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Ice and Fire
by Edmund Spenser

English poet. Best known for The Faerie Queene (written from 1580, published 1589 and 1596); his first important work is the Shepheardes Calender (1579). Other works include Colin Clouts Come Home Again (printed 1595), Amoretti and Epithalamion (1595), Fowre Hymnes (1596). Spencer invented his own verse form for The Faerie Queene which has since been imitated by others, notably Byron in Childe Harolde.


Ice and Fire
by Edmund Spenser

My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her entreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold,
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
And feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told,
That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice,
And ice, which is congeal'd with senseless cold,
Should kindle fire by wonderful device?
Such is the power of love in gentle mind,
That it can alter all the course of kind.


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