Elizabethan Sonnet Month

Edmund Spenser (c.1552-1599)

Amoretti

Sonnets I - X

I.

HAPPY ye leaues when as those lilly hands,
which hold my life in their dead doing might
shall handle you and hold in loues soft bands,
lyke captiues trembling at the victors sight.
And happy lines, on which with starry light,
those lamping eyes will deigne sometimes to look
and reade the sorrowes of my dying spright,
written with teares in harts close bleeding book.
And happy rymes bath'd in the sacred brooke,
of Helicon whence she deriued is,
when ye behold that Angels blessed looke,
my soules long lacked foode, my heauens blis.
Leaues, lines, and rymes, seeke her to please alone,
whom if ye please, I care for other none.

II.

VNQUIET thought, whom at the first I bred,
Of th' inward bale of my loue pined hart:
and sithens haue with sighes and sorrowes fed,
till greater then my wombe thou woxen art.
Breake forth at length out of the inner part,
in which thou lurkest lyke to vipers brood:
and seeke some succour both to ease my smart
and also to sustayne thy selfe with food.
But if in presence of that fayrest proud
thou chance to come, fall lowly at her feet:
and with meeke humblesse and afflicted mood,
pardon for thee, and grace for me intreat.
Which if she graunt, then liue and my loue cherish,
if not, die soone, and I with thee will perish.

III.

THE souerayne beauty which I doo admyre,
witnesse the world how worthy to be prayzed:
the light wherof hath kindled heauenly fyre,
in my fraile spirit by her from basenesse raysed.
That being now with her huge brightnesse dazed,
base thing I can no more endure to view:
but looking still on her I stand amazed,
at wondrous sight of so celestiall hew.
So when my toung would speak her praises dew,
it stopped is with thoughts astonishment:
and when my pen would write her titles true,
it rauisht is with fancies wonderment:
Yet in my hart I then both speake and write,
the wonder that my wit cannot endite.

IV.

NEW yeare forth looking out of Ianus gate,
Doth seeme to promise hope of new delight:
and bidding th' old Adieu, his passed date
bids all old thoughts to die in dumpish spright.
And calling forth out of sad Winters night,
fresh loue, that long hath slept in cheerlesse bower:
wils him awake, and soone about him dight
his wanton wings and darts of deadly power.
For lusty spring now in his timely howre,
is ready to come forth him to receiue:
and warnes the Earth with diuers colord flowre,
to decke hir selfe, and her faire mantle weaue.
Then you faire flowre, in whom fresh youth doth raine,
prepare your selfe new loue to entertaine.

V.

RVDELY thou wrongest my deare harts desire,
In finding fault with her too portly pride:
the thing which I doo most in her admire,
is of the world vnworthy most enuide.
For in those lofty lookes is close implide,
scorn of base things, & sdeigne of foule dishonor:
thretning rash eies which gaze on her so wide,
that loosely they ne dare to looke vpon her.
Such pride is praise, such portlinesse is honor,
that boldned innocence beares in her eies:
and her faire countenance like a goodly banner,
spreds in defiaunce of all enemies.
Was neuer in this world ought worthy tride,
without some spark of such self-pleasing pride.

VI.

BE nought dismayd that her vnmoued mind,
doth still persist in her rebellious pride:
such loue not lyke to lusts of baser kynd,
The harder wonne, the firmer will abide.
The durefull Oake, whose sap is not yet dride,
is long ere it conceiue the kindling fyre:
but when it once doth burne, it doth diuide
great heat, and makes his flames to heauen aspire.
So hard it is to kindle new desire,
in gentle brest that shall endure for euer:
deepe is the wound, that dints the parts entire
with chast affects, that naught but death can seuer.
Then thinke not long in taking litle paine
to knit the knot, that euer shall remaine.

VII.

FAYRE eyes, the myrrour of my mazed hart,
what wondrous vertue is contaynd in you
the which both lyfe and death forth from you dart
into the obiect of your mighty view?
For, when ye mildly looke with louely hew,
then is my soule with life and loue inspired:
but when ye lowre, or looke on me askew
then doe I die, as one with lightning fyred.
But since that lyfe is more then death desyred,
looke euer louely, as becomes you best,
that your bright beams of my weak eies admyred,
may kindle liuing fire within my brest.
Such life should be the honor of your light,
such death the sad ensample of your might.

VIII.

MORE then most faire, full of the liuing fire
Kindled aboue vnto the maker neere:
no eies buy ioyes, in which al powers conspire,
that to the world naught else be counted deare.
Thrugh your bright beams doth not [the] blinded guest,
shoot out his darts to base affections wound;
but Angels come to lead fraile mindes to rest
in chast desires on heauenly beauty bound.
You frame my thoughts and fashion me within,
you stop my toung, and teach my hart to speake,
you calme the storme that passion did begin,
strong thrugh your cause, but by your vertue weak.
Dark is the world, where your light shined neuer;
well is he borne that may behold you euer.

IX.

LONG-WHILE I sought to what I might compare
those powrefull eies, which lighten my dark spright,
yet find I nought on earth to which I dare
resemble th' ymage of their goodly light.
Not to the Sun: for they doo shine by night;
nor to the Moone: for they are changed neuer;
nor to the Starres: for they haue purer sight;
nor to the fire: for they consume not euer;
Nor to the lightning: for they still perseuer;
nor to the Diamond: for they are more tender;
nor vnto Christall: for nought may them seuer;
nor vnto glasse: such basenesse mought offend her;
Then to the Maker selfe they likest be,
whose light doth lighten all that here we see.

X.

VNRIGHTEOUS Lord of loue what law is this,
That me thou makest thus tormented be:
the whiles she lordeth in licentious blisse
of her freewill, scorning both thee and me.
See how the Tyrannesse doth ioy to see
the huge massacres which her eyes do make:
and humbled harts brings captiues vnto thee,
that thou of them mayst mightie vengeance take.
But her proud hart doe thou a little shake,
and that high look, with which she doth comptroll
all this worlds pride bow to a baser make,
and al her faults in thy black booke enroll.
That I may laugh at her in equall sort,
as she doth laugh at me & makes my pain her sport.

Sonnets XI - XX

XI.

DAYLY when I do seeke and sew for peace,
And hostages doe offer for my truth:
she cruell warriour doth her selfe address,
to battell, and the weary war renew'th.
Ne wilbe moou'd with reason or with rewth,
to graunt small respit to my restlesse toile:
but greedily her fell intent poursewth,
Of my poore life to make vnpitteid spoile.
Yet my poore life, all sorrowes to assoyle,
I would her yield, her wrath to pacify:
but then she seekes with torment and turmoyle,
to force me liue and will not let me dy.
All paine hath end and euery war hath peace,
but mine no price nor prayer may surcease.

