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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)


This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue,
And swelling passion doth provoke a pause.
Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong.
220Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause;
And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak,
And now her sobs do her intendments break.
Sometime she shakes her head, and then his hand;
Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground.
225Sometime her arms enfold him like a band.
She would, he will not in her arms be bound;
And when from thence he struggles to be gone,
She locks her lily fingers one in one.
"Fondling," she saith, "since I have hemmed thee here
230Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
I'll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer.
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale;
Graze on my lips, and if those hills be dry,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.
235"Within this limit is relief enough,
Sweet bottom grass and high delightful plain,
Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough,
To shelter thee from tempest and from rain.
Then be my deer, since I am such a park;
240No dog shall rouse thee, though a thousand bark."
At this Adonis smiles as in disdain,
That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple.
Love made those hollows, if himself were slain,
He might be buried in a tomb so simple,
245Foreknowing well, if there he came to lie,
Why, there love lived, and there he could not die.