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
Eleventh Song: Who is it that this dark night
Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)
 
[This song was first printed in the edition of 1598.]

WHO is it that this dark night,
Underneath my window plaineth?
It is one who from thy sight,
Being, ah! exiled; disdaineth
Every other vulgar light.        5
 
Why, alas! and are you he?
Be not yet those fancies changèd?
Dear! when you find change in me,
Though from me you be estrangèd;
Let my change to ruin be.        10
 
Well in absence this will die.
Leave to see! and leave to wonder!
Absence sure will help, if I
Can learn how myself to sunder
From what in my heart doth lie.        15
 
But time will these thoughts remove:
Time doth work what no man knoweth.
Time doth as the subject prove,
With time still th’affection groweth
In the faithful turtle dove.        20
 
What if you new beauties see!
Will not they stir new affection?
I will think thy pictures be
(Image-like of saints’ perfection)
Poorly counterfeiting thee.        25
 
But your reason’s purest light
Bids you leave such minds to nourish!
Dear! do reason no such spite!
Never doth thy beauty flourish
More than in my reason’s sight.        30
 
But the wrongs love bears, will make
Love at length leave undertaking.
No, the more fools it do shake
In a ground of so firm making,
Deeper still they drive the stake.        35
 
Peace! I think that some give ear!
Come no more! lest I get anger.
Bliss! I will my bliss forbear;
Fearing, Sweet! you to endanger!
But my soul shall harbour thee.        40
 
Well begone! begone I say!
Lest that ARGUS’ eyes perceive you.
O unjust Fortune’s sway!
Which can make me thus to leave you;
And from louts to run away.        45
 
 
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