Sir Philip Sidney (1554-86) was educated at Christ Church, Oxford. For a notice of his association with Spenser, see Aubrey (No. 172). Attempts to make the explicit poetics of The Defence square with the implicit poetics of the Faerie Queene are not particularly well augured by Sidney's only reference to Spenser here. See Shepherd's note in the edition cited below, p. 218. For the dating c. 1583, see the same edition, pp. 2-4.
From The Defence of Poesie… Printed for William Ponsonby, (1595), sig. H3 v; also An Apologie for Poetrie… Printed for Henry Olney (1595); repr. in edition of Geoffrey Shepherd (1965), p. 133:
I account the Mirrour of Magistrates, meetly furnished of bewtiful partes. And in the Earle of Surries Lirickes, manie thinges tasting of a Noble birth, and worthie of a Noble minde. The Sheepheards Kallender, hath much Poetrie in his Egloges, indeed worthie the reading, if I be not deceiued. That same framing of his style to an olde rusticke language, I dare not allow: since neither Theocritus in Greeke, Virgill in Latine, nor Sanazara in Italian, did affect it. Besides these, I doo not remember to haue seene but fewe (to speake bodly) printed, that haue poeticall sinnewes in them.