Venus and Adonis
William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis (London: Richard Field, 1593). Facs. edn. (Menston: Scolar Press, 1968). PR 2845 .A2 F5 St. Michael's College
2Had tane his last leaue of the weeping morne,
3Rose-cheekt Adonis hied him to the chace,
4Hunting he lou'd, but loue he laught to scorne,
5 Sick-thoughted Venus makes amaine vnto him,
6 And like a bold fac'd suter ginnes to woo him.
7Thrise fairer then my selfe, (thus she began)
8The fields chiefe flower, sweete aboue compare,
9Staine to all Nimphs, more louely then a man,
10More white, and red, then doues, or roses are:
11 Nature that made thee with her selfe at strife,
12 Saith that the world hath ending with thy life.
13Vouchsafe thou wonder to alight thy steed,
14And raine his proud head to the saddle bow,
15If thou wilt daine this fauor, for thy meed
16A thousand honie secrets shalt thou know:
17 Here come and sit, where neuer serpent hisses,
18 And being set, Ile smother thee with kisses.
19And yet not cloy thy lips with loth'd sacietie,
20But rather famish them amid their plentie,
21Making them red, and pale, with fresh varietie:
22Ten kisses short as one, one long as twentie:
23 A sommers day will seeme an houre but short,
24 Being wasted in such time beguiling sport.
25With this she ceazeth on his sweating palme,
26The president of pith, and liuelyhood,
27And trembling in her passion, calls it balme,
28Earths soueraigne salue, to do a goddesse good,
29 Being so enrag'd, desire doth lend her force,
30 Couragiously to plucke him from his horse.
31Ouer one arme the lusty coursers raine,
32Vnder her other was the tender boy,
33Who blusht, and powted in a dull disdaine,
34With leaden appetite, vnapt to toy,
35 She red, and hot, as coles of glowing fire,
36 He red for shame, but frostie in desire.
37The studded bridle on a ragged bough,
38Nimblie she fastens, (ô how quicke is loue!)
39The steed is stalled vp, and euen now,
40To tie the rider she begins to proue:
41 Backward she pusht him, as she would be thrust,
42 And gouernd him in strength though not in lust.
43So soone was she along, as he was downe,
44Each leaning on their elbowes and their hips:
45Now doth she stroke his cheek; now doth he frown,
46And gins to chide, but soone she stops his lips,
47 And kissing speaks, with lust-full language broke,
48 If thou wilt chide, thy lips shall neuer open.
49He burnes with bashfull shame, she with her teares
50Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheekes,
51Then with her windie sighes, and golden heares,
52To fan, and blow them dry againe she seekes.
53 He saith, she is immodest, blames her misse,
54 What followes more, she murthers with a kisse.
55Euen as an emptie Eagle sharpe by fast,
56Tires with her beake on feather, flesh, and bone,
57Shaking her wings deuouring all in hast,
58Till either gorge be stuft, or pray be gone:
59 Euen so she kist his brow, his cheeke, his chin,
60 And where she ends, she doth anew begin.
61Forst to content, but neuer to obey,
62Panting he lies, and breatheth in her face;
63She feedeth on the steame, as on a pray,
64And calls it heauenly moisture, aire of grace,
65 Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowers,
66 So they were dew'd with such distilling showers.
67Looke how a bird lyes tangled in a net,
68So fastned in her armes Adonis lyes,
69Pure shame and aw'd resistance made him fret,
70Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes:
71 Raine added to a riuer that is ranke,
72 Perforce will force it ouerflow the banke.
73Still shee intreats, and prettily intreats,
74For to a pretty eare she tunes her tale.
75Still is he sullein, still he lowres and frets,
76Twixt crimson shame, and anger ashie pale,
77 Being red she loues him best, and being white,
78 Her best is betterd with a more delight.
79Looke how he can, she cannot chuse but loue,
80And by her faire immortall hand she sweares,
81From his soft bosome neuer to remoue,
82Till he take truce with her contending teares,
83 Which log haue raind, making her cheeks all wet,
84 And one sweet kisse shal pay this comptlesse debt.
85Vpon this promise did he raise his chin,
86Like a diuedapper peering through a waue,
87Who being lookt on, ducks as quickly in:
88So offers he to giue what she did craue,
89 But when her lips were ready for his pay,
90 He winks, and turnes his lips another way.
91Neuer did passenger in sommers heat,
92More thirst for drinke, then she for this good turne,
93Her helpe she sees, but helpe she cannot get,
94She bathes in water, yet her fire must burne:
95 Oh pitty gan she crie, flint hearted boy,
96 Tis but a kisse I begge, why art thou coy?
97I haue beene wooed as I intreat thee now,
98Euen by the sterne, and direfull God of warre,
99Whose sinowie necke in battell nere did bow,
100Who conquers where he comes in euery iarre,
101 Yet hath he beene my captiue, and my slaue,
102 And begd for that which thou vnaskt shalt haue.
103Ouer my Altars hath he hong his launce,
104His battred shield, his vncontrolled crest,
105And for my sake hath learnd to sport, and daunce,
106To toy, to wanton, dally, smile, and iest,
107 Scorning his churlish drumme, and ensigne red,
108 Making my armes his field, his tent my bed.
109Thus he that ouer-ruld, I ouer-swayed,
110Leading him prisoner in a red rose chaine,
111Strong temperd steele his stronger strength obaied.
112Yet was he seruile to my coy disdaine,
113 Oh be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
114 For maistring her that foyld the God offight.
115Touch but my lips with those faire lips of thine,
116Though mine be not so faire, yet are they red,
117The kisse shalbe thine owne as well as mine,
118What seest thou in the ground? hold vp thy head,
119 Looke in mine eie-bals, there thy beauty lyes,
120 Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes?
121Art thou asham'd to kisse? then winke againe,
122And I will winke, so shall the day seeme night.
