Michael Drayton (1563-1631)
SINCE there's no help, 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 myself can free;
Shake hands forever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
Now at the last gasp of Love's latest breath,
When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies,
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes,
Now if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,
From death to life thou mightst him yet recover.
With two exceptions, the above version follows the
modernized spelling, punctuation, and capitalization
Ferguson, Margaret, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon
Stallworthy, eds. The Norton Anthology of Poetry
(Fourth Edition). New York: W.W. Norton & Company,
A copy of the 1619 version of the poem, the version ofDrayton, Michael. The Works of Michael Drayton.
his works Drayton himself seems to have favored, can
be found in:
J. William Hebel, ed. Oxford: Shakespeare Head Press,
A partially modernized version appears in:
Bryant, William Cullen, ed. A New Library of Poetry
and Song (Utopian Edition). Garden City, NY:
Doubleday, Page & Company, 1927. (under the title:
Come, Let us Kisse and Parte.)
The original is formatted with the beginning "S" being two
lines tall with the top of the letter being in the first
line and the bottom in the second line; the remainder of
the word is in standard capital letters. The capitalization of
words in the remainder of the original is rather sporadic.
The word "Love's", in the middle of the ninth line, is
capitalized in the original, but not in the modernization.
Following Bryant, I have capitalized it above, keeping
with the capitalization of Passion, Faith, and Innocence in
the lines following it. Various other anthologies use
other titles for this work, including: "Farewell to Love",
"The Parting", and "Love's Parting".