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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)

    His eares vp prickt, his braided hanging mane
    Vpon his compast crest now stand on end,
    His nostrils drinke the aire, and forth againe
    As from a fornace, vapors doth he send:
    275 His eye which scornfully glisters likefire,
    Shewes his hote courage, and his high desire.
    Sometime he trots, as if he told the steps,
    VVith gentle maiestie, and modest pride,
    Anon he reres vpright, curuets, and leaps,
    280As who should say, lo thus my strength is tride.
    And this I do, to captiuate the eye,
    Of the faire breeder that is standing by.
    VVhat recketh he his riders angrie sturre,
    His flattering holla, or his stand, I say,
    285VVhat cares he now, for curbe, or pricking spurre,
    For rich caparisons, or trappings gay:
    He sees his loue, and nothing else he sees,
    For nothing else with his proud sight agrees.
    Looke when a Painter would surpasse the life,
    290In limming out a well proportioned steed,
    His Art with Natures workmanship at strife,
    As if the dead the liuing should exceed:
    So did this Horse excell a common one,
    In shape, in courage, colour, pace and bone.
    295Round hooft, short ioynted, fetlocks shag, and long,
    Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostrill wide,
    High crest, short eares, straight legs, & passing strōg,
    Thin mane, thicke taile, broad buttock, tender hide:
    Looke what a Horse should haue, he did not lack,
    300 Saue a proud rider on so proud a back.