Astrophel and Stella: Fift 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.
1While fauour fed my hope, delight with hope was brought,
2Thought waited on delight, and speech did follow thought:
3Then grew my tongue and pen records vnto thy glorie:
4I thought all words were lost, that were not spent of thee:
5I thought each place was darke but where thy lights would be,
6And all eares worse then deafe, that heard not out thy storie.
7     I said, thou wert most faire, and so indeede thou art:
8I said, thou art most sweete, sweete poyson to my heart:
9I said, my soule was thine (O that I then had lied)
10I said, thin eyes were starres, thy breasts the milk'n way,
12And all I said so well, as no man it denied.
13     But now that hope is lost, vnkindnes kils delight,
14Yet thought and speech doe liue, though metamorphos'd quite:
15For rage now rules the raines, which guided were by pleasure.
16I think now of thy faults, who late thought of thy praise,
17That speech falles now to blame which did thy honour raise,
18The same key op'n can, which can locke vp a treasure.
19     Thou then whome partiall heauens conspir'd in one to frame,
20The proofe of beauties worth, th'enheritrix of fame,
21The mansion seate of blisse, and just excuse of Louers:
23See what clouds of reproch shall dark thy honours skie,
24Whose owne fault casts him downe, hardly high seat recouers.
25     And O my Muse, though oft you hold her in your lap,
27And to that braine of hers your hidnest gifts infused,
28Since she disdaining me, doth you in me disdaine:
29Suffer not her to laugh, while both we suffer paine:
30Princes in subjects wrong'd, must deeme themselues abused.
31     Your Client poore my selfe, shal Stella handle so?
32Reuenge, reuenge, my Muse. Defiance trumpet blow:
33Threat'n what may be done, yet do more then you threat'n.
35Now child, a lesson new you shall begin to spell:
37     Thinke now no more to heare of warme fine odour'd snow,
38Nor blushing Lillies, nor pearles ruby-hidden row,
39Nor of that golden sea, whose waues in curles are brok'n:
40But of thy soule, so fraught with such vngratefulnesse,
41As where thou soone mightst helpe most faith dost most oppresse,
42Vngratefull who is cald, the worst of euill is spok'n:
43     Yet worse then worse, I say thou art a thiefe, a theefe?
45Thieues steal for need, and steale but goods, which paine recouers,
46But thou rich in all joyes, doest rob my joyes from me,
47Which cannot be restor'd by rime nor industrie:
48Of foes the spoile is euill, far worse of constant louers.
49     Yet gentle English thieues do rob, but will not slay;
50Thou English murdring thiefe, wilt haue harts for thy pray:
51The name of murderer now on thy faire forehead sitteth:
52And euen while I do speake, my death-wounds bleeding be:
53Which (I protest) proceed from only Cruell thee;
54Who may and will not saue, murder in truth committeth.
55     But murder priuate fault seemes but a toy to thee,
56I lay them to thy charge vnjustest Tyrannie,
57If Rule by force without all claime a Tyran showeth,
58For thou doest lord my heart, who am not borne thy slaue,
59And which is worse, makes me most guiltlesse torments haue,
60A rightfull Prince by vnright deeds a Tyran groweth.
61     Lo you grow proud with this, for tyrants make folke bow:
63Rebell by Natures law, Rebell by law of reason,
64Thou sweetest subject wert borne in the realme of Loue,
65And yet against thy Prince thy force dost dayly proue:
66No vertue merites praise, once toucht with blot of treason.
67     But valiant Rebels oft in fooles mouthes purchase fame:
68I now then staine thy white with vagabunding shame,
69Both Rebell to the Sunne, and Vagrant from the mother:
72Who fayleth one, is false, though trusty to another.
73     What is not this ynough? nay farre worse commeth here;
74A witch I say thou art, though thou so faire appeare;
75For I protest, my sight neuer thy face enjoyeth,
76But I in me am chang'd, I am aliue and dead:
77My feete are turn'd to rootes, my hart becommeth lead,
78No witchcraft is so euill, as which mans mind destroyeth.
79     Yet witches may repent, thou art far worse then they,
80Alas, that I am forst such euill of thee to say,
81I say thou art a Deuill though cloth'd in Angels shining:
82For thy face tempts my soule to leaue the heau'n for thee,
83And thy words of refuse, do powre euen hell on mee:
84Who tempt and tempted plague, are Deuils in true defining.
85     You then vngratefull thiefe, you murdring Tyran you,
86You rebell-run-away, to Lord and Lady vntrue,
87You witch, you Deuill (alas) you still of me beloued,
89And such skill in my Muse you reconcil'd shall finde,
90That all these cruell words your praises shall be proued.


11] Angels lay: Angel's song Back to Line
22] line missing, supplied from 1591 edition Back to Line
26] Ambrosian pap: Ambrosia is the mythical food/drink of the gods; pap is bland baby food (usually a mixture of bread with milk or water). To give Ambrosian pap may here mean to suckle at the breast of a god. Back to Line
34] sute: suit, a legal pursuit Back to Line
36] sweet babes must babies haue: presumably, sweet girls are rewarded with dolls
shrew'd gyrles: naughty girls Back to Line
44] ."Now." changed to ."No." Back to Line
62] appeach: accuse, charge with a crime Back to Line
70] Venus: the Roman goddess of love and beauty Back to Line
71] Dianaes traine: attendants on Diana, goddess of the moon, the hunt, and chastity; in other words, chaste (or pure) women Back to Line
88] froward: contrary, perverse Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Marc R. Plamondon
RPO Edition: