0.1fowre_hymnes.beautie.0.1 0.2fowre_hymnes.beautie.0.2 0.3fowre_hymnes.beautie.0.3 1fowre_hymnes.beautie.1 2fowre_hymnes.beautie.2 3fowre_hymnes.beautie.3 4fowre_hymnes.beautie.4 5fowre_hymnes.beautie.5 6fowre_hymnes.beautie.6 7fowre_hymnes.beautie.7 8fowre_hymnes.beautie.8 9fowre_hymnes.beautie.9 10fowre_hymnes.beautie.10 11fowre_hymnes.beautie.11 12fowre_hymnes.beautie.12 13fowre_hymnes.beautie.13 14fowre_hymnes.beautie.14 16fowre_hymnes.beautie.16 17fowre_hymnes.beautie.17 18fowre_hymnes.beautie.18 19fowre_hymnes.beautie.19 20fowre_hymnes.beautie.20 21fowre_hymnes.beautie.21 22fowre_hymnes.beautie.22 23fowre_hymnes.beautie.23 24fowre_hymnes.beautie.24 25fowre_hymnes.beautie.25 26fowre_hymnes.beautie.26 27fowre_hymnes.beautie.27 28fowre_hymnes.beautie.28 29fowre_hymnes.beautie.29 31fowre_hymnes.beautie.31 32fowre_hymnes.beautie.32 33fowre_hymnes.beautie.33 34fowre_hymnes.beautie.34 35fowre_hymnes.beautie.35 36fowre_hymnes.beautie.36 37fowre_hymnes.beautie.37 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AH whither, LoueLove, wilt thou now carrie mee?
What wontlesse fury dost thou now inspire
Into my feeble breast, too full of thee?
Whylest seeking to aslake thy raging fyre,
Thou in me kindlest much more great desyre,
And vp aloft aboueabove my strength dost rayse
The wondrous matter of my fyre to prayse.
That as I earst in praise of thine owne name,
So now in honour of thy Mother deare,
An honourable Hymne I eke should frame,
And with the brightnesse of her beautie cleare,
The rauishtravisht harts of gazefull men might reare,
To admiration of that heauenlyheavenly light,
From whence proceeds such soule enchaunting might.
Therto do thou great Goddesse, queene of Beauty,
Mother of louelove, and of all worlds delight,
Without whose soueraynesoverayne grace and kindly dewty,
Nothing on earth seemes fayre to fleshly sight,
Doe thou vouchsafe with thy loue-kindling light,
T’illuminate my dim and dulled eyne,
And beautifie this sacred hymne of thyne.
That both to thee, to whom I mean it most,
And eke to her, whose faire immortall beame,
Hath darted fire into my feeble ghost,
That now it wasted is with woes extreame,
It may so please that she at length will streame
Some deaw of grace, into my withered hart,
After long sorrow and continuing smart.
WHat time this worlds great workmaister did cast
To make al things, such as we now behold
It seemes that he before his eyes had plast
A goodly Paterne to whose perfect mould,
He fashiond them as comely as he could,
That now so faire and seemely they appeare,
As nought may be amended any wheare.
That wondrous Paterne wherefoere it bee,
Whether in earth layd vp in secret store,
Or else in heauenheaven, that no man may it see
With sinfull eyes, for fear it to deflore,
Is perfect Beautie which all men adore,
Whose face and feature doth so much excell
All mortall sence, that none the same may tell.
Thereof as eueryevery earthly thing partakes,
Or more or lesse by influence diuinedivine,
So it more faire accordingly it makes,
And the grosse matter of this earthly myne,
Which clotheth it, thereafter doth refyne,
Doing away the drosse which dims the light
Of that faire beame, which therein is empight.
For through infusion of celestiall powre,
The duller earth it quickneth with delight,
And life-full spirits priuilyprivily doth powre
Through all the parts, that to the lookers sight
They seeme to please. That is thy souerainesoveraine might,
O Cyprian Queene, which flowing from the beame
Of thy bright starre, thou into them doest streame.
That is the thing which giuethgiveth pleasant grace
To all things faire, that kindleth liuelylively fyre,
Light of thy lampe, which shyning in the face,
Thence to the soule darts amorous desyre,
And robs the harts of those which it admyre,
Therewith thou pointest thy Sons poysned arrow,
That wounds the life, &and wastes the inmost marrow.
How vainely then doe ydle wits inuentinvent,
That beautie is nought else, but mixture made
Of colours faire, and goodly temp’rament
Of pure complexions, that shall quickly fade
And passe away, like to a sommers shade,
Or that it is but comely composition
Of parts well measurd, with meet disposition.
Hath white and red in it such wondrous powre,
That it can pierce through th’eyes vntounto the hart,
And therein stirre such rage and restlesse stowre,
As nought but death can stint his dolours smart?
Or can proportion of the outward part,
MoueMove such affection in the inward mynd,
That it can rob both sense and reason blynd?
Why doe not then the blossomes of the field,
Which are arayd with much more orient hew,
And to the sense most daintie odours yield,
Worke like impression in the lookers vew?
Or why doe not faire pictures like powre shew,
In which oftimes, we Nature see of Art
