Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Elegy VIII. “Cease, Sorrow! Cease, O cease thy rage a little!
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
 
“CEASE, Sorrow! Cease, O cease thy rage a little!
  Ah, Little Ease! O, grant some little ease!
  O Fortune, ever constant, never brittle!
  For as thou ’gan, so dost thou still displease.
Ah, ceaseless Sorrow! take a truce with me!        5
  Remorseless tyrants, sometimes, will take peace
  Upon conditions; and I’ll take of thee
  Conditions; so thou wilt, thy fury cease!
And dear conditions! for to forfeit life,
  So thou wilt end thy plagues, and vex no more!”        10
  But, out alas! he will not cease his strife!
  Lest he should lose his privilege before!
For were I dead, my Sorrow’s rule were nought,
  And, whiles I live, he, like a tyrant rageth!
  “Ah, rage, fierce Tyrant! for this grief is wrought        15
  By Love, thy counsel; which my mind engageth
To thy fierce thraldom, while he spoils mine heart!”
  So be my mind and heart imprisoned fast
  To two fierce Tyrants, which this empire part.
  “O milder Goddess! Shall this, for ever, last?        20
If that I have these bitter plagues deserved;
  Yet let Repentance (which my soul doth melt)
  Obtain some favour, if you be not swerved
  From laws of mercy!” Know what plagues I felt!
Yea, but I doubt enchantment in my breast!        25
  For never man, so much aggrieved as I,
  Could live with ceaseless Sorrow’s weight opprest,
  But twenty thousand times, perforce, should die!
And with eyes, She did bewitch mine heart;
  Which lets it live, but feel an endless smart.        30
 
 
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