Wide World of Quotes > Edmund Spenser Quotes


Edmund Spenser
English poet
(c. 1552-99)



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The merry cuckoo, messenger of Spring,
His trumpet shrill hath thrice already sounded.
-- Amoretti (1595), sonnet 19

Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day
Didst make thy triumph over death and sin:
And, having harrow'd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win.
-- Amoretti (1595), sonnet 68

So let us love, dear love, like as we ought,
—Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.
-- Amoretti (1595)

One day I wrote her name upon the sand,
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 does in vain assay,
A mortal thing so to immortalize
-- Amoretti (1595), sonnet 75

Open the temple gates unto my love,
Open them wide that she may enter in.
-- Epithalamion (1595)

Ah! when will this long weary day have end,
And lend me leave to come unto my love?
How slowly do the hours their numbers spend!
How slowly does sad Time his feathers move!
-- Epithalamion (1595)

Fierce wars and faithful loves shall moralize my song.
-- The Faerie Queene

Her angel's face
As the great eye of heaven shined bright,
And made a sunshine in the shady place.
Did never mortal eye behold such heavenly grace.
-- The Faerie Queene

The noble heart, that harbours virtuous thought,
And is with child of glorious great intent,
Can never rest, until it forth have brought
Th' eternal brood of glory excellent. Ib.
-- The Faerie Queene

A cruel crafty Crocodile,
Which in false grief hiding his harmful guile,
Doth weep full sore, and sheddeth tender tears.
-- The Faerie Queene

Sleep after toil, port after stormy seas,
Ease after war, death after life, does greatly please.
-- The Faerie Queene
NOTE: This quote was inscribed on Joseph Conrad's gravestone.

And all for love, and nothing for reward.
-- The Faerie Queene

So passeth, in the passing of a day,
Of mortal life, the leaf, the bud, the flower,
No more doth flourish after first decay,
That erst was sought to deck to deck the bed and bower.
-- The Faerie Queene

Gather therefore the rose, while yet is prime,
For soon comes age, that will her pride deflower,
Gather the rose of love, while yet is time,
Whilst loving thou mayst loved be with equal crime.
-- The Faerie Queene


What man that sees the ever-whirling wheel
Of Change, the which all mortal things doth sway
But that thereby doth find, and plainly feel,
How Mutability in them doth play
Her cruel sports, to many men's decay?
-- The Faerie Queene

What more felicity can fall to creature,
Than to enjoy delight with liberty.
-- "Muiopotmos" (1591)

Of such deep learning little had he need,
Ne yet, of Latin, ne of Greek, that breed
Doubts 'mongst Divines, and difference of texts,
From whence arise diversity of sects,
And hateful heresies.
-- "Prosopoia or Mother Hubbard's Tale" (1591)

Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
-- Prothalamion (1596)

So now they have made our English tongue a gallimaufry or hodgepodge of all other speeches.
-- The Shepherd's Calendar (1579), Letter to Gabriel Harvey


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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