Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Elegy XII. O never can I see that sunny light!
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
O NEVER can I see that sunny light!
  That bright contriver of my fiery rage!
  Those precious Golden Apples shining bright:
  But, out alas! methinks, some fearful sight
  Should battle, with the dear beholders wage.        5
I fear such precious things should have some force
  Them to preserve, lest some beholders might
  Procure those precious apples by their slight.
  Then cruel ATLAS, banished from remorse,
  Enters my thoughts, and how he feared away        10
The poor inhabitants which dwelt about;
  Lest some, of his rich fruit should make a prey:
  Although the Orchard, circummured throughout
  With walls of steel was; and a vigil stout
  Of watchful dragons guarded everywhere,        15
Which bold attempters vexed with hot pursuit,
  So that none durst approach his fruit for fear.
  Thus, ATLAS like, thine heart hath dragons set
  Tyrannous Hatred, and a Proud Disdain,
  Which in that Orchard cruelly did reign,        20
And with much rigour rule thy lovely eyes!
  Immured in steelly walls of chaste Desire,
  Which entrance to poor passengers denies,
  And death’s high danger to them that require,
  And even as ATLAS (through fierce cruelty,        25
And breach to laws of hospitality;
  When lodging to a stranger he denied)
  Was turnèd to a stony mountain straight;
  Which on his shoulders, now, supports heaven’s weight:
  (A just revenge for cruelty and pride!)        30
Even so, thine heart (for inhumanity,
  And wrath to those, that thine eyes’ apples love!
  And that it will not lodge a lovely guest)
  Is turned to rock, and doth the burden bear
  Of thousand zealous lovers’ dear complaints;        35
Whom thou, with thy fierce cruelty, didst tear!
  A huge hard rock, which none can ever move;
And of whose fruit, no man can be possesst.
  Thy golden smiles make none attempts too dear:
  But when attempted once those apples be,        40
  The vain Attempter, after, feels the smart;
  Who, by thy dragons, Hatred and Disdain,
Are torn in sunder with extremity!
  For having entered, no man can get forth
  (So those enchanting apples hinder thee),        45
  Of such dear prize be things of such rare worth;
  But even as PERSEUS, JOVE’s thrice valiant son,
(Begot of DANAE in a golden shower)
  Huge ATLAS conquered, when he first begun;
  Then killed the dragons with his matchless power:        50
  At length, the beauteous Golden Apples won.
  So right is he born in a golden hour
(And for his fortune, may from JOVE descend),
  Who first thine heart (an ATLAS!) hath subdued;
  Next, Hatred and Disdain brought to their end;        55
  Fierce dragons, which Attempters all pursued,
  And which, before, none ever have eschewed.
At length, who shall these golden apples gain,
  He shall, alone, be PERSEUS, for his pain!

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