Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet XXIV. When I behold that beauty’s wonderment
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
WHEN I behold that beauty’s wonderment,
And rare perfection of each goodly part;
Of nature’s skill the only complement;
I honour and admire the Maker’s art.
But when I feel the bitter, baleful smart,        5
Which her fair eyes unwares do work in me,
That death out of their shiny beams do dart;
I think that I a new Pandora see,
Whom all the Gods in council did agree
Into this sinful world from heaven to send;        10
That she to wicked men a scourge should be,
For all their faults with which they did offend.
  But, since ye are my scourge, I will entreat,
  That for my faults ye will me gently beat.

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