Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Madrigal 17. Envious air, all Nature’s public nurse
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
ENVIOUS air, all Nature’s public nurse,
      Lend to my life, no spirit!
      Not that I prosper worse
Than erst of yore; for I, the state inherit,
Which gods in Paradise, ’bove man demerit:        5
  But for I highly scorn
  Thy common vapour should
With her sweet breath immix! I cannot bear it!
Cold air’s infusion cannot be foreborn;
  O kiss! O soul, which could        10
  All wailings have outworn!
Angel of Bliss! which cheers me night and morn!
Sweet Cloud! which now, with my soul dost enfold!
  Salve to my Soul! once sick.
  Let men in Inde iborn        15
Cease boasting of rich drugs, and sweet perfume!
Egyptian gums, and odours Arabic,
  I loath! and wood, dear sold,
  From myrrh and cypress torn!
Tarry, sweet kiss! Do not in clouds consume!        20
  Yet can I feel thy spirit moving quick.
        O why should air presume
  To be her spirit’s rival?
What do I speak? Nor am I lunatic!
I cannot live; else would I not assume        25
  Cold air, to contrive all
  My sorrows, with immixion.
Then die! whilst this sweet spirit thee doth prick!
Whilst thy sweet comfort’s kisses are alive all!
  And love’s sweet jurisdiction        30
  Will make thee die possessed
Of all heaven’s joys; which, for most comfort, strive all!
Lest Death, to Pleasure should give interdiction,
  Ah let my lips be pressed!
  And, with continual kisses,        35
Pour everlasting spirit to my life.
So, shall I always live! so, still be blessed!
  Kiss still! and make no misses!
  Double! redouble kisses!
Murmur affections! War in pleasing strife!        40
Press lips! Lips, rest oppressed!
  This Passion is no fiction.

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