Amoretti Sonnet 74 Most happy letters framd by skilfull trade Edmund Spenser

(1595) This poem details the second year of the courtship between Edmund Spenser and Elizabeth Boyle. It uses the linked quatrain pattern of the

Spenserian sonnet and blends the poet's love for the three Elizabeths in his life: his mother, his queen, and his beloved.

The speaker begins the first quatrain with a paean to the letters that make up the name of Elizabeth, because three women bearing that name have made him happy, giving him gifts "of body, fortune and of mind" (l. 4). The second quatrain announces that the first gift came from his mother, who gave him life, while the second gift came from the queen, who has honored him and given him riches. The third quatrain is dedicated to his beloved, who has raised his spirit out of the dust of his widowhood; therefore, of all the people alive, she is most deserving of his praise and glorifying. The final couplet, then, hopes that the three Elizabeths might live forever for giving him those graces.

See also Amoretti (overview).

Peggy J. Huey

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