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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)

"I have been wooed, as I entreat thee now,
Even by the stern and direful god of war,
Whose sinewy neck in battle ne'er did bow,
100Who conquers where he comes in every jar.
Yet hath he been my captive and my slave,
And begged for that which thou unasked shalt have.
"Over my altars hath he hung his lance,
His battered shield, his uncontrollèd crest,
105And for my sake hath learned to sport and dance,
To toy, to wanton, dally, smile, and jest,
Scorning his churlish drum and ensign red,
Making my arms his field, his tent my bed.
"Thus he that overruled, I overswayed,
110Leading him prisoner in a red rose chain.
Strong-tempered steel his stronger strength obeyed,
Yet was he servile to my coy disdain.
O, be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
For mastering her that foiled the god of fight.
115"Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine;
Though mine be not so fair, yet are they red.
The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine.
What seest thou in the ground? Hold up thy head.
Look in mine eyeballs; there thy beauty lies.
120Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes?
"Art thou ashamed to kiss? Then wink again,
And I will wink; so shall the day seem night.
Love keeps his revels where there are but twain.
Be bold to play; our sport is not in sight.
125These blue-veined violets whereon we lean
Never can blab, nor know not what we mean.