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Short poem

Michael Drayton (1563-1631)

Idea LI

              1Calling to mind since first my love begun,
              2Th' incertain times oft varying in their course,
              3How things still unexpectedly have run,
              4As t' please the fates by their resistless force:
              5Lastly, mine eyes amazedly have seen
              6Essex' great fall, Tyrone his peace to gain,
              7The quiet end of that long-living Queen,
              8This King's fair entrance, and our peace with Spain,
              9We and the Dutch at length ourselves to sever:
            10Thus the world doth and evermore shall reel.
            11Yet to my goddess am I constant ever,
            12Howe'er blind fortune turn her giddy wheel:
            13Though heaven and earth prove both to me untrue,
            14Yet am I still inviolate to you.


1] Probably written early in 1605.

6] Essex' ... Tyrone ... gain. Essex was executed in February 1601; Tyrone, leader of an Irish rebellion, gained his peace when surrendering to Mountjoy in 1603.

7] Queen Elizabeth died on March 24, 1603.

8] King's fair entrance. James I reached London on May 7, 1603, but coronation ceremonies were delayed because of the plague.
our peace with Spain. A treaty with Spain was concluded in August 1604.

9] England's alliance with Holland was brought to an end by the Spanish treaty.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Michael Drayton, Poems (W. Stansby for J. Swethwicke, 1619). STC 7222. Facs. edn.: Scolar Press, 1969. PR 2255 A1 1619A.
First publication date: 1605
RPO poem editor: F. D. Hoeniger
RP edition: 3RP 1.131.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/26

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: ababcdcdefefgg

Other poems by Michael Drayton