Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Ode 17. Carmen Anacreontium
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
 
REVEAL, sweet Muse! this secret!
    Wherein the lively Senses
    Do most triumph in glory?
    Where others talk of eagles,
    Searching the sun with quick sight;        5
    With eyes, in brightness piersant,
    PARTHENOPHE, my sweet Nymph,
    With Sight more quick than eagle’s,
    With eyes more clear and piersant,
    (And, which exceeds all eagles,        10
    Whose influence gives more heat
    Than sun in Cancer’s Tropic)
    With proud imperious glances
    Subduing all beholders,
    Which gaze upon their brightness,        15
    Shall triumph over that Sense.
 
Reveal, sweet Muse, this secret!
    Wherein the lively Senses
    Do most triumph in glory?
    Where some of heavenly nectar        20
    The Taste’s chief comfort talk of
    For pleasure and sweet relish;
    Where some, celestial syrups
    And sweet Barbarian spices,
    For pleasantness, commend most:        25
    PARTHENOPHE, my sweet Nymph,
    With Lips more sweet than nectar,
    Containing much more comfort
    Than all celestial syrups;
    And which exceeds all spices,        30
    On which none can take surfeit,
    Shall triumph over that Sense.
 
Reveal, sweet Muse, this secret!
    Wherein the lively Senses
    Do most triumph in glory?        35
    When some Panchaian incense,
    And rich Arabian odours,
    And waters sweet distilled,
    Where some of herbs and flowers
    Of Ambergrease and sweet roots,        40
    For heavenly spirit, praise most:
    PARTHENOPHE, my sweet Nymph,
    With Breath more sweet than incense,
    Panchaian or Arabic,
    Or any sorts of sweet things.        45
    And which exceeds all odours;
    Whose spirit is Love’s godhead,
    Shall triumph over that Sense.
 
Reveal, sweet Muse, this secret!
    Wherein the lively Senses        50
    Do most triumph in glory?
    Where Music rests in voices,
    As SOCRATES supposed;
    In voice and bodies moving,
    As though ARISTOXINUS;        55
    In mind, as THEOPHRASTUS:
    Her Voice exceeds all music,
    Her body’s comely carriage,
    Her gesture, and divine grace
    Doth ravish all beholders.        60
    Her mind, it is much heavenly,
    And which exceeds all judgement;
    But such sweet looks, sweet thoughts tell
    And makes her conquer that Sense.
 
Reveal, sweet Muse, this secret!        65
    Wherein the lively Senses
    Do most triumph in glory?
    Where some of sacred hands talk,
    Whose blessing makes things prosper;
    Where some of well skilled fingers,        70
    Which makes such heavenly music
    With wood and touch of sinews:
    PARTHENOPHE’s divine Hands,
    Let them but touch my pale cheeks!
    Let them but any part touch,        75
    My sorrow shall assuage soon!
    Let her check the little string!
    The sound to heaven shall charm me.
    Thus She, the Senses conquers.
 
 
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