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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)


Once more the rubi-colourd portall opend,
VVhich to his speech did honie passage yeeld,
Like a red morne that euer yet betokend,
VVracke to the sea-man, tempest to thefield:
455Sorrow to shepherds, wo vnto the birds,
Gusts, and foule flawes, to heardmen, & to herds.

This ill presage aduisedly she marketh,
Euen as the wind is husht before it raineth:
Or as the wolfe doth grin before he barketh:
460Or as the berrie breakes before it staineth:
Or like the deadly bullet of a gun:
His meaning strucke her ere his words begun.

And at his looke she flatly falleth downe,
For lookes kill loue, and loue by lookes reuiueth,
465A smile recures the wounding of a frowne,
But blessed bankrout that by loue so thriueth.
The sillie boy beleeuing she is dead,
Claps her pale cheeke, till clapping makes it red.

And all amaz'd, brake off his late intent,
470For sharply he did thinke to reprehend her,
VVhich cunning loue did wittily preuent,
Faire-fall the wit that can so well defend her:
For on the grasse she lyes as she were slaine,
Till his breath breatheth life in her againe.