“SINCE THERE’S NO HELP, COME LET US KISS AND PART”
DRAYTON, Michael. Poems by Michael Drayton Esquire. Newly Corrected & Augmented. London: Printed by Willi. Stansby for John Smethwicke, (1630). Small octavo, 19th-century full brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $3600.
Early edition of collected Poems by Elizabethan poet Michael Drayton, reported to be a friend of Shakespeare, this scarce volume featuring works that “often rise to a true poetic elegance.”
Prominent Elizabethan poet Michael Drayton, highly favored in the court of Queen Elizabeth, was a close friend of Ben Jonson, and "there is a tradition that he was a friend of William Shakespeare, supported by a statement of John Ward, once vicar of Stratford-on-Avon, that 'Shakespear, Drayton and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting, and it seems, drank too hard, for Shakespear died of a feavour there contracted." Drayton "was an extremely prolific writer, producing historical, topographical, and religious verse, as well as odes, sonnets and satires" (Drabble, 292). His highly regarded Heroicall Epistles, featured herein, "present him at his happiest and best" (Pforzheimer 302) and "often rise to a true poetic elegance… while some of his odes and lyrics are inspired by noble feeling and virile imagination" (Encyclopaedia Britannica). This collection includes Barons Warres, Englands Heroicall Epistles, Legends of Robert, Duke of Normandie and the sonnet series Idea. Containing engraved title page, individual title pages for England's Heroicall Epistles and Legends of Robert. With woodcut engraved head- and tailpieces, title page vignettes, initials; without one preliminary leaf. The first collected edition of Drayton's poetical works appeared in 1603 under the title of The Barrons Wars, with that collection retitled Poems in the 1605 edition. STC 7224. Lowndes, 672. See Wing 7144B; Pforzheimer 300-309. Armorial bookplates of Arthur Dalrymple and J. Dawson Brodie. Manuscript note by renowned British bibliophile Richard Heber tipped to verso of front free endpaper, with inked bibliographic notation by John Foster on the same page. Occasional faint inked marginalia.
Text generally fresh with lightest scattered foxing, minor expert archival repair to title page and gutter of first text leaf, tiny bit of loss only lightly affecting text of several leaves. An extremely good copy of this scarce Elizabethan work.