Exceld, in perfect limming eueryevery part.
But ah, beleeuebeleeve me, there is more then so
That workes such wonders in the minds of men.
I that hauehave often prou’dprov’d, too well it know;
And who so list the like assayes to ken,
Shall find by tryall, and confesse it then,
That Beautie is not, as fond men misdeeme,
An outward shew of things, that onely seeme.
For that same goodly hew of white and red,
With which the cheekes are sprinkled, shal decay,
And those sweete rosy leaues so fairely spred
VponUpon the lips, shall fade and fall away
To that they were, eueneven to corrupted clay.
That golden wyre, those sparckling stars so bright
Shall turne to dust, and loose their goodly light.
But that faire lampe, from whose celestiall ray
That light proceedes, which kindleth louerslovers fire,
Shall neuernever be extinguisht nor decay,
But when the vitall spirits doe expyre,
VntoUnto her natiuenative planet shall retyre,
For it is heauenlyheavenly borne and can not die,
Being a parcell of the purest skie.
For when the soule, the which deriuedderived was
At first, out of that great immortall Spright,
By whom all liuelive to louelove, whilome did pas
Downe from the top of purest heauensheavens hight,
To be embodied here, it then tooke light
And liuelylively spirits from that fayrest starre,
Which lights the world forth from his firie carre.
Which powre retayning still or more or lesse,
When she in fleshly seede is eft enraced,
Through eueryevery part she doth the same impresse,
According as the heauensheavens hauehave her graced,
And frames her house, in which she will be placed,
Fit for her selfe, adorning it with spoyle
Of th’heauenlyheavenly riches, which she robd erewhyle.
Therof it comes, that these faire soules, which hauehave
The most resemblance of that heauenlyheavenly light,
Frame to themseluesthemselves most beautifull and brauebrave
Their fleshly bowre, most fit for their delight,
And the grosse matter by a souerainesoveraine might
Tempers so trim, that it may well be seene,
A pallace fit for such a virgin Queene.
So eueryevery spirit, as it is most pure,
And hath in it the more of heauenlyheavenly light,
So it the fairer bodie doth procure
To habit in, and it more fairely dight
With chearefull grace and amiable sight.
For of the soule the bodie forme doth take:
For soule is forme, and doth the bodie make.
Therefore where euerever that thou doest behold
A comely corpse, with beautie faire endewed,
Know this for certaine, that the same doth hold
A beauteous soule, with faire conditions thewed,
Fit to receiuereceive the seede of vertue strewed.
For all that faire is, is by nature good;
That is a signe to know the gentle blood.
Yet oft it falles, that many a gentle mynd
Dwels in deformed tabernacle drownd,
Either by chaunce, against the course of kynd,
Or through vnaptnesseunaptnesse in the substance fownd,
Which it assumed of some stubborne grownd,
That will not yield vntounto her formes direction,
But is perform’d with some foule imperfection.
And oft it falles (ay me the more to rew)
That goodly beautie, albe heauenlyheavenly borne,
Is foule abusd, and that celestiall hew,
Which doth the world with her delight adorne,
Made but the bait of sinne, and sinners scorne;
Whilest eueryevery one doth seeke and sew to hauehave it,
But eueryevery one doth seeke, but to deprauedeprave it.
Yet nathemore is that faire beauties blame,
But theirs that do abuse it vntounto ill:
Nothing so good, but that through guilty shame
May be corrupt, and wrested vntounto will.
Nathelesse the soule is faire and beauteous still,
How euerever fleshes fault is filthy make:
For things immortall no corruption take.
But ye faire Dames, the worlds deare ornaments,
And liuely images of heauensheavens light,
Let not your beames with such disparagements
Be dimd, and your bright glorie darkned quight,
But mindfull still of your first countries sight,
Doe still preseruepreserve your first informed grace,
Whose shadow yet shynes in your beauteous face.
Loath that foule blot, that hellish fierbrand,
Disloiall lust, faire beauties foulest blame,
That base affectiõsaffections, which your eares would bland,
Commend to you by louesloves abused name;
But is indeede the bondslauebondslave of defame,
Which will the garland of your glorie marre,
And quẽchquench the light of your bright shyning starre.
But gentle LoueLove, that loiall is and trew,
Will more illumine your resplendent ray,
And adde more brightnesse to your goodly hew,
From light of his pure fire, which by like way
Kindled of yours, your likenesse doth display,
Like as two mirrours by opposd reflexion,
Doe both expresse the faces first impression.
Therefore to make your beautie more appeare,
It you behoues to louelove, and forth to lay
That heauenlyheavenly riches, which in you ye beare,
