The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser, Volume 5 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 288 pages of information about The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser, Volume 5.

After, at sea a tall ship did appeare,
Made all of heben* and white yvorie;
The sailes of golde, of silke the tackle were. 
Milde was the winde, calme seem’d the sea to bee,
The skie eachwhere did show full bright and faire: 
With rich treasures this gay ship fraighted was: 
But sudden storme did so turmoyle the aire,
And tumbled up the sea, that she, alas! 
Strake on a rock, that under water lay,
And perished past all recoverie. 
O! how great ruth, and sorrow-full assay**,
Doth vex my spirite with perplexitie,
  Thus in a moment to see lost and drown’d
  So great riches as like cannot be found.
[* Heben, ebony.]
[** Assay, trial.]


The heavenly branches did I see arise
Out of the fresh and lustie lawrell tree,
Amidst the yong greene wood:  of Paradise
Some noble plant I thought my selfe to see. 
Such store of birds therein yshrowded were,
Chaunting in shade their sundrie melodie,
That with their sweetnes I was ravish’t nere. 
While on this lawrell fixed was mine eie,
The skie gan everie where to overcast,
And darkned was the welkin all about,
When sudden flash of heavens fire out brast*,
And rent this royall tree quite by the roote;
  Which makes me much and ever to complaine,
  For no such shadow shalbe had againe.
[* Brast, burst.]


Within this wood, out of a rocke did rise
A spring of water, mildly rumbling downe,
Whereto approched not in anie wise
The homely shepheard, nor the ruder clowne;
But manie Muses, and the Nymphes withall,
That sweetly in accord did tune their voyce
To the soft sounding of the waters fall;
That my glad hart thereat did much reioyce. 
But, while herein I tooke my chiefe delight,
I saw, alas! the gaping earth devoure
The spring, the place, and all cleane out of sight;
Which yet aggreeves my hart even to this houre,
  And wounds my soule with rufull memorie,
  To see such pleasures gon so suddenly.


I saw a Phoenix in the wood alone,
With purple wings and crest of golden hewe;
Strange bird he was, whereby I thought anone
That of some heavenly wight I had the vewe;
Untill he came unto the broken tree,
And to the spring that late devoured was. 
What say I more?  Each thing at last we see
Doth passe away:  the Phoenix there, alas! 
Spying the tree destroid, the water dride,
Himselfe smote with his beake, as in disdaine,
And so foorthwith in great despight he dide;
That yet my heart burnes in exceeding paine
  For ruth and pitie of so haples plight. 
  O, let mine eyes no more see such a sight!


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The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser, Volume 5 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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