Astrophel and Stella: 37

Original Text: 
The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia written by Sir Philip Sidney, Knight. Now the third time published with sundry new additions of the same author. Edinburgh: Printed by Robert Walde-graue, 1599. STC 22542.
1My mouth doth water, and my breast doth swell,
2My tongue doth itch, my thoughts in labour be:
3Listen then Lordings with good eare to me,
4For of my life I must a riddle tell.
6Rich in all beauties which mans eye can see:
7Beauties so farre from reach of words, that we
8Abase her praise, saying she doth excell:
9Rich in the treasure of deseru'd renowne,
10Rich in the riches of a royall hart,
11Rich in those gifts which giue th'eternall crowne;
12Who though most rich in these and euery part,
13Which make the parents of true worldly blisse,


5] toward Auroras Court: Aurora was the goddess of the dawn; thus, the phrase may mean ."toward the east.." Back to Line
14] but that Rich she is: This is a not-so-concealed reference to Penelope Devereux, who in 1581 married Robert Rich, the first Earl of Warwick. The marriage was unhappy, and the couple divorced in 1605. The ."riddle." of the sonnet is the veiled reference to the beauty and unhappiness of Penelope Rich. She is often thought to be the original for Stella. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Marc R. Plamondon
RPO Edition: