Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Faerie Queene (Selection)
  • Author: Edmund Spenser
  • Editor: Michael Best

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Editor: Michael Best
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Faerie Queene (Selection)

    But true it is, that when the oil is spent
    The light goes out and wick is thrown away;
    So when he had resigned his regiment,
    His daughter 'gan despise his drooping day,
    145And weary wax of his continual stay.
    Tho to his daughter Regan he repaired,
    Who him at first well usèd every way;
    But when of his departure she despaired,
    Her bounty she abated, and his cheer impaired.
    150The wretched man 'gan then avise too late,
    That love is not where most it is professed;
    Too truly tried in his extremest state,
    At last resolved likewise to prove the rest,
    He to Cordelia himself addressed,
    155Who with entire affection him received
    As for her sire and king her seemèd best;
    And after all an army strong she leaved,
    To war on those which him had of his realm bereaved.
    So to his crown she him restored again,
    160In which he died, made ripe for death by eld,
    And after willed it should to her remain,
    Who peaceably the same long time did weld;
    And all men's hearts in due obedience held
    Till that her sister's children, waxen strong
    165Through proud ambition, against her rebelled,
    And, overcome, kept in prison long
    Till weary of that wretched life, herself she hung.
    Then 'gan the bloody brethren both to reign;
    But fierce Cundah 'gan shortly to envy
    170His brother Morgan, pricked with proud disdain
    To have a peer in part of sovereignty,
    And kindling coals of cruel enmity,
    Raised war, and him in battle overthrew;
    Whence as he to those woody hills did fly,
    175Which hight of him Glamorgan, there him slew.
    Then did he reign alone, when he none equal knew.
    His son Rivallo his dead room did supply,
    In whose sad time blood did from heaven rain;
    Next great Gurgustus, then faire Cæcily
    180In constant peace their kingdom did contain,
    After whom Lago, and Kinmarke did reign,
    And Gorbogud, till far in years he grew;
    Then his ambitious sons unto them twain
    Arraught the rule, and from their father drew,
    185Stout Ferrex and stern Porrex him in prison threw.