1762 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Raleigh

John Langhorne, in The Viceroy; St. James's Chronicle (28 August 1762).



On Raleigh's Grave, O strew the sweetest Flowers,
That on the Bosom of the green Vale blow!
There hang your vernal Wreaths, ye Village Maids;
Ye Mountain Nymphs, your Crowns of wild Thyme bring
To Raleigh's honour'd Grave! There bloom the Bay,
The Virgin Rose that, blushing to be seen,
Folds its fair Leaves; for modest Worth was his:
A Mind where Truth, Philosophy's First-born,
Held her harmonious Reign: A Briton's Breast,
That, careful still of Freedom's holy Pledge,
Disdain'd the mean Arts of a Tyrant's Court,
Disdain'd and died! Where was thy Spirit then,
Queen of sea-crowning Isles, when Raleigh bled?
How well he serv'd thee, let Iberia tell!
Ask prostrate Cales, yet trembling at his Name,
How well he serv'd thee; when her vanquish'd Hand
Held forth the base Bribe, how he spurn'd it from him,
And cried, I FIGHT FOR BRITAIN! History rise!
And blast the Reigns that redden with the Blood
Of those that gave them Glory!