I d e a.

by Michael Drayton


To the Soul

LETTERS and lines we see are soon defaced,
Metals do waste and fret with canker's rust,
The diamond shall once consume to dust,
And freshest colours with foul stains disgraced ;
Paper and ink can paint but naked words,
To write with blood of force offends the sight ;
And if with tears I find them all too light,
And sighs and signs a silly hope affords,
O sweetest shadow, how thou serv'st my turn,
Which still shalt be, as long as there is sun,
Nor, whilst the world is, never shalt be done,
Whilst moon shall shine or any fire shall burn ;
    That everything whence shadow doth proceed
    May in my shadow my love's story read.

Drayton, Michael. Idea.
Daniel's Delia and Drayton's Idea. Arundell Esdaile, Ed.
London: Chatto and Windus, 1908. 80.

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