Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership



Best Famous Sir Walter Raleigh Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Sir Walter Raleigh poems. This is a select list of the best famous Sir Walter Raleigh poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Sir Walter Raleigh poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Sir Walter Raleigh poems.

Search for the best famous Sir Walter Raleigh poems, articles about Sir Walter Raleigh poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Sir Walter Raleigh poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also:

Famous poems below this ad
Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

A Vision upon the Fairy Queen

Methought I saw the grave where Laura lay,
   Within that temple where the vestal flame
   Was wont to burn; and, passing by that way,
   To see that buried dust of living fame,
Whose tomb fair Love, and fairer Virtue kept:
   All suddenly I saw the Fairy Queen;
   At whose approach the soul of Petrarch wept,
   And, from thenceforth, those Graces were not seen:
For they this queen attended; in whose stead
   Oblivion laid him down on Laura's hearse:
   Hereat the hardest stones were seen to bleed,
And groans of buried ghosts the heavens did pierce:
   Where Homer's spright did tremble all for grief,
   And cursed the access of that celestial thief!


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

A Farewell to False Love

Farewell false love, the oracle of lies, 
A mortal foe and enemy to rest, 
An envious boy, from whom all cares arise, 
A bastard vile, a beast with rage possessed, 
A way of error, a temple full of treason, 
In all effects contrary unto reason.
A poisoned serpent covered all with flowers, Mother of sighs, and murderer of repose, A sea of sorrows whence are drawn such showers As moisture lend to every grief that grows; A school of guile, a net of deep deceit, A gilded hook that holds a poisoned bait.
A fortress foiled, which reason did defend, A siren song, a fever of the mind, A maze wherein affection finds no end, A raging cloud that runs before the wind, A substance like the shadow of the sun, A goal of grief for which the wisest run.
A quenchless fire, a nurse of trembling fear, A path that leads to peril and mishap, A true retreat of sorrow and despair, An idle boy that sleeps in pleasure's lap, A deep mistrust of that which certain seems, A hope of that which reason doubtful deems.
Sith* then thy trains my younger years betrayed, [since] And for my faith ingratitude I find; And sith repentance hath my wrongs bewrayed*, [revealed] Whose course was ever contrary to kind*: [nature] False love, desire, and beauty frail, adieu.
Dead is the root whence all these fancies grew.


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

The Nymphs Reply To The Shepherd

 If all the world and love were young, 
And truth in every shepherd's tongue, 
These pretty pleasures might me move 
To live with thee and be thy love.
Time drives the flocks from field to fold When rivers rage and rocks grow cold, And Philomel becometh dumb; The rest complains of cares to come.
The flowers do fade, and wanton fields To wayward winter reckoning yields; A honey tongue, a heart of gall, Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.
The gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses, Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,— In folly ripe, in reason rotten.
Thy belt of straw and ivy buds, Thy coral clasps and amber studs, All these in me no means can move To come to thee and be thy love.
But could youth last and love still breed, Had joys no date nor age no need, Then these delights my mind might move To live with thee and be thy love.


More great poems below...

Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

Song of Myself

 I was a Poet! 
But I did not know it,
Neither did my Mother,
Nor my Sister nor my Brother.
The Rich were not aware of it; The Poor took no care of it.
The Reverend Mr.
Drewitt Never knew it.
The High did not suspect it; The Low could not detect it.
Aunt Sue Said it was obviously untrue.
Uncle Ned Said I was off my head: (This from a Colonial Was really a good testimonial.
) Still everybody seemed to think That genius owes a good deal to drink.
So that is how I am not a poet now, And why My inspiration has run dry.
It is no sort of use To cultivate the Muse If vulgar people Can't tell a village pump from a church steeple.
I am merely apologizing For the lack of the surprising In what I write To-night.
I am quite well-meaning, But a lot of things are always intervening Between What I mean And what it is said I had in my head.
It is all very puzzling.
Uncle Ned Says Poets need muzzling.
He might Be right.
Good-night!


