Sonnet 16By Richard Barnfield
Long have I long’d to see my love again,
Still have I wished, but never could obtain it;
Rather than all the world (if I might gain it)
Would I desire my love’s sweet precious gain.
Yet in my soul I see him every day,
See him, and see his still stern countenance,
But (ah) what is of long continuance,
Where majesty and beauty bears the sway?
Sometimes, when I imagine that I see him,
(As love is full of foolish fantasies)
Weening to kiss his lips, as my love’s fees,
I feel but air: nothing but air to bee him.
Thus with Ixion*, kiss I clouds in vain:
Thus with Ixion, feel I endless pain.
By Richard Barnfield
Cherry-lipped Adonis in his snowy shape,
Might not compare with his pure ivory white,
On whose faire front a poet’s pen may write,
Whose roseate red excels the crimson grape,
His love-enticing delicate soft limbs,
Are rarely framed to entrap poor gazing eyes:
His cheeks, the lily and carnation dyes,
With lovely tincture which Apollo’s dims.
His lips ripe strawberries in nectar wet,
His mouth a Hive, his tongue a honeycomb,
Where Muses (like bees) make their mansion.
His teeth pure pearl in blushing coral set.
Oh how can such a body sin-procuring,
Be slow to love, and quick to hate, enduring?
* Ixion, in Greek legend, son either of the god Ares or of Phlegyas, king of the Lapiths in Thessaly. He murdered his father-in-law and could find no one to purify him until Zeus did so and admitted him as a guest to Olympus. Ixion abused his pardon by trying to seduce Zeus’s wife, Hera. Zeus substituted for her a cloud, by which Ixion became the father of Centaurus, who fathered the Centaurs by the mares of Mount Pelion. Zeus, to punish him, bound him on a fiery wheel, which rolled unceasingly through the air or, according to the more common tradition, in the underworld.