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Poetry

Saturday Sonnet

Morphine was not a drug of this time: Laudanum was. And it was being marketed, then as now, as a means of expanding consciousness.

Sydney is wiser. He prefers his muse. A specific woman.

XXXII

Morpheus, the liuely sonne of deadly Sleepe,
Witnesse of life to them that liuing die,
A prophet oft, and oft an historie,
A poet eke, as humours fly or creepe;
Since thou in me so sure a pow’r dost keepe,
That neuer I with clos’d-vp sense do lie,
But by thy worke my Stella I descrie,
Teaching blind eyes both how to smile and weepe;
Vouchsafe, of all acquaintance, this to tell,
Whence hast thou ivory, rubies, pearl, and gold,
To shew her skin, lips, teeth, and head so well?
Foole! answers he; no Indes such treasures hold;
But from thy heart, while my sire charmeth thee,
Sweet Stellas image I do steal to mee.

Sir Philip Sydney

Your beloved is a treasure beyond all. Keep her above all rubies, and wed her, when you find her, as in her 20s over her 30s, if you want children.

Sydney did not. The woman he married, far later, was a childless widow when he died on the battlefield. Learn from that.

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