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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 |

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 |

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.

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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.

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 |

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 |

Sonnet XXVII: Is Not Love Here

 Is not Love here as 'tis in other climes, 
And differeth it, as do the several nations? 
Or hath it lost the virtue with the times, 
Or in this island altereth with the fashions? 
Or have our passions lesser power than theirs, 
Who had less art them lively to express? 
Is Nature grown less powerful in their heirs, 
Or in our fathers did she more transgress? 
I am sure my sighs come from a heart as true 
As any man's that memory can boast, 
And my respects and services to you 
Equal with his that loves his mistress most.
Or nature must be partial to my cause, Or only you do violate her laws.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XXXIX: Some When in Rhyme

 Some, when in rhyme they of their loves do tell, 
With flames and lightnings their exordiums paint; 
Some call on Heav'n, some invocate on Hell, 
And Fates and Furies with their woes acquaint.
Elysium is too high a seat for me; I will not come in Styx or Phlegethon; The thrice-three Muses but too wanton be; Like they that lust, I care not; I will none.
Spiteful Erinnys frights me with her looks; My manhood dares not with foul Ate mell; I quake to look on Hecate's charming books; I still fear bugbears in Apollo's cell.
I pass not for Minerva nor Astraea; Only I call on my divine Idea.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XXII: With Fools and Children

 To Folly

With fools and children, good discretion bears; 
Then, honest people, bear with Love and me, 
Nor older yet, nor wiser made by years, 
Amongst the rest of fools and children be; 
Love, still a baby, plays with gauds and toys, 
And, like a wanton, sports with every feather, 
And idiots still are running after boys, 
Then fools and children fitt'st to go together.
He still as young as when he first was born, No wiser I than when as young as he; You that behold us, laugh us not to scorn; Give Nature thanks you are not such as we.
Yet fools and children sometimes tell in play Some, wise in show, more fools indeed than they.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XXXIII: Whilst Yet Mine Eyes

 To Imagination

Whilst yet mine Eyes do surfeit with delight, 
My woeful Heart, imprison'd in my breast, 
Wisheth to be transformed to my sight, 
That it, like these, by looking might be blest.
But whilst my Eyes thus greedily do gaze, Finding their objects over-soon depart, These now the other's happiness do praise, Wishing themselves that they had been my Heart, That Eyes were Heart, or that the Heart were Eyes, As covetous the other's use to have; But finding Nature their request denies, This to each other mutually they crave: That since the one cannot the other be, That Eyes could think, or that my Heart could see.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet X: To Nothing Fitter

 To nothing fitter can I thee compare 
Than to the son of some rich penny-father, 
Who, having now brought on his end with care, 
Leaves to his son all he had heap'd together; 
This new rich novice, lavish of his chest, 
To one man gives, doth on another spend, 
Then here he riots, yet among the rest 
Haps to lend some to one true honest friend.
Thy gifts thou in obscurity dost waste, False friends thy kindness, born but to deceive thee, Thy love that is on the unworthy plac'd, Time hath thy beauty, which with age will leave thee; Only that little which to me was lent I give thee back, when all the rest is spent.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet LVIII: In Former Times

 In former times such as had store of coin, 
In wars at home, or when for conquests bound, 
For fear that some their treasure should purloin, 
Gave it to keep to spirits within the ground, 
And to attend it them as strongly tied 
Till they return'd; home when they never came, 
Such as by art to get the same have tried 
From the strong Spirit by no means force the same; 
Nearer men come, that further flies away, 
Striving to hold it strongly in the deep.
E'en as this Spirit, so you alone do play With those rich beauties Heav'n gives you to keep; Pity, so left to the coldness of your blood, Not to avail you, nor do the others good.

Written by Michael Drayton |

Sonnet XVII: Stay Speedy Time

 To Time

Stay, speedy Time, behold, before thou pass, 
From age to age what thou hast sought to see, 
One in whom all the excellencies be, 
In whom Heav'n looks itself as in a glass.
Time, look thyself in this tralucent glass, And thy youth past in this pure mirror see, As the world's beauty in his infancy, What is was then, and thou before it was.
Pass on, and to posterity tell this, Yet see thou tell but truly what hath been; Say to our nephews that thou once hast seen In perfect human shape all heav'nly bliss, And bid them mourn, nay more, despair with thee, That she is gone, her like again to see.

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.