, an epic poem and fantastical allegory
celebrating the Tudor dynasty
and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and one of the greatest poets in the English language.
Edmund Spenser was born in London around 1552. As a young boy, he was educated in London at the Merchant Taylors' School
and matriculated as a sizar
at Pembroke College, Cambridge
I learned have, not to despise, What ever thing seemes small in common eyes.
For of the soule the body|bodie forme doth take; For the soule is forme, and doth the bodie make.
For all that faire is, is by nature good; That is a signe to know the gentle blood.
Calm was the day, and through the trembling airSweet-breathing Zephyrus did softly play—A gentle spirit, that lightly did delayHot Titan's beams, which then did glister fair
Sweete Themmes runne softly, till I end my Song.
With that I saw two swans of goodly hueCome softly swimming down along the Lee:Two fairer birds I yet did never see;The snow which doth the top of Pindus strowDid never whiter show,Nor Jove himself, when he a swan would beFor love of Leda, whiter did appear
Fierce warres and faithfull loves shall moralize my song.
A Gentle Knight was pricking on the plaine.
But of his cheere did seeme too solemne sad;Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad.