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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

No, no, quoth she, sweet death, I did but iest,
Yet pardon me, I felt a kind of feare
VVhen as I met the boare, that bloodie beast,
1000VVhich knowes no pitie but is still seuere,
Then gentle shadow (truth I must confesse)
I rayld on thee, fearing my loues decesse.
Tis not my fault, the Bore prouok't my tong,
Be wreak't on him (inuisible commaunder)
1005T'is he foule creature, that hath done thee wrong,
I did but act, he's author of thy slaunder.
Greefe hath two tongues, and neuer woman yet,
Could rule them both, without ten womens wit.
Thus hoping that Adonis is aliue,
1010Her rash suspect she doth extenuate,
And that his beautie may the better thriue,
VVith death she humbly doth insinuate.
Tels him of trophies, statues, tombes, and stories,
His victories, his triumphs, and his glories.
1015O Ioue quoth she, how much a foole was I,
To be of such a weake and sillie mind,
To waile his death who liues, and must not die,
Till mutuall ouerthrow of mortall kind?
For he being dead, with him is beautie slaine,
1020And beautie dead, blacke Chaos comes againe.
Fy, fy, fond loue, thou art as full of feare,
As one with treasure laden, hem'd with theeues,
Trifles vnwitnessed with eye, or eare,
Thy coward heart with false bethinking greeues.
1025Euen at this word she heares a merry horne,
VVhereat she leaps, that was but late forlorne.