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

Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1592-3)

For pittie now she can no more detaine him,
The poore foole praies her that he may depart,
She is resolu'd no longer to restraine him,
580Bids him farewell, and looke well to her hart,
The which by Cupids bow she doth protest,
He carries thence incaged in his brest.
Sweet boy she saies, this night ile wast in sorrow
For my sick heart commands mine eyes to watch,
585Tell me loues maister, shall we meete tomorrow,
Say, shall we, shall we, wilt thou make the match?
He tell's her no, to morrow he intends,
To hunt the boare with certaine of his frends.
The boare (quoth she) whereat a suddain pale,
590Like lawne being spred vpon the blushing rose,
Vsurpes her cheeke, she trembles at his tale,
And on his neck her yoaking armes she throwes.
She sincketh downe, still hanging by his necke,
He on her belly fall's, she on her backe.
595Now is she in the verie lists of loue,
Her champion mounted for the hot incounter,
All is imaginarie she doth proue,
He will not mannage her, although he mount her,
That worse then Tantalus is her annoy,
600To clip Elizium, and to lacke her ioy.
Euen so poore birds deceiu'd with painted grapes,
Do surfet by the eye, and pine the maw:
Euen so she languisheth in her mishaps,
As those poore birds that helplesse berries saw,
605The warme effects which she in him finds missing,
She seekes to kindle with continuall kissing.