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EDMUND SPENSER
English poet
(1552? - 1599)
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Troubled blood through his pale face was seen to come and go, with tidings from his heart, as it a running messenger had been.
      - [Blushes]

Trust not the treason of those smiling looks,
  Until ye have their guileful trains well tried;
    For they are like but unto golden hooks,
      That from the foolish fish their baits do hide:
        So she with flattering smiles weak hearts doth guide
          Unto her love, and tempt to their decay;
            Whom, being caught, she kills with cruel pride,
              And feeds at pleasure on the wretched prey.
      - [Inconstancy]

Vain-glorious man, when fluttering wind does blow
  In his light wing's, is lifted up to sky;
    The scorn of-knighthood and true chivalry.
      To think, without desert of gentle deed
        And noble worth, to be advanced high,
          Such praise is shame, but honour, virtue's meed,
            Doth bear the fairest flower in honourable seed.
      - [Nobility]

What man so wise, what earthly wit so ware,
  As to descry the crafty cunning train,
    By which deceit doth mask in visor fair,
      And cast her colours dyed deep in grain,
        To seem like truth, whose shape she well can feign,
          And fitting gestures to her purpose frame,
            The guiltless man with guile to entertain?
      - [Deceit]

Who does know the bent of woman's fantasy.
      - [Women]

Who does not know the bent of woman's fancy?
      - [Fancy]

Who would ever care to do brave deed,
  Or strive in virtue others to excel,
    If none should yield him his deserved meed
      Due praise, that is the spur of doing well?
        For if good were not praised more than ill,
          None would choose goodness of his own free will.
      - [Praise]

With countenance demure, and modest grace.
      - [Grace]

Without an helm or pilot her to sway;
  Full sad and dreadful is that ship's event,
    So is the man that wants intendiment.
      - [Reason]

Woe to the man that first did teach the cursed steel to bite in his own flesh, and make way to the living spirit!
      - [War]

Ye tradeful merchants! that with weary toil,
  Do seek most precious things to make you gaine,
    And both the Indies of their treasures spoil;
      What needeth you to seek so far in vain?
        For lo! my love doth in herself contain
          All this world's riches that may far be found;
            If saphyrs, lo! her eyes be saphyrs plain;
              If rubies, lo! her lips be rubies sound;
                If pearls, her teeth be pearls, both pure and round;
                  If ivory, her forehead's ivory I ween;
                    If gold, her locks are finest gold on ground;
                      If silver, her fair hands are silver sheen;
                        But that which fairest is, but few behold,
                          Her mind, adorn'd with virtues manifold.
      - [Beauty]

Yet is there one more cursed than they all,
  That canker-worm, that monster, jealousie,
    Which eats the heart and feeds upon the gall,
      Turning all love's delight to misery,
        Through fear of losing his felicity.
      - [Jealousy]

Goe to my Love where she is carelesse layd
  Yet in her winter's bowere not well awake;
    Tell her the joyous time will not be staid
      Unlesse she doe him by the forelock take.
      - Amoretti [Time]

Sweet is the rose, but grows upon a brere;
  Sweet is the juniper, but sharp his bough;
    Sweet is the eglantine, but stiketh nere;
      Sweet is the firbloome, but its braunches rough;
        Sweet is the cypress, but its 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.
      - Amoretti (sonnet XXVI) [Flowers]

Bring therefore all the forces that ye may,
  And lay incessant battery to her heart;
    Playnts, prayers, vowes, truth, sorrow, and dismay;
      Those engins can the proudest love convert:
        And, if those fayle, fall down and dy before her;
          So dying live, and living do adore her.
      - Amoretti and Epithalamion (sonnet XIV)
        [Wooing]

For of the soule the bodie forme doth take;
  For soule is forme and doth the bodie make.
      - An Hymn in Honour of Beauty (l. 132)
        [Soul]

For all that faire is, is by nature good;
  That is a signe to know the gentle blood.
      - An Hymne in Honour of Beauty (l. 139)
        [Beauty]

Although the last, not least.
      - Colin Clout (l. 444) [Proverbs]

Her long loose yellow locks lyke golden wyre,
  Sprinckled with perle, and perling flowres atweene,
    Doe lyke a golden mantle her attyre.
      - Epithalamion (st. 9) [Hair]

Together linkt with adamantine chains.
      - Hymns in Honour of Love [Love]

I was promised on a time,
  To have reason for my rhyme;
    From that time unto this season,
      I received nor rhyme nor reason.
      - Lines on His Promised Pensions,
        see "Fuller's Worthies" by Nuttall, vol. II, p. 379
        [Poetry]

Full little knowest thou that hast not tried,
  What hell it is in suing long to bide:
    To loose good dayes, that might be better spent;
      To waste long nights in pensive discontent;
        To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow;
          To feed on hope, to pine with feare and sorrow.
      - Mother Hubberd's Tale (l. 895) [Wooing]

The poets' scrolls will outlive the monuments of stone. Genius survives; all else is claimed by death.
  [Lat., Marmora Maeonii vincunt monumenta libelli
    Vivitur ingenio; caetera mortis erunt.]
      - Shepherd's Calendar [Genius]

To Kerke the narre, from God more farre.
      - quoted in Shepherd's Calendar [Churches]

He that strives to touch a star,
  Oft stumbles at a straw.
      - Shepherd's Calendar--July [Stars]


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