XII.

ONE day I sought with her hart-thrilling eies,
to make a truce and termes to entertaine:
all fearlesse then of so false enimies,
which sought me to entrap in treasons traine.
So as I then disarmed did remaine,
a wicked ambush which lay hidden long
in the close couert of her guilefull eyen,
thence breaking forth did thick about me throng,
Too feeble I t'abide the brunt so strong,
was forst to yeeld my selfe into their hands:
who me captiuing streight with rigorous wrong,
haue euer since me kept in cruell bands.
So Ladie now to you I doo complaine,
against your eies that iustice I may gaine.

XIII.

IN that proud port, which her so goodly graceth,
whiles her faire face she reares vp to the skie:
and to the ground her eie lids low embaseth,
most goodly temperature ye may descry,
Myld humblesse mixt with awfull maiesty,
for looking on the earth whence she was borne:
her minde remembreth her mortalitie,
what so is fayrest shall to earth returne.
But that same lofty countenance seemes to scorne
base thing, & thinke how she to heauen may clime:
treading downe earth as lothsome and forlorne,
that hinders heauenly thoughts with drossy slime.
Yet lowly still vouchsafe to looke on me,
such lowlinesse shall make you lofty be.

XIV.

RETOURNE agayne my forces late dismayd,
Vnto the siege by you abandon'd quite,
great shame it is to leaue like one afrayd,
so fayre a peece for one repulse so light.
Gaynst such strong castles needeth greater might,
then those small forts which ye were wont belay,
such haughty mynds enur'd to hardy fight,
disdayne to yield vnto the first assay.
Bring therefore all the forces that ye may,
and lay incessant battery to her heart,
playnts, prayers, vowes, ruth, sorrow, and dismay,
those engins can the proudest loue conuert.
And if those fayle fall downe and dy before her,
so dying liue, and liuing do adore her.

XV.

YE tradefull Merchants that with weary toyle,
do seeke most pretious things to make your gain:
and both the Indias of their treasures spoile,
what needeth you to seeke so farre in vaine?
For loe my loue doth in her selfe containe
all this worlds riches that may farre be found;
if Saphyres, loe her eies be Saphyres plaine,
if Rubies, loe hir lips be Rubies found;
If Pearles, hir teeth be pearles both pure and round;
if Yuorie, her forhead yuory weene;
if Gold, her locks are finest gold on ground;
if siluer, her faire hands are siluer sheene,
But that which fairest is, but few behold,
her mind adornd with vertues manifold.

XVI.

ONE day as I vnwarily did gaze
on those fayre eyes my loues immortall light:
the whiles my stonisht hart stood in amaze,
through sweet illusion of her lookes delight.
I mote perceiue how in her glauncing sight,
legions of loues with little wings did fly:
darting their deadly arrowes fyry bright,
at euery rash beholder passing by.
One of those archers closely I did spy,
ayming his arrow at my very hart:
when suddenly with twincle of her eye,
the Damzell broke his misintended dart.
Had she not so doon, sure I had bene slayne,
yet as it was, I hardly scap't with paine.

XVII.

THE glorious portraict of that Angels face,
Made to amaze weake mens confused skil:
and this worlds worthlesse glory to embase,
what pen, what pencill can expresse her fill?
For though he colours could deuize at will,
and eke his learned hand at pleasure guide:
least trembling it his workmanship should spill,
yet many wondrous things there are beside.
The sweet eye-glaunces, that like arrowes glide,
the charming smiles, that rob sence from the hart:
the louely pleasance and the lofty pride
cannot expressed be by any art.
A greater craftesmans hand thereto doth neede,
that can expresse the life of things indeed.

XVIII.

THE rolling wheele that runneth often round.
The hardest steele in tract of time doth teare:
and drizling drops that often doe redound,
the firmest flint doth in continuance weare.
Yet cannot I with many a dropping teare,
and long intreaty soften her hard hart:
that she will once vouchsafe my plaint to heare,
or looke with pitty on my payneful smart.
But when I pleade, she bids me play my part,
and when I weep, she sayes teares are but water:
and when I sigh, she sayes I know the art,
and when I waile she turnes hir selfe to laughter.
So doe I weepe, and wayle, and pleade in vaine,
whiles she as steele and flint doth still remayne.

XIX.

THE merry Cuckow, messenger of Spring,
His trompet shrill hath thrise already sounded:
that warnes al louers wayt vpon their king,
who now is comming forth with girland crouned.
With noyse whereof the quyre of Byrds resounded
their anthemes sweet devized of loues prayse,
that all the woods theyr ecchoes back rebounded,
as if they knew the meaning of their layes.
But mongst them all, which did Loues honor rayse
no word was heard of her that most it ought,
but she his precept proudly disobayes,
and doth his ydle message set at nought.
Therefore O loue, vnlesse she turne to thee
ere Cuckow end, let her a rebell be.

XX.

IN vaine I seeke and sew to her for grace,
and doe myne humbled hart before her poure:
the whiles her foot she in my necke doth place,
and tread my life downe in the lowly floure.
And yet the Lyon that is Lord of power,
and reigneth ouer euery beast in field:
in his most pride disdeigneth to deuoure
the silly lambe that to his might doth yield.
But she more cruell and more saluage wylde,
then either Lyon or the Lyonesse:
shames not to be with guiltlesse bloud defylde,
but taketh glory in her cruelnesse.
Fayrer then fayrest let none euer say,
that ye were blooded in a yeelded pray.

Sonnets XXI - XXX

XXI.

WAS it the worke of nature or of Art?
which tempred so the feature of her face:
that pride and meeknesse mixt by equall part,
doe both appeare t'adorne her beauties grace.
For with mild pleasance, which doth pride displace,
she to her loue doth lookers eyes allure:
& with sterne countenaunce back again doth chace
their looser lookes that stir vp lustes impure,
With such strange termes her eyes she doth inure,
that with one looke she doth my life dismay:
& with another doth it streight recure,
her smile me drawes, her frowne me driues away.
Thus doth she traine and teach me with her lookes,
such art of eyes I neuer read in bookes.

XXII.

THIS holy season fit to fast and pray,
Men to deuotion ought to be inclynd:
therefore, I lykewise on so holy day,
for my sweet Saynt some seruice fit will find,
Her temple fayre is built within my mind,
in which her glorious ymage placed is,
on which my thoughts doo day and night attend
lyke sacred priests that neuer thinke amisse.
ere I to her as th' author of my blisse,
will builde an altar to appease her yre:
and on the same my hart will sacrifise,
burning in flames of pure and chast desyre:
The which vouchsafe O goddesse to accept,
amongst thy deerest relicks to be kept.

XXIII.

