Astrophil and Stella 23: The curious wits, seeing dull pensiveness

By Sir Philip Sidney 1554–1586 Philip Sidney
The curious wits, seeing dull pensiveness
Bewray itself in my long-settl'd eyes,
Whence those same fumes of melancholy rise,
With idle pains and missing aim do guess.
Some, that know how my spring I did address,
Deem that my Muse some fruit of knowledge plies;
Others, because the prince my service tries,
Think that I think state errors to redress;
But harder judges judge ambition's ragei
Scourge of itself, still climbing slipp'ry placei
Holds my young brain captiv'd in golden cage.
O fool or over-wise! alas, the race
Of all my thoughts hath neither stop nor start
But only Stella's eyes and Stella's heart.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Sir Philip Sidney 1554–1586

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Relationships, Arts & Sciences, Love, Poetry & Poets, Infatuation & Crushes

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 . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Philip Sidney

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Arts & Sciences, Love, Poetry & Poets, Infatuation & Crushes

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.