Internet Shakespeare Editions

Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

Faerie Queene (Selection)

95Thus Brute this realm unto his rule subdued,
And reignèd long in great felicity;
Loved of his friends, and of his foes eschewed,
He left three sons, his famous progeny,
Born of fair Inogene of Italy;
100'Mongst whom he parted his imperial state,
And Locrine left chief Lord of Brittay.
At last ripe age bade him surrender late
His life, and long good fortune unto final fate.
Locrine was left the sovereign lord of all;
105But Albanact had all the northern part,
Which of himself Albania he did call;
And Camber did possess the western quart,
Which Severn now from Logris doth depart;
And each his portion peaceably enjoyed,
110Ne was there outward breach nor grudge in heart
That once their quiet government annoyed,
But each his pains to others profit still employed.
Next him King Leyr in happy peace long reigned,
115But had no issue male him to succeed,
But three fair daughters which were well up-trained,
In all that seemèd fit for kingly seed;
'Mongst whom his realm he equally decreed
To have divided. Tho when feeble age
120Nigh to his utmost date he saw proceed,
He called his daughters, and with speeches sage
Inquired which of them most did love her parentage.
The eldest, Gonorill, 'gan to protest
That she much more than her own life him loved;
125And Regan greater love to him professed
Than all the world, whenever it were proved;
But Cordelia said she loved him, as behooved;
Whose simple answer, wanting colors fair
To paint it forth, him to displeasance moved,
130That in his crown he counted her no heir
But twixt the other twain his kingdom whole did share.
So wedded th'one to Maglan king of Scots,
And th'other to the king of Cambria,
And twixt them shared his realm by equal lots;
135But without dower the wise Cordelia
Was sent to Aganip of Celtica.
Their agèd sire, thus easèd of his crown,
A private life led in Albania
With Gonorill, long had in great renown,
140That naught him grieved to been from rule deposèd down.