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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)

By this, she hears the hounds are at a bay,
Whereat she starts like one that spies an adder
Wreathed up in fatal folds just in his way,
880The fear where of doth make him shake and shudder;
Even so the timorous yelping of the hounds
Appalls her senses, and her spirit confounds.
For now she knows it is no gentle chase,
But the blunt boar, rough bear, or lion proud,
885Because the cry remaineth in one place,
Where fearfully the dogs exclaim aloud,
Finding their enemy to be so curst,
They all strain court'sy who shall cope him first.
This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear,
890Through which it enters to surprise her heart,
Who, overcome by doubt and bloodless fear,
With cold-pale weakness, numbs each feeling part.
Like soldiers, when their captain once doth yield,
They basely fly and dare not stay the field.
895Thus stands she in a trembling ecstasy,
Till, cheering up her senses all dismayed,
She tells them 'tis a causeless fantasy,
And childish error that they are afraid;
Bids them leave quaking, bids them fear no more,
900And with that word, she spied the hunted boar,
Whose frothy mouth bepainted all with red,
Like milk and blood being mingled both together,
A second fear through all her sinews spread,
Which madly hurries her she knows not whither.
905This way she runs, and now she will no further,
But back retires to rate the boar for murder.