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Amoretti 75(1595)

Edmund Spenser

One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
MeterOne day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washèd it away:
MeterBut came the waves and washèd it away:
Agayne I wrote it with a second hand,
MeterAgayne I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray.
MeterBut came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray.

Note on line 4: By now you’ve seen how regularly the rhythm of these lines conforms to their meter. That steady reinforcement forms part of Spenser’s bid to construct a sonnet that will, as he goes on to claim in the sestet, stand the test of time. So does his unusually tight-knit rhyme scheme. So does the armory of alliteration and assonance, which here in line 4 bestows on four of the five stressed syllables the same ringing vowel.

Vayne man, sayd she, that doest in vaine assay,
MeterVayne man, sayd she, that doest in vaine assay,
A mortall thing so to immortalize.
MeterA mortall thing so to immortalize.
For I my selve shall lyke to this decay,
MeterFor I my selve shall lyke to this decay,
And eek my name bee wyped out lykewize.
MeterAnd eek my name bee wyped out lykewize.
Not so, (quod I) let baser things devize
MeterNot so, (quod I) let baser things devize
To dy in dust, but you shall live by fame:
MeterTo dy in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your vertues rare shall eternize,
MeterMy verse your vertues rare shall eternize,
And in the hevens wryte your glorrious name,
MeterAnd in the hevens wryte your glorrious name,
Where whenas death shall all the world subdew,
MeterWhere whenas death shall all the world subdew,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.
MeterOur love shall live, and later life renew.

Rhyme
Show Stress    Foot division    Syncopation