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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

By this she heares the hounds are at a bay,
VVhereat she starts like one that spies an adder,
VVreath'd vp in fatall folds iust in his way,
880The feare where of doth make him shake, & shudder,
Euen so the timerous yelping of the hounds,
Appals her senses, and her spirit confounds.
For now she knowes it is no gentle chase,
But the blunt boare, rough beare, or lyon proud,
885Because the crie remaineth in one place,
VVhere fearefully the dogs exclaime aloud,
Finding their enemie to be so curst,
They all straine curt'sie who shall cope him first.
This dismall crie rings sadly in her eare,
890Through which it enters to surprise her hart,
VVho ouercome by doubt, and bloodlesse feare,
VVith cold-pale weakenesse, nums ech feeling part,
Like soldiers when their captain once doth yeeld,
They basely flie, and dare not stay the field.
895Thus stands she in a trembling extasie,
Till cheering vp her senses all dismayd,
She tels them tis a causlesse fantasie,
And childish error that they are affrayd,
Bids thē leaue quaking, bids them feare no more,
900And with that word, she spide the hunted boare.
VVhose frothie mouth bepainted all with red,
Like milke, & blood, being mingled both togither,
A second feare through all her sinewes spred,
VVhich madly hurries her, she knowes not whither,
905This way she runs, and now she will no further,
But backe retires, to rate the boare for murther.