Astrophil and Stella 101: "Stella is sick, and in that sick-bed lies"

By Sir Philip Sidney 1554–1586 Philip Sidney
Stella is sick, and in that sick-bed lies
Sweetness, that breathes and pants as oft as she;
And grace, sick too, such fine conclusions tries
That sickness brags itself best graced to be.
    Beauty is sick, but sick in so fair guise
That in that paleness beauty’s white we see;
And joy, which is inseparate from these eyes,
Stella now learns (strange case!) to weep in thee.
   Love moves thy pain, and like a faithful page,
As thy looks stir, runs up and down, to make
All folks prest at thy will thy pain to assuage;
Nature with care sweats for her darling’s sake,
   Knowing worlds pass, ere she enough can find
   Of such heaven stuff, to clothe so heavenly mind.

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Poet Sir Philip Sidney 1554–1586


SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Romantic 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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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Romantic Love, Realistic & Complicated


SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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