Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
A Ditty
By Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
 
MY 1 true-love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:
  My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.        5
 
His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides:
  My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.        10
 
Note 1. This ditty first appeared in Puttenham’s Art of English Poetry, 1589, to illustrate the Epimone, or the love burden. The following year it was inserted in the Arcadia, with the six additional lines quoted below:
  His heart his wound received from my sight,
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still methought in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true-love hath my heart and I have his.
In this sonnet form the refrain is transferred to the close. Dr. Grosart, in his Introduction to the Shepherd’s Calendar, in his ed. of Spenser’s Works, vol. iv., p. xxxvi., says of this ditty: “Outside the magical circle of Shakespeare, I cannot find the truth and tenderness of this song anywhere equalled among our Elizabethan amourists.” [back]
 
 
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