Idea 43: Why should your fair eyes with such sovereign grace

By Michael Drayton 1563–1631 Michael Drayton
Why should your fair eyes with such sovereign grace
Disperse their rays on every vulgar spirit,
Whilst I in darkness in the self-same place
Get not one glance to recompense my merit?
So doth the ploughman gaze the wandering star,
And only rest contented with the light,
That never learned what constellations are,
Beyond the bent of his unknowing sight,
O! why should beauty, custom to obey,
To their gross sense apply herself so ill?
Would God I were as ignorant as they,
When I am made unhappy by my skill;
Only compelled on this poor good to boast,
Heavens are not kind to them that know them most.

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Poet Michael Drayton 1563–1631

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Love, Unrequited Love

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Michael  Drayton

Biography

In late-seventeenth-century estimates of literary stature, Michael Drayton ranks only slightly below Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and Ben Jonson. Until the middle of the twentieth century, Drayton's position as an important minor poet seemed secure, but his lengthy historical poems did not lend themselves to the techniques of close reading popularized during the vogue of New Criticism in the 1940s and after. An . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Unrequited Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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