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  • Title: Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene (Selection)
  • Editor: Andrew Griffin

  • Copyright Queen's Men Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Edmund Spenser
    Editor: Andrew Griffin
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene (Selection)

    1A chronicle of Briton kings,
    From Brute to Uthers rayne.
    And rolles of Elfin Emperours,
    Till time of Gloriane.
    Next him king Leyr in happie peace long raynd,
    5 But had no issue male him to succeed,
    But three faire daughters, which were well uptraind,
    In all that seemed fitt for kingly seed:
    Mongst whom his realme he equally decreed
    To have divided. Tho when feeble age
    10 Nigh to his utmost date he saw proceed,
    He cald his daughters; and with speeches sage
    Inquyrd, which of them most did love her parentage.
    The eldest Gonorill gan to protest,
    That she much more then her owne life him lov'd:
    15 And Regan greater love to him profest,
    Then all the world, when ever it were proov'd;
    But Cordeill said she lov'd him, as behoov'd:
    Whose simple answere, wanting colours fayre
    To paint it forth, him to displeasance moov'd,
    20 That in his crowne he counted her no hayre,
    But twixt the other twaine his kingdome whole did shayre.
    So wedded th' one to Maglan king of Scottes,
    And thother to the king of Cambria,
    And twixt them shayrd his realme by equall lottes:
    25 But without dowre the wise Cordelia
    Was sent to Aggannip of Celtica.
    Their aged Syre, thus eased of his crowne,
    A priuate life ledd in Albania,
    With Gonorill, long had in great renowne,
    30That nought him griev'd to beene from rule deposed downe.
    But true it is, that when the oyle is spent,
    The light goes out, and weeke is throwne away;
    So when he had resignd his regiment,
    His daughter gan despise his drouping day,
    35 And wearie wax of his continuall stay.
    Tho to his daughter Regan he repayrd,
    Who him at first well used every way;
    But when of his departure she despayrd,
    Her bountie she abated, and his cheare empayrd.