Astrophil and Stella 7: When Nature made her chief work, Stella's eyes

By Sir Philip Sidney 1554–1586 Philip Sidney
When Nature made her chief work, Stella's eyes,
In colour black why wrapt 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 these brave gleams did disguise,
They, sunlike, should more dazzle than delight?
Or would she her miraculous power show,
That, whereas black seems beauty's contrary,
She even in black doth make all beauties flow?
Both so, and thus, she, minding Love should be
Plac'd ever there, gave him this mourning weed
To honour all their deaths who for her bleed.

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Poet Sir Philip Sidney 1554–1586

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Nature, Relationships, Love, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Sir Philip  Sidney

Biography

The grandson of the Duke of Northumberland and heir presumptive to the earls of Leicester and Warwick, Sir Philip Sidney was not himself a nobleman. Today he is closely associated in the popular imagination with the court of Elizabeth I, though he spent relatively little time at the English court, and until his appointment as governor of Flushing in 1585 received little preferment from Elizabeth. Viewed in his own age as the . . .

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Poems by Philip Sidney

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Relationships, Love, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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