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OST / happy letters fram'd by ki!I trade,

with which that happy name was firit der ynd: the which three times thrife happy hath me made,

with quifts of body, fortune and of mind. The first my being to me gaue by kind,

from mothers womb deriu'd by dew defcent, the second is my fouereigne Queene moft kind,

that honour and large richesse to me lent. The third my loue, my liues last ornament,

by whom my spirit out of duft was rayfed : to speake her prayse and glory excellent,

of all aliue most worthy to be prayfed. Ye three Elizabeths for euer liue,

that three such graces did vnto me giue.



NE / day I wrote her name vpon the strand,

but came the waues and washed it away: agayne I wrote it with a second hand,

but came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray. Vayne man, sayd she, that doeft in vaine assay,

a mortall thing so to immortalize.
for I my selue shall lyke to this decay,

and eek my name bee wyped out lykewize. Not so, (quod I) let baser things deuize,

to dy in dust, but you shall liue by fame :
my verse your vertues rare shall eternize,

and in the heuens wryte your glorious name. Where whenas death shall all the world subdew,

our loue shall liue, and later life renew.



AYRE/bosome fraught with vertues richest tresure,

The neaft of loue, the lodging of delight: the bowre of blisfe, the paradice of pleasure,

the sacred harbour of that heuenly spright. low was I rauifht with your louely sight,

and my frayle thoughts too rashly led astray? whiles diuing deepe through amorous insight,

on the sweet spoyle of beautie they did pray. And twixt her paps like early fruit in May,

whose haruest seemd to hasten now apace : they loosely did theyr wanton winges display,

and there to rest themselues did boldly place. Sweet thoughts I enuy your so happy rest,

which oft I wisht, yet neuer was so blest.



AS /it a dreame, or did I see it playne,

a goodly table of pure yvory : all spred with iuncats, fit to entertayne,

the greatest Prince with pompous roialty. Mongst which there in a siluer dish did ly,

twoo golden apples of vnualewd price:
far passing those which Hercules came by,

or those which Atalanta did entice. Exceeding sweet, yet voyd of sinfull vice,

That many sought yet none could euer taste,
sweet fruit of pleasure brought from paradice :

By loue himselfe and in his garden plaste.
Her brest that table was so richly spredd,

my thoughts the guests, which would thereon haue fedd.


ACKYNG / my loue I go from place to place,

lyke a young fawne that late hath lost the hynd: and seeke each where, where last I fawe her face,

whose ymage yet I carry fresh in mynd.
I fecke the fields with her late footing fynd,

I seeke her bowre with her late presence deckt,
yet nor in field nor bowre I can her fynd :

yet field and bowre are full of her aspect, But when myne eyes I therunto direct,

they ydly back returne to me agayne,
and when I hope to see theyr trew obiect,

I fynd my selfe but fed with fancies vayne.
Ceasse then myne eyes, to seeke her selfe to see,

and let my thoughts behold her selfe in mee :



EN / call you fayre, and you doe credit it,

For that your selfe ye dayly such doe see: but the trew fayre, that is the gentle wit,

and vertuous mind is much more prayfd of me. For all the rest, how euer fayre it be,

shall turne to nought and loose that glorious hew : but onely that is permanent and free

from frayle corruption, that doth flesh ensew. That is true beautie: that doth argue you

to be diuine and borne of heauenly seed :
deriu'd from that fayre Spirit, from whom al true

and perfect beauty did at first proceed.
He onely fayre, and what he fayre hath made,

all other fayre lyke flowres yntymely fade.

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FTER / so long a race as I haue run

Through Faery land, which those fix books cõpile giue leaue to rest me, being halfe fordonne, and gather to my felfe new breath awhile. "hen as a steed refreshed after toyle,

out of my prison I will breake anew :
and stoutly will that second worke assoyle,

with strong endeuour and attention dew. Cill then giue leaue to me in pleasant mew,

to sport my muse and sing my loues sweet praise : the contemplation of whose heauenly hew,

my spirit to an higher pitch will rayse. But let her prayses yet be low and meane,

fit for the handmayd of the Faery Queene.



AYRE/is my loue, when her fayre golden heares,

with the loose wynd ye wauing chance to marke: fayre when the rose in her red cheekes appeares,

or in her eyes the fyre of loue does sparke. Fayre when her breft lyke a rich laden barke,

with pretious merchandize she forth doth lay : fayre whể that cloud of pryde, which oft doth dark

her goodly light with smiles she driues away. But fayrest she, when so she doth display

the gate with pearles and rubyes richly dight : throgh which her words so wise do make their way

to beare the message of her gentle spright, The rest be works of natures wonderment,

but this the worke of harts astonishment.


OY / of my life, full oft for louing you

I blesse my lot, that was so lucky placed : but then the more your owne mishap I rew,

that are so much by so meane loue embased. For had the equall heuens so much you graced

in this as in the rest, ye mote inuent som heuenly wit, whose verse could haue enchared

your glorious name in golden moniment. But since ye deignd so goodly to relent

to me your thrall, in whom is little worth, that little that I am, shall all be spent,

in setting your immortal prayses forth. Whose lofty argument vplifting me,

shall lift you vp vnto an high degree.

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Y / hungry eyes, through greedy couetize,

still to behold the obiect of theyr payne: with no contentment can themselues suffize,

but hauing pine, and hauing not complayne, For lacking it, they cannot lyfe sustayne,

and seeing it, they gaze on it the more : in theyr amazement like Narcissus vayne

whose eyes him staru'd : so plenty makes me pore. Yet are myne eyes so filled with the store

of that fayre sight, that nothing else they brooke : but loath the things which they did like before,

and can no more endure on them to looke. All this worlds glory seemeth vayne to me,

and all theyr showes but shadowes fauing fhe.

Sonnet LXXXIII is nearly a repetition of Sonnet XXXV. : but compare.

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