Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

Whilst it is prime

Fresh Spring, the herald of loves mighty king,
In whose cote-armour richly are displayd
All sorts of flowers, the which on earth do spring,
In goodly colours gloriously arrayd—
Goe to my love, where she is carelesse layd,
Yet in her winters bowre not well awake;
Tell her the joyous time wil not be staid,
Unlesse she doe him by the forelock take;
Bid her therefore her selfe soone ready make,
To wayt on Love amongst his lovely crew;
Where every one, that misseth then her make,
Shall be by him amearst with penance dew.
	Make hast, therefore, sweet love, whilest it is prime;
	For none can call againe the passed time.

Easter

Most glorious Lord of Lyfe! that, on this day,
Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin;
And, having harrowd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, deare Lord, with joy begin;
And grant that we, for whom thou diddest dye,
Being with Thy deare blood clene washt from sin,
May live for ever in felicity!

And that Thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love Thee for the same againe;
And for Thy sake, that all lyke deare didst buy,
With love may one another entertayne!
	So let us love, deare Love, lyke as we ought,
	—Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.

Happy ye leaves

Happy ye leaves! whenas those lily hands, 
Which hold my life in their dead doing might, 
Shall handle you, and hold in love's soft bands, 
Like captives trembling at the victor's sight. 
And happy lines! on which, with starry light, 
Those lamping eyes will deign sometimes to look, 
And read the sorrows of my dying sprite, 
Written with tears in heart's close bleeding book. 
And happy rhymes! bathed in the sacred brook 
Of Helicon, whence she derived is, 
When ye behold that angel's blessed look, 
My soul's long lacked food, my heaven's bliss. 
Leaves, lines, and rhymes seek her to please alone, 
Whom if ye please, I care for other none. 

Most glorious Lord of life

Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day 
Didst make thy triumph over death and sin, 
And having harrowed hell, didst bring away 
Captivity thence captive, us to win: 
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin, 
And grant that we, for whom thou diddest die, 
Being with thy dear blood clean washed from sin, 
May live forever in felicity: 
And that thy love we weighing worthily, 
May likewise love thee for the same again; 
And for thy sake, that all like dear didst buy, 
May love with one another entertain. 
So let us love, dear love, like as we ought, 
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught. 

One day I wrote her name upon the strand

One day I wrote her name upon the strand, 
But came the waves and washed it away: 
Again I wrote it with a second hand, 
But came the tide, and made my pains his prey. 
Vain man, said she, that dost in vain assay 
A mortal thing so to immortalize! 
For I myself shall like to this decay, 
And eek my name be wiped out likewise. 
Not so (quoth I), let baser things devise 
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame: 
My verse your virtues rare shall eternize, 
And in the heavens write your glorious name; 
Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue, 
Our love shall live, and later life renew. 

Fair is my love

Fair is my love, when her fair golden hairs 
With the loose wind ye waving chance to mark: 
Fair, when the rose in her red cheeks appears, 
Or in her eyes the fire of love does spark: 
Fair, when her breast, like a rich laden bark 
With precious merchandise she forth doth lay: 
Fair, when that cloud of pride, which oft doth dark 
Her goodly light, with smiles she drives away 
But fairest she, when so she doth display 
The gate with pearls and rubies richly dight, 
Through which her words so wise do make their way, 
To bear the message of her gentle sprite. 
The rest be works of nature's wonderment, 
But this the work of heart's astonishment

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