With The Mole I Creep Into The Earth

Yesterday I went to a concert given by William D Drake. One of the songs he and his band performed was a splendid setting of a sonnet by Michael Drayton (1563-1631), a poet of whom I confess I had never heard before. Here is a portrait, and the poem:


When first I ended, then I first began;

Then more I travelled further from my rest.

Where most I lost, there most of all I won;

Pinèd with hunger, rising from a feast.

Methinks I fly, yet want I legs to go,

Wise in conceit, in act a very sot,

Ravished with joy amidst a hell of woe,

What most I seem that surest am I not.

I build my hopes a world above the sky,

Yet with the mole I creep into the earth;

In plenty I am starved with penury,

And yet I surfeit in the greatest dearth.

I have, I want, despair, and yet desire,

Burned in a sea of ice, and drowned amidst a fire.

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