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)

    Hard fauourd tyrant, ougly, meagre, leane,
    Hatefull diuorce of loue, (thus chides she death)
    Grim-grinning ghost, earths-worme what dost thou thou (meane?
    To stifle beautie, and to steale his breath?
    935 Who when he liu'd, his breath and beautie set
    Glosse on the rose, smell to the violet.
    If he be dead, ô no, it cannot be,
    Seeing his beautie, thou shouldst strike at it,
    Oh yes, it may, thou hast no eyes to see,
    940But hatefully at randon doest thou hit,
    Thy marke is feeble age, but thy false dart,
    Mistakes that aime, and cleaues an infants hart.
    Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke,
    And hearing him, thy power had lost his power,
    945The destinies will curse thee for this stroke,
    They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluckst a flower,
    Loues golden arrow at him should haue fled,
    And not deaths ebon dart to strike him dead.
    Dost thou drink tears, that thou prouok'st such wee-(ping,
    950What may a heauie grone aduantage thee?
    Why hast thou cast into eternall sleeping,
    Those eyes that taught all other eyes to see?
    Now nature cares not for thy mortall vigour,
    Since her best worke is ruin'd with thy rigour.
    955Here ouercome as one full of dispaire,
    She vaild her eye-lids, who like sluces stopt
    The christall tide, that from her two cheeks faire,
    In the sweet channell of her bosome dropt.
    But through the floud-gates breaks thesiluer rain,
    960 And with his strong course opens them againe.