Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Ode 8. In a shady grove of myrtle
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
IN a shady grove of myrtle,
  Where birds musical resorted,
With FLORA’s painted flowers fert’le,
  Which men with sight and scent comforted,
  Whilst turtles equally disported,        5
      Where each Nymph looses
      Bunches of posies,
Which into chaplets sweet they sorted!
There, seated in that lovely shade,
  With LAYA beautiful, there sate        10
A gentle Shepherd, which had made,
  ’Gainst evening twilight, somewhat late,
  An arbour built in sylvan state,
      Where, in exchange,
      Their eyes did range,        15
Giving each other, the checkmate.
He said, “Sweet comfort of my Life!
  Come and embrace PARTHENOPHIL!”
“Met we,” said She, “to fall at strife!
  I will be gone! Ay, that I will!”        20
  “I loved you long!” “Why, do so still!”
      “I cannot choose,
      If you refuse!
But shall myself, with sorrow kill.”
With that, he sighed, and would have kissed!        25
  And viewed her with a fearful smile:
She turned, and said, “Your aim missed!”
  With sighs redoubled, the meanwhile,
  The Shepherd sate, but did compile
      Green-knotted rushings;        30
      Then roundelays sings!
And pleasant doth twilight beguile!
At length, he somewhat nearer presst,
  And, with a glance, the Nymph deceiving,
He kissed her! She said, “Be at rest!”        35
  Willing displeased, in the receiving!
  Thence, from his purpose, never leaving,
      He pressed her further!
      She would cry “Murder!”
But somewhat was, her breath bereaving!        40
At length, he doth possess her whole!
  Her lips! and all he would desire!
And would have breathed in her, his soul!
  If that his soul he could inspire:
  Eft that chanced, which he did require,        45
      A live soul possesst
      Her matron breast—
Then waking, I found Sleep a liar!

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