The Faerie Queene
The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

 by Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, 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...

. The first half was published in 1590
1590 in poetry
Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Events:* With the encouragement of Sir Walter Ralegh, Edmund Spenser joins him on a trip to London, where Ralegh presented the celebrated poet to Queen Elizabeth I.-Works:* George Peele, Polyhymnia* Edmund...

, and a second installment was published in 1596
1596 in poetry
— From Sir John Harington, A New Discourse of a Stale Subject, called the Metamorphosis of AjaxNationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Works published in English:...

. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza
Spenserian stanza
The Spenserian stanza is a fixed verse form invented by Edmund Spenser for his epic poem The Faerie Queene. Each stanza contains nine lines in total: eight lines in iambic pentameter followed by a single 'Alexandrine' line in iambic hexameter. The rhyme scheme of these lines is...

 and is one of the longest poems in the English language. It is an allegorical
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 work, written in praise of Queen Elizabeth I. In a completely allegorical context, the poem follows several knights in an examination of several virtues.