Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet XVII. The glorious portrait of that Angel’s face
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
THE GLORIOUS portrait of that Angel’s face,
Made to amaze weak men’s confused skill,
And this world’s worthless glory to embase,
What pen, what pencil, can express her fill?
For, though he colours could devise at will,        5
And eke his learned hand at pleasure guide,
Lest, trembling, it his workmanship should spill;
Yet many wondrous things there are beside:
The sweet eye-glances, that like arrows glide;
The charming smiles, that rob sense from the heart;        10
The lovely pleasance; and the lofty pride;
Cannot expressed be by any art.
  A greater craftsman’s hand thereto doth need,
  That can express the life of things indeed.

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