Amoretti LXXIX- Edmund Spenser

Men Call You Fair

Men call you fair, and you do credit it, 

For that your self ye daily such do see: 

But the true fair, that is the gentle wit, 

And vertuous mind, is much more prais’d of me. 

For all the rest, how ever fair it be, 

Shall turn to naught and lose that glorious hue: 

But only that is permanent and free 

From frail corruption, that doth flesh ensue. 

That is true beauty: that doth argue you 

To be divine, and born of heavenly seed: 

Deriv’d from that fair Spirit, from whom all true 

And perfect beauty did at first proceed. 

He only fair, and what he fair hath made, 

All other fair, like flowers untimely fade.

Amoretti LXXIV – Edmund Spenser

 Most Happy Letters
Most happy letters, fram’d by skilful trade, 

With which that happy name was first design’d: 

The which three times thrice happy hath me made, 

With gifts of body, fortune, and of mind. 

The first my being to me gave by kind, 

From mother’s womb deriv’d by due descent, 

The second is my sovereign Queen most kind, 

That honour and large richesse to me lent. 

The third my love, my life’s last ornament, 

By whom my spirit out of dust was raised: 

To speak her praise and glory excellent, 

Of all alive most worthy to be praised. 

Ye three Elizabeths for ever live, 

That three such graces did unto me give.

Sonnet LX – Edmund Spenser

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.

Sonnet LVI – Edmund Spenser

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.

Sonnet LIX – Edmund Spenser

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.

Sonnet XI – Edmund Spenser

DAyly when I do seeke and sew for peace, 

And hostages doe offer for my truth: 

she cruell warriour doth her selfe addresse, 

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.

Sonnet LXXXII – Edmund Spenser

Ioy 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.