Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Parthenophil and Parthenophe
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Parthenophil and Parthenophe
[Dedicatory Sonnets]
To the Right Honourable, most renowned and valiant Robert, Earl of Essex and Ewe
Barnabe Barnes (1569?–1609)
VOUCHSAFE, thrice valiant Lord! this Verse to read,
  When time from cares of more import, permits;
  The too dear charge of my unchargèd wits!
  And that I do my lighter Muses lead
To kiss your sacred hands! I mildly plead        5
  For pardon; where all gracious virtue sits.
  Since time of yore, their Lord’s firstfruits admits;
  My bashful Muse (which lost her maidenhead
In too dear travail of my restless Love)
  To you, my Lord! her first-born babe presents!        10
  Unworthy such a patron! for her lightness.
Yet deign her zeal! though not the light contents;
  Till, from your virtues (registered above),
  To make her Love more known, she borrow brightness.

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