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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)


A thousand spleenes beare her a thousand wayes,
She treads the path, that she vntreads againe;
Her more then hast, is mated with delayes,
910Like the proceedings of a drunken braine,
Full of respects, yet naught at all respecting,
In hand with all things, naught at all effecting.
Here kenneld in a brake, she finds a hound,
And askes the wearie caitiffe for his maister,
915And there another licking of his wound,
Gainst venimd sores, the onely soueraigne plaister.
And here she meets another, sadly skowling,
To whom she speaks, & he replies with howling.
VVhen he hath ceast his ill resounding noise,
920Another flapmouthd mourner, blacke, and grim,
Against the welkin, volies out his voyce,
Another, and another, answer him,
Clapping their proud tailes to the ground below,
Shaking their scratcht-eares, bleeding as they go.
925Looke how, the worlds poore people are amazed,
At apparitions, signes, and prodigies,
VVhereon with feareful eyes, they long haue gazed,
Infusing them with dreadfull prophecies;
So she at these sad signes, drawes vp her breath,
930And sighing it againe, exclaimes on death.
Hard fauourd tyrant, ougly, meagre, leane,
Hatefull diuorce of loue, (thus chides she death)
Grim-grinning ghost, earths-worme what dost thou thou
To stifle beautie, and to steale his breath?
935VVho when he liu'd, his breath and beautie set
Glosse on the rose, smell to the violet.