Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Sestine 4. Echo! What shall I do to my Nymph, when I go to behold her?
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
ECHO! What shall I do to my Nymph, when I go to behold her?
ECHO,    Hold her!
  So dare I not! lest She should think that I make her a prey then!
ECHO,    Pray then!
  Yea, but at me, She will take scorn, proceeded of honour!        5
ECHO,    On her!
  Me bear will She (with her, to deal so saucily) never!
ECHO,    Ever!
  Yea, but I greatly fear She will have pure thoughts to refuse such.
ECHO,    Few such!
  Then will I venture again more bold, if you warn me to do so!
ECHO,    Do so!
I must write with tears and sighs, before that I do so!
ECHO,    Do so!
  But what if my tears and sighs be too weak to remove her?        15
ECHO,    Move her!
  So shall ye move huge Alps with tears and sighs, if you may such!
ECHO,    You may such!
  If any that, shall affirm for a truth; I shall hold that they lie then!
ECHO,    Lie then!
  If I study to death, in kind, shall I lie never!
ECHO,    Ever!
  O! what is it to lie? Is’t not dishonour?
ECHO,    ’Tis honour!
Then to flatter a while her, is’t not dishonour?        25
ECHO,    Honour!
  Then will I wrest out sighs, and wring forth tears when I do so?
ECHO,    Do so!
  Lest She find my craft, with her I may toy never?
ECHO,    Ever!
  Then, if you jest in kind with her, you win her?
ECHO,    You win her!
  Then, what time She laughs from her heart, shall I smile then?
ECHO,    Ey, smile then!
  They that like my toys! is it harm, if I kiss such?        35
ECHO,    Ey, kiss such!
Yea, but most Ladies have disdainful minds, to refuse such!
ECHO,    Few such!
  In what space, shall I know, whether her love resteth in honour?
ECHO,    In one hour!
  O for such a sweet hour! My life of hours will I pray then!
ECHO,    Ay then!
  Then if I find, as I would; more bold to urge her, I may be so?
ECHO,    Be so!
  But if she do refuse! then, woe to th’Attempter!        45
ECHO,    Attempt her!
  She will proudly refuse! She speaks in jest never!
ECHO,    Ever!
So though still She refuse, She speaks in jest ever!
ECHO,    Ever!
  Then such as these, be the true best signs to seek out such?
ECHO,    Seek out such!
  Such will I seek! But what shall I do, when I first shall attempt her!
ECHO,    Tempt her!
  How shall I tempt her, ere She stand on terms of her honour?        55
ECHO,    On her!
  O might I come to that! I think ’tis even so.
ECHO,    ’Tis even so!
  Strongly to tempt and move, at first, is surely the best then?
ECHO,    The best then!
What, when they do repugn, yet cry not forth! will they do then?
ECHO,    Do then!
  With such a blunt Proem, Ladies, shall I move never?
ECHO,    Ever!
  I must wait, on an inch, on such Nymphs whom I regard so;        65
ECHO,    Guard so!
  Those whom, in heart, I love; my faith doth firmly deserve such.
ECHO,    Serve such!
  Then to become their slaves, is no great dishonour?
ECHO,    Honour!
  But to the Muses, first, I will recommend her!
ECHO,    Commend her!
They that pity lovers; is’t good, if I praise such?
ECHO,    Ey, praise such!
  If that I write their praise; by my verse, shall they live never?        75
ECHO,    Ever!
  If thy words be true; with thanks, take adieu then.
ECHO,    Adieu then!

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