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

A Summer’s Day

Michael Drayton (1563–1631)

CLEAR had the day been from the dawn,

All chequer’d was the sky,

The clouds, like scarfs of cobweb lawn,

Veil’d heaven’s most glorious eye.

The wind had no more strength than this,

—That leisurely it blew—

To make one leaf the next to kiss

That closely by it grew.

The rills, that on the pebbles play’d,

Might now be heard at will;

This world the only music made,

Else everything was still.

The flowers, like brave embroider’d girls,

Look’d as they most desired

To see whose head with orient pearls

Most curiously was tyred.

And to itself the subtle air

Such sovereignty assumes,

That it receiv’d too large a share

From Nature’s rich perfumes.