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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)

"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.
"It shall be sparing and too full of riot,
Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures.
The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet,
1150Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures.
It shall be raging mad and silly mild,
Make the young old, the old become a child.
"It shall suspect where is no cause of fear;
It shall not fear where it should most mistrust;
1155It shall be merciful and too severe,
And most deceiving, when it seems most just.
Perverse it shall be where it shows most toward,
Put fear to valor, courage to the coward.