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

The Silent Lover ii

 WRONG not, sweet empress of my heart, 
 The merit of true passion, 
With thinking that he feels no smart, 
 That sues for no compassion.
Silence in love bewrays more woe Than words, though ne'er so witty: A beggar that is dumb, you know, May challenge double pity.
Then wrong not, dearest to my heart, My true, though secret passion; He smarteth most that hides his smart, And sues for no compassion.


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

The Lie

 Go, Soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand;
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy warrant:
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.
Say to the court, it glows And shines like rotten wood; Say to the church, it shows What's good, and doth no good: If church and court reply, Then give them both the lie.
Tell potentates, they live Acting by others' action; Not loved unless they give, Not strong but by a faction.
If potentates reply, Give potentates the lie.
Tell men of high condition, That manage the estate, Their purpose is ambition, Their practice only hate: And if they once reply, Then give them all the lie.
Tell them that brave it most, They beg for more by spending, Who, in their greatest cost, Seek nothing but commending.
And if they make reply, Then give them all the lie.
Tell zeal it wants devotion; Tell love it is but lust; Tell time it is but motion; Tell flesh it is but dust: And wish them not reply, For thou must give the lie.
Tell age it daily wasteth; Tell honour how it alters; Tell beauty how she blasteth; Tell favour how it falters: And as they shall reply, Give every one the lie.
Tell wit how much it wrangles In tickle points of niceness; Tell wisdom she entangles Herself in overwiseness: And when they do reply, Straight give them both the lie.
Tell physic of her boldness; Tell skill it is pretension; Tell charity of coldness; Tell law it is contention: And as they do reply, So give them still the lie.
Tell fortune of her blindness; Tell nature of decay; Tell friendship of unkindness; Tell justice of delay: And if they will reply, Then give them all the lie.
Tell arts they have no soundness, But vary by esteeming; Tell schools they want profoundness, And stand too much on seeming: If arts and schools reply, Give arts and schools the lie.
Tell faith it's fled the city; Tell how the country erreth; Tell manhood shakes off pity And virtue least preferreth: And if they do reply, Spare not to give the lie.
So when thou hast, as I Commanded thee, done blabbing— Although to give the lie Deserves no less than stabbing— Stab at thee he that will, No stab the soul can kill.


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

Life

 What is our life? A play of passion, 
Our mirth the music of division, 
Our mother's wombs the tiring-houses be, 
Where we are dressed for this short comedy.
Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is, That sits and marks still who doth act amiss.
Our graves that hide us from the setting sun Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.
Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest, Only we die in earnest, that's no jest.


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

His Pilgrimage

 GIVE me my scallop-shell of quiet, 
 My staff of faith to walk upon, 
My scrip of joy, immortal diet, 
 My bottle of salvation, 
My gown of glory, hope's true gage; 
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.
Blood must be my body's balmer; No other balm will there be given: Whilst my soul, like quiet palmer, Travelleth towards the land of heaven; Over the silver mountains, Where spring the nectar fountains; There will I kiss The bowl of bliss; And drink mine everlasting fill Upon every milken hill.
My soul will be a-dry before; But, after, it will thirst no more.


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

Nature that Washed Her Hands in Milk

 Nature, that washed her hands in milk, 
And had forgot to dry them, 
Instead of earth took snow and silk, 
At love's request to try them, 
If she a mistress could compose 
To please love's fancy out of those.
Her eyes he would should be of light, A violet breath, and lips of jelly; Her hair not black, nor overbright, And of the softest down her belly; As for her inside he'd have it Only of wantonness and wit.
At love's entreaty such a one Nature made, but with her beauty She hath framed a heart of stone; So as Love, by ill destiny, Must die for her whom nature gave him Because her darling would not save him.
But time, which nature doth despise And rudely gives her love the lie, Makes hope a fool, and sorrow wise, His hands do neither wash nor dry; But being made of steel and rust, Turns snow and silk and milk to dust.
The light, the belly, lips, and breath, He dims, discolors, and destroys; With those he feeds but fills not death, Which sometimes were the food of joys.
Yea, time doth dull each lively wit, And dries all wantonness with it.
Oh, cruel time, which takes in trust Our youth, or joys, and all we have, And pays us but with age and dust; Who in the dark and silent grave When we have wandered all our ways Shuts up the story of our days.