123Loue keepes his reuels where there be but twaine:
124Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight,
125 These blew-veind violets whereon we leane,
126 Neuer can blab, nor know not what we meane.
127The tender spring vpon thy tempting lip,
128Shewes thee vnripe; yet maist thou well be tasted,
129Make vse of time, let not aduantage slip,
130Beauty within it selfe should not be wasted,
131 Faire flowers that are not gathred in their prime,
132 Rot, and consume themselues in little time.
133Were I hard-fauourd, foule, or wrinckled old,
134Il-nurtur'd, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice,
135Ore-worne, despised, reumatique, and cold,
136Thicke-sighted, barren, leane, and lacking iuyce;
137 The mightst thou pause, for the I were not for thee,
138 But hauing no defects, why doest abhor me?
139Thou canst not see one wrinckle in my brow,
140Mine eyes are grey, and bright, & quicke in turning:
141My beautie as the spring doth yearelie grow,
142My flesh is soft, and plumpe, my marrow burning,
143 My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt,
144 Would in thy palme dissolue, or seeme to melt.
145Bid me discourse, I will inchaunt thine eare,
146Or like a Fairie, trip vpon the greene,
147Or like a Nimph, with long disheueled heare,
148Daunce on the sands, and yet no footing seene.
149 Loue is a spirit all compact of fire,
150 Not grosse to sinke, but light, and will aspire.
151Witnesse this Primrose banke whereon I lie,
152These forceles flowers like sturdy trees support me:
153Two stregthles doues wil draw me through the skie,
154From morne till night, euen where I list to sport me.
155 Is loue so light sweet boy, and may it be,
156 That thou shouldst thinke it heauy vnto thee?
157Is thine owne heart to thine owne face affected?
158Can thy right hand ceaze loue vpon thy left?
159Then woo thy selfe, be of thy selfe reiected:
160Steale thine own freedome, & complaine on theft
161 Narcissus so him selfe him selfe forsooke,
162 And died to kisse his shadow in the brooke.
163Torches are made to light, iewels to weare,
164Dainties to tast, fresh beautie for the vse,
165Herbes for their smell, and sappie plants to beare.
166Things growing to themselues, are growths abuse,
167 Seeds spring fro seeds, & beauty breedeth beauty,
168 Thou wast begot, to get it is thy duty.
169Vpon the earths increase why shouldst thou feed,
170Vnlesse the earth with thy increase be fed?
171By law of nature thou art bound to breed,
172That thine may liue, when thou thy selfe art dead:
173 And so in spite of death thou doest suruiue,
174 In that thy likenesse still is left aliue.
175By this the loue-sicke Queene began to sweate,
176For where they lay the shadow had forsooke them,
177And Titan tired in the midday heate,
178With burning eye did hotly ouerlooke them,
179 Wishing Adonis had his teame to guide,
180 So he were like him, and by Venus side.
181And now Adonis with a lazie sprite,
182And with a heauy, darke, disliking eye,
183His lowring browes ore-whelming his faire sight,
184Like mistie vapors when they blot the skie,
185 Sowring his cheekes, cries, fie, no more of loue,
186 The sunne doth burne my face, I must remoue.
187Ay, me, (quoth Venus) young, and so vnkinde,
188What bare excuses mak'st thou to be gon?
189Ile sigh celestiall breath, whose gentle winde,
190Shall coole the heate of this descending sun:
191 Ile make a shadow for thee of my heares,
192 If they burne too, Ile quench them with my teares.
193The sun that shines from heauen, shines but warme,
194And lo I lye betweene that sunne and thee:
195The heate I haue from thence doth litle harme,
196Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me,
197 And were I not immortall, life were done,
198 Betweene this heauenly and earthly sunne.
199Art thou obdurate, flintie, hard as steele?
200Nay more then flint, for stone at raine relenteth:
201Art thou a womans sonne and canst not feele
202What tis to loue, how want of loue tormenteth?
203 O had thy mother borne so bad a minde,
204 She had not brought forth thee, but died vnkind.
205What am I that thou shouldst contemne me this?
206Or what great danger, dwels vpon my sute?
207What were thy lips the worse for one poore kis?
208Speake faire, but speake faire words, or else be mute:
209 Giue me one kisse, Ile giue it thee againe,
210 And one for intrest, if thou wilt haue twaine.
211Fie, liuelesse picture, cold, and sencelesse stone,
212Well painted idoll, image dull, and dead,
213Statüe contenting but the eye alone,
214Thing like a man, but of no woman bred:
215 Thou art no man, though of a mans complexion,
216 For men will kisse euen by their owne direction.
217This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue,
218And swelling passion doth prouoke a pause,
219Red cheeks, and fierie eyes blaze forth her wrong:
220Being Iudge in loue, she cannot right her cause.
221 And now she weeps, & now she faine would speake
222 And now her sobs do her intendments breake.
223Sometime she shakes her head, and then his hand,
224Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground;
225Sometime her armes infold him like a band,
226She would, he will not in her armes be bound:
227 And when from thence he struggles to be gone,
228 She locks her lillie fingers one in one.
229Fondling, she saith, since I haue hemd thee here
230Within the circuit of this iuorie pale,
231Ile be a parke, and thou shalt be my deare:
232Feed where thou wilt, on mountaine, or in dale;
233 Graze on my lips, and if those hils be drie,
234 Stray lower, where the pleasant fountaines lie.
235Within this limit is reliefe inough,
236Sweet bottome grasse, and high delightfull plaine,
237Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure, and rough,
238To shelter thee from tempest, and from raine:
239 Then be my deare, since I am such a parke,
240 No dog shal rowze thee, though a thousand bark.
241At this Adonis smiles as in disdaine,
242That in ech cheeke appeares a prettie dimple;
243Loue made those hollowes, if himselfe were slaine,
244He might be buried in a tombe so simple,
245 Foreknowing well, if there he came to lie,
246 Why there loue liu'd, & there he could not die.
247These louely caues, these round inchanting pits,
248Opend their mouthes to swallow Venus liking:
249Being mad before, how doth she now for wits?