PENELOPE for her Vlisses sake,
Deuiz'd a Web her wooers to deceaue:
in which the worke that she all day did make
the same at night she did againe vnreaue.
Such subtile craft my Damzell doth conceaue,
th' importune suit of my desire to shonne:
for all that I in many dayes doo weaue,
in one short houre I find by her vndonne.
So when I thinke to end that I begonne,
I must begin and neuer bring to end:
for with one looke she spils that long I sponne,
& with one word my whole years work doth rend.
Such labour like the Spyders web I fynd,
whose fruitlesse worke is broken with least wynd.

XXIV.

WHEN I behold that beauties wonderment,
And rare perfection of each goodly part:
of natures skill the onely complement,
I honor and admire the makers art.
But when I feele the bitter balefull smart,
which her fayre eyes vnwares doe worke in mee:
that death out of theyr shiny beames doe dart,
I thinke that I a new Pandora see.
Whom all the Gods in councell did agree,
into this sinfull world from heauen to send:
that she to wicked men a scourge should bee,
for all their faults with which they did offend.
But since ye are my scourge I will intreat,
that for my faults ye will me gently beat.

XXV.

HOW long shall this lyke dying lyfe endure,
And know no end of her owne mysery:
but wast and weare away in termes vnsure,
twixt feare and hope depending doubtfully.
Yet better were attonce to let me die,
and shew the last ensample of your pride:
then to torment me thus with cruelty,
to proue your powre, which I too wel haue tride.
yet if in your hardned brest ye hide,
a close intent at last to shew me grace:
then all the woes and wrecks which I abide,
as meanes of blisse I gladly wil embrace.
And wish that more and greater they might be,
that greater meede at last may turne to mee.

XXVI.

SWEET is the Rose, but growes vpon a brere;
Sweet is the Iunipere, but sharpe his bough;
sweet is the Eglantine, but pricketh nere;
sweet is the firbloome, but his braunches rough
Sweet is the Cypresse, but his rynd is tough,
sweet is the nut, but bitter is his pill;
sweet is the broome-flowre, but yet sowre enough;
and sweet is Moly, but his root is ill.
So euery sweet with soure is tempred still,
that maketh it be coueted the more:
for easie things that may be got at will,
most sorts of men doe set but little store.
Why then should I accoumpt of little paine,
that endlesse pleasure shall vnto me gaine.

XXVII.

FAIRE proud now tell me, why should faire be proud,
Sith all worlds glorie is but drosse vncleane:
and in the shade of death it selfe shall shroud,
how euer now thereof ye little weene.
That goodly Idoll, now so gay beseene,
shall doffe her fleshes borowd fayre attyre:
and be forgot as it had neuer beene,
that many now much worship and admire.
Ne any then shall after it inquire,
ne any mention shall thereof remaine:
but what this verse, that neuer shall expyre,
shall to you purchas with her thankles paine.
Faire be no lenger proud of that shall perish,
but that which shal you make immortall, cherish.

XXVIII.

THE laurell leafe, which you this day doe weare,
guies me great hope of your relenting mynd:
for since it is the badg which I doe beare,
ye bearing it doe seeme to me inclind:
The powre thereof, which ofte in me I find,
let it lykewise your gentle brest inspire
with sweet infusion, and put you in mind
of that proud mayd, whom now those leaues attyre.
Proud Daphne scorning Phoebus louely fyre,
on the Thessalian shore from him did flie:
for which the gods in theyr reuengefull yre
did her transforme into a laurell tree.
Then fly no more fayre loue from Phebus chace,
but in your brest his leafe and loue embrace.

XXIX.

SEE! how the stubborne damzell doth depraue
my simple meaning with disdaynfull scorne:
and by the bay which I vnto her gaue,
accoumpts my selfe her captiue quite forlorne.
The bay (quoth she) is of the victours borne,
yielded them by the vanquisht as theyr meeds,
and they therewith doe poetes heads adorne,
to sing the glory of their famous deedes.
But sith she will the conquest challeng needs
let her accept me as her faithfull thrall,
that her great triumph which my skill exceeds,
I may in trump of fame blaze ouer all.
Then would I decke her head with glorious bayes,
and fill the world with her victorious prayse.

XXX.

MY loue is lyke to yse, and I to fyre;
how comes it then that this her cold so great
is not dissolu'd through my so hot desyre,
but harder growes the more I her intreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
is not delayd by her hart frosen cold:
but that I burne much more in boyling sweat,
and feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told
that fire which all things melts, should harden yse:
and yse which is congeald with sencelesse cold,
should kindle fyre by wonderfull deuyse.
Such is the powre of loue in gentle mind,
that it can alter all the course of kynd.

Sonnets XXXI - XL

XXXI.

AH why hath nature to so hard a hart,
giuen so goodly giftes of beauties grace?
whose pryde depraues each other better part,
and all those pretious ornaments deface.
Sith to all other beastes of bloody race,
a dreadfull countenaunce she giuen hath:
that with theyr terrour al the rest may chace,
and warne to shun the daunger of theyr wrath.
But my proud one doth worke the greater scath,
through sweet allurement of her louely hew:
that she the better may in bloody bath,
of such poore thralls her cruell hands embrew.
But did she know how ill these two accord,
such cruelty she would haue soone abhord.

XXXII.

THE paynefull smith with force of feruent heat,
the hardest yron soone doth mollify:
that with his heauy sledge he can it beat,
and fashion to what he it list apply.
Yet cannot all these flames in which I fry,
her hart more harde then yron soft awhit;
ne all the playnts and prayers with which I
doe beat on th' anduyle of her stubberne wit:
But still the more she feruent sees my fit:
the more she frieseth in her wilfull pryde:
and harder growes the harder she is smit,
with all the playnts which to her be applyde.
What then remaines but I to ashes burne,
and she to stones at length all frosen turne?

XXXIII.

GREAT wrong I doe, I can it not deny,
to that most sacred Empresse my dear dred,
not finishing her Queene of faëry,
that mote enlarge her liuing prayses dead:
But lodwick, this of grace to me aread:
doe ye not thinck th' accomplishment of it,
sufficient worke for one mans simple head,
all were it as the rest, but rudely writ.
How then should I without another wit:
thinck euer to endure so tædious toyle,
sins that this one is tost with troublous fit,
of a proud loue, that doth my spirite spoyle.
Ceasse then, till she vouchsafe to grawnt me rest,
or lend you me another liuing brest.

XXXIV.

