Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet LVIII. Weak is th’ assurance that weak flesh reposeth
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
By her that is most assured to her self

WEAK is th’ assurance that weak flesh reposeth
In her own power, and scorneth other’s aid;
That soonest falls, when as she most supposeth
Herself assured, and is of naught afraid.
All flesh is frail, and all her strength unstayed,        5
Like a vain bubble blowen up with air;
Devouring time and changeful chance have prey’d
Her glory’s pride that none may it repair.
Ne none so rich or wise, so strong or fair,
But faileth, trusting on his own assurance;        10
And he, that standeth on the highest stair,
Falls lowest; for on earth naught hath endurance.
  Why then do ye, proud fair, misdeem so far,
  That to yourself ye most assured are!

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