Prayer of Sir Walter Raleigh

Today I was inspired to post famous prayers on Sundays.  I hope you will enjoy!

Prayer of Sir Walter Raleigh (Just Before His Execution)

Give me my scallop shell of of quiet,

My staff of faith to walk upon,

My scrip of joy, immortal diet,

My bottle of salvation,

My gown of glory, hope’s true gauge,

And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.

Sir Walter Raleigh was born in 1552, died in 1618; commanded, in 1580, an English company in Ireland, where he introduced the potato in 1584; a captain of the guard in 1587; sent expeditions to Virginia in 1584, ’85, ’87, and ’90; served against the Armada in 1588; explored the Orinoco in 1595; commanded a squadron which destroyed the Spanish fleet at Cadiz in 1596; accused of treason and sent to the Tower in 1603, writing while there his “History of the World”; commanded an unsuccessful expedition to South America in 1616; condemned and executed in 1618.

7 thoughts on “Prayer of Sir Walter Raleigh

  1. jill says:

    When visiting the Tower a few years ago I was struck by how the horrors of the place were masked by the pleasantness of its courtyard. I couldn’t shake off the wrongness and sadness of it for days.

  2. Cyril Caspar says:

    Just FYI: This poem was first published in 1604 and, if it had been written by Ralegh (which is uncertain), it would have been somewhen in 1603, when he expected to be executed. This death sentence was, however, revoked later. Only after yet another trial, Ralegh was decapitated for high treason in 1618. So this poem was definitely NOT written just before his execution!

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