250Strucke dead at first, what needs a second striking?
251 Poore Queene of Ioue, in thine own law forlorne,
252 To loue a cheeke that smiles at thee in scorne.
253Now which way shall she turne? what shall she say?
254Her wordes are done, her woes the more increasing,
255The time is spent, her obiect will away,
256And from her twining armes doth vrge releasing:
257 Pitie she cries, some fauour, some remorse,
258 Away he springs, and hasteth to his horse.
259But loe from forth a copp's that neighbors by,
260A breeding Ienner, lusty, young, and proud,
261Adonis trampling Courser doth espie:
262And forth she rushes, snorts, and neighs aloud.
263 The strong-neckt steed being tied vnto a tree,
264 Breaketh his raine, and to her straight goes he.
265Imperiously he leapes, he neighs, he bounds,
266And now his wouen girths he breakes asunder,
267The bearing earth with his hard hoofe he wounds,
268Whose hollow womb resounds like heauens thunder,
269 The iron bit he crusheth tweene hir teeth,
270 Controlling what he was controlled with.
271His eares vp prickt, his braided hanging maine,
272Vpon his compast crest now stand on end,
273His nostrils drinke the aire, and forth againe
274As from a fornace, vapors doth he send:
275 His eye which scornefully glisters like fire,
276 Shewes his hote courage, and his high desire.
277Sometime he trots, as if he told the steps,
278With gentle maiestie, and modest pride,
279Anon he reres vpright, curuets, and leaps,
280As who should saie, loe thus my strength is tride.
281 And this I do to captiuate the eye,
282 Of the faire breeder that is standing by.
283What recketh he his riders angry sturre,
284His flattering holla, or his stand, I say,
285What cares he now, for curbe, or pricking spurre,
286For rich caparisons, or trappings gay:
287 He sees his loue, and nothing else he sees,
288 For nothing else with his proud sight agrees.
289Looke when a Painter would surpasse the life,
290In limming out a well-proportioned steed,
291His Art with Natures workmanship at strife,
292As if the dead the liuing should exceed:
293 So did this Horse excell a common one,
294 In shape, in courage, colour, pace and bone.
295Round hooft, short ioynted, fetlocks shag, and long,
296Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostrill wide,
297High crest, short eares, straight legs, & passing strog,
298Thin mane, thicke taile, broad buttock, tender hide:
299 Looke what a Horse should haue, he did not lacke,
300 Saue a proud rider on so proud a backe.
301Sometime he scuds farre off, and there he stares,
302Anon he starts, at sturring of a feather:
303To bid the wind a base he now prepares,
304And where he runne, or flie, they know not whether:
305 For through his mane, & taile, the high wind sings,
306 Fanning the haires, who waue like feathred wings.
307He lookes vpon his loue, and neighes vnto her,
308She answers him, as if she knew his minde,
309Being proud as females are, to see him woo her,
310She puts on outward strangenesse, seemes vnkinde:
311 Spurnes at his loue, and scorns the heat he feeles,
312 Beating his kind imbracements with her heeles.
313Then like a melancholy malcontent,
314He vailes his taile that like a falling plume,
315Coole shadow to his melting buttocke lent,
316He stampes, and bites the poore flies in his fume:
317 His loue perceiuing how he was inrag'd,
318 Grew kinder, and his furie was asswag'd.
319His testie maister goeth about to take him,
320When lo the vnbackt breeder full of feare,
321Iealous of catching, swiftly doth forsake him,
322With her the Horse, and left Adonis there:
323 As they were mad vnto the wood they hie them,
324 Outstripping crowes, that striue to ouerfly them.
325All swolne with chafing, downe Adonis sits,
326Banning his boystrous, and vnruly beast;
327And now the happie season once more fits
328That louesicke loue, by pleading may be blest:
329 For louers say, the heart hath treble wrong,
330 When it is bard the aydance of the tongue.
331An Ouen that is stopt, or riuer stayd,
332Burneth more hotly, swelleth with more rage:
333So of concealed sorow may be sayd,
334Free vent of wordes loues fier doth asswage,
335 But when the hearts atturney once is mute,
336 The client breakes, as desperat in his sute.
337He sees her comming, and begins to glow,
338Euen as a dying coale reuiues with winde,
339And with his bonnet hides his angrie brow,
340Lookes on the dull earth with disturbed minde:
341 Taking no notice that she is so nye,
342 For all askance he holds her in his eye.
343O what a sight it was wistly to view,
344How she came stealing to the wayward boy,
345To note the fighting conflict of her hew,
346How white and red, ech other did destroy:
347 But now her cheeke was pale, and by and by
348 It flasht forth fire, as lightning from the skie.
349Now was she iust before him as he sat,
350And like a lowly louer downe she kneeles,
351With one faire hand she heaueth vp his hat,
352Her other tender hand his faire cheeke feeles:
353 His tender cheeke, receiues her soft hands print,
354 As apt, as new falne snow takes any dint.
355Oh what a warre of looks was then betweene them,
356Her eyes petitioners to his eyes suing,
357His eyes saw her eyes, as they had not seene them,
358Her eyes wooed still, his eyes disdaind the wooing:
359 And all this dumbe play had his acts made plain,
360 With tears which Chorus-like her eyes did rain.
361Full gently now she takes him by the hand,
362A lillie prisond in a gaile of snow,
363Or Iuorie in an alablaster band,
364So white a friend, ingirts so white a fo:
365 This beautious combat wilfull, and vnwilling,
366 Showed like two siluer doues that sit a billing.
367Once more the engin of her thoughts began,
368O fairest mouer on this mortall round,
369Would thou wert as I am, and I a man,
370My heart all whole as thine, thy heart my wound,
371 For one sweet looke thy helpe I would assure thee,
372 Thogh nothing but my bodies bane wold cure thee
373Giue me my hand (saith he,) why dost thou feele it?
