Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Elegy I. Why did the milk, which first Alcides nourished
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
WHY did the milk, which first ALCIDES nourished,
  Ingend’ring with CYBELE, breed the lily?
  Th’ Assyrian hunter’s blood, why hath it flourished
  The rose with red? Why did the daffadilly
  Spring from NARCISSUS’ self-conceited love?        5
Why did great JOVE, for the Pœneian cow,
  Devise the marble coloured violet?
  Or what for PHŒBUS’ love, from mountains hilly
  Did hyacinth to rosy blushes move?
  Since my sweet Mistress, under PHŒBUS’ brow,        10
JUNO’s and fair ADONIS’ flowers hath set,
  Adown her neck, NARCISSUS’s gold doth bow,
  IO’s grey violets in her crystal lights
  Th’Œbalian boy’s complexion still alights
  Upon her hyacinthine lips, like ruby.        15
And with love’s purest sanguine, CUPID writes
  The praise of beauty, through her veins which blue be
  Conducted through love’s sluice, to thy face rosy,
  Where doves and redbreasts sit for VENUS’ rights.
  In sign that I to Thee, will ever true be;        20
The rose and lilies shall adorn my posy!
  The violets and hyacinths shall knit
  With daffodil, which shall embellish it!
  Such heavenly flowers, in earthly posies few be!

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