LYKE as a ship, that through the Ocean wyde,
by conduct of some star doth make her way,
whenas a storme hath dimd her trusty guyde,
out of her course doth wander far astray.
So I whose star, that wont with her bright ray,
me to direct, with cloudes is ouer-cast,
doe wander now, in darknesse and dismay,
through hidden perils round about me plast.
Yet hope I well, that when this storme is past,
My Helice the lodestar of my lyfe
will shine again, and looke on me at last,
with louely light to cleare my cloudy grief.
Till then I wander carefull comfortlesse,
in secret sorrow and sad pensiuenesse.

XXXV.

MY hungry eyes through greedy couetize,
still to behold the obiect of their paine:
with no contentment can themselues suffize,
but hauing pine and hauing not complaine.
For lacking it they cannot lyfe sustayne,
and hauing it they gaze on it the more:
in their amazement lyke Narcissus vaine
whose eyes him staru'd: so plenty makes me poore.
Yet are mine eyes so filled with the store
of that faire sight, that nothing else they brooke,
but lothe the things which they did like before,
and can no more endure on them to looke.
All this worlds glory seemeth vayne to me,
and all their showes but shadowes sauing she.

XXXVI.

TELL me when shall these wearie woes haue end,
Or shall their ruthlesse torment neuer cease:
but al my dayes in pining languor spend,
without hope of asswagement or release.
Is there no meanes for me to purchase peace,
or make agreement with her thrilling eyes:
that their cruelty doth still increace,
dayly more augment my miseryes.
But when ye haue shewed all extremityes,
then thinke how litle glory ye haue gayned:
by slaying him, whose lyfe though ye despyse,
mote haue your life in honour long maintayned.
But by his death which some perhaps will mone,
ye shall condemned be of many a one.

XXXVII.

WHAT guyle is this, that those her golden tresses,
She doth attyre vnder a net of gold:
and with sly skill so cunningly them dresses,
that which is gold or heare, may scarse be told?
Is it that mens frayle eyes, which gaze too bold,
she may entangle in that golden snare:
and being caught may craftily enfold,
theyr weaker harts, which are not wel aware?
Take heed therefore, myne eyes, how ye doe stare
henceforth too rashly on that guilefull net,
in which if euer ye entrapped are,
out of her bands ye by no meanes shall get.
Fondnesse it were for any being free,
to couet fetters, though they golden bee.

XXXVIII.

ARION, when through tempests cruel wracke,
He forth was thrown into the greedy seas:
through the sweet musick which his harp did make
allu'rd a Dolphin him from death to ease.
But my rude musick, which was wont to please
some dainty eares, cannot, with any skill,
the dreadfull tempest of her wrath appease,
nor moue the Dolphin from her stubborne will,
But in her pride she dooth persever still,
all carelesse how my life for her decayse:
yet with one word she can it saue or spill.
to spill were pitty, but to saue were prayse.
Chuse rather to be praysd for doing good,
then to be blam'd for spilling guiltlesse blood.

XXXIX.

SWEET smile, the daughter of the Queene of loue,
Expressing all thy mothers powrefull art:
with which she wonts to temper angry Ioue,
when all the gods he threats with thundring dart.
Sweet is thy vertue as thy selfe sweet art,
for when on me thou shinedst late in sadnesse:
a melting pleasance ran through euery part
and me reuiued with hart robbing gladnesse.
Whylest rapt with ioy resembling heauenly madnes,
my soule was rauisht quite as in a traunce:
and feeling thence no more her sorowes sadnesse,
fed on the fulnesse of that chearefull glaunce,
More sweet than Nectar or Ambrosiall meat,
seemd euery bit, which thenceforth I did eat.

XL.

MARK when she smiles with amiable cheare,
And tell me whereto can ye lyken it:
when on each eyelid sweetly doe appeare,
an hundred Graces as in shade to sit.
Lykest it seemeth in my simple wit
vnto the fayre sunshine in somers day:
that when a dreadfull storme away is flit,
thrugh the broad world doth spred his goodly ray
At sight whereof each bird that sits on spray,
and euery beast that to his den was fled:
comes forth afresh out of their late dismay,
and to the light lift vp theyr drouping hed.
So my storme beaten hart likewise is cheared,
with that sunshine when cloudy looks are cleared.

Sonnets XLI - L

XLI.

IS it her nature or is it her will,
to be so cruell to an humbled foe:
if nature, then she may it mend with skill,
if will, then she at will may will forgoe.
But if her nature and her wil be so,
that she will plague the man that loues her most:
and take delight t'encrease a wretches woe,
then all her natures goodly guifts are lost
And that same glorious beauties ydle boast,
is but a bayt such wretches to beguile:
as being long in her loues tempest tost,
she meanes at last to make her piteous spoyle.
O fayrest fayre let neuer it be named,
that so fayre beauty was so fowly shamed.

XLII.

THE loue which me so cruelly tormenteth,
So pleasing is in my extreamest paine:
that all the more my sorrow it augmenteth,
the more I loue and doe embrace my bane.
Ne doe I wish (for wishing were but vaine)
to be acquit fro my continuall smart:
but ioy her thrall for euer to remayne,
and yield for pledge my poore captyued hart
The which that it from her may neuer start,
let her, yf please her, bynd with adamant chayne:
and from all wandring loues which mote peruart,
his safe assurance strongly it restrayne.
Onely let her abstaine from cruelty,
and doe me not before my time to dy.

XLIII.

SHALL I then silent be or shall I speake?
And if I speake, her wrath renew I shall:
and if I silent be, my hart will breake,
or choked be with ouerflowing gall.
What tyranny is this both my hart to thrall,
and eke my toung with proud restraint to tie?
that nether I may speake nor thinke at all,
but like a stupid stock in silence die.
Yet I my hart with silence secretly
will teach to speak, and my iust cause to plead:
and eke mine eies with meeke humility,
loue learned letters to her eyes to read.
Which her deep wit, that true harts thought can spel,
wil soone conceiue, and learne to construe well.

XLIV.

WHEN those renoumed noble Peres of Greece,
thrugh stubborn pride amongst themselues did iar
forgetfull of the famous golden fleece,
then Orpheus with his harp theyr strife did bar.
But this continuall cruell ciuill warre,
the which my selfe against my selfe doe make:
whilest my weak powres of passions warreid arre.
no skill can stint nor reason can aslake.
But when in hand my tunelesse harp I take,
then doe I more augment my foes despight:
and griefe renew, and passions doe awake,
to battaile fresh against my selfe to fight.
Mongst whome the more I seeke to settle peace,
the more I fynd their malice to increace.

XLV.

LEAUE lady in your glasse of christall clene,
Your goodly selfe for euermore to vew:
and in my selfe, my inward selfe I meane,
most liuely lyke behold your semblant trew.
Within my hart, though hardly it can shew,
thing so diuine to vew of earthly eye:
the fayre Idea of your celestiall hew,
and euery part remaines immortally:
And were it not that, through your cruelty,
with sorrow dimmed and deformd it were:
the goodly ymage of your visnomy,
clearer then christall would therein appere.
But if your selfe in me ye playne will see,
remoue the cause by which your fayre beames darkned be.

