Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardy M. Cook
Peer Reviewed

Venus and Adonis (Modern)

"Lest the deceiving harmony should run
Into the quiet closure of my breast,
And then my little heart were quite undone
In his bedchamber to be barred of rest.
785 No, lady, no. My heart longs not to groan,
But soundly sleeps, while now it sleeps alone.
"What have you urged that I cannot reprove?
The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger.
I hate not love, but your device in love,
790That lends embracements unto every stranger.
You do it for increase. O strange excuse,
When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse!
"Call it not love, for love to heaven is fled
Since sweating lust on earth usurped his name,
795Under whose simple semblance he hath fed
Upon fresh beauty, blotting it with blame,
Which the hot tyrant stains and soon bereaves,
As caterpillars do the tender leaves.
"Love comforteth like sunshine after rain,
800But lust's effect is tempest after sun.
Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain;
Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done.
Love surfeits not; lust like a glutton dies.
Love is all truth; lust full of forgèd lies.
805"More I could tell, but more I dare not say.
The text is old; the orator too green.
Therefore in sadness now I will away.
My face is full of shame; my heart of teen.
Mine ears that to your wanton talk attended
810 Do burn themselves for having so offended."