1790 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Raleigh

Edmond Malone, in Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare (1790; 1821) 2:264-65.



The Shepherd of the Ocean, by other parts of this poem [Colin Clouts Come Home Againe], is ascertained to have been Sir Walter Ralegh, at this time in disgrace with the Queen, for having seduced Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of het maids of honour; though he had made the best reparation in his power, by marrying that lady. He had some years before written a poem entitled Cynthia, expressly in honour of Elizabeth, of which, having in vain sought for it in many ancient manuscript collections, I fear no copy has been preserved; but Spenser, in the present passage, seems rather to have had in contemplation some passionate poetical effusions of Ralegh, who was now endeavouring to regain the Queen's favour; and, affecting a kind of romantic love for her Majesty, pretended that, while she frowned on him, and excluded him from her presence, life was not worth enjoying.