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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)


This ill presage aduisedly she marketh,
Euen as the wind is husht before it raineth:
Or as the wolfe doth grin before he barketh:
460Or as the berrie breakes before it staineth:
Or like the deadly bullet of a gun:
His meaning strucke her ere his words begun.
And at his looke she flatly falleth downe,
For lookes kill loue, and loue by lookes reuiueth,
465A smile recures the wounding of a frowne,
But blessed bankrout that by loue so thriueth.
The sillie boy beleeuing she is dead,
Claps her pale cheeke, till clapping makes it red.
And all amaz'd, brake off his late intent,
470For sharply he did thinke to reprehend her,
VVhich cunning loue did wittily preuent,
Faire-fall the wit that can so well defend her:
For on the grasse she lyes as she were slaine,
Till his breath breatheth life in her againe.
475He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheekes,
He bends her fingers, holds her pulses hard,
He chafes her lips, a thousand wayes he seekes,
To mend the hurt, that his vnkindnesse mard,
He kisses her, and she by her good will,
VVill neuer rise, so he will kisse her still.
480The night of sorrow now is turnd to day,
Her two blew windowes faintly she vpheaueth,
Like the faire sunne when in his fresh array,
He cheeres the morne, and all the earth releeueth:
And as the bright sunne glorifies the skie:
485So is her face illumind with her eye.