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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

But all in vaine, good Queene, it will not bee,
She hath assai'd as much as may be prou'd,
Her pleading hath deseru'd a greater fee,
610She's loue; she loues, and yet she is not lou'd,
Fie, fie, he saies, you crush me, let me go,
You haue no reason to withhold me so.
Thou hadst bin gone (quoth she) sweet boy ere this,
But that thou toldst me, thou woldst hunt the boare,
615Oh be aduisd, thou know'st not what it is,
VVith iauelings point a churlish swine to goare,
VVhose tushes neuer sheathd, he whetteth still,
Like to a mortall butcher bent to kill.
On his bow-backe, he hath a battell set,
620Of brisly pikes that euer threat his foes,
His eyes like glow-wormes shine, when he doth fret
His snout digs sepulchers where ere he goes,
Being mou'd he strikes, what ere is in his way,
And whom he strikes, his crooked tushes slay.
625His brawnie sides with hairie bristles armed,
Are better proofe then thy speares point can enter,
His short thick necke cannot be easily harmed,
Being irefull, on the lyon he will venter,
The thornie brambles, and imbracing bushes,
630As fearefull of him part, through whom he rushes.
Alas, he naught esteem's that face of thine,
To which loues eyes paies tributarie gazes,
Nor thy soft handes, sweet lips, and christall eine,
VVhose full perfection all the world amazes,
635But hauing thee at vantage (wondrous dread!)
VVold roote these beauties, as he root's the mead.