XLVI.

WHEN my abodes prefixed time is spent,
My cruell fayre streight bids me wend my way:
but then from heauen most hideous stormes are sent
as willing me against her will to stay.
Whom then shall I or heauen or her obay,
the heauens know best what is the best for me:
but as she will, whose will my life doth sway,
my lower heauen, so it perforce must bee.
ye high heuens, that all this sorowe see,
sith all your tempests cannot hold me backe:
aswage your stormes, or else both you and she,
will both together me too sorely wrack.
Enough it is for one man to sustaine,
the stormes, which she alone on me doth raine.

XLVII.

TRUST not the treason of those smyling lookes,
vntill ye haue theyr guylefull traynes well tryde:
for they are lyke but vnto golden hookes,
that from the foolish fish theyr bayts doe hyde:
So she with flattring smyles weake harts doth guyde,
vnto her loue, and tempte to theyr decay,
whome being caught she kills with cruell pryde,
and feeds at pleasure on the wretched pray:
Yet euen whylst her bloody hands them slay,
her eyes looke louely and vpon them smyle:
that they take pleasure in [her] cruell play,
and dying doe them selues of payne beguyle.
O mighty charm which makes men loue theyr bane,
and thinck they dy with pleasure, liue with payne.

XLVIII.

INNOCENT paper whom too cruell hand,
Did make the matter to auenge her yre:
and ere she could thy cause wel vnderstand,
did sacrifize vnto the greedy fyre.
Well worthy thou to haue found better hyre,
then so bad end for hereticks ordayned:
yet heresy nor treason didst conspire,
but plead thy maisters cause vniustly payned.
Whom all the carelesse of his griefe constrayned
to vtter forth th' anguish of his hart:
and would not heare, when he to her complayned,
the piteous passion of his dying smart.
Yet liue for euer, though against her will,
and speake her good, though she requite it ill.

XLIX.

FAYRE cruell, why are ye so fierce and cruell,
Is it because your eyes haue powre to kill?
then know, that mercy is the mighties iewell,
and greater glory thinke to saue then spill.
But if it be your pleasure and proud will,
To shew the powre of your imperious eyes:
then not on him that neuer thought you ill,
but bend your force against your enemyes.
Let them feele th' vtmost of your crueltyes,
and kill, with looks as Cockatrices doo:
but him that at your footstoole humbled lies,
with mercifull regard, giue mercy too.
Such mercy shal you make admyred to be,
so shall you liue by giuing life to me.

L.

LONG languishing in double malady,
of my harts wound and of my bodies greife:
there came to me a leach that would apply
fit medicines for my bodies best reliefe
Vayne man (quod I) that hast but little priefe:
in deep discouery of the mynds disease,
is not the hart of all the body chiefe?
and rules the members as it selfe doth please.
Then with some cordialls seeke first to appease,
the inward languour of my wounded hart,
and then my body shall haue shortly ease:
but such sweet cordialls passe Physitions art.
Then my lyfes Leach doe you your skill reueale,
and with one salue both hart and body heale.

Sonnets LI - LX

LI.

DOE I not see that fayrest ymages
Of hardest Marble are of purpose made?
for that they should endure through many ages,
ne let theyr famous moniments to fade.
Why then doe I, vntrainde in louers trade,
her hardnes blame which I should more commend?
sith neuer ought was excellent assayde,
which was not hard t' atchiue and bring to end.
Ne ought so hard, but he that would attend,
mote soften it and to his will allure:
so doe I hope her stubborne hart to bend,
and that it then more stedfast will endure.
Onely my paines wil be the more to get her,
but hauing her, my ioy wil be the greater.

LII.

SO oft as homeward I from her depart,
I goe lyke one that hauing lost the field:
is prisoner led away with heauy hart,
despoyld of warlike armes and knowen shield.
So doe I now my selfe a prisoner yeeld,
to sorrow and to solitary paine:
from presence of my dearest deare exylde
longwhile alone in languor to remaine.
There let no thought of ioy or pleasure vaine,
dare to approch, that may my solace breed:
but sudden dumps and drery sad disdayne,
of all worlds gladnesse more my torment feed.
So I her absens will my penaunce make,
that of her presens I my meed may take.

LIII.

THE Panther knowing that his spotted hyde,
Doth please all beasts but that his looks them fray:
within a bush his dreadfull head doth hide,
to let them gaze whylest he on them may pray.
Right so my cruell fayre with me doth play,
for with the goodly semblant of her hew:
she doth allure me to mine owne decay,
and then no mercy will vnto me shew.
Great shame it is, thing so diuine in view,
made for to be the worlds most ornament:
to make the bayte her gazers to embrew,
good shames to be so ill an instrument.
But mercy doth with beautie best agree,
as in theyr maker ye them best may see.

LIV.

OF this worlds Theatre in which we stay,
My loue lyke the Spectator ydly sits
beholding me that all the pageants play,
disguysing diuersly my troubled wits.
Sometimes I ioy when glad occasion fits,
and mask in myrth lyke to a Comedy:
soone after when my ioy to sorrow flits,
I waile and make my woes a Tragedy.
Yet she beholding me with constant eye,
delights not in my merth no[r] rues my smart:
but when I laugh she mocks, and when I cry
she laughes, and hardens euermore her hart.
What then can moue her? if nor merth, nor mone,
she is no woman, but a sencelesse stone.

LV.

SO oft as I her beauty doe behold,
And therewith doe her cruelty compare:
I maruaile of what substance was the mould
the which her made attonce so cruell faire.
Not earth; for her high thoghts more heauenly are,
not water; for her loue doth burne like fyre:
not ayre; for she is not so light or rare:
not fyre; for she doth friese with faint desire.
Then needs another Element inquire
whereof she mote be made; that is the skye.
for to the heauen her haughty lookes aspire:
and eke her mind is pure immortall hye.
Then sith to heauen ye lykened are the best,
be lyke in mercy as in all the rest.

LVI.

FAYRE ye be sure, but cruell and vnkind,
As is a Tygre that with greedinesse
hunts after bloud, when he by chance doth find
a feeble beast, doth felly him oppresse.
Fayre be ye sure but proud and pittilesse,
as is a storme, that all things doth prostrate:
finding a tree alone all comfortlesse,
beats on it strongly it to ruinate.
Fayre be ye sure, but hard and obstinate,
as is a rocke amidst the raging floods:
gaynst which a ship of succour desolate,
doth suffer wreck both of her selfe and goods.
That ship, that tree, and that same beast am I,
whom ye doe wreck, doe ruine, and destroy.

