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Sir Walter Ralegh (ca. 1552-1618)

As You Came from the Holy Land (attributed)


              1As you came from the holy land
              2      Of Walsingham,
              3Met you not with my true love
              4      By the way as you came?

              5  "How shall I know your true love,
              6      That have met many one,
              7I went to the holy land,
              8      That have come, that have gone?"

              9  She is neither white, nor brown,
            10      But as the heavens fair;
            11There is none hath a form so divine
            12      In the earth, or the air.

            13"Such a one did I meet, good sir,
            14      Such an angelic face,
            15Who like a queen, like a nymph, did appear
            16      By her gait, by her grace."

            17She hath left me here all alone,
            18      All alone, as unknown,
            19Who sometimes did me lead with herself,
            20      And me loved as her own.

            21"What's the cause that she leaves you alone,
            22      And a new way doth take,
            23Who loved you once as her own,
            24      And her joy did you make?"

            25I have lov'd her all my youth;
            26      But now old, as you see,
            27Love likes not the falling fruit
            28      From the withered tree.

            29Know that Love is a careless child,
            30      And forgets promise past;
            31He is blind, he is deaf when he list,
            32      And in faith never fast.

            33His desire is a dureless content,
            34      And a trustless joy:
            35He is won with a world of despair,
            36      And is lost with a toy.

            37Of womenkind such indeed is the love,
            38      Or the word love abus'd,
            39Under which many childish desires
            40      And conceits are excus'd.

            41But true love is a durable fire,
            42      In the mind ever burning,
            43Never sick, never old, never dead,
            44      From itself never turning.

Notes

1] The first extant edition of Deloney's The Garland of Good Will containing this poem is dated 1678; at least the first stanza is part of a much older ballad, already popular in Ralegh's time. The ascription to Ralegh is on the basis of a late 16th century MS where the poem is signed "Sir W. R."; Latham includes it in her edition of Ralegh's poems; Mann in his edition of Deloney's works says it may be by the latter.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Thomas Deloney, The Garland of Good Will (London: E. B[rewster]., 1628). STC 6553.5.
First publication date: 1593
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP.1.179; RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/10

Rhyme: abcb


Other poems by Sir Walter Ralegh