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Best Famous Michael Drayton Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Michael Drayton poems. This is a select list of the best famous Michael Drayton poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Michael Drayton poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Michael Drayton poems.

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Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet I: Like an Adventrous Seafarer

 Like an advent'rous seafarer am I, 
Who hath some long and dang'rous voyage been, 
And, call'd to tell of his discovery, 
How far he sail'd, what countries he had seen; 
Proceeding from the port whence he put forth, 
Shows by his compass how his course he steer'd, 
When East, when West, when South, and when by North, 
As how the Pole to every place was rear'd, 
What capes he doubled, of what Continent, 
The gulfs and straits that strangely he had past, 
Where most becalm'd, where with foul weather spent, 
And on what rocks in peril to be cast: 
Thus in my love, Time calls me to relate 
My tedious travels and oft-varying fate.

Written by Michael Drayton |

To The Virginian Voyage

 You brave heroic minds,
Worthy your country's name,
That honour still pursue,
Go, and subdue,
Whilst loit'ring hinds
Lurke here at home with shame.
Britons, you stay too long, Quickly aboard bestow you; And with a merry gale Swell your stretched sail, With vows as strong As the winds that blow you.
Your course securely steer, West and by South forth keep; Rocks, lee-shores, nor shoals, When Eolus scowls, You need nor fear, So absolute the deep.
And cheerfully at sea, Success you still entice To get the pearl and gold; And ours to hold Virginia, Earth's only Paradise.
Where Nature hath in store Fowl, venison, and fish; And the fruitfull'st soil, Without your toil, Three harvests more, All greater than your wish.
And the ambitious vine Crowns with his purple mass The cedar reaching high To kiss the sky, The cypress, pine, And useful sassafras.
To whom the golden age Still Nature's laws doth give, No other cares attend But them to defend From winter's rage, That long there doth not live.
When as the luscious smell Of that delicious land, Above the sea that flows, The clear wind throws, Your hearts to swell, Approaching the dear strand.
In kenning of the shore, (Thanks to God first given) O you, the happiest men, Be frolic then! Let canons roar, Frighting the wide heaven! And in regions far Such heroes bring ye forth As those from whom we came, And plant our name Under that star Not known unto our North.
And as there plenty grows Of laurel everywhere, Apollo's sacred tree, You may it see A poet's brows To crown, that may sing there.
Thy voyages attend Industrious Hakluit, Whose reading shall inflame Men to seek fame, And much commend To after-times thy wit.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XVI: Mongst All the Creatures

 An Allusion to the Phoenix

'Mongst all the creatures in this spacious round 
Of the birds' kind, the Phoenix is alone, 
Which best by you of living things is known; 
None like to that, none like to you is found.
Your beauty is the hot and splend'rous sun, The precious spices be your chaste desire, Which being kindled by that heav'nly fire, Your life so like the Phoenix's begun; Yourself thus burned in that sacred flame, With so rare sweetness all the heav'ns perfuming, Again increasing as you are consuming, Only by dying born the very same; And, wing'd by fame, you to the stars ascend, So you of time shall live beyond the end.

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Written by Michael Drayton |

To His Coy Love

 I pray thee leave, love me no more,
Call home the heart you gave me.
I but in vain that saint adore That can, but will not, save me: These poor half-kisses kill me quite; Was ever man thus served? Amidst an ocean of delight For pleasure to be starved.
Show me no more those snowy breasts With azure riverets branched, Where whilst mine eye with plenty feasts, Yet is my thirst not stanched.
O Tantalus, thy pains ne'er tell, By me thou art prevented: 'Tis nothing to be plagued in hell, But thus in heaven tormented.
Clip me no more in those dear arms, Nor thy life's comfort call me; O, these are but too powerful charms, And do but more enthral me.
But see how patient I am grown, In all this coil about thee; Come, nice thing, let my heart alone, I cannot live without thee!

Written by Michael Drayton |

Idea XX: An evil spirit your beauty haunts me still

 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.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XLII: Some Men There Be

 Some men there be which like my method well 
And much commend the strangeness of my vein; 
Some say I have a passing pleasing strain; 
Some say that im my humor I excel; 
Some, who not kindly relish my conceit, 
They say, as poets do, I use to feign, 
And in bare words paint out my passion's pain.
Thus sundry men their sundry words repeat; I pass not, I, how men affected be, Nor who commends or discommends my verse; It pleaseth me, if I my woes rehearse, And in my lines if she my love may see.
Only my comfort still consists in this, Writing her praise I cannot write amiss.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet LI: Calling to Mind

 Calling to mind, since first my love begun, 
Th'uncertain times oft varying in their course, 
How things still unexpectedly have run, 
As it please the Fates, by their resistless force.
Lastly mine eyes amazedly have seen Essex' great fall, Tyrone his peace to gain; The quiet end of that long-living Queen; This King's fair entrance; and our peace with Spain, We and the Dutch at length ourselves to sever.
Thus the world doth and evermore shall reel; Yet to my Goddess am I constant ever, Howe'er blind Fortune turn her giddy wheel.
Though Heav'n and Earth prove both to me untrue, Yet am I still inviolate to you.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Noahs Flood (excerpts)