LVII.

SWEET warriour when shall I haue peace with you?
High time it is, this warre now ended were:
which I no lenger can endure to sue,
ne your incessant battry more to beare:
So weake my powres, so sore my wounds appeare,
that wonder is how I should liue a iot,
seeing my hart through launched euery where
with thousand arrowes, which your eies haue shot:
Yet shoot ye sharpely still, and spare me not,
but glory thinke to make these cruel stoures.
ye cruell one, what glory can be got,
in slaying him that would liue gladly yours?
Make peace therefore, and graunt me timely grace:
that al my wounds will heale in little space.

LVIII.

By her that is most assured to her selfe.
WEAKE is th' assurance that weake flesh reposeth,
In her owne powre and scorneth others ayde:
that soonest fals when as she most supposeth,
her selfe assurd, and is of nought affrayd.
All flesh is frayle, and all her strength vnstayd
like a vaine bubble blowen vp with ayre:
deuouring tyme & changeful chance haue prayd,
her glories pride that none may it repayre.
Ne none so rich or wise, so strong or fayre,
but fayleth trusting on his owne assurance:
and he that standeth on the hyghest stayre
fals lowest: for on earth nought hath enduraunce.
Why then doe ye proud fayre, misdeeme so farre,
that to your selfe ye most assured arre.

LIX.

THRISE happie she, that is so well assured
Vnto her selfe and setled so in hart:
that nether will for better be allured,
ne feard with worse to any chaunce to start,
But like a steddy ship doth strongly part
the raging waues, and keepes her course aright:
ne ought for tempest doth from it depart,
ne ought for fayrer weathers false delight.
Such selfe assurance need not feare the spight,
of grudging foes, ne fauour seek of friends:
but in the stay of her owne stedfast might,
nether to one her selfe nor other bends.
Most happy she that most assured doth rest,
but he most happy who such one loues best.

LX.

THEY, that in course of heauenly spheares are skild,
To euery planet point his sundry yeare:
in which her circles voyage is fulfild,
as Mars in three score yeares doth run his spheare
So since the winged God his planet cleare,
began in me to moue, one yeare is spent:
the which doth longer vnto me appeare,
then al those fourty which my life outwent.
Then by that count, which louers books inuent,
the spheare of Cupid fourty yeares containes:
which I haue wasted in long languishment,
that seemd the longer for my greater paines.
But let me loues fayre Planet short her wayes
this yeare ensuing, or else short my dayes.

Sonnets LXI - LXX

LXI.

THE glorious image of the makers beautie,
My souerayne saynt, the Idoll of my thought,
dare not henceforth aboue the bounds of dewtie,
t' accuse of pride, or rashly blame for ought.
For being as she is diuinely wrought,
and of the brood of Angels heuenly borne:
and with the crew of blessed Saynts vpbrought,
each of which did her with theyr guifts adorne;
The bud of ioy, the blossome of the morne,
the beame of light, whom mortal eyes admyre:
what reason is it then but she should scorne,
base things that to her loue too bold aspire?
Such heauenly formes ought rather worshipt be,
then dare be lou'd by men of meane degree.

LXII.

THE weary yeare his race now hauing run,
The new begins his compast course anew:
with shew of morning mylde he hath begun,
betokening peace and plenty to ensew,
So let vs, which this chaunge of weather vew,
chaunge eeke our mynds and former liues amend
the old yeares sinnes forepast let vs eschew
and fly the faults with which we did offend.
Then shall the new yeares ioy forth freshly send,
into the glooming world his gladsome ray:
and all these stormes which now his beauty blend,
shall turne to caulmes and tymely cleare away.
So likewise loue cheare you your heauy spright,
and chaunge old yeares annoy to new delight.

LXIII.

AFTER long stormes and tempests sad assay,
Which hardly I endured heretofore:
in dread of death and daungerous dismay,
with which my silly barke was tossed sore.
I doe at length descry the happy shore,
in which I hope ere long for to arryue,
fayre soyle it seemes from far & fraught with store
of all that deare and daynty is alyue.
Most happy he that can at last atchyue
the ioyous safety of so sweet a rest:
whose least delight sufficeth to depriue
remembrance of all paines which him opprest.
All paines are nothing in respect of this,
all sorrowes short that gaine eternall blisse.

LXIV.

COMMING to kisse her lyps, (such grace I found)
Me seemd I smelt a gardin of sweet flowres:
that dainty odours from them threw around
for damzels fit to decke their louers bowres.
Her lips did smell lyke vnto Gillyflowers,
her ruddy cheekes, lyke vnto Roses red:
her snowy browes lyke budded Bellamoures
her louely eyes lyke Pincks but newly spred,
Her goodly bosome lyke a Strawberry bed,
her neck lyke to a bounch of Cullambynes:
her brest lyke lillyes, ere theyr leaues be shed,
her nipples lyke yong blossomd Iessemynes,
Such fragrant flowres doe giue most odorous smell,
but her sweet odour did them all excell.

LXV.

THE doubt which ye misdeeme, fayre loue, is vaine
That fondly feare to loose your liberty,
when loosing one, two liberties ye gayne,
and make him bond that bondage earst dyd fly.
Sweet be the bands, the which true loue doth tye,
without constraynt or dread of any ill:
the gentle birde feeles no captiuity
within her cage, but singes and feeds her fill.
There pride dare not approch, nor discord spill
the league twixt them, that loyal loue hath bound:
but simple truth and mutuall good will,
seekes with sweet peace to salue each others wound
There fayth doth fearlesse dwell in brasen towre,
and spotlesse pleasure builds her sacred bowre.

LXVI.

TO all those happy blessings which ye haue,
with plenteous hand by heauen vpon you thrown:
this one disparagement they to you gaue,
that ye your loue lent to so meane a one.
Yee whose high worths surpassing paragon,
could not on earth haue found one fit for mate,
ne but in heauen matchable to none,
why did ye stoup vnto so lowly state?
But ye thereby much greater glory gate,
then had ye sorted with a princes pere:
for now your light doth more it selfe dilate,
and in my darknesse greater doth appeare.
Yet since your light hath once enlumind me,
with my reflex yours shall encreased be.

LXVII.

LYKE as a huntsman after weary chace,
Seeing the game from him escapt away:
sits downe to rest him in some shady place,
with panting hounds beguiled of their pray.
So after long pursuit and vaine assay,
when I all weary had the chace forsooke,
the gentle deare returnd the selfe-same way,
thinking to quench her thirst at the next brooke.
There she beholding me with mylder looke,
sought not to fly, but fearelesse still did bide:
till I in hand her yet halfe trembling tooke,
and with her owne goodwill hir fyrmely tyde.
Strange thing me seemd to see a beast so wyld,
so goodly wonne with her owne will beguyld.

