Waller (1606-87), whose poems were immensely popular between the 1640s and the mid-eighteenth century, addressed in verse as ‘Sacharissa’ (and sought in marriage) Lady Dorothy Sidney, subsequently Countess of Sunderland, who was Sir Philip Sidney’s great-niece. In ‘At Penshurst’ (‘Had Dorothea [Sacharissa in the 1664 edition] liv’d…’), there is a reference to ‘yonder tree, which stands the sacred mark /Of noble Sidney’s birth’ (1645 edn, p. 41).
Although Waller changed his political allegiance several times between the 1630s and the Restoration (at this period he was a member of the Falkland circle), his lyric verse belongs to a genre which came to be regarded as Royalist almost by definition. (See Introduction, p. 23.)
Poems, London, 1645, pp. 38, 33-4; punctuation has, where necessary, been silently supplied from Poems…Upon Several Occasions, 1664.
Loves foe profest, why dost thou falsly feign
Thy selfe a Sidney, from which noble straine
Hee sprung, that could so far exalt the name
Of Love, and warme our nation with his flame,
That all we can of Love or high desire
Seemes but the smoake of amorous Sidneys fire?
Such was Philocleas, such Dorus’s flame,
The matchlesse Sidney that immortall frame
Of perfect beauty on two pillars plac’t;
Not his high fancy could one patterne grac’t
With such extreames of excellence compose,