Astrophil and Stella
While favour fed my hope, delight with hope was brought,
Thought waited on delight, and speech did follow thought;
Then grew my tongue and pen records unto thy glory,
I thought all words were lost that were not spent of thee,
I thought each place was dark but where thy lights would be,
And all ears worse than deaf that heard not out thy story.
I said thou wert most fair, and so indeed thou art;
I said thou wert most sweet, sweet poison to my heart;
I said my soul was thine, O that I then had lied;
I said thine eyes were stars, thy breast the milken way,
Thy fingers Cupid's shafts, thy voice the angels' lay:
And all I said so well, as no man it denied.
But now that hope is lost, unkindness kills delight;
Yet thought and speech do live, though metamorphosed quite,
For rage now rules the rains which guided were by pleasure;
I think now of thy faults, who late thought of thy praise,
That speech falls now to blame, which did thy honour raise,
The same key open can, which can lock up a treasure.
Then thou, whom partial heavens conspired in one to frame
The proof of beauty's worth, th'inheritrix of fame,
The mansion seat of bliss, and just excuse of lovers;
See now those feathers plucked, wherewith thou flew'st most high:
See what clouds of reproach shall dark thy honour's sky:
Whose own fault cast him down hardly high state recovers.
And, O my muse, though oft you lulled her in your lap,
And then a heavenly child, gave her ambrosian pap,
And to that brain of hers your kindest gifts infused;
Since she, disdaining me, doth you in me disdain,
Suffer not her to laugh, while both we suffer pain.
Princes in subjects wrong must deem themselves abused.
Your client, poor my self, shall Stella handle so!
Revenge! revenge! my muse! defiance' trumpet blow;
Threaten what may be done, yet do more than you threaten;
Ah, my suit granted is, I feel my breast doth swell;
No, child, a lesson new you shall begin to spell,
Sweet babes must babies have, but shrewd girls must be beaten.
Think now no more to hear of warm fine-odoured snow,
Nor blushing lillies, nor pearls' ruby-hidden row,
Nor of that golden sea, whose waves in curles are broken,
But of thy soul, so fraught with such ungratefulness,
As where thou soon might'st help, most faith dost most oppress;
Ungrateful, who is called, the worst of evils is spoken,
Yet worse then worst, I say thou art a thief, a thief!
Now God forbid! a thief! and of worst thieves the chief:
Thieves steal for need, and steal but goods which pain recovers,
But thou, rich in all joys, dost rob my joys from me,
Which cannot be restord by time or industry:
Of foes the spoil is evil, far worse of constant lovers.
Yet - gentle English thieves do rob, but will not slay,
Thou English murdering thief, wilt have hearts for thy prey:
The name of murderer now on thy fair forehead sitteth,
And even while I do speak, my death wounds bleeding be,
Which, I protest, proceed from only cruel thee:
Who may, and will not save, murder in truth committeth.
But murder, private fault, seems but a toy to thee:
I lay then to thy charge unjustest tyranny,
If rule by force, without all claim, a tyrant showeth;
For thou dost lord my heart, who am not born thy slave,
And, which is worse, makes me, most guiltless, torments have:
A rightful prince by unright deeds a tyrant groweth.
Lo, you grow proud with this, for tyrants make folk bow:
Of foul rebellion then I do appeach thee now,
Rebel by nature's law, rebel by law of reason:
Thou, sweetest subject wert, born in the realm of love,
And yet against thy prince thy force dost daily prove:
No virtue merits praise, once touched with blot of treason.
But valiant rebels oft in fools' mouths purchase fame:
I now then stain thy white with vagabonding shame,
Both rebel to the sun and vagrant from the mother;
For wearing Venus' badge in every part of thee,
Unto Diana's train thou, runaway, didst fly:
Who faileth one is false, though trusty to another.
What, is not this enough! nay, far worse cometh here;
A witch, I say, thou art, though thou so fair appear;
For, I protest, my sight never thy face enjoyeth,
But I in me am changed, I am alive and dead,
My feet are turned to roots, my heart becometh lead:
No witchcraft is so evil as which man's mind destroyeth.
Yet witches may repent; thou art far worse then they:
Alas that I am forced such evil of thee to say:
I say thou art a devil, though clothed in angel's shining;
For thy face tempts my soul to leave the heavens for thee,
And thy words of refuse do pour even hell on me:
Who tempt, and tempting plague, are devils in true defining.
You, then, ungrateful thief, you murdring tyrant, you,
You rebel runaway, to lord and lady untrue,
You witch, you devil (alas) you still of me beloved,
You see what I can say; mend yet your froward mind,
And such skill in my muse, you, reconciled, shall find,
That all these cruel words your praises shall be proved.
Sir Philip Sidney
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