Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Venus and Adonis (Modern)

She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to smell,
Comparing it to her Adonis' breath,
And says within her bosom it shall dwell,
Since he himself is reft from her by death.
1175 She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears
Green-dropping sap, which she compares to tears.
"Poor flower," quoth she, "this was thy father's guise,
Sweet issue of a more sweet-smelling sire,
For every little grief to wet his eyes;
1180To grow unto himself was his desire;
And so 'tis thine; but know it is as good
To wither in my breast as in his blood.
"Here was thy father's bed, here in my breast;
Thou art the next of blood, and 'tis thy right.
1185Lo, in this hollow cradle take thy rest;
My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night.
There shall not be one minute in an hour
Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower."
Thus weary of the world, away she hies
1190And yokes her silver doves, by whose swift aide,
Their mistress mounted through the empty skies
In her light chariot, quickly is conveyed,
Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen
Means to immure herself and not be seen.