Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet XXXII. The painful smith, with force of fervent heat
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
THE PAINFUL smith, with force of fervent heat,
The hardest iron soon doth mollify;
That with his heavy sledge he can it beat,
And fashion to what he it list apply.
Yet cannot all these flames, in which I fry,        5
Her heart more hard than iron soft a whit;
Ne all the plaints and prayers, with which I
Do beat on th’ anvil of her stubborn wit
But still, the more she fervent sees my fit,
The more she freezeth in her wilful pride;        10
And harder grows, the harder she is smit
With all the plaints which to her be applied.
  What then remains but I to ashes burn,
  And she to stones at length all frozen turn!

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