Sir Philip Sidney is buried St Paul's Cathedral, London, England. (Also
buried here is John Donne.)
Commemorative stone to Philip Sidney
Photograph by Mike
Sir Philip Sidney
In 1586 Sidney took part in a
skirmish against the Spanish at Zutphen in the Netherlands and received a musket
wound that shattered his thighbone.
22 days later he died
from the wound. It is reported that on his death bed he refused a cup of water -
even though he had a burning thirst - sending it instead to a dying soldier who lay
near by, saying: "Thy necessity is yet greater than mine." He
was honoured with a state funeral.
Sidney adapted the
Petrarchan sonnet and
used it in Astrophel and Stella to
write the first ever sonnet sequence in English.
The sequence, inspired by his love for
Penelope Devereux, contains the famous couplet:
'Biting my truant pen,
beating myself for spite,
'Fool,' said my Muse to me; 'look in thy heart and write.'
It was Penelope's father's dying wish that she should marry
Sidney but, in the end, she married Lord Rich and Sidney married Frances,
the daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham.
poetry almost certainly influenced William Shakespeare. Edmund
dedicated The Shepheardes Calender to Sidney and also wrote an elegy for him entitled Astrophel.
None of Sidney's poetry
appeared during his lifetime but his friend Sir Fulke Greville (1st Baron
Brooke) arranged for Arcadia to
be published in 1590. Other posthumously published works included: The
Lady of May (a short pastoral) and Defence of Poetry (an