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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)


"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.
"The tender spring upon thy tempting lip
Shows thee unripe, yet mayst thou well be tasted.
Make use of time; let not advantage slip.
130Beauty within itself should not be wasted.
Fair flowers that are not gathered in their prime
Rot and consume themselves in little time.
"Were I hard-favored, foul, or wrinkled old,
Ill-nurtured, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice,
135O'er-worn, despisèd, rheumatic, and cold,
Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice,
Then mightst thou pause, for then I were not for thee;
But having no defects, why dost abhor me?
"Thou canst not see one wrinkle in my brow.
140Mine eyes are gray and bright and quick in turning.
My beauty as the spring doth yearly grow.
My flesh is soft and plump, my marrow burning.
My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt,
Would in thy palm dissolve, or seem to melt.
145"Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear;
Or like a fairy, trip upon the green;
Or like a nymph, with long disheveled hair,
Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen.
Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
150Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.