Raleigh by Wilbur D. Nesbit

Poems about Famous People Sir Walter Raleigh

A poem about Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh was a man
Of excellent deportment;
He could advise a King or Khan
What going into court meant;
When Spenser wrote his Faerie Queene
Sir Walter Raleigh said it
Betrayed a wit both sharp and clean
(We wonder if he read it).

Good Queen Elizabeth one day
Was out (perhaps for shopping),
And Raleigh chanced along the way
Where she in wrath was stopping.
“How can I get across that mud?”
She asked; and in the muddle
Sir Walter showed his gentle blood—
His cloak soon bridged the puddle.

A smile replaced the good queen’s frown,
She paused there for a minute
To set more straight the royal crown
(It had no hat pin in it).
And then she murmured low to Walt.:
“Sir, you shall see my tailor.”
He answered: “If I’m worth my salt,
Good queen, make me a sailor!”

And so good Queen Elizabeth
Gave him a high position—
He drew his pay like drawing breath
And led an expedition
That sailed across the raging seas
For gold and slaves and cocoa,
And battled with the biting breeze
Along the Orinoco.

Alas! It may have been the cloak
That was in mire imbedded,
Or possibly some words he spoke
That made him be beheaded.
But let us learn this lesson here
From poor Sir Walter Raleigh:
The favor of the great, ’tis queer,
Oft has a grim finale.