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by Sir Walter Ralegh

'As you came from the holy land
  Of Walsingham,
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 an one did I meet, good Sir,
  Such an angelic 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 abused,
Under which many childish desires
  And conceits are excused.

'But true Love is a durable fire
  In the mind ever burning;
Never sick, never old, never dead,
  From itself never turning.'

Norfolk Poems




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