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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)

    Now she vnweaues the web that she hath wrought,
    Adonis liues, and death is not to blame:
    It was not she that cald him all to nought;
    Now she ads honours to his hatefull name.
    995 She clepes him king of graues, & graue for kings,
    Imperious supreme of all mortall things.
    No, no, quoth she, sweet death, I did but iest,
    Yet pardon me, I felt a kind of feare
    VVhen as I met the boare, that bloodie beast,
    1000VVhich knowes no pitie but is still seuere,
    Then gentle shadow (truth I must confesse)
    I rayld on thee, fearing my loues decesse.
    Tis not my fault, the Bore prouok't my tong,
    Be wreak't on him (inuisible commaunder)
    1005T'is he foule creature, that hath done thee wrong,
    I did but act, he's author of thy slaunder.
    Greefe hath two tongues, and neuer woman yet,
    Could rule them both, without ten womens wit.
    Thus hoping that Adonis is aliue,
    1010Her rash suspect she doth extenuate,
    And that his beautie may the better thriue,
    VVith death she humbly doth insinuate.
    Tels him of trophies, statues, tombes, and stories,
    His victories, his triumphs, and his glories.
    1015O Ioue quoth she, how much a foole was I,
    To be of such a weake and sillie mind,
    To waile his death who liues, and must not die,
    Till mutuall ouerthrow of mortall kind?
    For he being dead, with him is beautie slaine,
    1020 And beautie dead, blacke Chaos comes againe.