The Hidden Muse
read by paul stevens
"Foole," said my Muse to me, "Looke in thy heart and write."
–Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
My Muse, perverse, engenders poetry
By hidden influence upon my heart;
I mount, when she directs me secretly,
New raids upon the inarticulate.
From her hot spirit inspiration shines
Into my head, so every thought and phrase
I utter wants to flower into lines
Weaving intricate poems in her praise.
Yet her authority and occult part
So intimate to me, remain arcane
Both to the world, and to her own dear thought.
And greatly would I love, Friend, to explain
That she who rules me secretly is you:
Look in your own heart, Muse–you know it's true.
© Peter Rodulfo
Paul Stevens, formerly of Leeds and Harrogate, late of The Strand, has taken up permanent residence in the Seventeenth Century, where he may be found at the Mermaid Tavern, roistering intemperately and raucously declaiming verse from The Flea broadsheet.