[Fortune Hath Taken Thee Away, My Love]

By Sir Walter Ralegh 1552–1618 Sir Walter Ralegh
Fortune hath taken thee away, my love,
My life’s soul and my soul’s heaven above;
Fortune hath taken thee away, my princess;
My only light and my true fancy’s mistress.

Fortune hath taken all away from me,
Fortune hath taken all by taking thee.
Dead to all joy, I only live to woe,
So fortune now becomes my mortal foe.

In vain you eyes, you eyes do waste your tears,
In vain you sighs do smoke forth my despairs,
In vain you search the earth and heaven above,
In vain you search, for fortune rules in love.

Thus now I leave my love in fortune’s hands,
Thus now I leave my love in fortune’s bands,
And only love the sorrows due to me;
Sorrow henceforth it shall my princess be.

I joy in this, that fortune conquers kings;
Fortune that rules on earth and earthly things
Hath taken my love in spite of Cupid’s might;
So blind a dame did never Cupid right.

With wisdom’s eyes had but blind Cupid seen,
Then had my love my love for ever been;
But love farewell; though fortune conquer thee,
No fortune base shall ever alter me.

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Poet Sir Walter Ralegh 1552–1618

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Heartache & Loss

 Sir Walter  Ralegh

Biography

Before his execution for treason, Sir Walter Ralegh won fame as an explorer of the New World — both for voyages to Roanoke Island in present-day North Carolina (whose capital is named after him), and to Venezuela in search of El Dorado, the mythical city of gold. Also a scholar and a gifted lyric poet, Ralegh brought glory to Elizabethan England along with the potatoes and tobacco he is said to have introduced there.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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