The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage

Original Text: 
Anthony Scoloker, Diaphantus, or the Passions of Love (London: T. C[reede]. for W. Cotton, 1604). STC 21853
[Supposed to be written by one at the point of death]
2My staff of faith to walk upon,
4My bottle of salvation,
5My gown of glory, hope's true gage,
6And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.
8No other balm will there be given,
9Whilst my soul, like a white palmer,
10Travels to the land of heaven;
11Over the silver mountains,
12Where spring the nectar fountains;
13And there I'll kiss
14The bowl of bliss,
15And drink my eternal fill
16On every milken hill.
17My soul will be a-dry before,
18But after it will ne'er thirst more;
19And by the happy blissful way
20More peaceful pilgrims I shall see,
21That have shook off their gowns of clay,
22And go apparelled fresh like me.
23I'll bring them first
24To slake their thirst,
26At the clear wells
27Where sweetness dwells,
28Drawn up by saints in crystal buckets.
29  And when our bottles and all we
30Are fill'd with immortality,
31Then the holy paths we'll travel,
32Strew'd with rubies thick as gravel,
33Ceilings of diamonds, sapphire floors,
34High walls of coral, and pearl bowers.
36Where no corrupted voices brawl,
37No conscience molten into gold,
38Nor forg'd accusers bought and sold,
39No cause deferr'd, nor vain-spent journey,
40For there Christ is the king's attorney,
41Who pleads for all without degrees,
43When the grand twelve million jury
44Of our sins and sinful fury,
45'Gainst our souls black verdicts give,
46Christ pleads his death, and then we live.
47Be thou my speaker, taintless pleader,
48Unblotted lawyer, true proceeder,
49Thou movest salvation even for alms,
50Not with a bribed lawyer's palms.
51And this is my eternal plea
52To him that made heaven, earth, and sea,
53Seeing my flesh must die so soon,
54And want a head to dine next noon,
55Just at the stroke when my veins start and spread,
56Set on my soul an everlasting head.
57Then am I ready, like a palmer fit,
58To tread those blest paths which before I writ.


1] In Ashmole MS 38 this poem is entitled "Verses made by Sir Walter Raleigh the night before he was beheaded." Presumably the proper reference is to 1603, when he was imprisoned and sentenced to death, to be reprieved three weeks later.
scallop-shell: the badge of the returning pilgrim. Back to Line
3] scrip: wallet. Back to Line
7] balmer: embalmer. Back to Line
25] sucket: sweetmeats. Back to Line
35] Ralegh refers to his own unjust trial. Back to Line
42] angels: an old English gold coin; as here often used punningly. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.181; RPO 1996-2000.