Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
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Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
 
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Canzon 1. All beauty’s far perfections rest in thee!
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
 
ALL beauty’s far perfections rest in thee!
  And sweetest grace of graces
  Decks thy face, ’bove faces!
All virtue takes her glory from thy mind!
  The Muses in thy wits have their places!        5
  And in thy thoughts all mercies be!
      Thine heart from all hardness free!
An holy place in thy thoughts, holiness doth find!
        In favourable speech, kind!
  A sacred tongue and eloquent!        10
  Action sweet and excellent!
Music itself, in joints of her fair fingers is!
    She, Chantress of singers is!
Her plighted faith is firm and permanent!
O now! now, help! Wilt thou take some compassion?        15
She thinks I flatter, writing on this fashion!
 
Thy beauty past, with misorder stainèd is!
  In thee, no graces find rest!
  In thee, who sought it, saw least!
And all thy thoughts be vain and vicious!        20
  Thy brains with dulness are oppresst!
        Of thee, no mercy gainèd is!
        Thine heart, hard and feignèd is!
A mind profane, and of the worst suspicious!
  In speech not delicious!        25
  A tongue tied, which cannot utter!
  Gesture lame, like words which stutter!
Thy hands and mind, unapt in music to rejoice!
        For songs unfit, an hoarse voice!
Thy faith unconstant, whatsoe’er thou mutter!        30
Be gracious! No! She thinks my words be bitter!
Through my misfortunes, they for myself be fitter!
 
O how long! how long shall I be distresst!
        How long in vain shall I moan!
        How long in pain shall I groan!        35
How long shall I bathe in continual tears!
How long shall I sit sad, and sigh alone!
  How long shall fear discomfort give!
  How long shall hopes let me live!
How long shall I lie bound in despairs and fears!        40
        With sorrow still my heart wears!
  My sundry fancies subdue me!
  Thine eyes kill me, when they view me!
When thou speaks with my soul; thy voice music maketh,
        And souls from silence waketh!        45
Thy brow’s smiles quicken me; whose frowns slew me!
Then fair Sweet! behold! See me, poor wretch! in torment!
Thou perceivest well! but thine heart will not relent.
 
Mine Eyes and Sleep be fierce professèd foes!
        Much care and tears did make it:        50
        Nor yet will they forsake it;
But they will vex my brains, and troubled eyes!
If any sorrow sleep, they will wake it!
    Still, sighing mine heart overthrows!
    Yet art Thou cause of these woes!        55
But what avails! if I make to the deaf, such horrible outcries?
        She hears not my miseries!
  O Sorrow! Sorrow, cease a while!
  Let her but look on me and smile!
And from me, for a time, thou shalt be banished!        60
        My comforts are vanished!
Nor hope, nor time, my sorrows can beguile!
Yet cease I not to cry for mercy! vexèd thus;
But thou wilt not relieve us, which perplexèd us!
 
Ah, would Thou set some limits to my woes!        65
        That, after such a time set
        (As penance to some crime set),
Forbearance, through sweet hope, I might endure!
  But as bird (caught in the fowler’s lime set)
  No means for his liberty knows;        70
        Me such despair overgoes,
  That I can find no comfortable hope of cure!
        Then since nothing can procure
  My sweet comfort, by thy kindness;
  (Armed in peace, to bear this blindness)        75
I voluntarily submit to this sorrow,
        As erst, each even and morrow.
Can women’s hearts harbour such unkindness?
O, relent! Relent, and change thy behaviour!
Foul is the name of Tyrant; sweet, of Saviour!        80
 
Long to the rocks, have I made my complaints!
        And to the woods desolate,
        My plaints went early and late!
To the forsaken mountains and rivers!
Yet comfortless, and still disconsolate;        85
  Mine heart, as it was wonted, faints!
        Such small help comes from such Saints!
Why should men which in such pain live, be called, Livers?
        Such arrows bear love’s quivers.
  Now, since rocks and woods will not hear;        90
  Nor hills and floods, my sorrows bear:
In sounding echoes and swift waves, the world about,
        These papers report it out!
Whose lasting Chronicles shall Time outwear!
Then, take remorse, dear Love! and to these, united        95
Shall be thy mercies! with matchless prayers recited.
 
You hapless winds! with my sighs infected
        Whose fumes, you never let rise
        To please her with sacrifice!
But evermore, in gross clouds them choked;        100
So that my Dear could never them comprise!
  O you (that never detected
  My plaints, but them neglected!
Which in your murmurs brought, might have her provoked!
        When them in clouds you cloaked!)        105
  Know that a prouder spirit flies,
  Bearing them to posterities!
And lays them open wide, that the world may view them;
    That all which read, may rue them;
When they shall pierce thine ears, though not thine eyes!        110
Then, sweet Fair! pity my long service and duty!
Lest thine hard heart be more famous than thy beauty!
        Then do no longer despise,
  But, with kind pity, relent thee!
        Cease to vex and torment me!        115
If Shame’s fear move not (which all discovers),
  Fear plague of remorseless lovers!
 
 
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