Idea 14: “If he from heaven that filched that living fire”

By Michael Drayton 1563–1631 Michael Drayton
If he from heaven that filched that living fire
Condemned by Jove to endless torment be,
I greatly marvel how you still go free,
That far beyond Prometheus did aspire.
The fire he stole, although of heavenly kind,
Which from above he craftily did take,
Of liveless clods, us living men to make,
He did bestow in temper of the mind.
But you broke into heaven’s immortal store,
Where virtue, honor, wit, and beauty lay;
Which taking thence you have escaped away,
Yet stand as free as ere you did before;
   Yet old Prometheus punished for his rape.
   Thus poor thieves suffer when the greater ‘scape.

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Poet Michael Drayton 1563–1631

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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