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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)


With this he breaketh from the sweet embrace
Of those fair arms which bound him to her breast,
And homeward through the dark laund runs apace,
Leaves love upon her back, deeply distressed.
815Look how a bright star shooteth from the sky,
So glides he in the night from Venus' eye.
Which after him she darts, as one on shore
Gazing upon a late embarkèd friend
Till the wild waves will have him seen no more,
820Whose ridges with the meeting clouds contend.
So did the merciless and pitchy night,
Fold in the object that did feed her sight.
Whereat amazed, as one that unaware
Hath dropped a precious jewel in the flood,
825Or stonisht, as night wanderers often are,
Their light blown out in some mistrustful wood,
Even so confounded in the dark she lay,
Having lost the fair discovery of her way.
And now she beats her heart, whereat it groans,
830That all the neighbor caves, as seeming troubled,
Make verbal repetition of her moans;
Passion on passion, deeply is redoubled.
"Ay me," she cries, and twenty times, "Woe, Woe,"
And twenty echoes twenty times cry so.
835She marking them begins a wailing note
And sings extemporally a woeful ditty
How love makes young men thrall and old men dote,
How love is wise in folly, foolish witty.
Her heavy anthem still concludes in woe,
840And still the choir of echoes answer so.