Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Madrigal 3. Once in an arbour was my Mistress sleeping
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
 
ONCE in an arbour was my Mistress sleeping,
        With rose and woodbine woven,
  Whose person, thousand graces had in keeping,
  Where for mine heart, her heart’s hard flint was cloven
  To keep him safe. Behind, stood, pertly peeping,        5
        Poor CUPID, softly creeping,
  And drave small birds out of the myrtle bushes,
        Scared with his arrows, who sate cheeping
On every sprig; whom CUPID calls and hushes
  From branch to branch: whiles I, poor soul! sate weeping        10
        To see her breathe (not knowing)
  Incense into the clouds, and bless with breath
  The winds and air; whiles CUPID, underneath,
  With birds, with songs, nor any posies throwing,
        Could her awake.        15
Each noise, sweet lullaby was, for her sake!
 
 
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