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Since There’s No Help(1599)

Michael Drayton

Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part;
MeterSince there’s no help, come let us kiss and part;

Note on line 1:The first two feet here admit of numerous scansions, more in fact than this web site can acknowledge. Let the one you pick reflect your sense of what’s been happening during the quarrel that evidently has preceded what the speaker has to say, and how he is feeling about it, or pretending to. Has his lover just said that there’s no help, and if so in what tone of voice? Does he really agree?

Nay, I have done, you get no more of me,
MeterNay, I have done, you get no more of me,
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart
MeterAnd I am glad, yea glad with all my heart
That thus so cleanly I myself can free;
MeterThat thus so cleanly I myself can free;

Shake hands forever, cancel all our vows,
MeterShake hands forever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again,
MeterAnd when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
MeterBe it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
MeterThat we one jot of former love retain.

Now at the last gasp of Love’s latest breath
MeterNow at the last gasp of Love’s latest breath
When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies,
MeterWhen, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies,
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
MeterWhen Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes,
MeterAnd Innocence is closing up his eyes,

Now if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,
MeterNow if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,
From death to life thou mightst him yet recover.
MeterFrom death to life thou mightst him yet recover.

Rhyme

Resources

  Click play above to hear Claire Kinney read the poem.
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