Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)


"Had I been toothed like him, I must confess,
With kissing him I should have killed him first;
But he is dead, and never did he bless
1120My youth with his, the more am I accurst."
With this she falleth in the place she stood
And stains her face with his congealèd blood.
She looks upon his lips, and they are pale;
She takes him by the hand, and that is cold;
1125She whispers in his ears a heavy tale,
As if they heard the woeful words she told;
She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes,
Where, lo, two lamps burnt out in darkness lies;
Two glasses where herself herself beheld
1130A thousand times, and now no more reflect;
Their virtue lost, wherein they late excelled;
And every beauty robbed of his effect.
"Wonder of time," quoth she, "this is my spite,
That, thou being dead, the day should yet be light.
1135"Since thou art dead, lo, here I prophesy,
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend.
It shall be waited on with jealousy,
Find sweet beginning, but unsavory end;
Ne'er settled equally, but high or low,
1140That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe.
"It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud,
Bud, and be blasted, in a breathing while,
The bottom poison, and the top o'erstrawed
With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile.
1145The strongest body shall it make most weak,
Strike the wise dumb, and teach the fool to speak.