LXVIII.

MOST glorious Lord of lyfe that on this day,
Didst make thy triumph ouer death and sin:
and hauing harrowd hell didst bring away,
captiuity thence captiue vs to win.
This ioyous day, deare Lord, with ioy begin,
and grant that we for whom thou didest dye
being with thy deare blood clene washt from sin,
may liue foreuer in felicity.
And that thy loue we weighing worthily,
may likewise loue thee for the same againe:
and for thy sake that all lyke deare didst buy,
with loue may one another entertayne.
So let vs loue, deare loue, lyke as we ought,
loue is the lesson which the Lord vs taught.

LXIX.

THE famous warriors of the anticke world,
Vsed Trophees to erect in stately wize:
in which they would the records haue enrold,
of theyr great deeds and valarous emprize.
What trophee then shall I most fit deuize,
in which I may record the memory
of my loues conquest, peerelesse beauties prise,
adorn'd with honour, loue, and chastity.
Euen this verse vowd to eternity,
shall be thereof immortall moniment:
and tell her prayse to all posterity,
that may admire such worlds rare wonderment.
The happy purchase of my glorious spoile,
gotten at last with labour and long toyle.

LXX.

FRESH spring the herald of loues mighty king,
In whose cote armour richly are displayd,
all sorts of flowers the which on earth do spring
in goodly colours gloriously arrayd.
Goe to my loue, where she is carelesse layd,
yet in her winters bowre not well awake:
tell her the ioyous time wil not be staid
vnlesse she doe him by the forelock take.
Bid her therefore her selfe soone ready make,
to wayt on loue amongst his louely crew:
where euery one, that misseth then her make,
shall be by him amearst with penance dew.
Make hast therefore sweet loue, whilest it is prime,
for none can call againe the passed time.

Sonnets LXXI - LXXX

LXXI.

I IOY to see how in your drawen work,
Your selfe vnto the Bee ye doe compare;
and me vnto the Spyder that doth lurke,
in close awayt to catch her vnaware.
Right so your selfe were caught in cunning snare
of a deare foe, and thralled to his loue:
in whose streight bands ye now captiued are
so firmely, that ye neuer may remoue.
But as your worke is wouen all aboue,
with woodbynd flowers and fragrant Eglantine:
so sweet your prison you in time shall proue,
with many deare delights bedecked fyne.
And all thensforth eternall peace shall see
betweene the Spyder and the gentle Bee.

LXXII.

OFT when my spirit doth spred her bolder winges,
In mind to mount vp to the purest sky:
it down is weighd with thoght of earthly things
and clogd with burden of mortality,
Where when that souerayne beauty it doth spy,
resembling heauens glory in her light:
drawne with sweet pleasures bayt, it back doth fly,
and vnto heauen forgets her former flight.
There my fraile fancy fed with full delight,
doth bath in blisse and mantleth most at ease:
ne thinks of other heauen, but how it might
her harts desire with most contentment please.
Hart need not with none other happinesse,
but here on earth to haue such heuens blisse.

LXXIII.

BEING my selfe captyued here in care,
My hart, whom none with seruile bands can tye:
but the fayre tresses of your golden hayre,
breaking his prison forth to you doth fly.
Lyke as a byrd that in ones hand doth spy
desired food, to it doth make his flight:
euen so my hart, that wont on your fayre eye
to feed his fill, flyes backe vnto your sight.
Doe you him take, and in your bosome bright,
gently encage, that he may be your thrall:
perhaps he there may learne with rare delight,
to sing your name and prayses ouer all.
That it hereafter may you not repent,
him lodging in your bosome to haue lent.

LXXIV.

MOST happy letters fram'd by skilfull trade,
with which that happy name was first defynd:
the which three times thrise happy hath me made,
with guifts of body, fortune and of mind.
The first my being to me gaue by kind,
from mothers womb deriu'd by dew descent,
the second is my souereigne Queene most kind,
that honour and large richesse to me lent.
The third my loue, my liues last ornament,
by whom my spirit out of dust was raysed:
to speake her prayse and glory excellent,
of all aliue most worthy to be praysed.
Ye three Elizabeths for euer liue,
that three such graces did vnto me giue.

LXXV.

ONE day I wrote her name vpon the strand,
but came the waues and washed it away:
agayne I wrote it with a second hand,
but came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray.
Vayne man, sayd she, that doest in vaine assay,
a mortall thing so to immortalize.
for I my selue shall lyke to this decay,
and eek my name bee wyped out lykewize.
Not so, (quod I) let baser things deuize,
to dy in dust, but you shall liue by fame:
my verse your vertues rare shall eternize,
and in the heuens wryte your glorious name.
Where whenas death shall all the world subdew,
our loue shall liue, and later life renew.

LXXVI.

FAYRE bosome fraught with vertues richest tresure,
The neast of loue, the lodging of delight:
the bowre of blisse, the paradice of pleasure,
the sacred harbour of that heuenly spright.
How was I rauisht with your louely sight,
and my frayle thoughts too rashly led astray?
whiles diuing deepe through amorous insight,
on the sweet spoyle of beautie they did pray.
And twixt her paps like early fruit in May,
whose haruest seemd to hasten now apace:
they loosely did theyr wanton winges display,
and there to rest themselues did boldly place.
Sweet thoughts I enuy your so happy rest,
which oft I wisht, yet neuer was so blest.

LXXVII.

WAS it a dreame, or did I see it playne,
a goodly table of pure yvory:
all spred with iuncats, fit to entertayne,
the greatest Prince with pompous roialty.
Mongst which there in a siluer dish did ly,
twoo golden apples of vnualewd price:
far passing those which Hercules came by,
or those which Atalanta did entice.
Exceeding sweet, yet voyd of sinfull vice,
That many sought yet none could euer taste,
sweet fruit of pleasure brought from paradice:
By loue himselfe and in his garden plaste.
Her brest that table was so richly spredd,
my thoughts the guests, which would thereon haue fedd.

LXXVIII.

LACKYNG my loue I go from place to place,
lyke a young fawne that late hath lost the hynd:
and seeke each where, where last I sawe her face,
whose ymage yet I carry fresh in mynd.
I seeke the fields with her late footing fynd,
I seeke her bowre with her late presence deckt,
yet nor in field nor bowre I her can fynd:
yet field and bowre are full of her aspect,
But when myne eyes I thereunto direct,
they ydly back returne to me agayne,
and when I hope to see theyr trew obiect,
I fynd my selfe but fed with fancies vayne.
Ceasse then myne eyes, to seeke her selfe to see,
and let my thoughts behold her selfe in mee.

LXXIX.