374Giue me my heart (saith she,) and thou shalt haue it.
375O giue it me lest thy hard heart do steele it,
376And being steeld, soft sighes can neuer graue it.
377 Then loues deepe grones, I neuer shall regard,
378 Because Adonis heart hath made mine hard.
379For shame he cries, let go, and let me go,
380My dayes delight is past, my Horse is gone,
381And tis your fault I am bereft him so,
382I praie you hence, and leaue me here alone,
383 For all my mind, my thought, my busie care,
384 Is how to get my palfrey from the mare.
385Thus she replies, thy palfrey as he should,
386Welcomes the warme approch of sweet desire,
387Affection is a coale that must be coold,
388Else sufferd it will set the heart on fire,
389 The sea hath bounds, but deepe desire hath none,
390 Therefore no maruell though thy horse be gone.
391How like a iade he stood tied to the tree,
392Seruilly maisterd with a leatherne raine,
393But when he saw his loue, his youths faire fee,
394He held such pettie bondage in disdaine:
395 Throwing the base thong from his bending crest,
396 Enfranchising his mouth, his backe, his brest.
397Who seekes his true-loue in her naked bed,
398Teaching the sheets a whiter hew then white,
399But when his glutton eye so full hath fed,
400His other agents ayme at like delight?
401 Who is so faint that dares not be so bold,
402 To touch the fier the weather being cold?
403Let me excuse thy courser gentle boy,
404And learne of him I heartily beseech thee,
405To take aduantage on presented ioy,
406Though I were dube, yet his proceedings teach thee
407 O learne to loue, the lesson is but plaine,
408 And once made perfect, neuer lost againe.
409I know not loue (quoth he) nor will not know it,
410Vnlesse it be a Boare, and then I chase it,
411Tis much to borrow, and I will not owe it,
412My loue to loue, is loue, but to disgrace it,
413 For I haue heard, it is a life in death,
414 That laughs and weeps, and all but with a breath.
415Who weares a garment shapelesse and vnfinisht?
416Who plucks the bud before one leafe put forth?
417If springing things be anie iot diminisht,
418They wither in their prime, proue nothing worth,
419 The colt that's backt and burthend being yong,
420 Loseth his pride, and neuer waxeth strong.
421You hurt my hand with wringing, let vs part,
422And leaue this idle theame, this bootlesse chat,
423Remoue your siege from my vnyeelding heart,
424To loues alarmes it will not ope the gate,
425 Dismisse your vows, your fained tears, your flattry,
426 For where a heart is hard they make no battry.
427What canst thou talke (quoth she) hast thou a tong?
428O would thou hadst not, or I had no hearing,
429Thy marmaides voice hath done me double wrong,
430I had my lode before, now prest with bearing,
431 Mellodious discord, heauenly tune harsh sounding,
432 Eares deep sweet musik, & harts deep sore wouding.
433Had I no eyes but eares, my eares would loue,
434That inward beauty and inuisible,
435Or were I deafe, thy outward parts would moue
436Ech part in me, that were but sensible,
437 Though neither eyes, nor eares, to heare nor see,
438 Yet should I be in loue, by touching thee.
439Say that the sence of feeling were bereft me,
440And that I could not see, nor heare, nor touch,
441And nothing but the verie smell were left me,
442Yet would my loue to thee be still as much,
443 For from the stillitorie of thy face excelling,
444 Coms breath perfumd, that breedeth loue by smelling.
445But oh what banquet wert thou to the tast,
446Being nourse, and feeder of the other foure,
447Would they not wish the feast might euer last,
448And bid suspition double locke the dore;
449 Least iealousie that sower vnwelcome guest,
450 Should by his stealing in disturbe the feast?
451Once more the rubi-colourd portall opend,
452Which to his speech did honie passage yeeld,
453Like a red morne that euer yet betokend,
454Wracke to the sea-man, tempest to the field:
455 Sorrow to sheapheards, wo vnto the birds,
456 Gusts, and fowle flawes, to heardmen, and to herds.
457This ill presage aduisedly she marketh,
458Euen as the wind is husht before it raineth:
459Or as the wolfe doth grin before he barketh:
460Or as the berrie breakes before it staineth:
461 Or like the deadly bullet of a gun:
462 His meaning strucke her ere his words begun.
463And at his looke she flatly falleth downe,
464For lookes kill loue, and loue by lookes reuiueth,
465A smile recures the wounding of a frowne,
466But blessed bankrout that by loue so thriueth.
467 The sillie boy beleeuing she is dead,
468 Claps her pale cheeke, till clapping makes it red.
469And all amaz'd, brake off his late intent,
470For sharplie he did thinke to reprehend her,
471Which cunning loue did wittily preuent,
472Faire-fall the wit that can so well defend her:
473 For on the grasse she lies as she were slaine,
474 Till his breath breatheth life in her againe.
475He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheekes,
476He bends her fingers, holds her pulses hard,
477He chafes her lips, a thousand wayes he seekes
478To mend the hurt, that his vnkindnesse mard,
479 He kisses her, and she by her good will,
480 Will neuer rise, so he will kisse her still.
481The night of sorrow now is turnd to day,
482Her two blew windowes faintly she vpheaueth,
483Like the faire sunne when in his fresh array,
484He cheeres the morne, and all the world relieueth:
485 And as the bright sunne glorifies the skie:
486 So is her face illumind with her eye.
487Whose beames vpon his hairelesse face are fixt,
488As if from thence they borrowed all their shine;
489Were neuer foure such lamps, together mixt,
490Had not his clouded with his browes repine:
491 But hers, which through the cristal tears gaue light,
492 Shone like the Moone in water seene by night.
493O where am I (quoth she,) in earth or heauen,
494Or in the Ocean drencht, or in the fire:
495What houre is this, or morne, or wearie euen,
496Do I delight to die or life desire?
