How might one explain, line by line, lines 9-14 from the first poem of Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella sonnet sequence?

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Lines 9-14 of the first poem of Sir Philip Sidney’s sonnet sequence titled Astrophil and Stella might be explained as follows:


But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay,

In spite of all my efforts to find the right language with which to make Stella return my affections, my words walked as if they were crippled, lacking the support of Invention.  “Invention” was a key element of classical and Renaissance rhetoric.  It meant the power to invent the words one needed – literally, the power to “come upon” them.


Invention, Nature's child, fled stepdame Study's blows,

Invention, which is referred to here as if it were a very young person, is the offspring of Nature.  In other words, finding the right language when one is trying to write depends on...

(The entire section contains 401 words.)

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