 Eternal and all-working God, which wast
Before the world, whose frame by Thee was cast,
And beautified with beamful lamps above,
By thy great wisdom set how they should move
To guide the seasons, equally to all,
Which come and go as they do rise and fall.
My mighty Maker, O do thou infuse Such life and spirit into my labouring Muse, That I may sing (what but from Noah thou hid'st) The greatest thing that ever yet thou didst Since the creation; that the world may see The Muse is heavenly and deriv'd from Thee.
O let Thy glorious Angel which since kept That gorgeous Eden, where once Adam slept, When tempting Eve was taken from his side, Let him great God not only be my guide, But with his fiery faucheon still be nie, To keep affliction far from me, that I With a free soul thy wondrous works may show, Then like that deluge shall my numbers flow, Telling the state wherein the earth then stood, The giant race, the universal flood.

Written by Michael Drayton |


 All feathered things yet ever known to men, 
From the huge Rucke, unto the little Wren; 
From Forrest, Fields, from Rivers and from Pons, 
All that have webs, or cloven-footed ones; 
To the Grand Arke, together friendly came, 
Whose several species were too long to name

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XL: My Heart the Anvil

 My heart the anvil where my thoughts do beat; 
My words the hammers fashioning my desire; 
My breast the forge including all the heat; 
Love is the fuel which maintains the fire; 
My sighs the bellows which the flame increaseth, 
Filling mine ears with noise and nightly groaning; 
Toiling with pain, my labor never ceaseth, 
In grievous passions my woes still bemoaning; 
My eyes with tears against the fire striving, 
Whose scorching gleed my heart to cinders turneth,
But with these drops the flame again reviving, 
Still more and more it to my torment turneth.
With Sisyphus thus do I roll the stone, And turn the wheel with damned Ixion.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XXXIV: Marvel Not Love

 To Admiration

Marvel not, Love, though I thy power admire, 
Ravish'd a world beyond the farthest thought, 
And knowing more than ever hath been taught, 
That I am only starv'd in my desire.
Marvel not, Love, though I thy power admire, Aiming at things exceeding all perfection, To Wisdom's self to minister correction, That I am only starv'd in my desire.
Marvel not, Love, though I thy power admire, Though my conceit I further seem to bend Than possibly invention can extend, And yet am only starv'd in my desire.
If thou wilt wonder, here's the wonder, Love: That this to me doth yet no wonder prove.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XII: That Learned Father

 To the Soul

That learned Father, who so firmly proves 
The Soul of man immortal and divine, 
And doth the several offices define: 
Anima - Gives her that name, as she the Body moves; 
Amor - Then is she Love, embracing charity; 
Animus - Moving a Will in us, it is the Mind 
Mens - Retaining knowledge, still the same in kind; 
Memoria - As intellectual, it is Memory; 
Ratio - In judging, Reason only is her name; 
Sensus - In speedy apprehension, it is Sense; 
Conscientia - In right or wrong, they call her Conscience; 
Spiritus - The Spirit, when it to Godward doth inflame.
These of the Soul the several functions be, Which my Heart, lighten'd by thy love, doth see.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XLI: Why Do I Speak of Joy

 Love's Lunacy

Why do I speak of joy, or write of love, 
When my heart is the very den of horror, 
And in my soul the pains of Hell I prove, 
With all his torments and infernal terror? 
What should I say? What yet remains to do? 
My brain is dry with weeping all too long, 
My sighs be spent in uttering my woe, 
And I want words wherewith to tell my wrong; 
But, still distracted in Love's lunacy, 
And, bedlam-like, thus raging in my grief, 
Now rail upon her hair, then on her eye, 
Now call her Goddess, then I call her thief, 
Now I deny her, then I do confess her, 
Now do I curse her, then again I bless her.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XIV: If He From Heavn

 If he from Heav'n that filch'd that living fire 
Condemn'd by Jove to endless torment be, 
I greatly marvel how you still go free 
That far beyond Prometheus did aspire.
The fire he stole, although of heav'nly kind, Which from above he craftily did take, Of lifeless clods us living men to make, He did bestow in temper of the mind; But you broke into Heav'n's immortal store, Where Virtue, Honor, Wit, and Beauty lay, Which taking thence you have escap'd away, Yet stand as free as e'er you did before; Yet old Prometheus punish'd for his rape.
Thus poor thieves suffer when the greater 'scape.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XXI: A Witless Galant

 A witless gallant a young wench that woo'd 
(Yet his dull spirit her not one jot could move), 
Entreated me, as e'er I wish'd his good, 
To write him but one sonnet to his love; 
When I, as fast as e'er my pen could trot, 
Pour'd out what first from quick invention came, 
Nor never stood one word thereof to blot, 
Much like his wit that was to use the same; 
But with my verses he his mistress won, 
Which doted on the dolt beyond all measure.
But see, for you to Heav'n for phrase I run, And ransack all Apollo's golden treasure; Yet by my froth this fool his love obtains, And I lose you for all my love and pains.