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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

On Spenser’s “Faerie Queene”

Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618)

METHOUGHT 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,

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.

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.