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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)


For who hath she to spend the night withal
But idle sounds resembling parasites,
Like shrill-tongued tapsters answering every call,
850Soothing the humor of fantastic wits?
She says, "'Tis so"; they answer all, "'Tis so,"
And would say after her, if she said "No."
Lo, here the gentle lark, weary of rest,
From his moist cabinet mounts up on high
855And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast
The sun ariseth in his majesty,
Who doth the world so gloriously behold,
That cedar tops and hills seem burnished gold.
Venus salutes him with this fair good morrow,
860"O, thou clear god and patron of all light,
From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow
The beauteous influence that makes him bright,
There lives a sun that sucked an earthly mother
May lend thee light, as thou dost lend to other."
865This said, she hasteth to a myrtle grove,
Musing the morning is so much o'erworn,
And yet she hears no tidings of her love.
She hearkens for his hounds and for his horn;
Anon she hears them chant it lustily,
870And all in haste she coasteth to the cry.
And as she runs, the bushes in the way,
Some catch her by the neck, some kiss her face,
Some twine about her thigh to make her stay.
She wildly breaketh from their strict embrace,
875Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ache,
Hasting to feed her fawn hid in some brake.