Internet Shakespeare Editions

Facsimiles of this work

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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)

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.
A thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways.
She treads the path that she untreads again.
Her more than haste is mated with delays,
910Like the proceedings of a drunken brain,
Full of respects, yet naught at all respecting,
In hand with all things, naught at all effecting.
Here kenneled in a brake she finds a hound
And asks the weary caitiff for his master.
915And there another licking of his wound
'Gainst venomed sores, the only sovereign plaster;
And here she meets another, sadly scowling,
To whom she speaks, and he replies with howling.
When he hath ceased his ill resounding noise,
920Another flap-mouthed mourner, black and grim,
Against the welkin volleys out his voice.
Another and another answer him,
Clapping their proud tails to the ground below,
Shaking their scratched-ears, bleeding as they go.
925Look how the world's poor people are amazed
At apparitions, signs, and prodigies,
Whereon with fearful eyes, they long have gazed,
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies;
So she at these sad signs draws up her breath
930And, sighing it again, exclaims on death.