Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
The First Eidillion of Moschus describing Love
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
VENUS aloud, for her son CUPID cried,
“If any spy LOVE gadding in the street,
It is my rogue! He that shall him betray,
For hire, of VENUS shall have kisses sweet!
But thou that brings him, shall have more beside,        5
Thou shalt not only kiss, but as guest stay!
  By many marks, the Boy thou mayst bewray!
’Mongst twenty such beside, thou shalt perceive him!
Not of a pale complexion, but like fire!
Quick rolling eyes, and flaming in their gyre!        10
False heart! Sweet words, which quickly will deceive him,
To whom he speaks! Sweet speech, at your desire;
But vex him! then, as any wasp he stingeth!
  Lying, and false! if you receive him;
A crafty lad! and cruel pastimes bringeth!        15
  A fair curled head, and a right waggish face!
His hands are small; yet he shoots far away!
For even so far as Acheron, he shooteth!
And to the Infernal Monarch, his darts stray.
Clothesless, he, naked goes in every place!        20
And yet to know his thoughts, it no man booteth!
Swift, as a bird, he flies! and quickly footeth,
Now to these men! and women, now to those!
But yet he fits within their very marrow
A little bow, and in that bow, an arrow!        25
A small flight-shaft, but still to heavenward goes!
About his neck, a golden dart-barrow!
In which, he placeth every bitter dart;
  Which, often, even at me! he throws!
All full of cruelty! all full of smart!        30
  And yet this thing more wondrous! A small brand
That even the very sun itself doth burn!
  If him thou take; pitiless, lead him, bound!
And, if thou chance to see him weep, return!
Then (lest he thee deceive), his tears withstand!        35
And if he laugh, draw him along the ground!
If he would kiss, refuse! His lips confound!
For those alone be poisoned evermore!
But if he say, ‘Take! these I give to thee!
All those my weapons which belong to me!’        40
Touch them not, when he lays them, thee before!
Those gifts of his, all false and fiery be!”

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