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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

Canzonet: ‘I pray thee, leave, love me no more’

Michael Drayton (1563–1631)

To His Coy Love

I PRAY thee, leave, love me no more,

Call home the heart you gave me!

I but in vain that saint adore

That can, but will not save me.

These poor half-kisses kill me quite—

Was ever man thus servèd?

Amidst an ocean of delight

For pleasure to be starvèd.

Show me no more those snowy breasts,

With azure riverets branchèd,

Where, whilst mine eye with plenty feasts,

Yet is my thirst not stanchèd;

O, Tantalus! thy pains ne’er tell

By me thou art prevented;

’Tis nothing to be plagued in Hell,

But thus in Heaven tormented!

Clip me no more in those dear arms,

Nor thy life’s comfort call me,

O these are but too powerful charms,

And do but more enthral me!

But see how patient I am grown

In all this coil about thee;

Come, nice thing, let my heart alone,

I cannot live without thee!