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Sir Philip Sidney

Sandro Botticelli. Venus and Mars, 1483. [Detail]
Sandro Botticelli. Venus and Mars, 1483. [Detail]


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,
The indifferent judge between the high and low;
With shield of proof, shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw;
O make in me those civil wars to cease;
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,
A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light,
A rosy garland and a weary head:
And if these things, as being thine by right,
      Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
      Livelier than elsewhere, Stella's image see.



[AJ Notes:
baiting-place, "abating place"; i.e., resting place.
shield of proof, proven shield.
prease, press (of the crowd).
rosy garland, a garland of silence. From "sub rosa."]



Source:
A Sixteenth Century Anthology. Arthur Symons, Ed.
London: Blackie & Son, Ltd., 1905. 151.





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