Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
675. A Call on Sir Walter Raleigh
At Youghal, County Cork
By Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
“AY, not at home, then, didst thou say?
  —And, prithee, hath he gone to court?”
“Nay; he hath sailed but yesterday,
  With Edmund Spenser, from this port.
“This Spenser, folk do say, hath writ        5
  Twelve cantos, called ‘The Faërie Queene.’
To seek for one to publish it,
  They go—on a long voyage, I ween.”
Ah me! I came so far to see
  This ruffed and plumëd cavalier,—        10
He whom romance and history,
  Alike, to all the world make dear.
And I had some strange things to tell
  Of our New World, where he hath been;
And now they say—I marked them well—        15
  They say the Master is not in!
The knaves speak not the truth; I see
  Sir Walter at the window there.
—That is the hat, the sword, which he
  In pictures hath been pleased to wear.        20
There hangs the very cloak whereon
  Elizabeth set foot. (But oh,
Young diplomat, as things have gone,
  Pity it is she soiled it so!)
And there—but look! he ’s lost in smoke:        25
  (That weirdly charmed Virginia weed!)
Make haste, bring anything; his cloak—
  They save him with a shower, indeed!
… Ay, lost in smoke. I linger where
  He walked his garden. Day is dim,        30
And death-sweet scents rise to the air
  From flowers that gave their breath to him.
There, with its thousand years of tombs,
  The dark church glimmers where he prayed;
Here, with that high head shorn of plumes,        35
  The tree he planted gave him shade.
That high head shorn of plumes? Even so
  It stained the Tower, when gray with grief.
O tree he planted, as I go,
  For him I tenderly take a leaf.        40
I have been dreaming here, they say,
  Of one dead knight forgot at court.
—And yet he sailed but yesterday,
  With Edmund Spenser, from this port.


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