Astrophil and Stella

Sonnet 3

Let dainty wits cry on the sisters nine,
That bravely masked, their fancies may be told:
Or Pindar's apes, flaunt they in phrases fine,
Enam'lling with pied flowers their thoughts of gold:
   Or else let them in statelier glory shine,
Ennobling new-found tropes with problems old:
Or with strange similes enrich each line,
Of herbs or beasts, which Ind or Afric hold.
   For me, in sooth, no muse but one I know;
   Phrases and problems from my reach do grow,
And strange things cost too dear for my poor sprites.
   How then? Even thus: in Stella's face I read
   What love and beauty be; then all my deed
But copying is, what in her nature writes.

Sir Philip Sidney

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