Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Sestine 5. Then, first, with locks dishevelled and bare
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
 
THEN, first, with locks dishevelled and bare,
    Strait girded, in a cheerful calmy night,
    Having a fire made of green cypress wood,
    And with male frankincense on altar kindled;
    I call on threefold HECATE with tears!        5
    And here, with loud voice, invocate the Furies!
 
For their assistance to me, with their furies;
    Whilst snowy steeds in coach, bright PHŒBE bare.
    Ay me! PARTHENOPHE smiles at my tears!
    I neither take my rest by day or night;        10
    Her cruel loves in me such heat have kindled.
    Hence, goat! and bring her to me raging wood!
 
HECATE tell, which way she comes through the wood!
    This wine about this altar, to the Furies
    I sprinkle! whiles the cypress boughs be kindled.        15
    This brimstone, earth within her bowels bare!
    And this blue incense, sacred to the night!
    This hand, perforce, from this bay his branch tears!
 
So be She brought! which pitied not my tears!
    And as it burneth with the cypress wood,        20
    So burn She with desire, by day and night!
    You gods of vengeance! and avengeful Furies!
    Revenge, to whom I bend on my knees bare.
    Hence, goat! and bring her, with love’s outrage kindled!
 
HECATE! make signs, if She with love come kindled!        25
    Think on my Passions! HECATE! and my tears!
    This Rosemarine (whose branch She chiefly bare,
    And lovèd best) I cut, both bark and wood:
    Broke with this brazen axe, and, in love’s furies,
    I tread on it, rejoicing in this night,        30
 
And saying, “Let her feel such wounds this night!”
    About this altar, and rich incense kindled,
    This lace and vervine (to love’s bitter furies!)
    I bind, and strew; and, with sad sighs and tears,
    About, I bear her Image, raging wood.        35
    Hence, goat! and bring her from her bedding bare!
 
HECATE! reveal if She like Passions bare!
    I knit three true-lovers-knots (this is Love’s night!)
    Of three discoloured silks, to make her wood;
    But She scorns VENUS, till her loves be kindled,        40
    And till She find the grief of sighs and tears.
    Sweet Queen of Loves! For mine unpitied furies,
 
Alike torment her, with such scalding fires!
    And this Turtle, when the loss she bare
    Of her dear Make, in her kind, did shed tears        45
    And mourning; did seek him, all day and night:
    Let such lament in her, for me be kindled!
    And mourn she still! till she run raging wood
 
Hence, goat! and bring her to me raging wood!
    These letters, and these verses to the Furies,        50
    Which She did write, all in this flame be kindled.
    Me, with these papers, in vain hope She bare,
    That She, to day would turn mine hopeless night,
    These, as I rent and burn, so fury tears.
 
Her hardened heart, which pitied not my tears.        55
    The wind-shaked trees make murmur in the wood,
    The waters roar at this thrice sacred night,
    The winds come whisking shrill to note her furies;
    Trees, woods, and winds, a part in my plaints bare,
    And knew my woes; now joy to see her kindled!        60
 
See! whence She comes, with loves enraged and kindled!
    The pitchy clouds, in drops, send down their tears!
    Owls screech! Dogs bark to see her carried bare!
    Wolves yowle and cry! Bulls bellow through the wood!
    Ravens croape! Now, now! I feel love’s fiercest furies!        65
    Seest thou, that black goat! brought, this silent night,
 
Through empty clouds, by th’ Daughters of the Night!
    See how on him, She sits! with love rage kindled!
    Hither, perforce, brought with avengeful Furies!
    Now, I wax drowsy! Now, cease all my tears;        70
    Whilst I take rest, and slumber near this wood!
    Ah me! PARTHENOPHE naked and bare!
 
Come, blessed goat, that my sweet Lady bare!
    Where hast thou been, PARTHENOPHE! this night?
    What, cold! Sleep by this fire of cypress wood,        75
    Which I, much longing for thy sake, have kindled!
    Weep not! Come Loves and wipe away her tears!
    At length yet, wilt Thou take away my furies?
 
Ay me! Embrace me! See those ugly Furies!
    Come to my bed! lest they behold thee bare;        80
    And bear thee hence! They will not pity tears!
    And these still dwell in everlasting night!
    Ah, Loves, (sweet love!) sweet fires for us hath kindled!
    But not inflamed with frankincense or wood.
 
The Furies, they shall hence into the wood!        85
    Whiles CUPID shall make calmer his hot furies,
    And stand appeased at our fires kindled.
    Join! join PARTHENOPHE! Thyself unbare!
    None can perceive us in the silent night!
    Now will I cease from sighs, laments, and tears!        90
 
And cease, PARTHENOPHE! Sweet! cease thy tears!
    Bear golden apples, thorns in every wood!
    Join heavens! for we conjoin this heavenly night!
    Let alder trees bear apricots! (Die Furies!)
    And thistles, pears! which prickles lately bare!        95
    Now both in one, with equal flame be kindled!
 
Die magic boughs! now die, which late were kindled!
    Here is mine heaven! Loves drop, instead of tears!
    It joins! it joins! Ah, both embracing bare!
    Let nettles bring forth roses in each wood!        100
    Last ever verdant woods! Hence, former Furies!
    O die! live! joy! What? Last continual, night!
 
Sleep PHŒBUS still with THETIS! Rule still, night!
    I melt in love! Love’s marrow-flame is kindled!
    Here will I be consumed in Love’s sweet furies!        105
    I melt! I melt! Watch CUPID, my love tears!
    If these be Furies, O let me be wood!
    If all the fiery element I bare;
 
’Tis now acquitted! Cease your former tears!
    For as She once, with rage my body kindled;        110
    So in hers, am I buried this night!

F I N I S.
 
 
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