497 But now I liu'd, and life was deaths annoy,
498 But now I dy'de, and death was liuelie ioy.
499O thou didst kill me, kill me once againe,
500Thy eyes shrowd tutor, that hard heart of thine,
501Hath taught them scornfull tricks, & such disdaine,
502That they haue murdred this poore heart of mine,
503 And these mine eyes true leaders to their queene,
504 But for thy piteous lips no more had seene.
505Long may they kisse ech other for this cure,
506Oh neuer let their crimson liueries weare,
507And as they last, their verdour still endure,
508To driue infection from the dangerous yeare:
509 That the star-gazers hauing writ on death,
510 May say, the plague is banisht by thy breath.
511Pure lips, sweet seales in my soft lips imprinted,
512What bargaines may I make still to be sealing?
513To sell my selfe I can be well contented,
514So thou wilt buy, and pay, and vse good dealing,
515 Which purchase if thou make, for feare of slips,
516 Set thy seale manuell, on my wax-red lips.
517A thousand kisses buyes my heart from me,
518And paie them at thy leysure, one by one,
519What is ten hundred touches vnto thee,
520Are they not quickly told, and quickly gone?
521 Say for none-paimet, that the debt should double,
522 Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble?
523Faire Queene (quoth he) if any loue you owe me,
524Measure my strangenesse with my vnripe yeares,
525Before I know my selfe, seeke not to know me,
526No fisher but the vngrowne frie forbeares,
527 The mellow plum doth fall, the greene sticks fast,
528 Or being early pluckt, is sower to tast.
529Looke the worlds comforter with wearie gate,
530His dayes hot taske hath ended in the west,
531The owle (nights herald) shreeks, tis verie late,
532The sheepe are gone to fold, birds to their nest,
533 And cole-black clouds, that shadow heauens light,
534 Do summon vs to part, and bid good night.
535Now let me say good night, and so say you,
536If you will say so, you shall haue a kis;
537Goodnight (quoth she) and ere he sayes adue,
538The honie fee of parting tendred is,
539 Her armes do lend his necke a sweet imbrace,
540 Incorporat then they seeme, face growes to face.
541Till breathlesse he disioynd, and backward drew,
542The heauenly moisture that sweet corall mouth,
543Whose precious tast, her thirstie lips well knew,
544Whereon they surfet, yet complaine on drouth,
545 He with her plentie prest, she faint with dearth,
546 Their lips together glewed, fall to the earth.
547Now quicke desire hath caught the yeelding pray,
548And gluttonlike she feeds, yet neuer filleth,
549Her lips are conquerers, his lips obay,
550Paying what ransome the insulter willeth:
551 Whose vultur thought doth pitch the price so hie,
552 That she will draw his lips rich treasure drie.
553And hauing felt the sweetnesse of the spoile,
554With blindfold fury she begins to forrage,
555Her face doth reeke, & smoke, her blood doth boile,
556And carelesse lust stirs vp a desperate courage,
557 Planting obliuion, beating reason backe,
558 Forgetting shames pure blush, & honors wracke.
559Hot, faint, and wearie, with her hard imbracing,
560Like a wild bird being tam'd with too much hadling,
561Or as the fleet-foot Roe that's tyr'd with chasing,
562Or like the froward infant stild with dandling:
563 He now obayes, and now no more resisteth,
564 While she takes all she can, not all she listeth.
565What waxe so frozen but dissolues with tempring,
566And yeelds at last to euerie light impression?
567Things out of hope, are compast oft with ventring,
568Chiefly in loue, whose leaue exceeds commission:
569 Affection faints not like a pale fac'd coward,
570 But the woes best, when most his choise is froward.
571When he did frowne, ô had she then gaue ouer,
572Such nectar from his lips she had not suckt,
573Foule wordes, and frownes, must not repell a louer,
574What though the rose haue prickles, yet tis pluckt?
575 Were beautie vnder twentie locks kept fast,
576 Yet loue breaks through, & picks them all at last.
577For pitie now she can no more detaine him,
578The poore foole praies her that he may depart,
579She is resolu'd no longer to restraine him,
580Bids him farewell, and looke well to her hart,
581 The which by Cupids bow she doth protest,
582 He carries thence incaged in his brest.
583Sweet boy she saies, this night Ile wast in sorrow,
584For my sick heart commands mine eyes to watch,
585Tell me loues maister, shall we meete to morrow,
586Say, shall we, shall we, wilt thou make the match?
587 He tell's her no, to morrow he intends,
588 To hunt the boare with certaine of his frends.
589The boare (quoth she) whereat a suddain pale,
590Like lawne being spred vpon the blushing rose,
591Vsurpes her cheeke, she trembles at his tale,
592And on his neck her yoaking armes she throwes.
593 She sincketh downe, still hanging by his necke,
594 He on her bellie fall's, she on her backe.
595Now is she in the verie lists of loue,
596Her champion mounted for the hot incounter,
597All is imaginarie she doth proue,
598He will not mannage her, although he mount her,
599 That worse then Tantalus is her annoy,
600 To clip Elizium, and to lacke her ioy.
601Euen so poore birds deceiu'd with painted grapes,
602Do surfet by the eye, and pine the maw:
