Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardy M. Cook
Peer Reviewed

Venus and Adonis (Modern)

Even so poor birds, deceived with painted grapes,
Do surfeit by the eye and pine the maw;
Even so she languisheth in her mishaps
As those poor birds that helpless berries saw.
605The warm effects which she in him finds missing
She seeks to kindle with continual kissing.
But all in vain, good queen; it will not be.
She hath assailed as much as may be proved.
Her pleading hath deserved a greater fee.
610She's love; she loves; and yet she is not loved.
"Fie, fie," he says. "You crush me. Let me go.
You have no reason to withhold me so."
"Thou hadst been gone," quoth she, "sweet boy, ere this,
But that thou told'st me thou wouldst hunt the boar.
615O, be advised; thou know'st not what it is
With javelin's point a churlish swine to gore,
Whose tushes, never sheathed, he whetteth still,
Like to a mortal butcher, bent to kill.
"On his bow-back, he hath a battle set
620Of bristly pikes that ever threat his foes.
His eyes, like glowworms, shine when he doth fret;
His snout digs sepulchers where'er he goes.
Being moved, he strikes, whate'er is in his way,
And whom he strikes his crooked tushes slay.
625"His brawny sides with hairy bristles armed
Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter.
His short, thick neck cannot be easily harmed.
Being ireful, on the lion he will venture.
The thorny brambles and embracing bushes
630As fearful of him part, through whom he rushes.