Biography of Michael Drayton
Drayton was born at Hartshill in Warwickshire and as a youth he became page to Sir Henry Goodere of Polesworth. He fell in love with Sir Henry's daughter, Anne, and worshipped her as 'Idea' in his poetry. Even after her marriage to Sir Henry Rainford he continued to celebrate her charms in verse, and he never married.
He had wanted to be a poet from the age of ten, and achieved his ambition through hard work and a succession of noble patrons, in spite of some ill-fortune. His first work was a verse paraphrase of parts of the Old Testament and Apocrypha, The Harmony of the Church. Ironically, the Harmony caused offence among the authorities and was banned. When James I became king in 1603 Drayton angled for royal favour with To the Majesty of King James: a Gratulatory Poem. Unfortunately he omitted to include the customary tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth, and this gaffe probably cost him an appointment at court.
In spite of this setback, Drayton had a fairly successful career as a poet, and he counted Ben Jonson and William Drummond of Hawthornden among his friends.
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- Sonnet LXI: Since There's No Help
- Sonnet XXVI: I Ever Love
- Idea XX: An evil spirit, your beauty, ha...
- Sonnet II: My Heart Was Slain
- Sonnet LV: My Fair, If Thou Wilt
- Sonnet LI: Calling to Mind
- Idea LI: Calling to mind since first my ...
- How Many Paltry Foolish Painted Things
- Sonnet LXIII: Truce, Gentle Love
- Sonnet XI: You Not Alone
- Sonnet IV: Bright Star of Beauty
- Sonnet VI: How Many Paltry Things
- Sonnet XLI: Why Do I Speak of Joy
- Sonnet LII: What? Dost Thou Mean
To the Virginian Voyage
YOU brave heroic minds
Worthy your country's name,
That honour still pursue;
Go and subdue!
Whilst loitering hinds
Lurk here at home with shame.
Britons, you stay too long:
Quickly aboard bestow you,