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)


    Let me excuse thy courser gentle boy,
    And learne of him I heartily beseech thee,
    405To take aduantage on presented ioy,
    Though I were dūbe, yet his proceedings teach thee
    O learne to loue, the lesson is but plaine,
    And once made perfect, neuer lost againe.

    I know not loue (quoth he) nor will not know it,
    410Vnlesse it be a Boare, and then I chase it,
    Tis much to borrow, and I will not owe it,
    My loue to loue, is loue, but to disgrace it,
    For I haue heard, it is a life in death,
    That laughs and weeps, and all but with a breath.

    415Who weares a garment shapelesse and vnfinisht?
    Who plucks the bud before one leafe put forth?
    If springing things be anie iot diminisht,
    They wither in their prime, proue nothing worth,
    The colt that's backt and burthend being yong,
    420 Loseth his pride, and neuer waxeth strong.

    You hurt my hand with wringing, let vs part,
    And leaue this idle theame, this bootlesse chat,
    Remoue your siege from my vnyeelding hart,
    To loues allarmes it will not ope the gate,
    425 Dismisse your vows, your fained tears, your flattry,
    For where a heart is hard they make no battry.