An Elegie upon that honourable and renowned Knight, Sir Philip Sidney, who was untimely slaine at the Seige of Zutphon Anno 1586
By Anne Bradstreet

  • Transcription, correction, editorial commentary, and markup by Staff and Research Assistants at The University of Virginia, John O'Brien, Sara Brunstetter
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Sources

American Colonies : original publisher, 1678 Our texts are taken from the Text Creation Partnership's digital edition of "Several poems compiled with great variety of wit and learning, full of delight, wherein especially is contained a compleat discourse, and description of the four elements constitutions, ages of man, seasons of the year. : Together with an exact epitome of the three first monarchyes viz. the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian. And beginning of the Romane Common-Wealth to the end of their last king: with diverse other pleasant & serious poems, by a gentlewoman in New-England," published in Boston in 1678.

Editorial Statements

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Materials have been transcribed from and checked against first editions, where possible. See the Sources section.

An Elegie upon that honourable and renowned Knight, Sir Philip Sidneyn001n001(DRAFT)Philip Sidney (1554-1586) Sidney was a Renaissance Lyric poet of the Elizabethan Age. Some of his most famous works are his Sonnet Sequence "Astrophel and Stella" and his essay "The Defence of Poesy." Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Sidney Astrophel and stella Poem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45152/astrophil-and-stella-1-loving-in-truth-and-fain-in-verse-my-love-to-show, who was untimely slaine at the Seige of Zutphonn002n002Town in the Netherlands where the Battle of Zutphen was fought between the British and Dutch against the Spanish during the Eighty Years' War. Sir Philip Sidney received a mortal wound here, and the battle was won by the Spanish. Anno 1586 Anne Bradstreet 1When England did injoy her Halsionn003n003Halycon, calm, peaceful. Source: Oxford English Dictionary dayes, 2Her noble Sidney wore the Crown of Bayesn004Bay Laurel, a laurel wreath.; 3No lesse an Honour to our British Land, 4Then she that sway'd the Scepter with her hand: 5Mars and Minervan005n005(DRAFT put link as side bar)Roman gods, Mars is the god of War, Minerva is the goddess of Wisdom, arts, and strategy. Source: Wikipedia For more on Roman Deities: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_deities did in one agree, 6Of Armes, and Arts, thou should'st a patterne be. 7Calliopen006n006(DRAFT put link as side bar)Muse of eloquence and epic poetry. For more on the Greek Muses: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muses with Terpsechern007n007Terpsichore is the muse of dance and chorus. did sing, 8Of Poesien008n008Poetry, and of Musick thou wert King; 9Thy Rhethorick it struck Polimnian009n009Muse of sacred poetry dead, 10Thine Eloquence made Mecuryn010n010Roman god of communication and commerce wax red; 11Thy Logick from Euterpen011n011Muse of music won the Crown, 12More worth was thine, then Clion012n012Muse of history could set down. 13Thalian013n013Muse of Comedy and idyllic poetry, and Melpomenen014n014Muse of Tragedy., say th' truth, 14(Witness Arcadian015n015The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia is a long work of prose written by Sir Philip Sidney. Source: Wikipedia, penn'd in his youth) 15Are not his Tragick Comedies so acted. 16As if your nine-fold wit had been compacted; 17To shew the world, they never saw before, 18That this one volumne should exhaust your store. 19I prase thee not for this, it is unfit, 20This was thy shame, O miracle of wit; 21Yet doth thy shune (with all) purchase renown, 22What doe thy vertues then? Oh, honours crown! 23In all records, thy Name I ever see, 24Put with an Epithet of dignity; 25Which Shewesn016n016Shows. Source: Oxford English Dictionary, thy worth was great, thine honour such, 26The love thy country ought thee, was as much. 27Let then, none dis-allow of these my straines, 28Which have the self-same blood yet in my veines; 29Who honours thee for what was honourable, 30But leaves the rest, as most unprofitable : 31Thy wiser dayes, condemn'd thy witty works, 32Who knowes the Spels that in thy Rethorick lurks? 33But some infatuate fooles soone caught therein, 34Found Cupids Damn017n017(DRAFT) Someone originally defined this as "referring to Psyche" however that seems off to me, but yet I don't know how to define it otherwise, had never such a Ginn018n018Skill, ingenuity; 35Which makes feverer eyes but scorn thy Story, 36And model Maids, and Wives, blush at thy glory; 37Yet, he's a beetle headn019n019Proverbial phrase for idiot, that cann't discryn020n020Catch sight of. Source: Oxford English Dictionary 38A world of treasure, in that rubbish lye; 39And doth the selfe, thy worke, and honour wrong, 40(O brave Refiner of the British tongue;) 41That sees not learning, valour, and morality, 42Justice, friendship, and kind hospitality; 43Yea, and Divinity within thy Book, 44Such were prejudicate, and did not look: 45But to say truth, thy worth I shalen021n021(draft)Shall or does this mean to devulge or, crack open but stainen022n022(draft) What does this mean in context with shale, 46Thy fame, and praise, is farre beyond my straine 47Yet great Augustus was content (we know) 48To be saluted by a silly Crow; 49Then let such Crowes as I, thy praises sing, 50A Crow's a Crow, and Caesar is a King. 51O brave Achillesn023n023One of the great Greek mythological heroes, associated with the Iliad I with some Homern024n024Ancient blind Greek epic poet, composed the Iliad and Odyssey, would 52Engrave on Marble, in characters of Gold, 53What famous feats thou didst, on Flandersn025n025The Northern part of Belgium that speaks Dutch. Source: Wikipedia coast, 54Of which, this day, faire Belgia doth boast. 