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Short poem

Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

Amoretti LXVIII: Most Glorious Lord of Life

              1Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day,
              2Didst make thy triumph over death and sin:
              3And having harrow'd hell, didst bring away
              4Captivity thence captive, us to win:
              5This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
              6And grant that we for whom thou diddest die,
              7Being with thy dear blood clean wash'd from sin,
              8May live for ever in felicity.
              9And that thy love we weighing worthily,
            10May likewise love thee for the same again:
            11And for thy sake, that all like dear didst buy,
            12With love may one another entertain.
            13So let us love, dear love, like as we ought,
            14Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.


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.
this day: Easter Sunday.

3] The harrowing of Hell was the descent of Christ into Hades to succour the souls of the just, first related in the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus. A popular medieval story, and the subject of the first extant English dramatic "debate", written ca. 1300.

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: ,i>2RP 1.112.
Recent editing: 4:2002/5/23

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

Other poems by Edmund Spenser