1806
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sonnets by Spenser.

The Lyre of Love. 2 vols. [Peter L. Courtier, ed.]

Edmund Spenser


Peter L. Courtier reprints ten sonnets from Spenser's Amoretti. Courtier's selection seems rather narrow considering how much and how variously Spenser wrote on the topic of love; perhaps the explanation may be that the romantic sonnet was at the peak of its popularity at the time this volume appeared.



Fair eyes, the mirror of my mazed heart!
What wondrous virtue is contain'd in you;
The which both life and death forth from you dart
Into the object of your mighty view?
For when ye mildly look with lovely hue,
Then is my soul with life and love inspir'd;
But when ye lour, or look on me askew,
Then do I die, as one with lightning fir'd,
But since that life is more than death desir'd,
Look ever lovely, as becomes you best;
That your bright beams, of my weak sight admir'd,
May kindle living fire within my breast.
Such life should be the honour of your light;
Such death, the sad ensample of your might!

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