Can I have an analysis of Sir W. Raleigh's "Walsingham"?

Expert Answers
wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an example of a love ballad in which a narrator asks a traveler to look for his lost love in a distant land (a popular one of this genre is “Are You Going to Scarborough Fair?”) Here, the traveler has come from Walsingham and is being questioned by the narrator. The narrator here describes her in exaggerated terms (“She the heavens fair”;..”angelic face”, etc.) and laments her having deserted him “all alone”  The traveler ask the narrator why she left him, now no longer young, and is told “Love is a careless child/And forgets promise past”.  The narrator then criticizes “childish desires” Love in the abstract “in faith never fast” and contrasts it with “true love…of a durable fire,/ In the mind ever burning,/Never sick, never old, never dead,/From itself never turning.”  The poem, while beautiful, is limited by its arbitrary rhyme scene and simplistic imagery; Sir Walter Raleigh’s poetry did not survive the 20th century modernist movement, and today is seldom studied.