By Michael Drayton
An evil spirit, your beauty, haunts me still,
Wherewith, alas, I have been long possess’d,
Which ceaseth not to tempt me to each ill,
Nor gives me once but one poor minute’s rest.
In me it speaks, whether I sleep or wake;
And when by means to drive it out I try,
With greater torments then it me doth take,
And tortures me in most extremity.
Before my face it lays down my despairs,
And hastes me on unto a sudden death;
Now tempting me to drown myself in tears,
And then in sighing to give up my breath.
Thus am I still provok’d to every evil
By this good-wicked spirit, sweet angel-devil.
Michael Drayton was one of the leading poets of the Elizabethan era. Though little is known about his early life, it is believed that he was a servant who rose to prominence through patronage. One of Drayton’s earliest supporters was Lucy, Countess of Bedford, and many of his poems are dedicated to her. A prolific poet, Drayton is best known for long verse-epics which recount historical events and exemplify Drayton’s belief in the poet’s responsibility as a keeper of public values.
More By This Poet
Idea 61: Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part
Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part.
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free.
Idea 43: Why should your fair eyes with such sovereign grace
Why should your fair eyes with such sovereign grace
Disperse their rays on every vulgar spirit,
Whilst I in darkness in the self-same place
Get not one glance to recompense my merit?
So doth the ploughman gaze the wandering star,...