Sir Walter Raleigh, 1552-1618
Written in response to Edmund Spenser's "Faerie Queene" 1590
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 Petrarch 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 pierce;
Where Homer's spright did tremble all for grief,
And cursed th'access of that celestial thief.
Faerie Queene = Queen Elizabeth.