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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)


The studded bridle on a ragged bough,
Nimbly she fastens, (ô how quicke is loue!)
The steed is stalled vp, and euen now,
40To tie the rider she begins to proue:
Backward she pusht him, as she would be thrust,
And gouernd him in strength though not in lust.
So soone was she along, as he was downe,
Each leaning on their elbowes and their hips:
45Now doth she stroke his cheek, now doth he frown,
And gins to chide, but soone she stops his lips,
And kissing speaks, with lustful language broken,
If thou wilt chide, thy lips shall neuer open.
He burnes with bashfull shame, she with her teares
50Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheekes,
Then with her windie sighes, and golden heares,
To fan, and blow them drie againe she seekes.
He saith, she is immodest, blames her misse,
VVhat followes more, she murthers with a kisse.
55Euen as an emptie Eagle sharpe by fast,
Tires with her beake on feathers, flesh, and bone,
Shaking her wings, deuouring all in hast,
Till either gorge be stuft, or pray be gone:
Euen so she kist his brow, his cheeke, his chin,
60And where she ends, she doth anew begin.
Forst to content, but neuer to obey,
Panting he lies, and breatheth in her face.
She feedeth on the steame, as on a pray,
And calls it heauenly moisture, aire of grace,
65VVishing her cheeks were gardens ful offlowers,
So they were dew'd with such distilling showers.