Internet Shakespeare Editions

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  • 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)

    But if thou fall, oh then imagine this,
    The earth in loue with thee, thy footing trips,
    And all is but to rob thee of a kis,
    Rich prayes make true-men theeues: so do thy lips
    725 Make modest Dyan, cloudie and forlorne,
    Lest she should steale a kisse and die forsworne.
    Now of this darke night I perceiue the reason,
    Cinthia for shame, obscures her siluer shine,
    Till forging nature be condemn'd of treason,
    730For stealing moulds from heauen, that were diuine,
    Wherin she fram'd thee, in hie heauens despight,
    To shame the sunne by day, and her by night.
    And therefore hath she brib'd the destinies,
    To crosse the curious workmanship of nature,
    735To mingle beautie with infirmities,
    And pure perfection with impure defeature,
    Making it subiect to the tyrannie,
    Of mad mischances, and much miserie.
    As burning feauers, agues pale, and faint,
    740Life-poysoning pestilence, and frendzies wood,
    The marrow-eating sicknesse whose attaint,
    Disorder breeds by heating of the blood,
    Surfets, impostumes, griefe, and damnd dispaire,
    Sweare natures death, for framing thee so faire.
    745And not the least of all these maladies,
    But in one minutes fight brings beautie vnder,
    Both fauor, sauour, hew, and qualities,
    Whereat the th'impartiall gazer late did wonder,
    Are on the sudden wasted, thawed, and donne,
    750 As mountain snow melts with the midday sonne.