Walsinghame

By Sir Walter Ralegh 1552–1618 Sir Walter Ralegh
As you came from the holy land
    of Walsinghame
Met you not with my true love
    By the way as you came?

How shall I know your true love
    That have met many one
As I went to the holy land
    That have come, that have gone?

She is neither white nor brown
    But as the heavens fair
There is none hath a form so divine
    In the earth or the air.

Such an one did I meet, good Sir,
    Such an Angelic face,
Who like a queen, like a nymph, did appear
    By her gait, by her grace.

She hath left me here all alone,
    All alone as unknown,
Who sometimes did me lead with her self,
    And me loved as her own.

What’s the cause that she leaves you alone
    And a new way doth take;
Who loved you once as her own
    And her joy did you make?

I have loved her all my youth,
    But now old, as you see,
Love likes not the falling fruit
    From the withered tree.

Know that love is a careless child
    And forgets promise past,
He is blind, he is deaf when he list
    And in faith never fast.

His desire is a dureless content
    And a trustless joy
He is won with a world of despair
    And is lost with a toy.

Of womenkind such indeed is the love
    Or the word Love abused
Under which many childish desires
    And conceits are excused.

But true Love is a durable fire
    In the mind ever burning;
Never sick, never old, never dead,
    From itself never turning.

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Poet Sir Walter Ralegh 1552–1618

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

 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, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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