Astrophil and Stella 2: Not at first sight, nor with a dribbèd shot

By Sir Philip Sidney 1554–1586 Philip Sidney
Not at first sight, nor with a dribbèd shot,
   Love gave the wound which while I breathe will bleed:
   But known worth did in mine of time proceed,
Till by degrees it had full conquest got.
I saw, and liked; I liked, but lovèd not;
   I loved, but straight did not what love decreed:
   At length to love’s decrees I, forced, agreed,
Yet with repining at so partial lot.
   Now even that footstep of lost liberty
Is gone, and now like slave-born Muscovite
I call it praise to suffer tyranny;
And now employ the remnant of my wit
   To make myself believe that all is well,
   While with a feeling skill I paint my hell.

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Poet Sir Philip Sidney 1554–1586


SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Realistic & Complicated

Sir Philip  Sidney


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 Love, Realistic & Complicated


SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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