Saturday, May 15, 2010

Since there's no help, come, let us kiss and part - Michael Drayton

 Drayton (1563 - 1631) was a contemporary of Shakespeare, Donne, Ben Jonson and, by accounts, acquainted with at least two of them, as well as other literary figures in the London of that era.  He never married, wrote poetry that, while lauded by critics, is also conceded as being dense and less-than popular with the general public.  He is supposed to have loved his patron's daughter, to whom he dedicated some work.  This sonnet, written in 1619, stands out as being both accessible and "modern" to our ears.  It also hits the perfect note in describing that ambivalence and uncertainty lovers feel about something being perhaps possibly maybe over.....or not.

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 see 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.

                                                                                             Michael Drayton - English

No comments: