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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)

"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.
"O, let him keep his loathsome cabin still.
Beauty hath naught to do with such foul fiends.
Come not within his danger by thy will.
640They that thrive well take counsel of their friends.
When thou didst name the boar, not to dissemble,
I feared thy fortune, and my joints did tremble.
"Didst thou not mark my face? Was it not white?
Saw'st thou not signs of fear lurk in mine eye?
645Grew I not faint, and fell I not down right?
Within my bosom, whereon thou dost lie,
My boding heart pants, beats, and takes no rest
But, like an earthquake, shakes thee on my breast.
"For where love reigns, disturbing jealousy
650Doth call himself affection's sentinel,
Gives false alarms, suggesteth mutiny,
And, in a peaceful hour, doth cry, 'Kill, Kill.'
Distemp'ring gentle love in his desire,
As air and water do abate the fire.
655"This sour informer, this bate-breeding spy,
This canker that eats up love's tender spring,
This carry-tale, dissentious jealousy,
That sometime true news, sometime false doth bring,
Knocks at my heart and whispers in mine ear
660That if I love thee, I thy death should fear.