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Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)

"Bonnet nor veil henceforth no creature wear;
Nor sun nor wind will ever strive to kiss you.
Having no fair to lose, you need not fear;
The sun doth scorn you, and the wind doth hiss you;
1085 But when Adonis lived, sun and sharp air
Lurked like two thieves to rob him of his fair.
"And therefore would he put his bonnet on,
Under whose brim the gaudy sun would peep;
The wind would blow it off and, being gone,
1090Play with his locks; then would Adonis weep;
And straight, in pity of his tender years,
They both would strive who first should dry his tears.
"To see his face the lion walked along
Behind some hedge because he would not fear him.
1095To recreate himself when he hath song,
The tiger would be tame and gently hear him.
If he had spoke, the wolf would leave his prey
And never fright the silly lamb that day.
"When he beheld his shadow in the brook,
1100The fishes spread on it their golden gills.
When he was by the birds such pleasure took,
That some would sing, some other in their bills
Would bring him mulberries and ripe-red cherries;
He fed them with his sight, they him with berries.
1105"But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted boar,
Whose downward eye still looketh for a grave,
Ne'er saw the beauteous livery that he wore:
Witness the entertainment that he gave.
If he did see his face, why then I know
1110 He thought to kiss him, and hath killed him so.