Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet LIII. The Panther, knowing that his spotted hide
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
THE PANTHER, knowing that his spotted hide
Doth please all beasts, but that his looks them fray;
Within a bush his dreadful head doth hide,
To let them gaze, whilst he on them may prey:
Right so my cruel fair with me doth play;        5
For, with the goodly semblance of her hue,
She doth allure me to mine own decay,
And then no mercy will unto me shew.
Great shame it is, thing so divine in view,
Made for to be the world’s most ornament,        10
To make the bait her gazers to embrue:
Good shames to be to ill an instrument!
  But mercy doth with beauty best agree,
  As in their Maker ye them best may see.

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