That men the more admyre their fountaine may,
For else what booteth that celestiall ray,
If it in darknesse be enshrined euerever,
That it of louingloving eyes be vewed neuernever?
But in your choice of LouesLoves, this well aduizeadvize,
That likest to your seluesselves ye them select,
The which your forms first source may sympathize,
And with like beauties parts be inly deckt:
For if you loosely louelove without respect,
It is no louelove, but a discordant warre,
Whose vnlikeunlike parts amongst themseluesthemselves do iarrejarre.
For LoueLove is a celestiall harmonie,
Of likely harts composd of starres concent,
Which ioynejoyne together in sweete sympathie,
To worke ech others ioyjoy and true content,
Which they have harbourd since their first descẽtdescent
Out of their heauenlyheavenly bowres, where they did see
And know ech other here belou’dbelov’d to bee.
Then wrong it were that any other twaine
Should in louesloves gentle band combyned bee,
But those whom heauenheaven did at first ordaine,
And made out of one mould the more t’agree:
For all that like the beautie which they see,
Streight do no louelove: for louelove is not so light,
As streight to burne at first beholders sight.
But they which louelove indeede, looke otherwise,
With pure regard and spotlesse true intent,
Drawing out of the obiectobject of their eyes,
A more refyned forme, which they present
VntoUnto their mind, voide of all blemishment;
Which it reducing to her first perfection,
Beholdeth free from fleshes frayle infection.
And then conforming it vntounto the light,
Which in it selfe hath remaining still
Of that first Sunne, yet sparckling in his sight,
Thereof he fashions in his higher skill,
An heauenlyheavenly beautie to his fancies will,
And it embracing in his mind entyre,
The mirrour of his owne thought doth admyre.
Which seeing now so inly faire to be,
As outward it appeareth to the eye,
And with his spirits proportion to agree,
He thereon fixeth all his fantasie,
And fully setteth his felicitie,
Counting it fairer, then it is indeede,
And yet indeede her fairenesse doth exceede.
For louerslovers eyes more sharpely sighted bee
Then other mens, and in deare louesloves delight
See more then any other eyes can see,
Through mutuall receipt of beames bright,
Which carrie priuieprivie message to the spright,
And to their eyes that inmost faire display,
As plaine as light discouersdiscovers dawning day.
Therein they see through amourous eye-glaunces,
Armies of louesloves still flying too and fro,
Which dart at them their litle fierie launces,
Whom hauinghaving wounded, backe againe they go,
Carrying compassion to their louelylovely foe;
Who seeing her faire eyes so sharpe effect,
Cures all their sorrowes with one sweete aspect.
In which how many wonders doe they reede
To their conceipt, that others neuernever see,
Now of her smiles, with which their soules they feede,
Like Gods with Nectar in their bankets free,
Now of her lookes, which like to Cordials bee;
But when her words embassade forth she sends,
Lord how sweete musicke that vntounto them lends.
Sometimes vponupon her forhead they behold
A thousand Graces masking in delight,
Sometimes within her eye-lids they vnfoldunfold
Ten thousand sweet belgards, which to their sight
Doe seeme like twinckling starres in frostie night:
But on her lips like rosy buds in May,
So many millions of chaste pleasure play.
All those, ô Cytherea, and thousands more
Thy handmaides be, which do on thee attend
To decke thy beautie with their dainties store,
That may it more to mortall eyes commend,
And make it more admyr’d of foe and frend;
That in mens harts thou mayst thy throne enstall,
And spred thy louelylovely kingdome ouerover all.
Then Io tryumph, ô great beauties Queene,
AduanceAdvance the banner of thy conquest hie,
That all this world, the which thy vassals beene,
May draw to thee, and with dew fealtie,
Adore the powre of thy great MaiestieMajestie,
Singing this Hymne in honour of thy name,
Compyld by me, which thy poore liegeman am.
In lieu whereof graunt, ô great SoueraineSoveraine,
That she whose conquering beautie doth captiuecaptive
My trembling hart in her eternall chaine,
One drop of grace at length will to me giuegive,
That I her bounden thrall by her may liuelive,
And this same life, which first fro me she reauedreaved,
May owe to her, of which I it receauedreceaved.
And you faire Venus dearling, my deare dread,
Fresh flowe of grace, great Goddess of my life,
WhẽWhen your faire eyes these fearefull lines shal read,
Deigne to let fall one drop of dew reliefe,
That may recure my harts long pyning griefe,
And shew what wõdrouswondrous powre your beautie hath,
That can restore a damned wight from death.
Building display . . .
Re-selecting textual changes . . .


