Internet Shakespeare Editions

Facsimiles of this work

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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)


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.
This solemn sympathy, poor Venus noteth.
Over one shoulder doth she hang her head.
Dumbly she passions; franticly she doteth.
1060She thinks he could not die; he is not dead.
Her voice is stopped; her joints forget to bow;
Her eyes are mad that they have wept till now.
Upon his hurt she looks so steadfastly,
That her sight dazzling makes the wound seem three;
1065And then she reprehends her mangling eye,
That makes more gashes where no breach should be.
His face seems twain; each several limb is doubled;
For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being troubled.
"My tongue cannot express my grief for one,
1070And yet," quoth she, "behold two Adons dead.
My sighs are blown away; my salt tears gone;
Mine eyes are turned to fire; my heart to lead.
Heavy heart's lead, melt at mine eyes' red fire;
So shall I die by drops of hot desire.
1075"Alas, poor world, what treasure hast thou lost;
What face remains alive that's worth the viewing?
Whose tongue is music now? What canst thou boast
Of things long since, or anything ensuing?
The flowers are sweet, their colors fresh and trim;
1080But true sweet beauty lived and died with him.