Sonnet 54

by Edmund Spenser

Of this world's theatre in which we stay,
My love, like the spectator, idly sits;
Beholding me, that all the pageants play,
Disguising diversely my troubled wits.
Sometimes I joy when glad occasion fits,
And mask in mirth like to a comedy:
Soon after, when my joy to sorrow flits,
I wail, and make my woes a tragedy.
Yet she, beholding me with constant eye,
Delights not in my mirth, nor rues my smart:
But, when I laugh, she mocks; and, when I cry,
She laughs, and hardens evermore her heart.
What then can move her? if nor mirth nor moan,
She is no woman, but a senseless stone.


Craik, George Lilly. Spenser, and his Poetry. Vol III.
London: Charles Knight & Co., 1845. 228-9.

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