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Saturday Sonnet.

One of the great sources of contentment is to be married to your beloved. Sydney was not, and was wan and whining. A sane wouman would have run. Sydney here is calling self preservation ungratefulness.


With how sad steps, O Moone, thou climbst the skies!
How silently, and with how wanne a face!
What, may it be that euen in heau’nly place
That busie archer his sharpe arrowes tries?
Sure, if that long-with-loue-acquainted eyes
Can iudge of loue, thou feel’st a louers case,
I reade it in thy lookes: thy languist grace,
To me that feele the like, thy state discries.
Then, eu’n of fellowship, O Moone, tell me,
Is constant loue deem’d there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they aboue loue to be lou’d, and yet
Those louers scorn whom that loue doth possesse?
Do they call vertue there vngratefulnesse?

Sir Philip Sydney

Sydney, however, was no mewling child. He was a superb horseman and won tournaments jousting: a diplomat, and a soldier. He married Frances, Walshinghame’s only daughter, but died before they had children.

Philip Sidney had left England “young and raw,” in the words of his uncle Leicester; he returned in full manhood, having acquired a vast store of new experience and learning, a network of important Continental friends, and a knowledge of European political affairs that few Englishmen could match. Eager to enter the service of his country, he spent the next eighteen months in England, awaiting assignment. During his first summer at home he and his family witnessed the spectacular entertainments–pageants, speeches, hunts, tilts, games, animal baitings, and more–presented daily to the queen during her three-week visit to Kenilworth, Leicester’s estate near Warwick.

The mewling here is rhetorical. Sydney would have gone for a long ride instead.

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