Amoretti LXXIX: Men Call you Fair

By Edmund Spenser 1552–1599 Edmund Spenser
Men call you fair, and you do credit it,
For that your self ye daily such do see:
But the true fair, that is the gentle wit,
And vertuous mind, is much more prais'd of me.
For all the rest, how ever fair it be,
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:
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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Poet Edmund Spenser 1552–1599

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Living, Relationships, Time & Brevity, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Edmund  Spenser

Biography

To understand Edmund Spenser's place in the extraordinary literary renaissance that took place in England during the last two decades of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it is helpful to begin with the remarks of the foremost literary critic of the age, Sir Philip Sidney. In The Defence of Poetry, (1595), written in the early 1580s, Sidney looked back on the history of English literature and sees little to admire. He mentions the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Living, Relationships, Time & Brevity, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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