Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Elegy IX. With humble suit, upon my bended knee
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
WITH humble suit, upon my bended knee,
  (Though absent far from hence, not to be seen;
  Yet, in thy power, still present, as gods be)
  I speak these words (whose bleeding wounds be green)
  To thee, dread CUPID! and thy mother Queen!        5
“If it, at any time, hath lawful been
  Men mortal to speak with a deity;
  O you great guiders of young Springing Age;
  Whose power immortal ever was, I ween,
  As mighty as your spacious monarchy!        10
O spare me! spare my tedious pilgrimage!
  Take hence the least brand of your extreme fires!
  Do not, ’gainst those which yield, fierce battle wage!
  I know by this, you will allay your rage!
  That you give life unto my long desires:        15
Which still persuades me, you will pity take.
  Life is far more than my vexed soul desires.
  O take my life! and, after death, torment me!
  Then, though in absence of my chief delight,
  I shall lament alone! My soul requires        20
And longs to visit the Elizian fields!
  Then, that I loved, it never shall repent me!
  There (till those days of Jubilee shall come),
  Would I walk pensive, pleased, alone, and dumb!
  Grant this petition, sweet love’s Queen! (which wields        25
The heart of forelorn lovers evermore!)
  Or else Zanclæan CHARBID’ me devour!
  And through his waters, sent to Stygian power!
  Or patient, let me burn in Etna’s flame!
  Or fling myself, in fury, from the shore,        30
Into the deep waves of the Leucadian god!
  Rather than bear this tumult and uproar;
  And, through your means, be scourged with mine own rod!
  O let me die, and not endure the same!
  The suit I make, is to be punished still;        35
Nor would I wish not to be wretched there,
  But that I might remain in hope and fear!
  Sweet lovely Saints! Let my suit like your will!”

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