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Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

Amoretti LXXIX: Men Call you Fair


              1Men call you fair, and you do credit it,
              2For that your self ye daily such do see:
              3But the true fair, that is the gentle wit,
              4And vertuous mind, is much more prais'd of me.
              5For all the rest, how ever fair it be,
              6Shall turn to naught and lose that glorious hue:
              7But only that is permanent and free
              8From frail corruption, that doth flesh ensue.
              9That is true beauty: that doth argue you
            10To be divine, and born of heavenly seed:
            11Deriv'd from that fair Spirit, from whom all true
            12And perfect beauty did at first proceed.
            13He only fair, and what he fair hath made,
            14All other fair, like flowers untimely fade.

Notes

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.

8] ensue: pursue.


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 1.113.
Recent editing: 4:2002/5/23

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


Other poems by Edmund Spenser