603Euen so she languisheth in her mishaps,
604As those poore birds that helplesse berries saw,
605 The warme effects which she in him finds missing,
606 She seekes to kindle with continuall kissing.
607But all in vaine, good Queene, it will not bee,
608She hath assai'd as much as may be prou'd,
609Her pleading hath deseru'd a greater fee,
610She's loue; she loues, and yet she is not lou'd,
611 Fie, fie, he saies, you crush me, let me go,
612 You haue no reason to withhold me so.
613Thou hadst bin gone (quoth she) sweet boy ere this,
614But that thou toldst me, thou woldst hunt the boare,
615Oh be aduisd, thou know'st not what it is,
616With iauelings point a churlish swine to goare,
617 Whose tushes neuer sheathd, he whetteth still,
618 Like to a mortall butcher bent to kill.
619On his bow backe, he hath a battell set,
620Of brisly pikes that euer threat his foes,
621His eyes like glow-wormes shine, when he doth fret
622His snout digs sepulchers where ere he goes,
623 Being mou'd he strikes, what ere is in his way,
624 And whom he strikes, his crooked tushes slay.
625His brawnie sides with hairie bristles armed,
626Are better proofe then thy speares point can enter,
627His short thick necke cannot be easily harmed,
628Being irefull, on the Lion he will venter,
629 The thornie brambles, and imbracing bushes,
630 As fearefull of him part, through whom he rushes.
631Alas, he naught esteem's that face of thine,
632To which loues eyes paies tributarie gazes,
633Nor thy soft hands, sweet lips, and christall eine,
634Whose full perfection all the world amazes,
635 But hauing thee at vantage (wondrous dread!)
636 Wold roote these beauties, as he root's the mead.
637Oh let him keepe his loathsome cabin still,
638Beautie hath naught to do with such foule fiends,
639Come not within his danger by thy will,
640They that thriue well, take counsell of their friends,
641 Whe thou didst name the boare, not to disseble,
642 I feard thy fortune, and my ioynts did tremble.
643Didst thou not marke my face, was it not white?
644Sawest thou not signes of feare lurke in mine eye?
645Grew I not faint, and fell I not downe right?
646Within my bosome whereon thou doest lye,
647 My boding heart, pants, beats, and takes no rest,
648 But like an earthquake, shakes thee on my brest.
649For where loue raignes, disturbing iealousie,
650Doth call himselfe affections centinell,
651Giues false alarmes, suggesteth mutinie,
652And in a peacefull houre doth crie, kill, kill,
653 Distempring gentle loue in his desire,
654 As aire, and water do abate the fire.
655This sower informer, this bate-breeding spie,
656This canker that eates vp loues tender spring,
657This carrie-tale, dissentious iealousie,
658That somtime true newes, somtime false doth bring,
659 Knocks at my heart, and whispers in mine eare,
660 That if I loue thee, I thy death should feare.
661And more then so, presenteth to mine eye,
662The picture of an angrie chafing boare,
663Vnder whose sharpe fangs, on his backe doth lie,
664An image like thy selfe, all staind with goare,
665 Whose blood vpon the fresh flowers being shed,
666 Doth make the droope with grief, & hang the hed.
667What should I do, seeing thee so indeed?
668That tremble at th'imagination?
669The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed,
670And feare doth teach it diuination;
671 I prophecie thy death, my liuing sorrow,
672 If thou incounter with the boare to morrow.
673But if thou needs wilt hunt, be rul'd by me,
674Vncouple at the timerous flying hare,
675Or at the Foxe which liues by subtiltie,
676Or at the Roe which no incounter dare:
677 Pursue these fearfull creatures o're the downes,
678 And on thy wel breathd horse keep with thy houds
679And when thou hast on foote the purblind hare,
680Marke the poore wretch to ouer-shut his troubles,
681How he outruns the wind, and with what care,
682He crankes and crosses with a thousand doubles,
683 The many musits through the which he goes,
684 Are like a laberinth to amaze his foes.
685Sometime he runnes among a flocke of sheepe,
686To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell,
687And sometime where earth-deluing Conies keepe,
688To stop the loud pursuers in their yell:
689 And sometime sorteth with a heard of deare,
690 Danger deuiseth shifts, wit waites on feare.
691For there his smell with others being mingled,
692The hot sent-snuffing hounds are driuen to doubt,
693Ceasing their clamorous crie, till they haue singled
694With much ado the cold fault cleanlie out,
695 Then do they spend their mouth's, eccho replies,
696 As if an other chase were in the skies.
697By this poore wat farre off vpon a hill,
698Stands on his hinder-legs with listning eare,
699To hearken if his foes pursue him still,
700Anon their loud alarums he doth heare,
701 And now his griefe may be compared well,
702 To one sore sicke, that heares the passing bell.
703Then shalt thou see the deaw-bedabbled wretch,
704Turne, and returne, indenting with the way,
705Ech enuious brier, his wearie legs do scratch,
706Ech shadow makes him stop, ech murmour stay,
707 For miserie is troden on by manie,
708 And being low, neuer releeu'd by anie.
709Lye quietly, and heare a litle more,
710Nay do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise,
711To make thee hate the hunting of the bore,
712Vnlike my selfe thou hear'st me moralize,
713 Applying this to that, and so to so,
714 For loue can comment vpon euerie wo,
715Where did I leaue? no matter where (quoth he)
716Leaue me, and then the storie aptly ends,
717The night is spent; why what of that (quoth she?)
