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Philip Sidney quotes (showing 1-26 of 26)

“Fool," said my muse to me. "Look in thy heart and write.”
Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
“Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:
"Fool!" said my muse to me, "look in thy heart, and write.”
Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
“Either I will find a way, or I will make one.”
Philip Sidney
“...music, I say, the most divine striker of the senses...”
Philip Sidney, A Defence of Poetry
“Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she (dear she) might take some pleasure of my pain;
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know;
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain;

I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain;
Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburnt brain.

But words came halting forth, wanting invention's stay;
Invention, nature's child, fled step-dame study's blows;
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,

Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite,
'Fool,' said my muse to me; 'look in thy heart, and write.”
Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
“I am not I; pity the tale of me.”
Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
tags: poetry
“...the poet, he nothing affirmeth, and therefore never lieth.”
Philip Sidney, A Defence of Poetry
“If you have so earth-creeping a mind that it cannot lift itself up to look to the sky of poetry...thus much curse I must send you, in the behalf of all poets, that while you live, you live in love, and never get favour for lacking skill of a sonnet; and, when you die, your memory die from the earth for want of an epitaph.”
Philip Sidney, A Defence of Poetry
“I now have learn’d Love right, and learn’d even so,
As who by being poisoned doth poison know.”
Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
“With a sword thou mayest kill thy father, and with a sword thou mayest defend thy prince and country.”
Philip Sidney, A Defence of Poetry
“Stella, the only planet of my light,
Light of my life, and life of my desire,
Chief good, whereto my hope doth only aspire,
World of my wealth, and heav'n of my delight:

Why dost thou spend the treasure of thy sprite,
With voice more fit to wed Amphion's lyre,
Seeking to quench in me the noble fire
Fed by thy worth, and kindled by thy sight?

And all in vain, for while thy breath most sweet,
With choicest words, thy words with reasons rare,
Thy reasons firmly set on Virtue's feet,

Labor to kill in me this killing care:
Oh, think I then, what paradise of joy
It is, so fair a Virtue to enjoy.”
Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
“My true-love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a bargain better driven.”
Philip Sidney, The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney
“Anger, the Stoics said, was a short madness.”
Philip Sidney, A Defence of Poetry
“A brave captain is as a root, out of which, as branches, the courage of his soldiers doth spring”
Philip Sidney
“For grammar it [poetry] might have, but it needs it not; being so easy in itself, and so void of those cumbersome differences of cases, genders, moods, and tenses, which, I think, was a piece of the Tower of Babylon's curse, that a man shoult be put to school to learn his mother-tongue.”
Philip Sidney, A Defence of Poetry
“...scoffing cometh not of wisdom...”
Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
“So, then, the best of the historian is subject to the poet; for whatsoever action or faction, whatsoever counsel, policy, or war-stratagem the historian is bound to recite, that may the poet, if he list, with his imitation make his own, beautifying it both for further teaching and more delighting, as it pleaseth him; having all, from Dante’s Heaven to his Hell, under the authority of his pen.”
Philip Sidney, A Defence of Poetry
“...think I none so simple would say that Aesop lied in the tales of his beasts: for who thinks that Aesop writ it for actually true were well worthy to have his name chronicled among the beasts he writeth of.”
Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
“Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust,
And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things!
Grow rich in that which never taketh rust:
Whatever fades, but fading pleasure brings.
Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might
To that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be;
Which breaks the clouds, and opens forth the light,
That doth both shine, and give us sight to see.”
Philip Sidney, The Poems of Sir Philip Sidney
“to know, and by knowledge to lift up the mind from the dungeon of the body to the enjoying his own divine essence”
Philip Sidney
“Come, Sleep; O Sleep! the certain knot of peace,
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
Th' indifferent judge between the high and low;
With shield of proof shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw.”
Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
“No, no, let us think with consideration, and consider with acknowledging, and acknowledge with admiration, and admire with love, and love with joy in the midst of all woes ; let us in such sort think, I say, that our poor eyes were so enriched as to behold, and our low hearts so exalted as to love, a maid who is such, that as the greatest thing the world can show is her beauty, so the least thing that may be praised in her is her beauty.”
Philip Sidney
“But hereto is replied that the poets give names to men they write of, which argueth a conceit of an actual truth, and so, not being true, proveth a falsehood. And doth the lawyer lie then, when, under the names of John of the Stile, and John of the Nokes, he putteth his case? But that is easily answered: their naming of men is but to make their picture the more lively, and not to build any history. Painting men, they cannot leave men nameless. We see we cannot play at chess but that we must give names to our chess-men; and yet, me thinks, he were a very partial champion of truth that would say we lied for giving a piece of wood the reverend title of a bishop.”
Philip Sidney, A Defence of Poetry
“Philosophy deals in the abstract and the universal, but not in the particular. History deals only in the particular, not with general principles. Poetry deals with both, illustrating universal principles with particular examples or embodiments of those principles:
Now doth the peerless poet perform both: for whatsoever the philosopher saith should be done, he giveth a perfect picture of it in someone by whom he presupposeth it was done; so as he coupleth the general notion with the particular example.
Another advantage poetry has over philosophy is greater clarity:

the philosopher teacheth, but he teacheth obscurely, so as the learned only can understand him; that is to say, he teacheth them that are already taught. But the poet is the food for the tenderest stomachs, the poet is indeed the right popular philosopher.

Essentially, poetry shows history more brilliantly than history, and explains philosophy more cogently than philosophy.”
Philip Sidney
“Iubeste cu adevarat cel ce tremura cand isi marturiseste dragostea.”
Philip Sidney
“Fear is more pain than is the pain it fears”
Philip Sidney


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