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Sir Walter Raleigh Poems

A collection of select Sir Walter Raleigh famous poems that were written by Sir Walter Raleigh or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Raleigh, Sir Walter
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...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
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...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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,...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 Like truthless dreams, so are my joys expir'd, 
And past return are all my dandled days; 
My love misled, and fancy quite retir'd-- 
Of all which pass'd 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...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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. 

But Time drives 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...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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, 
...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 When I am safely laid away, 
Out of work and out of play, 
Sheltered by the kindly ground 
From the world of sight and sound, 
One or two of those I leave 
Will remember me and grieve, 
Thinking how I made them gay 
By the things I used to say; 
-- But the crown of their distress 
Will be...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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,...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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....Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 Our great work, the Otia Merseiana, 
Edited by learned Mister Sampson, 
And supported by Professor Woodward, 
Is financed by numerous Bogus Meetings
Hastily convened by Kuno Meyer 
To impose upon the Man of Business. 

All in vain! The accomplished Man of Business 
Disapproves of Otia Merseiana, 
Turns his back on Doctor Kuno Meyer; 
Cannot be enticed by Mister Sampson, 
To...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 The Artist and his Luckless Wife 
They lead a horrid haunted life, 
Surrounded by the things he's made 
That are not wanted by the trade. 

The world is very fair to see; 
The Artist will not let it be; 
He fiddles with the works of God, 
And makes them look uncommon odd. 

The Artist is an awful man, 
He...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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....Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 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, 
...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 Your dog is not a dog of grace; 
He does not wag the tail or beg;
He bit Miss Dickson in the face;
He bit a Bailie in the leg.

What tragic choices such a dog
Presents to visitor or friend!
Outside there is the Glasgow fog;
Within, a hydrophobic end.

Yet some relief even terror brings,
For when our life is cold and gray
We waste our...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 Now Serena be not coy, 
Since we freely may enjoy 
Sweet embraces, such delights, 
As will shorten tedious nights. 
Think that beauty will not stay 
With you always, but away, 
And that tyrannizing face 
That now holds such perfect grace 
Will both changed and ruined be; 
So frail is all things as we see, 
So subject unto conquering Time....Read More