Idea Xxxvii: Dear, Why Should You Command Me To My Rest

written by Michael Drayton

Idea Xxxvii: Dear, Why Should You Command Me To My Rest

— Michael Drayton

Dear, why should you command me to my rest
When now the night doth summon all to sleep?
Methinks this time becometh lovers best;
Night was ordain'd together friends to keep.
How happy are all other living things
Which, though the day disjoin by sev'ral flight,
The quiet ev'ning yet together brings,
And each returns unto his love at night!
O thou that art so courteous else to all,
Why should'st thou, Night, abuse me only thus,
That ev'ry creature to his kind dost call,
And yet 'tis thou dost only sever us?
Well could I wish it would be ever day,
If when night comes you bid me go away.

About the poet


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...

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