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By Michael Drayton

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.

Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,

And when we meet at any time again,

Be it not seen in either of our brows

That we one jot of former love retain.

Now at the last gasp of Love’s latest breath,

When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies;

When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,

And Innocence is closing up his eyes—

Now, if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,

From death to life thou might’st him yet recover!


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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