Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Sestine 2. In sweetest pride of youthful May
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
 
IN sweetest pride of youthful May,
Where my poor flocks were wont to stay
About the valleys and high hills,
Which FLORA with her glory fills;
PARTHENOPHIL, the gentle Swain,        5
Perplexèd with a pleasing pain,
 
  Despairing how to slack his pain;
To woods and floods, these words did say,
“PARTHENOPHE, mine heart’s Soverain!
Why dost thou, my delights delay?        10
And with thy cross unkindness kills,
Mine heart, bound martyr to thy wills!”
 
  But women will have their own wills,
Alas, why then should I complain?
Since what She lists, her heart fulfils.        15
I sigh! I weep! I kneel! I pray!
When I should kiss, She runs away!
Sighs! knees! tears! prayers! spent in vain!
 
  My verses do not please her vain,
Mine heart wears with continual thrills        20
His Epilogue about to play!
My Sense, unsound; my Wits, in wane;
I still expect a happy day!
Whilst harvest grows, my winter spills!
 
  PARTHENOPHE mine harvest spills!        25
She robs my storehouse of his grain!
Alas, sweet Wench! thy rage allay!
Behold, what fountain still distils;
Whiles thine heat’s rage in me doth rain!
Yet moisture will not his flame stay.        30
 
  PARTHENOPHE! thy fury stay!
Take hence! the occasion of these ills
Thou art the cause! but come again!
Return! and FLORA’s pride disdain!
Her lilies, rose, and daffodils!        35
Thy cheeks and forehead disarray
 
  The roses and lilies of their grain;
What swans can yield so many quills
As all her glories can display?
 
 
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