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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)


These louely caues, these round inchanting pits,
Opend their mouthes to swallow Venus liking:
Being mad before, how doth she now for wits?
250Strucke dead at first, what needs a second striking?
Poore Queene of loue, in thine own law forlorne,
To loue a cheeke that smiles at thee in scorne.
Now which way shall she turne? what shall she say?
Her words are done, her woes the more increasing,
255The time is spent, her obiect will away,
And ftom her twining armes doth vrge releasing:
Pitie she cries, some fauour, some remorse,
Away he springs, and hasteth to his horse.
But lo from forth a copp's that neighbors by,
260A breeding Iennet, lustie, young, and proud,
Adonis trampling Courser doth espy:
And forth she rushes, snorts, and neighs aloud.
The strong-neckt steed being tied vnto a tree,
Breaketh his raine, and to her straight goes hee.
265Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
And now his wouen girthes he breaks asunder,
The bearing earth with his hard hoofe he wounds,
VVhose hollow wombe resounds like heauens thun­
The yron bit he crusheth tweene his teeth,
270Controlling what he was controlled with.
His eares vp prickt, his braided hanging mane
Vpon his compast crest now stand on end,
His nostrils drinke the aire, and forth againe
As from a fornace, vapors doth he send:
275His eye which scornfully glisters likefire,
Shewes his hote courage, and his high desire.