A poet himself, and the author of a poem [Cynthia] in praise of the Queene, he could not but listen with delight to the design which Spenser had formed. Spenser tells us that Raleigh, sitting beside him under the shady alders on the banks of Mulla, often
provoked him to some pleasant fit;
And, when he heard the musicke which I made,
He found himselfe full greatly pleasd at it....
Encouraged by the judgement of this accomplished person, as he had probably long before been by that of Sidney, Spenser soon afterwards committed his Faerie Queene to the press; for at the end of the third Book, which was the conclusion of the first edition, he explains the general nature of his poem in a Letter to Sir Walter, dated Jan. 23. 1589-90.