A Vision upon the Fairy Queen


Ca. 1552-1618


Methought I saw the grave where Laura lay,

Within that temple where the vestal flame

Was wont to burn; and, passing by that way,

To see that buried dust of living fame,

Whose tomb fair Love, and fairer Virtue kept:

All suddenly I saw the Fairy Queen;

At whose approach the soul of Petrarch wept,

And, from thenceforth, those Graces were not seen:

For they this queen attended; in whose stead

Oblivion laid him down on Laura's hearse:

Hereat the hardest stones were seen to bleed,

And groans of buried ghosts the heavens did pierce:

Where Homer's spright did tremble all for grief,

And cursed the access of that celestial thief!