This website is using cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website. 

Drayton, Michael: The paradox

Portre of Drayton, Michael

The paradox (English)

When first I ended, then I first began;

Then more I travelled further from my rest.

Where most I lost, there most of all I won,

Pined with hunger, rising from a feast.

Methinks I fly, yet want I legs to go;

Wise in conceit, in act a very sot;

Ravished with joy amidst a hell of woe;

What most I seem, that surest I am not.


I build my hopes a world above the sky,

Yet with the mole I creep into the earth;

In plenty, I am starved with penury,

And yet I surfeit in the greatest dearth.

   I have, I want; despair, and yet desire;

   Burned in a sea of ice, and drowned amidst a fire.

Uploaded byAngyal Leó
Source of the quotationThe Albatross Book of Living Verse, The Albatross, London & Paris 1937