718I am (quoth he) expected of my frends,
719 And now tis darke, and going I shall fall,
720 In night (quoth she) desire sees best of all.
721But if thou fall, oh then imagine this,
722The earth in loue with thee, thy footing trips,
723And all is but to rob thee of a kis,
724Rich prayes make true-men theeues: so do thy lips
725 Make modest Dyan, cloudie and forlorne,
726 Lest she should steale a kisse and die forsworne.
727Now of this darke night I perceiue the reason,
728Cinthia for shame, obscures her siluer shine,
729Till forging nature be condemn'd of treason,
730For stealing moulds from heauen, that were diuine,
731 Wherin she fram'd thee, in hie heauens despight,
732 To shame the sunne by day, and her by night.
733And therefore hath she brib'd the destinies,
734To crosse the curious workmanship of nature,
735To mingle beautie with infirmities,
736And pure perfection with impure defeature,
737 Making it subiect to the tyrannie,
738 Of mad mischances, and much miserie.
739As burning feauers, agues pale, and faint,
740Life-poysoning pestilence, and frendzies wood,
741The marrow-eating sicknesse whose attaint,
742Disorder breeds by heating of the blood,
743 Surfets, impostumes, griefe, and damnd dispaire,
744 Sweare natures death, for framing thee so faire.
745And not the least of all these maladies,
746But in one minutes fight brings beautie vnder,
747Both fauour, sauour, hew, and qualities,
748Whereat th'impartiall gazer late did wonder,
749 Are on the sudden wasted, thawed, and done,
750 As mountain snow melts with the midday sunne.
751Therefore despight of fruitlesse chastitie,
752Loue-lacking vestals, and selfe-louing Nuns,
753That on the earth would breede a scarcitie,
754And barraine dearth of daughters, and of sons;
755 Be prodigall, the lampe that burnes by night,
756 Dries vp his oile, to lend the world his light.
757What is thy bodie but a swallowing graue,
758Seeming to burie that posteritie,
759Which by the rights of time thou needs must haue,
760If thou destroie them not in darke obscuritie?
761 If so the world will hold thee in disdaine,
762 Sith in thy pride, so faire a hope is slaine.
763So in thy selfe, thy selfe art made away,
764A mischiefe worse then ciuill home-bred strife,
765Or theirs whose desperat hands themselues do slay,
766Or butcher sire, that reaues his sonne of life:
767 Foule cankring rust, the hidden treasure frets,
768 But gold that's put to vse more gold begets.
769Nay then (quoth Adon) you will fall againe,
770Into your idle ouer-handled theame,
771The kisse I gaue you is bestow'd in vaine,
772And all in vaine you striue against the streame,
773 For by this black-fac't night, desires foule nourse,
774 Your treatise makes me like you, worse & worse.
775If loue haue lent you twentie thousand tongues,
776And euerie tongue more mouing then your owne,
777Bewitching like the wanton Marmaids songs,
778Yet from mine eare the tempting tune is blowne,
779 For know my heart stands armed in mine eare,
780 And will not let a false sound enter there.
781Lest the deceiuing harmonie should ronne,
782Into the quiet closure of my brest,
783And then my litle heart were quite vndone,
784In his bed-chamber to be bard of rest,
785 No Ladie no, my heart longs not to grone,
786 But soundly sleeps, while now it sleeps alone.
787What haue you vrg'd, that I can not reproue?
788The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger,
789I hate not loue, but your deuise in loue,
790That lends imbracements vnto euerie stranger,
791 You do it for increase, ô strange excuse!
792 When reason is the bawd to lusts abuse.
793Call it not loue, for loue to heauen is fled,
794Since sweating lust on earth vsurpt his name,
795Vnder whose simple semblance he hath fed,
796Vpon fresh beautie, blotting it with blame;
797 Which the hot tyrant staines, & soone bereaues:
798 As Caterpillers do the tender leaues.
799Loue comforteth like sun-shine after raine,
800But lusts effect is tempest after sunne,
801Loues gentle spring doth alwayes fresh remaine,
802Lusts winter comes, ere sommer halfe be donne:
803 Loue surfets not, lust like a glutton dies:
804 Loue is all truth, lust full of forged lies.
805More I could tell, but more I dare not say,
806The text is old, the Orator too greene,
807Therefore in sadnesse, now I will away,
808My face is full of shame, my heart of teene,
809 Mine eares that to your wanton talke attended,
810 Do burne themselues, for hauing so offended.
811With this he breaketh from the sweet embrace,
812Of those faire armes which bound him to her brest,
813And homeward through the dark lawnd runs apace,
814Leaues loue vpon her backe, deeply distrest,
815 Looke how a bright star shooteth from the skye;
816 So glides he in the night from Venus eye.
817Which after him she dartes, as one on shore
818Gazing vpon a late embarked friend,
819Till the wilde waues will haue him seene no more,
820Whose ridges with the meeting cloudes contend:
821 So did the mercilesse, and pitchie night,
822 Fold in the obiect that did feed her sight.
823Whereat amas'd as one that vnaware,
824Hath dropt a precious iewell in the flood,
825Or stonisht, as night wandrers often are,
826Their light blowne out in some mistrustfull wood;
827 Euen so confounded in the darke she lay,
828 Hauing lost the faire discouerie of her way.
829And now she beates her heart, whereat it grones,
830That all the neighbour caues as seeming troubled,
831Make verball repetition of her mones,
832Passion on passion, deeply is redoubled,
833 Ay me, she cries, and twentie times, wo, wo,
834 And twentie ecchoes, twentie times crie so.
835She marking them, begins a wailing note,
836And sings extemporally a wofull dittie,
837How loue makes yong men thrall, & old men dote,
838How loue is wise in follie, foolish wittie:
839 Her heauie antheme still concludes in wo,
840 And still the quier of ecchoes answer so.
841Her song was tedious, and out-wore the night,
842For louers houres are long, though seeming short,
843If pleasd themselues, others they thinke delight
844In such like circumstance, with such like sport:
845 Their copious stories oftentimes begunne,
846 End without audience, and are neuer donne.
847For who hath she to spend the night withall,
848But idle sounds resembling parasits?
