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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)


This solemne sympathie, poore Venus noteth,
Ouer one shoulder doth she hang her head,
Dumblie she passions, frantikely she doteth,
1060She thinkes he could not die, he is not dead,
Her voice is stopt, her ioynts forget to bow,
Her eyes are mad, that they haue wept till now.
Vpon his hurt she lookes so stedfastly,
That her sight dazling, makes the wound seem three,
1065And then she reprehends her mangling eye,
That makes more gashes, where no breach shuld be:
His face seems twain, ech seuerall lim is doubled,
For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being troubled
My tongue cannot expresse my griefe for one,
1070And yet (quoth she) behold two Adons dead,
My sighes are blowne away, my salt teares gone,
Mine eyes are turn'd to fire, my heart to lead,
Heauie hearts lead melt at mine eyes red fire,
So shall I die by drops of hot desire.
1075Alas poore world what treasure hast thou lost,
VVhat face remains aliue that's worth the viewing?
VVhose tongue is musick now? What cāst thou boast,
Of things long since, or any thing insuing?
The flowers are sweet, their colours fresh, and trim,
1080But true sweet beautie liu'd, and di'de with him.
Bonnet, nor vaile henceforth no creature weare,
Nor sunne, nor wind will euer striue to kisse you,
Hauing no faire to lose, you need not feare,
The sun doth skorne you, & the wind doth hisse you.
1085But when Adonis liu'de, sunne, and sharpe aire,
Lurkt like two theeues, to rob him of his faire.