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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

Now quicke desire hath caught the yeelding pray,
And gluttonlike she feeds, yet neuer filleth,
Her lips are conquerers, his lips obay,
550Paying what ransome the insulter willeth:
VVhose vultur thought doth pitch the price so hie,
That she will draw his lips rich treasure drie.
And hauing felt the sweetnesse of the spoile,
VVith blind fold furie she begins to forrage,
555Her face doth reeke, & smoke, her blood doth boile,
And carelesse lust stirs vp adesperat courage,
Planting obliuion, beating reason backe,
Forgetting shames pure blush, & honors wracke.
Hot, faint, and wearie, with her hard imbracing,
560Like a wild bird being tam'd with too much hādling,
Or as the fleet-foot Roe that's tyr'd with chasing,
Or like the froward infant stild with dandling:
He now obayes, and now no more resisteth,
VVhile she takes all she can, not all she listeth.
565VVhat waxe so frozen but dissolues with tempring,
And yeelds at last to euerie light impression?
Things out of hope, are compast oft with ventring,
Chiefly in loue, whose leaue exceeds commission:
Affection faints not like a pale-fac'd coward,
570But thē woes best, whē most his choice is froward.
VVhen he did frowne, ô had she then gaue ouer,
Such nectar from his lips she had not suckt,
Foule wordes, and frownes, must not repell a louer,
VVhat though the rose haue prickles, yet tis pluckt?
575VVere beautie vnder twentie locks kept fast,
Yet loue breaks through, & picks them all at last.