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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)


Neuer did passenger in sommers heat,
More thirst for drinke, then she for this good turne,
Her helpe she sees, but helpe she cannot get,
She bathes in water, yet her fire must burne:
95Oh pitie gan she crie, flint-heartedboy,
Tis but a kisse I begge, why art thou coy?

I haue bene wooed as I intreat thee now,
Euen by the sterne, and direfull god of warre,
VVhose sinowie necke in battell nere did bow,
100VVho conquers where he comes in euerie iarre,
Yet hath he bene my captiue, and my slaue,
And begd for that which thou vnaskt shalt haue.

Ouer my Altars hath he hong his launce,
His battred shield, his vncontrolled crest,
105And for my sake hath learnd to sport, and daunce,
To toy, to wanton, dallie, smile, and iest,
Scorning his churlish drumme, and ensigne red,
Making my armes his field, his tent my bed.

Thus he that ouer-ruld, I ouer-swayed,
110Leading him prisoner in a red rose chaine,
Strong-temperd steele his stronger strength obayed.
Yet was he seruile to my coy disdaine,
Oh be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
For maistring her that foyld the god of fight.
B iij