Astrophil and Stella 102: "Where be the roses gone, which sweetened so our eyes?"

By Sir Philip Sidney 1554–1586 Philip Sidney
Where be the roses gone, which sweetened so our eyes?
    Where those red cheeks, which oft with fair increase did frame
    The height of honor in the kindly badge of shame?
Who hath the crimson weeds stolen from my morning skies?
How doth the color vade of those vermilion dyes,
    Which Nature's self did make, and self engrained the same!
    I would know by what right this paleness overcame
That hue, whose force my heart still unto thraldom ties?
    Galen's adoptive sons, who by a beaten way
    Their judgements hackney on, the fault on sickness lay;
But feeling proof makes me say they mistake it far:
    It is but love, which makes his paper perfect white
    To write therein more fresh the story of delight,
Whiles beauty's reddest ink Venus for him doth stir.

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Poet Sir Philip Sidney 1554–1586

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Realistic & Complicated

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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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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