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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

Song: ‘Who hath his fancy pleasèd’

Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)

WHO hath his fancy pleasèd

With fruits of happy sight;

Let here his eyes be raisèd,

On Nature’s sweetest light;

A light which doth dissever

And yet unite the eyes,

A light which, dying never,

Is cause the looker dies.

She never dies, but lasteth

In life of lover’s heart;

He ever dies that wasteth

In love his chiefest part:

Thus is her life still guarded

In never-dying faith;

Thus is his death rewarded,

Since she lives in his death.

Look then, and die! The pleasure

Doth answer well the pain:

Small loss of mortal treasure

Who may immortal gain!

Immortal be her graces,

Immortal is her mind;

They fit for heavenly places—

This, heaven in it doth bind.

But eyes these beauties see not,

Nor sense that grace descries;

Yet eyes deprivèd be not

From sight of her fair eyes—

Which, as of inward glory

They are the outward seal,

So may they live still sorry,

Which die not in that weal.

But who hath fancies pleasèd

With fruits of happy sight,

Let here his eyes be raisèd

On Nature’s sweetest light!