Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Astrophel and Stella
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Astrophel and Stella
Other Songs of Variable Verse
Sixth Song: O you that hear this voice!
Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
 
O YOU that hear this voice!
O you that see this face!
Say whether of the choice
Deserves the former place?
  Fear not to judge this bate,        5
  For it is void of hate.
 
This side doth BEAUTY take.
For that doth MUSIC speak.
Fit orators to make
The strongest judgments weak.        10
  The bar to plead the right,
  Is only True Delight.
 
Thus doth the voice and face,
These gentle lawyers wage,
Like loving brothers’ case,        15
For father’s heritage:
  That each, while each contends,
  Itself to other lends.
 
For beauty beautifies,
With heavenly hue and grace,        20
The heavenly harmonies:
And in this faultless face,
  The perfect beauties be
  A perfect harmony.
 
MUSIC more lofty swells        25
In speeches nobly placed;
BEAUTY as far excels
In actions aptly graced.
  A friend each party draws
  To countenance his cause.        30
 
LOVE more affected seems
BEAUTY’s lovely light;
And WONDER more esteems
Of MUSIC’s wondrous might:
  But both to both so bent        35
  As both in both are spent.
 
MUSIC doth witness call
The ear, his truth to try;
BEAUTY brings to the hall
The judgment of the eye:        40
  Both in their objects such,
  As no exceptions touch.
 
The common SENSE which might
Be arbiter of this;
To be forsooth upright,        45
To both sides partial is:
  He lays on this side chief praise;
  Chief praise on that he lays.
 
Then REASON, Princess high!
Whose throne is in the mind;        50
Which music can in sky,
And hidden beauties find.
  Say! whether thou wilt crown
  With limitless renown?
 
 
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