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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

VVhose beames vpon his hairelesse face arefixt,
As if from thence they borrowed all their shine,
VVere neuer foure such lamps, together mixt,
490Had not his clouded with his browes repine.
But hers, which through the cristal tears gaue light,
Shone like the Moone in water seene by night.
O where am I (quoth she,) in earth or heauen,
Or in the Ocean drencht, or in the fire:
495VVhat houre is this, or morne, or wearie euen,
Do I delight to die or life desire?
But now I liu'd, and life was deaths annoy,
But now I dy'de, and death was liuely ioy.
O thou didst kill me, kill me once againe,
500Thy eyes shrowd tutor, that hard heart of thine,
Hath taught them scornfull tricks, & such disdaine,
That they haue murdred this poore heart of mine,
And these mine eyes true leaders to their queene,
But for thy piteous lips no more had seene.
505Long may they kisse ech other for this cure,
Oh neuer let their crimson liueries weare,
And as they last, their verdour still endure,
To driue infection from the dangerous yeare:
That the star-gazers hauing writ on death,
510May say, the plague is banisht by thy breath.
Pure lips, sweet seales in my soft lips imprinted,
VVhat bargaines may I make still to be sealing?
To sell my selfe I can be well contented,
So thou wilt buy, and pay, and vse good dealing,
515VVhich purchase if thou make, for feare of slips,
Set thy seale manuell, on my wax-red lips.