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As You Came from the Holy Land -- Sir Walter Raleigh

Guest poem submitted by Fraser Spratt :
(Poem #1695) As You Came from the Holy Land
 As you came from the holy land
    Of Walsinghame,
 Met you not with my true love
    By the way as you came ?

 How shall I know your true love,
    That have met many one,
 As I went to the holy land,
    That have come, that have gone ?

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

 Such a one did I meet, good sir,
    Such an angel-like face,
 Who like a queen, like a nymph, did appear,
    By her gait, by her grace.

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

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

 I have loved her all my youth,
    But now old, as you see,
 Love likes not the falling fruit
    From the withered tree.

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

 His desire is a dureless content,
    And a trustless joy ;
 He is won with a world of despair,
    And is lost with a toy.

 Of womankind such indeed is the love,
    Or the word love abusèd,
 Under which many childish desires
    And conceits are excusèd.

 But true love is a durable fire,
    In the mind ever burning,
 Never sick, never old, never dead,
    From itself never turning.
-- Sir Walter Raleigh
I've been listening to Andrew Motion's "A Map of British Poetry" series on
Radio 4 [1] and have simply been blown away by every show. The vast range of
poetry that is being performed is amazing, and all the actors they've hired
are simply outstanding, Simon Russell Beale especially. It was his reading
of this poem I'm submitting that opened my eyes, if you will, to just how
moving poetry can be.

And you know, there's a lot of brilliant analysis in this archive, and for
that I applaud all involved. It can, however, feel slightly unnecessary and
intimidating on occasion. That of course may simply be my limited experience
showing through. Nevertheless, I know what effects me emotionally and this
poem most certainly does that.

Fraser.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts/mapportal.shtml

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