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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

Looke how a bird lyes tangled in a net,
So fastned in her armes Adonis lyes,
Pure shame and aw'd resistance made him fret,
70VVhich bred more beautie in his angrie eyes:
Raine added to a riuer that is ranke,
Perforce will force it ouerflow the banke.
Still she intreats, and prettily intreats,
For to a prettie eare she tunes her tale.
75Still is he sullein, still he lowres and frets,
Twixt crimson shame, and anger ashie pale,
Being red she loues him best, and being white,
Her best is betterd with a more delight.
Looke how he can, she cannot chuse but loue,
80And by her faire immortall hand she sweares,
From his soft bosome neuer to remoue,
Till he take truce with her contending teares,
VVhich lōg haue raind, making her cheeks al wet,
And one sweet kisse shal pay this comptlesse debt.
85Vpon this promise did he raise his chin,
Like a diuedapper peering through a waue,
VVho being lookt on, ducks as quickly in:
So offers he to giue what she did craue,
But when her lips were readie for his pay,
90He winks, and turnes his lips another way.
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?