Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet XXV. How long shall this like dying life endure
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
HOW long shall this like dying life endure,
And know no end of her own misery,
But waste and wear away in terms unsure,
’Twixt fear and hope depending doubtfully?
Yet better were at once to let me die,        5
And shew the last ensample of your pride;
Than to torment me thus with cruelty,
To prove your power, which I too well have tried.
But yet if in your hardened breast ye hide
A close intent at last to shew me grace;        10
Then all the woes and wrecks which I abide,
As means of bliss I gladly will embrace;
  And wish that more and greater they might be,
  That greater meed at last may turn to me.

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