Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet XXVI. Sweet is the rose, but grows upon a briar
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
SWEET is the rose, but grows upon a briar;
Sweet is the juniper, but sharp his bough;
Sweet is the eglantine, but pricketh near;
Sweet is the fir-bloom, but his branch rough;
Sweet is the cypress, but his rind is tough;        5
Sweet is the nut, but bitter is his pill;
Sweet is the broom-flower, but yet sour enough;
And sweet is moly, but his root is ill.
So every sweet with sour is tempered still,
That maketh it be coveted the more:        10
For easy things, that may be got at will,
Most sorts of men do set but little store.
  Why then should I account of little pain,
  That endless pleasure shall unto me gain!

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