Vanity Fea



Penelope Devereux, great granddaughter of Mary Boleyn by lisby1
Penelope Devereux, great granddaughter of Mary Boleyn, a photo by lisby1 on Flickr.

Loving in truth, and faine in verse my love to show
   That she (deare she) might take some pleasure of my paine:
   Pleasure might cause her reade, reading might make her know,
   Knowledge might pitie winne, and pitie grace obtaine,
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
   Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertaine:
   Oft turning others leaves, to see if thence would flow
   Some fresh and fruitfull showers upon my sunne-burn'd braine.

But words came halting forth, wanting Inventions stay,
   Invention Natures child fled step-dame Studies blowes,
   And others feete still seem'd but strangers in my way.
Thus great with child to speake, and helplesse in my throwes
   Biting my trewand pen, beating my selfe for spite,
   Foole, said my Muse to me, looke in thy heart and write.

(Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophil and Stella, 1)

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