Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1593)
  • Editor: Hardy M. Cook
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-411-0

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Hardy M. Cook
    Peer Reviewed

    Venus and Adonis (Quarto 1, 1593)


    VVhen he beheld his shadow in the brooke,
    1100The fishes spread on it their golden gils,
    VVhen he was by the birds such pleasure tooke,
    That some would sing, some other in their bils
    VVould bring him mulberries & ripe-red cherries,
    He fed them with his sight, they him with berries.

    1105But this foule, grim, and vrchin-snowted Boare,
    VVhose downeward eye still looketh for a graue:
    Ne're saw the beautious liuerie that he wore,
    VVitnesse the intertainment that he gaue.
    If he did see his face, why then I know,
    1110He thought to kisse him, and hath kild him so.

    Tis true, tis true, thus was Adonis slaine,
    He ran vpon the Boare with his sharpe speare,
    VVho did not whet his teeth at him againe,
    But by a kisse thought to persuade him there.
    1115And nousling in his flanke the louing swine,
    Sheath'd vnaware the tuske in his soft groine.

    Had I bin tooth'd like him I must confesse,
    VVith kissing him I should haue kild him first,
    But he is dead, and neuer did he blesse
    1120My youth with his, the more am I accurst.
    VVith this she falleth in the place she stood,
    And staines her face with his congealed bloud.