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
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.
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,
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;
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—
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;
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.
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-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?
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.
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?
Astrophel And Stella: Xxxix
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.
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: Xcii
Be your words made, good sir, of Indian ware, That you allow me them by so small rate? Or do you cutted Spartans imitate? Or do you mean my tender ears to spare,
Sonnet Vii: When Nature
When Nature made her chief work, Stella's eyes,
In color black why wrapp'd she beams so bright?
Would she in beamy black, like painter wise,
Frame daintiest lustre, mix'd of shades and light?
Or did she else that sober hue devise,
In object best to knit and strength our sight,
Lest if no veil those brave gleams did disguise,
They sun-like should more dazzle than delight?