MEN call you fayre, and you doe credit it,
For that your selfe ye dayly such doe see:
but the trew fayre, that is the gentle wit,
and vertuous mind is much more praysd of me.
For all the rest, how euer fayre it be,
shall turne to nought and loose that glorious hew:
but onely that is permanent and free
from frayle corruption, that doth flesh ensew.
That is true beautie: that doth argue you
to be diuine and borne of heauenly seed:
deriu'd from that fayre Spirit, from whom all true
and perfect beauty did at first proceed.
He only fayre, and what he fayre hath made,
all other fayre lyke flowres vntymely fade.

LXXX.

AFTER so long a race as I haue run
Through Faery land, which those six books compile
giue leaue to rest me, being halfe fordonne,
and gather to my selfe new breath awhile.
When as a steed refreshed after toyle,
out of my prison I will breake anew:
and stoutly will that second worke assoyle,
with strong endeuour and attention dew.
Till then giue leaue to me in pleasant mew,
to sport my muse and sing my loues sweet praise:
the contemplation of whose heauenly hew,
my spirit to an higher pitch will rayse.
But let her prayses yet be low and meane,
fit for the handmayd of the Faery Queene.

Sonnets LXXXI - LXXXIX

LXXXI.

FAYRE is my loue, when her fayre golden heares,
with the loose wynd ye wauing chance to marke:
fayre when the rose in her red cheekes appeares,
or in her eyes the fyre of loue does sparke.
Fayre when her brest lyke a rich laden barke,
with pretious merchandize she forth doth lay:
fayre when that cloud of pryde, which oft doth dark
her goodly light with smiles she driues away.
But fayrest she, when so she doth display,
the gate with pearles and rubyes richly dight:
throgh which her words so wise do make their way
to beare the message of her gentle spright,
The rest be works of natures wonderment,
but this the worke of harts astonishment.

LXXXII.

I of my life, full oft for louing you
I blesse my lot, that was so lucky placed:
but then the more your owne mishap I rew,
that are so much by so meane loue embased.
For had the equall heuens so much you graced
in this as in the rest, ye mote inuent
som heuenly wit, whose verse could haue enchased
your glorious name in golden moniment.
But since ye deignd so goodly to relent
to me your thrall, in whom is little worth,
that little that I am, shall all be spent,
in setting your immortall prayses forth.
Whose lofty argument vplifting me,
shall lift you vp vnto an high degree.

LXXXIII.

MY hungry eyes, through greedy couetize,
still to behold the obiect of theyr payne:
with no contentment can themselues suffize,
but hauing pine, and hauing not complayne,
For lacking it, they cannot lyfe sustayne,
and seeing it, they gaze on it the more:
in theyr amazement lyke Narcissus vayne
whose eyes him staru'd: so plenty makes me pore.
Yet are myne eyes so filled with the store
of that fayre sight, that nothing else they brooke:
but loath the things which they did like before,
and can no more endure on them to looke.
All this worlds glory seemeth vayne to me,
and all theyr shewes but shadowes sauing she.

LXXXIV.

LET not one sparke of filthy lustfull fyre
breake out, that may her sacred peace molest:
ne one light glance of sensuall desyre:
Attempt to work her gentle mindes vnrest.
But pure affections bred in spotlesse brest,
& modest thoughts breathd from wel tempred sprites
goe visit her in her bowre of rest,
accompanyde with angelick delightes.
There fill your selfe with those most ioyous sights,
the which my selfe could neuer yet attayne:
but speake no word to her of these sad plights,
which her too constant stiffenesse doth constrayn.
Onely behold her rare perfection,
and blesse your fortunes fayre election.

LXXXV.

THE world that cannot deeme of worthy things,
when I doe praise her, say I doe but flatter:
so does the Cuckow, when the Mauis sings,
begin his witlesse note apace to clatter.
But they that skill not of so heauenly matter,
all that they know not, enuy or admyre,
rather then enuy let them wonder at her,
but not to deeme of her desert aspyre.
Deepe in the closet of my parts entyre,
her worth is written with a golden quill:
that me with heauenly fury doth inspire,
and my glad mouth with her sweet prayses fill.
Which when as fame in her shrill trump shal thunder
let the world chose to enuy or to wonder.

LXXXVI.

VENEMOUS toung tipt with vile adders sting,
Of that selfe kynd with which the Furies fell
theyr snaky heads doe combe, from which a spring
of poyson'd words and spitefull speeches well.
Let all the plagues and horrid paines, of hell,
vpon thee fall for thine accursed hyre:
that with false forged lyes, which thou didst tel,
in my true loue did stirre vp coles of yre,
The sparkes whereof let kindle thine own fyre,
and, catching hold on thine owne wicked hed
consume thee quite, that didst with guile conspire
in my sweet peace such breaches to haue bred.
Shame be thy meed, and mischiefe thy reward.
dew to thy selfe that it for me prepard.

LXXXVII.

SINCE I did leaue the presence of my loue,
Many long weary dayes I haue outworne:
and many nights, that slowly seemd to moue,
theyr sad protract from euening vntill morne.
For when as day the heauen doth adorne,
I wish that night the noyous day would end:
and when as night hath vs of light forlorne,
I wish that day would shortly reascend.
Thus I the time with expectation spend,
and faine my griefe with chaunges to beguile,
That further seemes his terme still to extend,
and maketh euery minute seeme a myle.
So sorrow still doth seeme too long to last,
but ioyous houres doo fly away too fast.

LXXXVIII.

SINCE I haue lackt the comfort of that light,
The which was wont to lead my thoughts astray:
I wander as in darkenesse of the night,
affrayd of euery daungers least dismay.
Ne ought I see, though in the clearest day,
when others gaze vpon theyr shadowes vayne:
but th' onely image of that heauenly ray,
whereof some glance doth in mine eie remayne.
Of which beholding th'Idæaea playne,
throgh contemplation of my purest part:
with light thereof I doe my selfe sustayne,
and thereon feed my loue-affamisht hart.
But with such brightnesse whylest I fill my mind,
I starue my body and mine eyes doe blynd.

LXXXIX.

LYKE as the Culuer on the bared bough,
Sits mourning for the absence of her mate;
and in her songs sends many a wishfull vow,
for his returne that seemes to linger late.
So I alone now left disconsolate,
mourne to my selfe the absence of my loue:
and wandring here and there all desolate,
seek with my playnts to match that mournful doue.
Ne ioy of ought that vnder heauen doth houe,
can comfort me, but her owne ioyous sight:
whose sweet aspect both God and man can moue,
in her vnspotted pleasauns to delight.
Dark is my day, whyles her fayre light I mis,
and dead my life that wants such liuely blis.

- Edmund Spenser





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2010 Selected Poetry
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Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then will we realise that money cannot be eaten
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