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)


    On his bow-backe, he hath a battell set,
    620Of brisly pikes that euer threat his foes,
    His eyes like glow-wormes shine, when he doth fret
    His snout digs sepulchers where ere he goes,
    Being mou'd he strikes, what ere is in his way,
    And whom he strikes, his crooked tushes slay.

    625His brawnie sides with hairie bristles armed,
    Are better proofe then thy speares point can enter,
    His short thick necke cannot be easily harmed,
    Being irefull, on the lyon he will venter,
    The thornie brambles, and imbracing bushes,
    630 As fearefull of him part, through whom he rushes.

    Alas, he naught esteem's that face of thine,
    To which loues eyes paies tributarie gazes,
    Nor thy soft handes, sweet lips, and christall eine,
    Whose full perfection all the world amazes,
    635 But hauing thee at vantage (wondrous dread!)
    Wold roote these beauties, as he root's the mead.

    Oh let him keep his loathsome cabin still,
    Beautie hath nanght to do with such foule fiends,
    Come not within his danger by thy will,
    640They that thriue well, take counsell of their friends,
    When thou didst name the boare, not to dissēble,
    I feard thy fortune, aud my ioynts did tremble.
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