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Sir Philip Sidney

Correggio. Allegory of Virtue, c1530.
Correggio. Allegory of Virtue, c1530.


Astrophel and Stella

IV

Vertue, alas, now let me take some rest;
Thou set'st a bate between my will and wit;
If vaine Love have my simple soule opprest,
Leave what thou likest not, deale not thou with it.
Thy scepter use in some olde Catoe's brest,
Churches or schooles are for thy seate more fit:
I do confesse—pardon a fault confest—
My mouth too tender is for thy hard bit.
But if that needs thou wilt usurping be
The little reason that is left in me,
And still th' effect of thy perswasions prove,
I sweare, my heart such one shall shew to thee,
That shrines in flesh so true a deitie,
That, Vertue, thou thy selfe shalt be in love.



Source:
Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel & Stella.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London: David Stott, 1888. 4.



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