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Michael Drayton (1563-1631)

Idea XX


              1An evil spirit, your beauty, haunts me still,
              2Wherewith, alas, I have been long possess'd,
              3Which ceaseth not to tempt me to each ill,
              4Nor gives me once but one poor minute's rest.
              5In me it speaks, whether I sleep or wake;
              6And when by means to drive it out I try,
              7With greater torments then it me doth take,
              8And tortures me in most extremity.
              9Before my face it lays down my despairs,
            10And hastes me on unto a sudden death;
            11Now tempting me to drown myself in tears,
            12And then in sighing to give up my breath.
            13Thus am I still provok'd to every evil
            14By this good-wicked spirit, sweet angel-devil.


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: 1599
RPO poem editor: F. D. Hoeniger
RP edition: 3RP 1.130.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/26

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: ababcdcdefefgg


Other poems by Michael Drayton