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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

If he be dead, ô no, it cannot be,
Seeing his beautie, thou shouldst strike at it,
Oh yes, it may, thou hast no eyes to see,
940But hatefully at randon doest thou hit,
Thy marke is feeble age, but thy false dart,
Mistakes that aime, and cleaues an infants hart.
Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke,
And hearing him, thy power had lost his power,
945The destinies will curse thee for this stroke,
They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluckst a flower,
Loues golden arrow at him should haue fled,
And not deaths ebon dart to strike him dead.
Dost thou drink tears, that thou prouok'st such wee-
950VVhat may a heauie grone aduantage thee?
VVhy hast thou cast into eternall sleeping,
Those eyes that taught all other eyes to see?
Now nature cares not for thy mortall vigour,
Since her best worke is ruin'd with thy rigour.
955Here ouercome as one full of dispaire,
She vaild her eye-lids, who like sluces stopt
The christall tide, that from her two cheeks faire,
In the sweet channell of her bosome dropt.
But through the floud-gates breaks thesiluer rain,
960And with his strong course opens them againe.
O how her eyes, and teares, did lend, and borrow,
Her eye seene in the teares, teares in her eye,
Both christals, where they viewd ech others sorrow:
Sorrow, that friendly sighs sought still to drye,
965But like a stormie day, now wind, now raine,
Sighs drie her cheeks, tears make thē wet againe.