my pain;
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain:
  I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,        5
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain;
Oft turning others’ leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburnt brain:
  But words came halting forth, wanting Invention’s stay.
Invention Nature’s child, fled step-dame’s Study’s blows;        10
And others’ feet still seemed but strangers’ in my way.
  Thus great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes;
Biting my trewand pen, beating myself for spite:
“Fool!” said my Muse, “look in thy heart, and write!”

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