Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
On Spenser’s “Faerie Queene”
By Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618)
 
METHOUGHT 1 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,        5
All suddenly I saw the Faerie Queene:
At whose approach the soul of Petrarke wept,
And from thenceforth those Graces were not seen
(For they this Queen attended); in whose stead
Oblivion laid him down on Laura’s hearse.        10
Hereat the hardest stones were seen to bleed,
And groans of buried ghosts the heavens did perse;
Where Homer’s spright did tremble all for grief,
And curst the access of that celestial thief.
 
Note 1. This, perhaps, is the most famous and the best of all the prefatory poems to the Faerie Queene. [back]
 
 
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