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

On Being Challenged to Write an Epigram in the Manner of Herrick

 To Griggs, that learned man, in many a bygone session, 
His kids were his delight, and physics his profession;
Now Griggs, grown old and glum, and less intent on knowledge,
Physics himself at home, and sends his kids to college.


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

Now What Is Love

 Now what is Love, I pray thee, tell?
It is that fountain and that well
Where pleasure and repentance dwell;
It is, perhaps, the sauncing bell
That tolls all into heaven or hell;
And this is Love, as I hear tell.
Yet what is Love, I prithee, say? It is a work on holiday, It is December matched with May, When lusty bloods in fresh array Hear ten months after of the play; And this is Love, as I hear say.
Yet what is Love, good shepherd, sain? It is a sunshine mixed with rain, It is a toothache or like pain, It is a game where none hath gain; The lass saith no, yet would full fain; And this is Love, as I hear sain.
Yet, shepherd, what is Love, I pray? It is a yes, it is a nay, A pretty kind of sporting fray, It is a thing will soon away.
Then, nymphs, take vantage while ye may; And this is Love, as I hear say.
Yet what is Love, good shepherd, show? A thing that creeps, it cannot go, A prize that passeth to and fro, A thing for one, a thing for moe, And he that proves shall find it so; And shepherd, this is Love, I trow.


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

The Silent Lover i

 PASSIONS are liken'd best to floods and streams: 
The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb; 
So, when affection yields discourse, it seems 
 The bottom is but shallow whence they come.
They that are rich in words, in words discover That they are poor in that which makes a lover.


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

A Literature Lesson. Sir Patrick Spens in the Eighteenth Century Manner

 VERSE I 

In a famed town of Caledonia's land, 
A prosperous port contiguous to the strand, 
A monarch feasted in right royal state; 
But care still dogs the pleasures of the Great,
And well his faithful servants could surmise 
From his distracted looks and broken sighs 
That though the purple bowl was circling free,
His mind was prey to black perplexity.
At last, while others thoughtless joys invoke, Fierce from his breast the laboured utterance broke; "Alas!" he cried, "and what to me the gain Though I am king of all this fair domain, Though Ceres minister her plenteous hoard, And Bacchus with his bounty crowns my board, If Neptune still, reluctant to obey, Neglects my sceptre and denies my sway? On a far mission must my vessels urge Their course impetuous o'er the boiling surge; But who shall guide them with a dextrous hand, And bring them safely to that distant land? Whose skill shall dare the perils of the deep, And beard the Sea-god in his stormy keep? VERSE II He spake: and straightway, rising from his side An ancient senator, of reverend pride, Unsealed his lips, and uttered from his soul Great store of flatulence and rigmarole; -- All fled the Court, which shades of night invest, And Pope and Gay and Prior told the rest.


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

Epitaph

 Even such is time, which takes in trust 
Our youth, our joys, and all we have, 
And pays us but with age and dust, 
Who in the dark and silent grave 
When we have wandered all our ways 
Shuts up the story of our days, 
And from which earth, and grave, and dust 
The Lord will raise me up, I trust.


Written by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

Like Truthless Dreams So Are My Joys Expired

 Like truthless dreams, so are my joys expired, 
And past return are all my dandled days; 
My love misled, and fancy quite retired— 
Of all which passed the sorrow only stays.
My lost delights, now clean from sight of land, Have left me all alone in unknown ways; My mind to woe, my life in fortune's hand— Of all which passed the sorrow only stays.
As in a country strange, without companion, I only wail the wrong of death's delays, Whose sweet spring spent, whose summer well-nigh done— Of all which passed the sorrow only stays.
Whom care forewarns, ere age and winter cold, To haste me hence to find my fortune's fold.