Robert Sidney

Sonnet 4. These purest flames, kindled by beauties rare

These purest flames, kindled by beauties rare,
Strengthen by love, assured by destiny,
In whom I live, which in me cannot die,
Which are what I am, and I what they are,

True-vestal-like, which with most holy care
Preserve the sacred fires, religiously
I do maintain, and that no end they try
Of my best parts their subject I prepare:

And with a mind free from all false desires,
Untouched by other loves, of vows untrue,
I worship her that shineth in these fires:

Thinking of shame, nay sin, if that in me
Those fairest beams, of heaven the image true,
With powers of meaner worth should matchèd be.

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