Internet Shakespeare Editions

Facsimiles of this work

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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)

He sees her coming and begins to glow,
Even as a dying coal revives with wind,
And with his bonnet hides his angry brow,
340Looks on the dull earth with disturbèd mind,
Taking no notice that she is so nigh,
For all askance he holds her in his eye.
O, what a sight it was wistly to view,
How she came stealing to the wayward boy.
345To note the fighting conflict of her hue,
How white and red, each other did destroy;
But now her cheek was pale, and by and by
It flashed forth fire, as lightning from the sky.
Now was she just before him as he sat,
350And like a lowly lover down she kneels.
With one fair hand she heaveth up his hat;
Her other tender hand his fair cheek feels.
His tend'rer cheek receives her soft hand's print
As apt as new fallen snow takes any dint.
355O, what a war of looks was then between them.
Her eyes petitioners to his eyes suing,
His eyes saw her eyes as they had not seen them;
Her eyes wooed still, his eyes disdained the wooing;
And all this dumb play had his acts made plain
360With tears, which, chorus-like, her eyes did rain.
Full gently now she takes him by the hand,
A lily prisoned in a jail of snow,
Or ivory in an alabaster band;
So white a friend engirds so white a foe.
365This beauteous combat, willful and unwilling,
Showed like two silver doves that sit a-billing.