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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.


Poet Bio

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.

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