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Again, a conceit. Stella is the avatar of virtue. If you do not know what virtue is, look at beauty. Which is a lie: there are many beautiful women and men who are evil. The image is deceptive.

But true beauty lasts longer than youth, and that comes from within.

XXV

The wisest scholler of the wight most wise
By Phoebus doom, with sugred sentence sayes,
That vertue, if it once met with our eyes,
Strange flames of loue it in our souls would raise;

But for that man with paine this truth descries,
Whiles he each thing in Senses balance wayes,
And so nor will nor can behold those skies
Which inward sunne to heroick mind displaies

Vertue of late, with vertuous care to ster
Loue of herself, tooke Stellas shape, that she
To mortall eyes might sweetly shine in her.
It is most true; for since I her did see,

Vertues great beauty in that face I proue,
And find th’ effect, for I do burn in loue.

Sir Philip Sydney

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