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Sir Philip Sidney

Rubens. Prometheus Bound, 1610.
Rubens. Prometheus Bound, 1610.


Astrophel and Stella

XIV

Alas, have I not pain enough, my friend,
Upon whose breast a fiercer gripe doth tire
Than did on him who first stole down the fire,
While Love on me doth all his quiver spend;
But with your rhubarb words ye must contend,
To grieve me worse in saying, that Desire
Doth plunge my well-formed soul even in the mire
Of sinful thoughts, which do in ruin end?
If that be sin which doth the manners frame,
Well stayed with truth in word and faith of deed,
Ready of wit and fearing nought but shame;
If that be sin which in fixt hearts doth breed
      A loathing of all loose unchastity,
      Then love is sin, and let me sinful be!




[AJ Notes:
Gripe, vulture; ME for the gryphon, or griffin.
tire, tear.
him...fire, in Greek mythology, Prometheus, a Titan, stole fire from Zeus
and brought it to mankind. As punishment, he was bound to a rock, and
a vulture was set on him, to tear out his liver and eat it. The liver would
grow back and the process would repeat, forever.
Love, Cupid.
rhubarb words, rhubarb was used as a purgative (laxative); cathartic.
stayed, supported.]



Source:
A Sixteenth Century Anthology. Arthur Symons, Ed.
London: Blackie & Son, Ltd., 1905. 147.





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