Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)


As falcons to the lure, away she flies.
The grass stoops not, she treads on it so light;
And in her haste unfortunately spies
1030The foul boar's conquest on her fair delight;
Which seen, her eyes are murdered with the view,
Like stars ashamed of day, themselves withdrew.
Or as the snail, whose tender horns being hit,
Shrinks backward in his shelly cave with pain,
1035And there, all smothered up, in shade doth sit,
Long after fearing to creep forth again;
So at his bloody view her eyes are fled
Into the deep-dark cabins of her head,
Where they resign their office and their light
1040To the disposing of her troubled brain,
Who bids them still consort with ugly night
And never wound the heart with looks again,
Who, like a king perplexèd in his throne,
By their suggestion gives a deadly groan.
1045Whereat each tributary subject quakes,
As when the wind imprisoned in the ground,
Struggling for passage, earth's foundation shakes,
Which with cold terror doth men's minds confound.
This mutiny each part doth so surprise
1050That from their dark beds once more leap her eyes;
And, being opened, threw unwilling light
Upon the wide wound, that the boar had trenched
In his soft flank, whose wonted lily white
With purple tears that his wound wept, was drenched.
1055No flower was nigh; no grass, herb, leaf, or weed,
But stole his blood and seemed with him to bleed.