Internet Shakespeare Editions

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)


    Thou canst not see one wrinckle in my brow,
    140Mine eyes are grey, and bright, & quicke in turning:
    My beautie as the spring doth yearelie grow,
    My flesh is soft, and plumpe, my marrow burning,
    My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt,
    Would in thy palme dissolue, or seeme to melt.

    145Bid me discourse, I will inchaunt thine eare,
    Or like a Fairie, trip vpon the greene,
    Or like a Nimph, with long disheueled heare,
    Daunce on the sands, and yet no footing seene.
    Loue is a spirit all compact of fire,
    150 Not grosse to sinke, but light, and will aspire.

    Witnesse 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.