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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

As Faulcons to the lure, away she flies,
The grasse stoops not, she treads on it so light,
And in her hast, vnfortunately spies,
1030The foule boares conquest, on her faire delight,
VVhich seene, her eyes are murdred with the view,
Like stars asham'd of day, themselues withdrew.
Or as the snaile, whose tender hornes being hit,
Shrinks backward in his shellie caue with paine,
1035And, there all smoothred vp, in shade doth sit,
Long after fearing to creepe forth againe:
So at his bloodie view her eyes are fled,
Into the deep-darke cabbins of her head.
VVhere they resigne their office, and their light,
1040To the disposing of her troubled braine,
VVho bids them still consort with ougly night,
And neuer wound the heart with lookes againe,
VVho like a king perplexed in his throne,
By their suggestion, giues a deadly grone.
1045VVhereat ech tributarie subiect quakes,
As when the wind imprisond in the ground,
Struggling for passage, earths foundation shakes,
VVhich with cold terror, doth mens minds confoūd:
This mutinie ech part doth so surprise,
1050 That frō their dark beds once more leap hereies.
And being opend, threw vnwilling light,
Vpon the wide wound, that the boare had trencht
In his soft flanke, whose wonted lillie white
VVith purple tears that his wound wept, had drēcht.
1055No floure was nigh, no grasse, hearb, leaf, or weed,
But stole his blood, and seemd with him to bleed.