Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet LXXIX. Men call you fair, and you do credit it
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
MEN call you fair, and you do credit it,
For that yourself ye daily such do see:
But the true fair, that is the gentle wit,
And virtuous mind, is much more praised of me:
For all the rest, however fair it be,        5
Shall turn to naught and lose that glorious hue;
But only that is permanent and free
From frail corruption, that doth flesh ensue.
That is true beauty: that doth argue you
To be divine, and born of heavenly seed;—        10
Deriv’d from that fair Spirit, from whom all true
And perfect beauty did at first proceed:
  He only fair, and what He fair hath made;
  All other fair, like flowers, untimely fade.

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