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.