Sir Walter was a soldier, sailor and statesman. He laid the foundations of the British Empire and brought back many strange and novel products from the New Territories. Tobacco and potatoes are credited to him. He was also a poet of some skill. Queen Elizabeth was much besotted with him, but his heart belonged to another. He fell out of favour and was eventually taken to the tower where he languished away the remainder of his life. After the Queen died, he was executed on the instigation of jealous rivals. This was his last poem.
Even such is time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with age and dust;
Who in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days.
But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust!
Written the night before his death.—Found in his Bible in the Gate-house at Westminster.