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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

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.
It shall be sparing, and too full of ryot,
Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures,
The staring ruffian shall it keepe in quiet,
1150Pluck down the rich, in rich the poore with treasures,
It shall be raging mad, and sillie milde,
Make the yoong old, the old become a childe.
It shall suspect where is no cause of feare,
It shall not feare where it should most mistrust,
1155It shall be mercifull, and too seueare,
And most deceiuing, when it seemes most iust,
Peruerse it shall be, where it showes most toward,
Put feare to valour, courage to the coward.