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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)


"By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill,
Stands on his hinder-legs with list'ning ear
To hearken if his foes pursue him still.
700Anon their loud alarums he doth hear,
And now his grief may be comparèd well
To one sore sick that hears the passing bell.
"Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch
Turn and return, indenting with the way.
705Each envious brier his weary legs do scratch;
Each shadow makes him stop; each murmur stay.
For misery is trodden on by many
And, being low, never relieved by any.
"Lie quietly and hear a little more.
710Nay, do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise.
To make thee hate the hunting of the boar,
Unlike myself thou hear'st me moralize,
Applying this to that, and so to so,
For love can comment upon every woe.
715"Where did I leave?" "No matter where," quoth he;
"Leave me, and then the story aptly ends.
The night is spent." "Why what of that?" quoth she.
"I am," quoth he, "expected of my friends,
And now 'tis dark, and going I shall fall."
720"In night," quoth she, "desire sees best of all.
"But if thou fall, O, then imagine this,
The earth, in love with thee, thy footing trips,
And all is but to rob thee of a kiss.
Rich preys make true men thieves; so do thy lips
725Make modest Dian cloudy and forlorn,
Lest she should steal a kiss and die forsworn.