Sir Philip Sidney
Biography of Sir Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney was born at Penshurst Place, Kent, eldest son of Sir Henry Sidney. He entered Shrewsbury School in 1564 on the same day as Fulke Greville, his friend and biographer. After attending Christ Church, Oxford (1568-72), he travelled in Europe where for three years he perfected his knowledge of Latin, French and Italian. In 1577, aged twenty-two, he was sent as ambassador to the German Emperor and the Prince of Orange.
His strong Protestant sympathies made him advise Elizabeth I in a private letter (1579) against marrying the Duke of Anjou, Roman Catholic heir to the French throne. He was knighted in 1583 and became Member of Parliament for Kent in 1581 and 1584-85. In 1585 he was appointed joint master of the ordnance, the office in charge of the country's military supplies.
A patron of scholars, his wide range of interests accounted for the dedication to him of over forty works of various disciplines. The best-known poet to enjoy his patronage was Spenser who dedicated his Shepherd's Calendar to him. Avoiding commercialism, he did not publish his works in his lifetime. He was fighting against the Spaniards in the Netherlands when he received a wound which eventually killed him at the age of thirty-two. All England mourned this courtier and statesman who had embodied the Elizabethan ideal of virtue.
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Sir Philip Sidney Poems
Astrophel and Stella: I
ASTROPHEL AND STELLA: I 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,
Leave Me, O Love Which Reachest But To D...
Leave me, O love which reachest but to dust, And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things; Grow rich in that which never taketh rust: Whatever fades but fading pleasure brings.
My True Love Hath My Heart, And I Have H...
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his, By just exchange, one for the other giv'n. I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss; There never was a better bargain driv'n.
Come Sleep, O Sleep! The Certain Knot Of...
Come, Sleep! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace, The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe, The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release, Th' indifferent judge between the high and low;
Astrophel and Stella: LXIV
No more, my dear, no more these counsels try; Oh, give my passions leave to run their race; Let Fortune lay on me her worst disgrace; Let folk o'ercharg'd with brain against me cry;
Astrophel And Stella-Sonnet XXXI
With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies! How silently, and with how wan a face! What! may it be that even in heavenly place That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?
MY true love hath my heart, and I have his, By just exchange one for another given: I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss, There never was a better bargain driven:
Astrophel And Stella-Sonnet LIV
Because I breathe not love to every one, Nor do not use set colours for to wear, Nor nourish special locks of vowed hair, Nor give each speech a full point of a groan,
Astrophel And Stella-First Song
Doubt you to whom my Muse these notes intendeth, Which now my breast o'ercharged to music lendeth? To you, to you, all song of praise is due; Only in you my song begins and endeth.
Astrophel And Stella-Eleventh Song
"Who is it that this dark night Underneath my window plaineth?" 'It is one who from thy sight Being, ah! exiled, disdaineth
Thou Blind Man's Mark
Thou blind man's mark, thou fool's self chosen snare, Fond fancy's scum, and dregs of scatter'd thought, Band of all evils, cradle of causeless care, Thou web of will,whose end is never wrought.
Loving In Truth, And Fain In Verse My Lo...
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—
To The Sad Moon
With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies! How silently, and with how wan a face! What! May it be that even in heavenly place That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?
My True-Love Hath My Heart
My true-love hath my heart and I have his, By just exchange one for the other given: I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss; There never was a bargain better driven.
Sonnet X: Reason
Reason, in faith thou art well serv'd, that still
Wouldst brabbling be with sense and love in me:
I rather wish'd thee climb the Muses' hill,
Or reach the fruit of Nature's choicest tree,
Or seek heav'n's course, or heav'n's inside to see:
Why shouldst thou toil our thorny soil to till?
Leave sense, and those which sense's objects be:
Deal thou with powers of thoughts, leave love to will.