Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Elegy XIX. Dear Sorrow! Give me leave to breathe a while!
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
DEAR Sorrow! Give me leave to breathe a while!
  A little leave, to take a longer breath!
  Whose easy passage, still, thou dost beguile,
  Choked up with sighs, proclaimers of my death.
  O let the tears of ever-thirsty eyes        5
Return back to the channels of mine heart!
  They, to my sight be vowèd enemies
  And made a traitorous league not to depart;
  Under the colour of tormenting those
  Which were first causers of mine heart’s distress.        10
And closely with mine heart, by guile, did close
  Through blinding them, to make my torment less;
  O let those fearful thoughts, which still oppress me,
  Turn to the dungeon of my troubled brain!
  Despair t’ accompany! which doth possess me,        15
And with his venom poisoneth every vein.
  Ugly Despair! who, with black force, assaults
  Me vanquished with conceit, and makes me dwell
  With Horror, matched in Melancholy’s vaults!
  Where I lie burning in my Fancies’ Hell.        20
O thou, dread Ruler of my sorrows’ rage!
  Of thee! and none but thee, I beg remorse!
  With thy sweet breath, thou may my sighs assuage!
  And make my sorrows’ fountains stay their course,
  And banish black Despair! Then help me, now!        25
Or know, Death can do this, as well as thou!

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