Quotations by Spenser, Edmund


Death slue not him, but he made death his ladder to the skies.

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599) English poet
“An Epitaph upon Philip Sydney”, line 20
Added on 14-Sep-12 | Last updated 14-Sep-12
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I was promised on a time
To have reason for my rhyme;
From that time unto this season,
I received nor rhyme nor reason.

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599) English poet
“Lines on His Promised Pension”
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Added on 1-Jun-20 | Last updated 1-Jun-20
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And as she looked about, she did behold
How over that same door was likewise writ,
Be bold, be bold, and everywhere Be bold,
That much she mused, yet could not construe it
By any riddling skill or common wit.
At last she spied at that room’s upper end
Another iron door, on which was writ,
Be not too bold.

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599) English poet
The Faerie Queen, Book 3, Canto 11, st. 54 (1590-96)
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Added on 14-Apr-20 | Last updated 14-Apr-20
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Is not short paine well borne, that brings long ease,
And layes the soule to sleepe in quiet grave?
Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas,
Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly please.

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599) English poet
The Faerie Queene, Book 1, Canto 9, st. 40 (1589-96)
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Added on 6-Jul-20 | Last updated 6-Jul-20
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Ill can he rule the great, that cannot reach the small.

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599) English poet
The Faerie Queene, Book 5, Canto 2, st. 43 (1589-96)
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Added on 22-Jun-20 | Last updated 22-Jun-20
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For nothing is more blamefull to a Knight,
That court’sie doth as well as armes professe,
However strong and fortunate in fight,
Then the reproch of pride and cruelnesse:
In vain he seeketh others to suppresse,
Who hath not learned himself first to subdue:
All flesh is frayle and full of ficklenesse,
Subject to fortunes chance, still chaunging new;
What haps to-day to me to-morrow may to you.

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599) English poet
The Faerie Queene, Book 6, canto 1, st. 41 (1590-96)
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Added on 15-Jun-20 | Last updated 15-Jun-20
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Who will not mercie unto others shew,
How can he mercy ever hope to have?

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599) English poet
The Faerie Queene, Book 6, Canto 1, st. 42 (1589-96)
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See James 2:13.
Added on 8-Jun-20 | Last updated 8-Jun-20
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True is, that whilome that good poet sayd,
The gentle minde by gentle deeds is knowne:
For a man by nothing is so well bewrayd,
As by his manners.

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599) English poet
The Faerie Queene, Book 6, Canto 3, st. 1 (1589-96)
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Spender is referencing Chaucer's "Wife of Bath's Tale" in the Canterbury Tales: "he is gentil that doth gentil dedis."
Added on 29-Jun-20 | Last updated 29-Jun-20
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