Copy Book Archive

Let Us Kiss and Part Michael Drayton’s lady friend breaks up with him, and really it’s a relief, absolutely the best thing to do. Unless...
King James I 1603-1625

By an anonymous artist of the British school, via Dulwich Picture Gallery and Wikimedia Commons. Licence: public domain. Source

Michael Drayton (1563-1631) in 1628.

Let Us Kiss and Part
Michael Drayton was an English poet of William Shakespeare’s generation, remembered today for his poems on English history and geography, and his clever imitations of Horace and Ovid. In 1593, he began publishing Idea: The Shepherd’s Garland in which he recorded the ups and downs of his attachment to a lady from Warwickshire. The sonnet below appeared in the 1619 edition.
Original spelling

SINCE ther’s no helpe come let us kiss and part;
Nay I have done; You get no more of Me:
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart
That thus so cleanly I my selfe can free.
Shake hands for ever; Cancell all our Vowes;
And when we meet at any time againe,
Be it not seen in either of our Browes
That we one jot of former Love reteyne.
Now at the last gaspe of Loves latest Breath
When, his Pulse fayling, Passion speechlesse lies,
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of Death
And Innocence is closing up his Eyes;
Now, if thou would’st, when all have given him over,
From Death to Life thou might’st him yet recover.

How To Use This Passage

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IRead it aloud, twice or more. IISummarise it in one sentence of up to 30 words. IIISummarise it in one paragraph of 40-80 words. IVMake notes on the passage, and reconstruct the original from them later on. VJot down any unfamiliar words, and make your own sentences with them later. VIMake a note of any words that surprise or impress you, and ask yourself what meaning they add to the words you would have expected to see. VIITurn any old-fashioned English into modern English. VIIITurn prose into verse, and verse into prose. IXAsk yourself what the author is trying to get you to feel or think. XHow would an artist or a photographer capture the scene? XIHow would a movie director shoot it, or a composer write incidental music for it?

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