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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)

    VVitnesse this Primrose banke whereon I lie,
    These forcelesse flowers like sturdy trees support me:
    Two strēgthles doues will draw me through the skie,
    From morne till night, euen where I list to sport me.
    155 Is loue so light sweet boy, and may it be,
    That thou should thinke it heauie vnto thee?
    Is thine owne heart to thine owne face affected?
    Can thy right hand ceaze loue vpon thy left?
    Then woo thy selfe, be of thy selfe reiected:
    160Steale thine own freedome, and complaine on theft.
    Narcissus so him selfe him selfe forsooke,
    And died to kisse his shadow in the brooke.
    Torches are made to light, iewels to weare,
    Dainties to tast, fresh beautie for the vse,
    165Herbes for their smell, and sappie plants to beare.
    Things growing to them selues, are growths abuse,
    Seeds spring frō seeds, & beauty breedeth beauty,
    Thou wast begot, to get it is thy duty.
    Vpon the earths increase why shouldst thou feed,
    170Vnlesse the earth with thy increase be fed?
    By law of nature thou art bound to breed,
    That thine may liue, when thou thy selfe art dead:
    And so in spite of death thou doestsuruiue,
    In that thy likenesse still is left aliue.
    175By this the loue-sicke Queene began to sweate,
    For where they lay the shadow had forsooke them,
    And Titan tired in the midday heate,
    VVith burning eye did hotly ouer-looke them,
    VVishing Adonis had his teame to guide,
    180 So he were like him, and by Venus side.