Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Elegy V. Are you so waspish that, from time to time
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)

ARE you so waspish that, from time to time,
  You nourish bees! and to so good an end,
  That having sucked your honey, they must climb
  Into your bosom, to bethank their friend!
  And for a sign, that they come to defend,        5
Reward you with such weapons as they have!
  Nor was it more than your deserts did crave!
  Not much unlike unto the viper’s youngling,
  Who (nourished with the breeder’s dearest blood)
  Snarls with his teeth, nor can endure the bongling        10
Within the viper’s belly, but makes food
  Of her! Thus Nature worketh in her brood.
  So you, forsooth! (nor was it much amiss!)
  Feed snakes, which thankfully both sting and hiss!
But if that any of our sex did sting you,        15
  Know this, moreover! Though you bear the prick;
  And though their frowns, to Melancholy bring you:
  Yet are we, seldom, or else never, sick!
  Nor do we die, like bees! but still be quick!
And soon recovering what we lost before,        20
  We sting apace! yet still keep stings in store!

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.