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EDMUND SPENSER (1552?-1599)
When I behold that beauty's wonderment,
That death out of their shiny beams do dart,
I think that I a new Pandora see:
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.
Like as a ship, that through the ocean wide By conduct of some star doth make her way,
Whenas a storm hath dimmed her trusty guide,
Out of her course doth wander far astray; So I, whose star, that wont with her bright ray
Me to direct, with clouds is overcast,
Yet hope I well, that when this storm is past,
My Helicé, the lodestar of my life,
In secret sorrow and sad pensiveness.
With which my silly bark was tossèd sore,
After long storms and tempests' sad assay,
Of all that dear and dainty is alive.
All pains are nothing in respect of this, All sorrows short that gain eternal bliss.
Fresh Spring, the herald of love's mighty king,
In whose coat-armor richly are displayed All sorts of flowers the which on earth do spring,
In goodly colors gloriously arrayed;
Where everyone that misseth then her make1
Shall be by him amerced2 with penance
So long as men can breathe or eyes can
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
Full many a glorious morning have I seen
When, in disgrace with fortune and men's Gilding pale streams with heavenly al
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
chemy, Anon permit the basest clouds to ride 5 With ugly rack2 on his celestial face, And from the forlorn world his visage hide, Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace: Even so my sun one early morn did shine With all-triumphant splendor on 5 my brow;
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine;
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, 5 For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
For thy sweet love remembered such The rich proud cost of outworn buried age; wealth brings When sometime lofty towers I see downrazed,
That then I scorn to change my state
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
And weep afresh love's long-since cancelled woe,
And moan the expense1 of many a vanished
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
But if the while I think on thee, dear
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain, when heaven's sun staineth.
O, how shall summer's honey breath hold
Against the wrackful siege of batt'ring days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout, Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O, none, unless this miracle have might, That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.
Tired with all these, for restful death I Death's second self, that seals up all in
In me thou see'st the glowing of such
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
Tired with all these, from these would I
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
your love even with my life decay,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day 5
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, 10
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
From you have I been absent in the spring,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odor and in hue
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
O, if, I say, you
look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with Drawn after you, you pattern of all those. Yet seemed it winter still, and, you
Do not so much as my poor name re
hearse, But let
As with your shadow, I with these did play.
2 gorgeously variegated.