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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

By this poore wat farre off vpon a hill,
Stands on his hinder-legs with listning eare,
To hearken if his foes pursue him still,
700Anon their loud alarums he doth heare,
And now his griefe may be compared well,
To one sore sicke, that heares the passing bell.
Then shalt thou see the deaw-bedabbled wretch,
Turne, and returne, indenting with the way,
705Ech enuious brier, his wearie legs do scratch,
Ech shadow makes him stop, ech murmour stay,
For miserie is troden on by manie,
And being low, neuer releeu'd by anie.
Lye quietly, and heare a litle more,
710Nay do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise,
To make thee hate the hunting of the bore,
Vnlike my selfe thou hear'st me moralize,
Applying this to that, and so to so,
For loue can comment vpon euerie wo.
715VVhere did I leaue? no matter where (quoth he)
Leaue me, and then the storie aptly ends,
The night is spent; why what of that (quoth she?)
I am (quoth he) expected of my friends,
And now tis darke, and going I shall fall.
720In night (quoth she) desire sees best of all.
But if thou fall, oh then imagine this,
The earth in loue with thee, thy footing trips,
And all is but to rob thee of a kis,
Rich prayes make true-men theeues: so do thy lips
725Make modest Dyan, cloudie and forlorne,
Lest she should steale a kisse and die forsworne.