My True Love Hath My Heart Poem by Sir Philip Sydney Summary, Notes and Line by Line Explanation in English for Students


The poem “My True Love Hath My Heart” was written by Sir Philip Sydney. He started writing this work in 1570s to entertain his sister countess of Pembroke. This poem appears in his pastoral prose named “Arcadia ”. The prose contains several stories. It was published in 1590. Later, Sir Philip Sydney’s sister Countess of Pembroke published another version in 1593. The poem is written from the perspective of a woman. It shares the story of lovers and their feelings.

About the Poet:

Sir Philip Sydney is an English Poet, Courtier and Scholar.  He is one of the best known poets of the Elizabethan era. His writing style is passionate and intricate. He through his works perfectly combined the archaic language with modern 16th century English. She has wrote 108 love sonnets, an prose piece of pastoral romance. Astrophel and Stella (1595), The Defence of Poesy (1595), and The Arcadia (1593).


“My Love Hath My Heart” is a sonnet written by Sir Philip Sydney. The poet wrote this poem from a woman’s point of view. The poet has written this song in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet. Thus it contains four quatrains and a couplet.


The poet has used iambic pentameter throughout the sonnet “My Love Hath My Heart”. A iambic pentameter contains five iambic feet per line..A iambic foot an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed one.

Point of View:

The poet Sir Philip Sydney has written the sonnet “My Love Hath My Heart” is written from a woman’s point of view. Thus, a woman is the speaker of the poem. Here, she brings out the emotions and feelings connected in a relationship.

Poem Analysis:

Stanza 1:

Lines 1-4:

My true-love hath my heart and I have his,

By just exchange one for the other given:

I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;

There never was a bargain better driven.

The speaker of the poem says how she has shared her heart with her lover.They have exchanged their hearts with each other and kept it safely. The speaker feels that this bargain is better than any other for the exchange of love.

Stanza 2:

Lines 5-8:

His heart in me keeps me and him in one;

My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:

He loves my heart, for once it was his own;

I cherish his because in me it bides.

The speaker says the heart she has unites both herself and her lover. The heart she gave to his lover guides his thoughts and senses. The man is loving her heart as if it was his own. The speaker cannot stop cherishing his heart as it bides within her.

Stanza 3:

Lines 9-12:

His heart his wound received from my sight;

My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;

For as from me on him his hurt did light,

So still, methought, in me his hurt did smart:

At some times she had wounded his heart. So in exchange her heart got wounded. Here “heart” symbolises emotions and feelings. Though she got hurt from him in a light manner, she feels that her lover is smart in this act. This stanza mainly speaks about the complications in a relationship.


Lines 13-14:

Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,

My true love hath my heart and I have his.

The couplet says both got hurt equally. But they reached the stage of happiness through this pain. Here, the poet has used contrasting ideas of “pain” and “bliss”. The sonnet ends with the speaker’s voice , her lover has her heart and she has his heart.