Edmund Spenser

(1552 - 13 January 1599 / London / England)

The Tamed Deer - Poem by Edmund Spenser

Like as a huntsman after weary chase
Seeing the game from him escaped away,
Sits down to rest him in some shady place,
With panting hounds beguiled of their prey:
So, after long pursuit and vain assay,
When I all weary had the chase forsook,
The gentle deer returned the self-same way,
Thinking to quench her thirst at the next brook.
There she beholding me with milder look,
Sought not to fly, but fearless still did bide;
Till I in hand her yet half trembling took,
And with her own good-will her firmly tied.
Strange thing, me seemed, to see a beast so wild
So goodly won, with her own will beguiled.

Comments about The Tamed Deer by Edmund Spenser

  • Susan Williams (1/7/2016 3:19:00 PM)

    This sonnet is not about a hunter running down a deer with his dogs, it is really about the mystery of a relationship between a man and a woman. The woman being a deer is a play on the words- dear and deer. In the end the only way that the mighty powerful huntsman can catch the gentle deer is if she lets him.
    Tired of the pursuit and equally as thirsty as the hunter, she returns to the brook where he is at to quench her thirst. She stands there and waits for him to come claim her because she wants him to.
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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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