Astrophil and Stella

Song 9

Go, my flock, go, get you hence,
Seek a better place of feeding,
Where you may have some defence
From the storms in my breast breeding,
And showers from mine eyes proceeding. 

Leave a wretch, in whom all woe
Can abide to keep no measure;
Merry flock, such one forego,
Unto whom mirth is displeasure,
Only rich in mischief's treasure. 

Yet, alas, before you go,
Hear your woeful master's story,
Which to stones I else would show:
Sorrow only then hath glory
When 'tis excellently sorry. 

Stella, fiercest shepherdess,
Fiercest, but yet fairest ever;
Stella, whom, O heavens still bless,
Though against me she persever,
Though I bliss inherit never: 

Stella hath refused me!
Stella, who more love hath proved,
In this caitiff heart to be,
Than can in good ewes be moved
Toward lambkins best beloved. 

Stella hath refused me!
Astrophil, that so well served
In this pleasant spring must see,
While in pride flowers be preserved,
Himself only winter-starved. 

Why (alas) doth she then swear
That she loveth me so dearly,
Seeing me so long to bear
Coals of love that burn so clearly,
And yet leave me helpless merely? 

Is that love? forsooth, I trow,
If I saw my good dog grieved,
And a help for him did know,
My love should not be believed,
But he were by me relieved. 

No, she hates me, well-away,
Faining love, somewhat to please me:
For she knows, if she display
All her hate, death soon would seize me,
And of hideous torments ease me. 

Then adieu, dear flock, adieu;
But, alas, if in your straying
Heavenly Stella meet with you,
Tell her, in your piteous blaying,
Her poor slave's unjust decaying. 
Sir Philip Sidney

Back to Song 8

Forward to Sonnet 87

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