55Of Zutphon, Zutphon, that most fatall City, 56Made famous by thy fall, much more's the pitty, 57Ah, in his blooming prime, death pluckt this Rose, 58E're he was ripe; his thred cut Atroposn026n026One of the three Fates; she cuts the thread of a person's life. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moirai. 59Thus Man is borne to dye, and dead is he, 60Brave Hectorn027n027A brave Trojan hero, killed by Achilles by the walls of Troyn028n028The siege of Troy was the subject of Homer's Iliad, we see: 61Oh, who was neare thee, but did sore repine; 62He rescued not with life, that life of thine, 63But yet impartiall Death this Boone did give, 64Though Sidney dy'd, his valiant name should live; 65And live it doth, in spight of death, through fame, 66Thus being over-come, he over-came. 67Where is that envious tongue, but can afford, 68Of this our noble Scipion029n029The Roman general who defeated Hannibal's invasion of Rome some good word? 69Noble Bartasn030n030French Huguenot poet who served in Henry IV of France's court, this to thy praise adds more, 70In sad, sweet verse, thou didst his death deplore; 71Illustrious Stellan031n031Astrophil and Stella is a sonnet sequence written by Sir Philip Sidney. The name Astrophil is Greek for "star lover" and Stella is Latin for "star." Source: Wikipedia, thou didst thine full well, 72If thine aspect was milde to Astrophell; 73I feare thou wert a Commet, did portend 74Such prince as he, his race should shortly end; 75If such Stars as these, sad presages be, 76I with no more such Blazers we may see; 77But thou art gone, such Meteors never last, 78And as thy beauty, so thy name would waft, 79But that is record by Philips hand, 80That such an omen once was in out land; 81O princely Philip, rather Alexandern032,n032Alexander the Great, the leader of the Macedonian empire which conqeured a large swath of Mediterranean 82Who wert of honours band, the chief Commander. 83How could that Stella, so confine thy will? 84To wait till she, her influence distill, 85I rather judg'd thee of his mind that wept, 86To be within the bounds of one world kept, 87But Omphalan033n033Mistress to whom Hercules was enslaved, forced him to do traditionally women's work, among other things., set Hercules to spin, 88And Mars himself was ta'n by Venusn034n034Roman goddess of love, wife of Vulcan and mistress of Mars gin; 89Then wonder lesse, if warlike Philip yield, 90When such a Hero shoots him out o'th' field, 91Yet this preheminencen035n035Preeminence, superiority thou hast above, 92That thine was true, but theirs adult'raten036n036Make something worse by mixing in inferior substance. love. 93Fain would I shew, how thou fame's path didst tread, 94But now into such Lab'rinths am I led 95With endlesse turnes, the way I find not out, 96For to persist, my muse is more in doubt: 97Calls me ambitious tool, that durst aspire, 98Enough for me to look, and so admire. 99And makes me now with Sylvestern037n037(DRAFT) what/who is this confesse, 100But Sydney's Muse, can sing his worthinesse. 101Too late my errour see, that durst presume 102To fix my faltring lines upon his tomb: 103Which are in wort, as far short of his due, 104As Vulcann038n038Roman god of smithing, husband of Venus. is, of Venus native hue. 105Goodwill, did make my head-long pen to run, 106Like unwise Phaetonn039n039Son of Apollo who tried to drive his father's chariot across the sky; he lost control and set the world ablaze, forcing Zeus to kill him with a thunderbolt his ill guided sonne, 107Till taught to's cost, for his too hasty hand, 108He left that charge by Phoebusn040n040or Apollo is the God of the Sun to be man'd: 109So proudly foolish I, with Phaeton strive, 110Fame's flaming Chariot for to drive. 111Til terrour-struck for my too weighty charge. 112I leave't in brief, Apollo do't at large. 113Apollo laught to patch up what's begun, 114He bad drive, and he would hold the Sun, 115Better my hap, then was his darlings fate, 116For dear regard he had of Sydney's state, 117Who in his Deity, had so deep share, 118That those that name his fame, he needs must spare, 119He promis'd much, but th' muses had no will, 120To give to their detractor any quill. 121With high disdain, they said they gave no more, 122Since Sydney had exhausted all their store, 123That this contempt it did the more perplex, 124In being done by one of their own sex; 125They took from me, the scribling pen I had, 126I to be eas'd of such a task was glad. 127For to revenge his wrong, themselves ingage, 128And drave me from Parnassusn041n041The site of the Dionysian mysteries, some of which included women who drove themselves into a frenzied state. in a rage, 129Not because, sweet Sydney's fame was not dear, 130But I had blemish'd theirs, to make't appear: 131I pensive for my fault, sat down, and then, 132Erratan042n042A writing or printing error. Source: Oxford English Dictionary, through their leave thre me my pen, 133For to conclude my poem two lines they daigne, 134Which writ, she bad return't to them again. 135So Sydney's fame, I leave to England's Rollsn043n043Official records of parliamentary meetings and acts., 136His bones do lie interr'd in stately Paulsn044n044Sir Philip Sidney was buried at St. Paul's cathedral in London..

Footnotes