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Robert William Spencer.


Too late I stayed—forgive the crime—

Unheeded flew the hours: How noiseless falls the foot of Time

That only treads on flowers!

And who, with clear account, remarks The ebbings of his glass,

When all its sands are diamond
That dazzle as they pass t

Ah! who to sober measurement
Time's happy swiftness brings,

When birds of paradise have lent
Their plumage to his wings?


[From The Epithalamium.]


Now is my love all ready forth to come:

Let all the virgins therefore well await;

And ye, fresh boys, that tend upon

her groom, Prepare yourselves, for he is coming


Set all your things in seemly good

array, Fit for so joyful day: The joyfull'st day that ever sun did


Fair sun! show forth thy favorable ray.

And let thy lifeful heat not fervent be.

For fear of burning her sunshiny face.

Her beauty to disgrace.

O fairest l'hoebus! father of the Muse!

If ever I did honor thee aright,

Or sing the thing that might thy

mind delight, Do not thy servant's simple boon


But let this day, let this one day be mine;

Let all the rest be thine. Then I thy sovereign praises loud will sing.

That all the woods shall answer, and their echo ring.


Lo! where she comes along with

portly pace, Like Phoebe, from her chamber of

the east,

Arising forth to run her mighty race, Clad all in white, that seems a virgin best.

So well it her beseems, that ye would ween

Some angel she had been.

Her long loose yellow locks; like

golden wire Sprinkled with pearl, and pearling

flowers atween, Do like a golden mantle her attire; And being crowned with a garland


Seem like some maiden queen.
Her modest eyes, abashed to behold
So many gazers as on her do stare,
Upon the lowly ground affixed are;
Ne dare lift up her countenance too

But blush to hear her praises sung so loud,

So far from being proud.

Nathless do ye still loud her praises


That all the woods may answer, and your echo ring.

Tell me, ye merchants' daughters, did

ye see

So fair a creature in your town before?

So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as


Adorned with beauty's grace and virtue's store;

Her goodly eyes like sapphires shining bright,

Her forehead ivory white,

Her cheeks like apples which the sun hath ruddied,

Her lips like cherries charming men to bite,

Her breast like to a bowl of cream

uncrudded. Why stand ye still, ye virgins in

amaze, Upon her so to gaze, Whiles ye forget your former lay to


To which the woods did answer, and your echo ring!

But if ye saw that which no eyes can see.

The inward beauty of her lively sprite,

Garnished with heaven by gifts of high degree,

Much more then would ye wonder at that sight,

And stand astonished like to those which read

Medusa's mazeful head.

There dwells sweet Love, and const.ant Chastity,

Unspotted Faith, and comely Womanhood,

Regard of Honor, and mild Modesty; There Virtue reigns as queen in royal

throne, And giveth laws alone, The which the base affections do obey, And yield their services unto her


Ne thought of things uncomely ever may

Thereto approach to tempt her mind to ill.

Had ye once seen these her celestial

treasures. And unrevealed pleasures, Then would ye wonder and her praises


That all the woods would answer, and your echo ring.

[From The Faerie Queene.]

What war so cruel, or what siege so sore,

As that which strong affections do apply

Against the fort of Reason evermore. To bring the soul into captivity? Their force is fiercer through infirmity

Of the frail flesh, relenting to their rage;

And exercise most bitter tyranny Upon the parts brought into their bondage;

No wretchedness is like to sinful villainage.

[From The Faerie Qrwene.]

And greedy Avarice by him did ride,
Upon a camel laden all with gold:
Two iron coffers hung on either side,
With precious metal full as they

might hold; And in his lap a heap of coin he told; For of his wicked pelf his God he


And onto hell himself for money sold; accursed usury was all his trade; And right and wrong alike in equal balance weighed.

His life was nigh unto death's door replaced,

And threadbare coat and cobbled

shoes he ware; Ne scarce good morsel all his life did


But both from back and belly still did spare,

To fill his bags, and riches to compare;

Yet child nor kinsman living had he none

To leave them to; but thorough daily care

To get, and nightly fear to lose, his own.

He led a wretched life unto himself unknown.

Most wretched wight, whom nothing might suffice,

Whose greedy lust did lack in greatbook store.

Whose need had end, but no end covetize,

Whose wealth was want, whose plenty made him poor,

Who had enough, yet wished evermore;

A vile disease; and eke in foot and hand

A grievous gout tormented him full sore,

That well he could not touch, nor go,

nor stand, Such one was Avarice, the fourth of

this fair band.

[From The Faerie Queene.]

Nought is there under heaven's wide

hollowness That moves more dear compassion

of mind

Than beauty brought t' unworthy wretchedness

Through envy's snares, or fortune's freaks unkind.

I, whether lately through her brightness blind.

Or through allegiance and fast fealty,

Which I do owe unto all womankind.

Feel my heart pierced with so great agony,

When such I see, that all for pity I could die.

And now it is impassioned so deep, For fairest Una's sake, of whom I sing.

That my frail eyes these lines with tears do steep,

To think how she through guileful handhng,

Though true a; touch, though daughter of a king,

Though fair as ever living wight was fair,

Though nor in word nor deed illmeriting,

Is from her knight divorced in despair,

And her due loves derived to that vile time share.

1 Yet, she most faithful lady all this while,

Forsaken, woful. solitary maid, Far from all people's preace, as in exile,

In wilderness and wasteful deserts strayed,

To seek her knight; who, subtily betrayed

Through that late vision, which th'

Enchanter wrought, Had her abandoned. She of nought


Through woods and wasteness wide

him daily sought; Yet wished tidings none of him unto

her brought.

One day, nigh weary of the irksome


From her unhasty beast she did alight,

And on the grass, her dainty limbs did lay

In secret shadow, far from all men's


From her fair head her fillet she undight,

And laid her stole aside. Her angel's face,

As the great eye of heaven, shined bright,

And made a sunshine in the shady place;

Did never mortal eye behold such heavenly grace.

It fortuned, out of the thickest wood A ramping lion rushed suddenly, Hunting full greedy after salvage


Soon as the royal virgin he did spy. With gaping mouth at her ran greedily,

To have at once devoured her tender corse:

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