Today (Jan. 13) marks the anniversary of the death of English poet Edmund Spenser (died 1599)…
Spenser’s work, and particularly his epic poem The Fairie Queene, was deeply influential on C.S. Lewis.
Here are five of our favorite poems by him…
The Sovereign Beauty
The sovereign beauty which I do admire,
Witness the world how worthy to be praised:
The light whereof hath kindled heavenly fire
In my frail spirit, by her from baseness raised;
That being now with her huge brightness dazed,
Base thing I can no more endure to view;
But looking still on her, I stand amazed
At wondrous sight of so celestial hue.
So when my tongue would speak her praises due,
It stopped is with thought’s astonishment:
And when my pen would write her titles true,
It ravish’d is with fancy’s wonderment:
Yet in my heart I then both speak and write
The wonder that my wit cannot endite.