Conversing spirits connection between Elizabethans Drayton, Shakespeare etc & the Cockney Bard

Michael Drayton SONNET 20

An evil Spirit (your Beauty) haunts me still,
Wherewith, alas, I have been long possessed;
Which ceaseth not to attempt me to each ill,
Nor give me once, but one poor minute’s rest.
In me it speaks, whether I sleep or wake:
And when by means to drive it out I try,
With greater torments then it me doth take,
And tortures me in most extremity.
Before my face, it lays down my despairs,
And hastes me on unto a sudden death:
Now tempting me, to drown myself in tears;
And then in sighing to give up my breath.
Thus am I still provoked to every evil,
By this good wicked Spirit, sweet Angel-Devil.

This sonnet was published in 1599, the same year as The Passionate Pilgrime 20 poems attributed to Shakespeare but proven to be nothing of the sort. Only five are supposed to be from Shakespeare including sonnet 144 seen below

Sonnet 144

Two loues I haue, of Comfort and Despaire,
That like two Spirits, do suggest me still:
My better Angell, is a Man (right faire)
My worser spirite a Woman (colour’d ill.)
To win me soone to hell, my Female euill
Tempteth my better Angell from my side:
And would corrupt my Saint to be a Diuell,
Wooing his purity with her faire pride.
And whether that my Angell be turnde feend,
Suspect I may (yet not directly tell:)
For being both to me: both, to each friend,
I ghesse one Angell in anothers hell:
The truth I shall not know, but liue in dout,
Till my bad Angell fire my good one out.

Sonnet 86

Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,
Bound for the prize of all too precious you,
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?
No, neither he, nor his compeers by night
Giving him aid, my verse astonished.
He, nor that affable familiar ghost
Which nightly gulls (feeds) him with intelligence,
As victors of my silence cannot boast;
I was not sick of any fear from thence:
But when your countenance filled up his line,
Then lacked I matter; that enfeebled mine.

The conversing ‘spirits’ connection of the Elizabethans including Marlowe, Drayton, Dee, Sir Francis Bacon, Walter Raleigh, Shakespeare, Jonson, Oxford etc is hugely significant. In understanding the Cockney Bard will you achieve greater understanding of this and in particular the above three sonnets.


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