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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)

    O how her eyes, and teares, did lend, and borrow,
    Her eye seene in the teares, teares in her eye,
    Both christals, where they viewd ech others sorrow:
    Sorrow, that friendly sighs sought still to drye,
    965 But like a stormie day, now wind, now raine,
    Sighs drie her cheeks, tears make thē wet againe.
    Variable passions throng her constant wo,
    As striuing who should best become her griefe,
    All entertaind, ech passion labours so,
    970That euerie present sorrow seemeth chiefe,
    But none is best, then ioyne they all together,
    Like many clouds, consulting for foule weather.
    By this farre off, she heares some huntsman hallow,
    A nourses song nere pleasd her babe so well,
    975The dyre imagination she did follow,
    This sound of hope doth labour to expell,
    For now reuiuing ioy bids her reioyce,
    And flatters her, it is Adonis voyce.
    Whereat her teares began to turne their tide,
    980Being prisond in her eye: like pearles in glasse,
    Yet sometimes fals an orient drop beside,
    Which her cheeke melts, as scorning it should passe
    To wash the foule face of the sluttish ground,
    Who is but dronken when she seemeth drownd.
    985O hard beleeuing loue how strange it seemes!
    Not to beleeue, and yet too credulous:
    Thy weale, and wo, are both of them extreames,
    Despaire, and hope, makes thee ridiculous.
    The one doth flatter thee in thoughts vnlikely,
    990 In likely thoughts the other kils thee quickly.