Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet LIV. Of this world’s theatre in which we stay
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
 
OF this world’s theatre in which we stay,
My love like the spectator, idly sits;
Beholding me, that all the pageants play,
Disguising diversely my troubled wits.
Sometimes I joy when glad occasion fits,        5
And mask in mirth like to a comedy:
Soon after, when my joy to sorrow flits,
I wail, and make my woes a tragedy.
Yet she, beholding me with constant eye,
Delights not in my mirth, nor rues my smart:        10
But, when I laugh, she mocks; and, when I cry,
She laughs, and hardens evermore her heart.
  What then can move her? if nor mirth nor moan,
  She is no woman, but a senseless stone.
 
 
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