Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Ode 12. One night, I did attend my sheep
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
 
ONE night, I did attend my sheep,
Which I, with watchful ward, did keep
    For fear of wolves assaulting:
For, many times, they broke my sleep,
And would into the cottage creep,        5
  Till I sent them out halting!
 
At length, methought, about midnight,
(What time clear CYNTHIA shineth bright)
    Beneath, I heard a rumbling!
At first, the noise did me affright;        10
But nought appearèd in my sight,
  Yet still heard something tumbling.
 
At length, good heart I took to rise,
And then myself crossed three times thrice;
    Hence, a sharp sheephook raught        15
I feared the wolf had got a prize;
Yet how he might, could not devise!
  I, for his entrance sought.
 
At length, by moonlight, could I espy
A little boy did naked lie        20
    Frettished, amongst the flock:
I, him approachèd somewhat nigh.
He groaned, as he were like to die;
  But falsely did me mock!
 
For pity, he cried, “Well a day!        25
Good master, help me, if you may!
    For I am almost starved!”
I pitied him, when he did pray;
And brought him to my couch of hay.
  But guess as I was served!        30
 
He bare about him a long dart,
Well gilded with fine painter’s art;
    And had a pile of steel.
On it I lookèd every part:
Said I, “Will this pile wound a heart?”        35
  “Touch it!” quoth he, “and feel!”
 
With that, I touched the javelin’s point!
Eftsoons it piercèd to the joint!
    And rageth now so fierce,
That all the balms which it anoint        40
Cannot prevail with it, a point;
  But it mine heart will pierce.
 
 
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