Astrophel and Stella: Eight Song

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.
1In a groue most rich of shade,
4New perfumed with flowers fresh growing,
5     Astrophel with Stella sweete,
6Did for mutuall comfort meet,
7Both within themselues oppressed,
8But each in the other blessed.
9     Him great harms had taught much care,
10Her faire necke a foule yoke bare,
11But her sight his cares did banish,
12In his sight her yoke did vanish.
13     Wept they had, alas the while,
14But now teares themselues did smile,
15While their eyes by loue directed,
16Enterchangeably reflected.
17     Sigh they did, but now betwixt
18Sighs of woes were glad sighs mixt,
19With armes crost, yet testifying
20Restlesse rest, and liuing dying.
21     Their eares hungry of each word,
22Which the deere tongue would afford,
23But their tongues restraind from walking,
24Till their harts had ended talking.
26Loue it selfe did silence breake;
27Loue did set his lips a sunder,
28Thus to speake in loue and wonder:
29     Stella soueraigne of my joy,
30Faire triumpher of annoy,
31Stella starre of heauenly fier,
32Stella loadstar of desier.
33     Stella, in whose shining eyes,
34Are the lights of Cupids skies,
35Whose beams where they once are darted
36Loue therewith is streight imparted.
37     Stella, whose voice when it speakes,
38Senses all a sunder breakes;
39Stella, whose voice when it singeth,
40Angels to acquaintance bringeth.
41     Stella, in whose body is
42Writ each character of blisse,
43Whose face all, all beautie passeth,
45     Graunt, O graunt, but speech alas,
46Failes me, fearing on to passe,
47Graunt, O me, what am I saying?
48But no fault there is in praying.
50(Knees on ground he then did stay)
51That not I, but since I loue you,
52Time and place for me may moue you.
53     Neuer season was more fit,
54Neuer roome more apt for it;
55Smiling ayre allowes my reason,
56These birds sing; now use the season.
58See how it the leaues doth kisse,
59Each tree in his best attiring,
60Sense of loue to loue inspiring.
61     Loue makes earth the water drinke,
62Loue to earth makes water sinke;
63And if dumbe things be so witty,
64Shall a heauenly grace want pitty?
65     There his hands in their speech, faine
66Would haue made tongues languag plaine,
67But her hands his hands repelling
68Gaue repulse all grace excelling.
69     Then she spake; her speech was such,
70As not eares but hart did tuch:
71While such wise she loue denied,
72As yet loue she signified.
73     Astrophel said she, my loue
74Cease in these effects to proue:
75Now be still, yet still beleeue me,
76Thy grief more then death would grieue me.
77     If that any thought in me
78Can tast comfort but of thee,
79Let me feed with hellish anguish,
80Ioylesse, hopelesses, endlesse languish.
81     If those eyes you praised, be
82Halfe so deere as you to me,
83Let me home returne, starke blinded
84Of those eyes, and blinder minded.
85     If to secret of my heart,
86I do any wish impart,
87Where thou art not formost placed,
88Be both wish and I defaced.
89     If more may be said, I say,
90All my blisse in thee I lay:
91If thou loue, my loue content thee,
92For all loue, all faith is meant thee,
93     Trust me while I thee deny,
94In my selfe the smart I try,
95Tyran, honour doth thus vse thee,
96Stellas selfe might not refuse thee.
97     Therefore, Deere, this no more moue,
98Least though I leaue not thy loue,
99Which too deepe in me is framed,
100I should blush when thou art named.
101     There withal away she went,
102Leauing him to passion rent,
103With what she had done and spoken,
104That therewith my song is broken.


2] wanton: lively, skittish, or amorous Back to Line
3] pide weedes: pied weeds, dapple-coloured garments Back to Line
25] line indent added Back to Line
44] terminal period added Back to Line
49] line indent added Back to Line
57] line indent added Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Marc R. Plamondon
RPO Edition: