Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet LV. So oft as I her beauty do behold
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
SO oft as I her beauty do behold,
And therewith do her cruelty compare,
I marvel of what substance was the mould,
The which her made at once so cruel fair.
Not earth; for her high thoughts more heavenly are:        5
Not water; for her love doth burn like fire:
Not air; for she is not so light or rare:
Not fire; for she doth freeze with faint desire.
Then needs another element inquire
Whereof she mote be made, that is, the sky.        10
For to the heaven her haughty looks aspire:
And eke her mind is pure immortal high.
  Then, sith to heaven ye likened are the best,
  Be like in mercy as in all the rest.

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