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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

Had I bin tooth'd like him I must confesse,
VVith kissing him I should haue kild him first,
But he is dead, and neuer did he blesse
1120My youth with his, the more am I accurst.
VVith this she falleth in the place she stood,
And staines her face with his congealed bloud.
She lookes vpon his lips, and they are pale,
She takes him by the hand, and that is cold,
1125She whispers in his eares a heauie tale,
As if they heard the wofull words she told:
She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes,
VVhere lo, two lamps burnt out in darknesse lies.
Two glasses where her selfe, her selfe beheld
1130A thousand times, and now no more reflect,
Their vertue lost, wherein they late exceld,
And euerie beautie robd of his effect;
VVonder of time (quoth she) this is myspight,
That thou being dead, the day shuld yet belight.
1135Since thou art dead, lo here I prophecie,
Sorrow on loue hereafter shall attend:
It shall be wayted on with iealousie,
Find sweet beginning, but vnsauorie end.
Nere setled equally, but high or lo,
1140That all loues pleasure shall not match his wo.
It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud,
Bud, and be blasted, in a breathing while,
The bottome poyson, and the top ore-strawd
VVith sweets, that shall the truest sight beguile,
1145The strongest bodie shall it make most weake,
Strike the wise dūbe, & teach the foole to speake.