English poetry

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Sonnet IV: Virtue, Alas

Virtue, alas, now let me take some rest.
Thou set’st a bate between my soul and wit.
If vain love have my simple soul oppress’d,
Leave what thou likest not, deal not thou with it.

The scepter use in some old Cato’s breast;
Churches or schools are for thy seat more fit.
I do confess, pardon a fault confess’d,
My mouth too tender is for thy hard bit.

But if that needs thou wilt usurping be,
The little reason that is left in me,
And still th’effect of thy persuasions prove:

I swear, my heart such one shall show to thee
That shrines in flesh so true a deity,
That Virtue, thou thyself shalt be in love.


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Poem Sonnet IV: Virtue, Alas - Sir Philip Sidney