The toggles above every page allow you to determine both the degree and the kind of editorial intervention present in the text as you read it. They control, as well, the display of secondary materials—collational notes, glosses, and links to commentary.

Textual Changes

The vagaries of early modern printing often required that lines or words be broken. Toggling Modern Lineation on will reunite divided words and set errant words in their lines.

Off: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, (blest. And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely (FQ I.ii.18.8-9) On: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely blest.

Toggling Expansions on will undo certain early modern abbreviations.

Off: Sweet slõbring deaw, the which to sleep them biddes: (FQ I.i.36.4)

Toggling Modern Characters on will convert u, v, i, y, and vv to v, u, j, i, and w. (N.B. the editors have silently replaced ſ with s, expanded most ligatures, and adjusted spacing according contemporary norms.)

Off: And all the world in their subiection held, Till that infernall feend with foule vprore (FQ I.i.5.6-7) On: And all the world in their subjection held, Till that infernall feend with foule uprore

Toggling Lexical Modernizations on will conform certain words to contemporary orthographic standards.

Off: But wander too and fro in waies vnknowne (FQ I.i.10.5) On: But wander to and fro in waies vnknowne.

Toggling Emendations on will correct obvious errors in the edition on which we base our text and modernize its most unfamiliar features.

Most lothsom, filthie, foule, and full of vile disdaine (FQ I.i.14.9) 14.9. Most lothsom] this edn.; Mostlothsom 1590

(The text of 1590 reads Mostlothsom, while the editors’ emendation reads Most lothsom.)


Toggling Collation Notes on will highlight words that differ among printings.

And shall thee well rewarde to shew the place, (FQ I.i.31.5) 5. thee] 1590; you 15961609

(The text of 1590 reads thee, while the texts of 1596 and 1609 read you.)

Toggling Commentary Links on will show links to the editors’ commentary.

Toggling Line Numbers on will show the number of the line within each stanza.

Toggling Stanza Numbers on will show the number of the stanza within each canto.

Toggling Glosses on will show the definitions of unfamiliar words or phrases.

To my long approoved and singular good frende, Master G.H. (Letters I.1) 1. long aprooved: tried and true, found trustworthy over a long period