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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)

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.
"Alas, he naught esteems that face of thine,
To which love's eyes pays tributary gazes,
Nor thy soft hands, sweet lips, and crystal eyne,
Whose full perfection all the world amazes;
635But having thee at vantage (wondrous dread!)
Would root these beauties as he roots the mead.