Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Front Matter
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
 
AMORETTI
AND
Epithalamion.

Written not long since
by Edmunde
Spenser.

Woodcut of the publisher’s trade-mark with his motto: Veritas tua et usque ad nubes.

Printed for William
Ponsonby. 1595.
  1
 
To the Right Worshipful
Sir Robert Needham, Knight.

SIR, to gratulate your safe return from Ireland, I had nothing so ready, nor thought anything so meet, as these sweet conceited Sonnets, the deed of that well-deserving gentleman, Master Edmond Spenser: whose name sufficiently warranting the worthiness of the work, I do more confidently presume to publish it in his absence, under your name, to whom (in my poor opinion) the patronage thereof doth in some respects properly appertain. For, besides your judgment and delight in learned poesy, this gentle Muse, for her former perfection long wished for in England, now at the length crossing the seas in your happy company (though to yourself unknown) seemeth to make choice of you, as meetest to give her deserved countenance, after her return: entertain her, then, Right worshipful, in sort best beseeming your gentle mind, and her merit, and take in worth my goodwill herein, who seek no more but to show myself yours in all dutiful affection.
W. P.    
  2
 
        
To the Author
  
DARK is the day, when Phœbus’ face is shrouded,
And weaker sights may wander soon astray:
But, when they see his glorious rays unclouded,
With steady steps they keep the perfect way:
So, while this Muse in foreign lands doth stay,
Invention weeps, and pens are cast aside;
The time, like night, deprived of cheerful day;
And few do write, but (ah!) too soon may slide.
Then, hie thee home, that art our perfect guide,
And with thy wit illustrate England’s fame,
Daunting thereby our neighbours’ ancient pride,
That do, for poesy, challenge chiefest name:
  So we that live, and ages that succeed,
  With great applause thy learned works shall read.
G. W. SENIOR.    
  3
 
        AH! Colin, whether on the lowly plain,
Piping to shepherds thy sweet roundelays:
Or whether singing, in some lofty vein,
Heroic deeds of past or present days;
Or whether in thy lovely mistress’ praise,
Thou list to exercise thy learned quill;
Thy muse hath got such grace and power to please,
With rare invention, beautified by skill,
As who therein can ever joy their fill!
O! therefore let that happy muse proceed
To climb the height of Virtue’s sacred hill,
Where endless honour shall be made thy meed:
  Because no malice of succeeding days
  Can raze those records of thy lasting praise.
G. W. I.c    
  4
 
 
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