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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

Once more the engin of her thoughts began,
O fairest mouer on this mortall round,
VVould thou wert as I am, and I a man,
370My heart all whole as thine, thy heart my wound,
For one sweet looke thy helpe I would assure thee,
Thogh nothing but my bodies bane wold cure thee
Giue me my hand (saith he,) why dost thou feele it?
Giue me my heart (saith she,) and thou shalt haue it.
375O giue it me lest thy hard heart do steele it,
And being steeld, soft sighes can neuer graue it.
Then loues deepe grones, I neuer shall regard,
Because Adonis heart hath made mine hard.
For shame he cries, let go, and let me go,
380My dayes delight is past, my horse is gone,
And tis your fault I am bereft him so,
I pray you hence, and leaue me here alone,
For all my mind, my thought, my busie care,
Is how to get my palfrey from the mare.
385Thus she replies, thy palfrey as he should,
VVelcomes the warme approch of sweet desire,
Affection is a coale that must be coold,
Else sufferd it will set the heart on fire,
The sea hath bounds, but deepe desire hath none,
390Therfore no maruell though thy horse be gone.
How like a iade he stood tied to the tree,
Seruilly maisterd with a leatherne raine,
Bnt when he saw his loue, his youths faire fee,
He held such pettie bondage in disdaine:
395Throwing the base thong from his bending crest,
Enfranchising his mouth, his backe, his brest.