Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Idea
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Sonnet 5. Nothing but “No!” and “I!”, and “I!” and “No!”
Michael Drayton (1563–1631)
[First printed in 1599 (No. 8), and in all later editions.]

NOTHING but “No!” and “I!”, and “I!” and “No!”.
“How falls it out so strangely?” you reply.
I tell ye, Fair! I’ll not be answered so!
With this affirming “No!”, denying “I!”.
  I say “I love!” You slightly answer “I!”.        5
I say “You love!” You pule me out a “No!”.
I say “I die!” You echo me with “I!”.
“Save me!” I cry; and sigh me out a “No!”.
  Must Woe and I have naught but “No!” and “I!”?
No “I!” am I, if I no more can have.        10
Answer no more! With silence make reply,
And let me take myself what I do crave!
  Let “No!” and “I!” with I and you be so,
  Then answer “No!” and “I!”, and “I!” and “No!”.

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