Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
The Farewell
XX. Sir Walter Raleigh
 
GOE, 1 soule, the bodie’s guest,
Vpon a thanklesse arrant:
Feare not to touch the best;
Thy truth shall be thy warrant:
  Goe, since I needs must dye,        5
  And giue them all the lye.
 
Say to the court, it glowes
And shines like painted wood;
Say to the church, it shewes
What’s good, but does no good:        10
  If court and church reply,
  Then giue them both the lye.
 
Tell potentates, they liue
Acting, but oh! their actions
Not loued vnless they giue;        15
Nor strong but by affection:
  If potentates reply,
  Giue potentates the lye.
 
Tell men of high condition,
That manage the estate,        20
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice onely hate;
  And if they once reply,
  Then giue them all the lye.
 
Tell those that braue it most,        25
They beg for more by spending,
Who in their greatest cost
Like nothing but commending:
  And if they make reply,
  Then giue them all the lye.        30
 
Tell Zeale it wants deuotion;
Tell Loue it is but lust;
Tell Time it meets but motion;
Tell Flesh it is but dust:
  And wish them not reply,        35
  For thou must giue the lye.
 
Tell Age it daily wasteth;
Tell Honour how it alters;
Tell Beauty how she blasteth;
Tell Fauour how it falters:        40
  And as they shall reply,
  Giue euery one the lye.
 
Tell Wit how much it wrangles
In fickle points of nicenesse:
Tell Wisdome she entangles        45
Herself in ouerwiseness:
  And when they doe reply,
  Straight giue them both the lye.
 
Tell Physicke of her boldnesse;
Tell Skill it is preuention;        50
Tell Charity of coldnesse;
Tell Law it is contention:
  And as they doe reply,
  Then giue them still the lye.
 
Tell Fortune of her blindnesse;        55
Tell Nature of decay;
Tell Friendship of vnkindnesse;
Tell Justice of delay:
  And if they will reply,
  Then giue them all the lye.        60
 
Tell Arts they haue no soundnesse,
But vary by esteeming;
Tell Schooles they want profoundnesse,
And stand so much on seeming:
  If Arts and Schooles reply,        65
  Giue Arts and Schooles the lye.
 
Tell Faith it’s fled the citie;
Tell how the Countrey erreth;
Tell Manhood shakes off pitie;
Tell Vertue least preferreth:        70
  And if they doe reply,
  Spare not to giue the lye.
 
So, when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing;
Because to giue the lye        75
Deserues no lesse than stabbing;
  Stab at thee he that will,
  No stab thy soule can kill.
 
Note 1. XX. Sir Walter Raleigh.—Considerable uncertainty prevails as to Sir Walter Raleigh’s poetical productions, but that he was capable of producing poetry of a very high order, some pieces undoubtedly written by him abundantly testify. Among these are one or two hymns written during his imprisonment, which exhibit not only his genius, but the sincerity of his heart and the piety of his feelings.
  See his Poems. [back]
 
 
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