Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Venus and Adonis (Modern)
  • 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 (Modern)

    An oven that is stopped, or river stayed,
    Burneth more hotly, swelleth with more rage.
    So of concealèd sorrow may be said
    Free vent of words love's fire doth assuage;
    335 But when the heart's attorney once is mute,
    The client breaks, as desperate in his suit.
    He sees her coming and begins to glow,
    Even as a dying coal revives with wind,
    And with his bonnet hides his angry brow,
    340Looks on the dull earth with disturbèd mind,
    Taking no notice that she is so nigh,
    For all askance he holds her in his eye.
    O, what a sight it was wistly to view,
    How she came stealing to the wayward boy.
    345To note the fighting conflict of her hue,
    How white and red, each other did destroy;
    But now her cheek was pale, and by and by
    It flashed forth fire, as lightning from the sky.
    Now was she just before him as he sat,
    350And like a lowly lover down she kneels.
    With one fair hand she heaveth up his hat;
    Her other tender hand his fair cheek feels.
    His tend'rer cheek receives her soft hand's print
    As apt as new fallen snow takes any dint.
    355O, what a war of looks was then between them.
    Her eyes petitioners to his eyes suing,
    His eyes saw her eyes as they had not seen them;
    Her eyes wooed still, his eyes disdained the wooing;
    And all this dumb play had his acts made plain
    360 With tears, which, chorus-like, her eyes did rain.