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Short poem

Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

Amoretti III: The Sovereign Beauty

              1The sovereign beauty which I do admire,
              2Witness the world how worthy to be praised:
              3The light whereof hath kindled heavenly fire
              4In my frail spirit, by her from baseness raised;
              5That being now with her huge brightness dazed,
              6Base thing I can no more endure to view;
              7But looking still on her, I stand amazed
              8At wondrous sight of so celestial hue.
              9So when my tongue would speak her praises due,
            10It stopped is with thought's astonishment:
            11And when my pen would write her titles true,
            12It ravish'd is with fancy's wonderment:
            13Yet in my heart I then both speak and write
            14The wonder that my wit cannot endite.


1] A series of eighty-eight sonnets, published in 1595 and probably written between 1592 and 1594 during the poet's wooing of Elizabeth Boyle.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Edmund Spenser, Amoretti and Epithalamion (P. S. for W. Ponsonby, 1595). STC 23076. Facs.edn. (Scolar Press, 1968). PR 2360 A5 1595E Robarts Library
First publication date: 1595
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP 1.111.
Recent editing: 4:2002/5/23

Composition date: 1592 - 1594
Form: Spenserian Sonnet
Rhyme: ababbcbccdcdee

Other poems by Edmund Spenser