Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet XXI. Was it the work of nature or of art
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
 
WAS it the work of nature or of art,
Which tempered so the feature of her face,
That pride and meekness, mixed by equal part,
Do both appear t’adorn her beauty’s grace?
For with mild pleasance, which doth pride displace,        5
She to her love doth lookers’ eyes allure;
And, with stern countenance, back again doth chase
Their looser looks that stir up lusts impure;
With such strange terms her eyes she doth inure,
That, with one look, she doth my life dismay;        10
And with another doth it straight recure;
Her smile me draws; her frown me drives away.
  Thus doth she train and teach me with her looks;
  Such art of eyes I never read in books!
 
 
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