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The Poem by Edmund Spenser Is a Poem of True Love

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One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away:
Agayne I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray.
“Vayne man,” sayd she, “that doest in vaine assay.

A mortall thing so to immortalize,
For I my selve shall lyke to this decay,
and eek my name bee wyped out lykewize.”
“Not so,” quod I, “let baser things devize,
To dy in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your vertues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens wryte your glorious name.
Where whenas death shall all the world subdew,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.”
By Edmund Spencer

The poem by Edmund Spenser is a poem of true love. What this poem is basically trying to describe is that when you love someone or something that love does not have to end. Love is eternal and in this case it will last into what the author believes to be heaven. The central purpose of this poem is to make one realize that our lives are not forever, our relationships are not forever, but love is. Love is the only thing that can break the rules of mortality. Love is forever and will last into our next lives if our path leads us to heaven, that’s where our love will follow us.

It starts out with a man writing a woman’s name in the sand but it washes away. He tries again with his other hand, but a second time it washes away. “But came the tide, and made my pains his prey”. The first eight lines of this poem illustrate a man that is trying to make what is delicate, last forever. This man tried to write her name upon the strand twice, he is trying to do the same thing twice and hopes to expect different results, this illustrate insanity on the man’s part. After that, a woman say “Vain man” she calls this man vain because he writes in the sand expecting for the name to stay there, and it obviously wont because the tide will wash it away. She goes on to say “that dost in vain assay a mortal thing so to immortalize. “For I myself shall, like to this, decay, And eek my name be wiped out likewise”. Basically what this woman is trying to say is that this man is a fool in the aspect of life and relationships. Just like the sand is washed away from the tide, this woman he cares for will die eventually and there is nothing that he can do to control that because immortality is not real.

The poem goes on to say “Not so,” quoth I, “let baser things decise To die in dust, but you shall live by fame: My verse your virtues rare shall eternize, And in the heavens write you glorious name,” These lines in the poem the man claims he can make their love last forever despite mortality. He says he can do this by using his verse. He goes on to say that when people die,(because people do die because they are mortal) that everyone will still have knowledge of their love because it will be eternal. The last two lines of the poem are the rhyming couplets, these are the most important lines of the poem because they have so much meaning and they conclude the poem. “Where whenas death shall the entire world subdue our love shall live, and later life renew.” What the speaker is trying to portray is that they may live mortal lives but their love will last forever. They will be together until death and even after death they will reunite into the kingdom of heaven, where they will live forever.

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