849Like shrill-tongu'd Tapsters answering euerie call,
850Soothing the humor of fantastique wits,
851 She sayes tis so, they answer all tis so,
852 And would say after her, if she said no.
853Lo here the gentle larke wearie of rest,
854From his moyst cabinet mounts vp on hie,
855And wakes the morning, from whose siluer brest,
856The sunne ariseth in his maiestie,
857 Who doth the world so gloriously behold,
858 That Ceader tops and hils, seeme burnisht gold.
859Venus salutes him with this faire good morrow,
860Oh thou cleare god, and patron of all light,
861From whom ech lamp, & shining star doth borrow,
862The beautious influence that makes him bright,
863 There liues a sonne that suckt an earthly mother,
864 May lend thee light, as thou doest lend to other.
865This said, she hasteth to a mirtle groue,
866Musing the morning is so much ore-worne,
867And yet she heares no tidings of her loue;
868She harkens for his hounds, and for his horne,
869 Anon she heares them chaunt it lustily,
871And as she runnes, the bushes in the way,
872Some catch her by the necke, some kisse her face,
873Some twin'd about her thigh to make her stay,
874She wildly breaketh from their strict imbrace,
875 Like a milch Doe, whose swelling dugs do ake,
876 Hasting to feed her fawne, hid in some brake.
877By this she heares the hounds are at a bay,
878Wherat she starts like one that spies an adder,
879Wreath'd vp in fatall folds iust in his way,
880The feare whereof doth make him shake, & shudder,
881 Euen so the timerous yelping of the hounds,
882 Appals her senses, and her spirit confounds.
883For now she knowes it is no gentle chase,
884But the blunt boare, rough beare, or lyon proud,
885Because the crie remaineth in one place,
886Where fearefully the dogs exclaime aloud,
889This dismall crie rings sadly in her eare,
890Through which it enters to surprise her hart,
891Who ouercome by doubt, and bloudlesse feare,
892With cold-pale weakenesse, nums ech feeling part,
893 Like soldiers when their captain once doth yeeld,
894 They basely flie, and dare not stay the field.
896Till cheering vp her senses all dismayd,
897She tels them tis a causlesse fantasie,
898And childish error that they are affrayd,
899 Bids the leaue quaking, bids them feare no more,
900 And with that word, she spide the hunted boare.
901Whose frothie mouth be painted all with red,
902Like milke, & bloud, being mingled both togither,
903A second feare through all her sinewes spred,
904Which madly hurries her, she knowes not whither,
905 This way she runs, and now she will no further,
906 But backe retires, to rate the boare for murther.
908She treads the path, that she vntreads againe;
910Like the proceedings of a drunken braine,
913Here kenneld in a brake, she finds a hound,
914And askes the wearie caitiffe for his maister,
915And there another licking of his wound,
916Gainst venimd sores, the onely soueraigne plaister.
917 And here she meets another, sadly skowling,
918 To whom she speaks, & he replies with howling.
919When he hath ceast his ill resounding noise,
920Another flap mouthd mourner, blacke, and grim,
921Against the welkin, volies out his voyce,
922Another, and another, answer him,
923 Clapping their proud tailes to the ground below,
924 Shaking their scratcht-eares, bleeding as they go.
925Looke how, the worlds poore people are amazed,
926At apparitions, signes, and prodigies,
927Whereon with feareful eyes, they long haue gazed,
928Infusing them with dreadfull prophecies;
929 So she at these sad signes, drawes vp her breath.
930 And sighing it againe, exclaimes on death.
931Hard fauourd tyrant, ougly, meagre, leane,
932Hatefull diuorce of loue, (thus chides she death)
933Grim-grinning ghost, earths-worme what dost thou meane?
935 Who when he liu'd, his breath and beautie set
936 Glosse on the rose, smell to the violet.
937If he be dead, ô no, it cannot be,
938Seeing his beautie, thou shouldst strike at it,
939Oh yes, it may, thou hast no eyes to see,
940But hatefully at randon doest thou hit,
941 Thy marke is feeble age, but thy false dart,
942 Mistakes that aime, and cleaues an infants hart.
943Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke,
944And hearing him, thy power had lost his power,
945The destinies will curse thee for this stroke,
946They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluckst a flower,
947 Loues golden arrow at him should haue fled,
948 And not deaths ebon dart to strike him dead.
949Doest thou drink tears, that thou prouok'st such weeping,
950What may a heauie grone aduantage thee?
951Why hast thou cast into eternall sleeping,
952Those eyes that taught all other eyes to see?
953 Now nature cares not for thy mortall vigour,
954 Since her best worke is ruin'd with thy rigour.
955Here ouercome as one full of dispaire,
957The christall tide, that from her two cheekes faire,
958In the sweet channell of her bosome dropt
959 But through the flud-gates breaks the siluer rain,
960 And with his strong course opens them againe.
961O how her eyes, and teares, did lend, and borrow,
962Her eye seene in the teares, teares in her eye,
963Both christals, where they viewd ech others sorrow:
964Sorrow, that friendly sighs sought still to drye,
965 But like a stormy day, now wind, now raine,
966 Sighs drie her cheeks, tears make the wet againe.
967Variable passions throng her constant wo,
968As striuing who should best become her griefe,
969All entertaind, ech passion labours so,
970That euery present sorrow seemeth chiefe,
971 But none is best, then ioyne they all together,
972 Like many clouds, consulting for foule weather.
973By this farre off, she heares some huntsman hallow,
974A nourses song nere pleasd her babe so well,
975The dyre imagination she did follow,
976This sound of hope doth labour to expell,
977 For now reuiuing ioy bids her reioyce,
978 And flatters her, it is Adonis voice.
979Whereat her teares began to turne their tide,
980Being prisond in her eye: like pearles in glasse,
981Yet sometimes fals an orient drop beside,
982Which her cheeke melts, as scorning it should passe
983 To wash the foule face of the sluttish ground,
984 Who is but dronken when she seemeth drownd.
985O hard beleeuing loue how strange it seemes!
986Not to beleeue, and yet too credulous:
987Thy weale, and wo, are both of them extreames,
988Despaire, and hope, makes thee ridiculous.
989 The one doth flatter thee in thoughts vnlikely,
990 In likely thoughts the other kils thee quickly.
991Now she veweaues the web that she hath wrought,
992Adonis liues, and death is not to blame:
994Now she ads honors to his hatefull name.
997No, no, quoth she, sweet death, I did but iest,
998Yet pardon me, I felt a kind of feare
1000Which knowes no pitie but is still seueare,
1001 Then gentle shadow (truth I must confesse)
1002 I rayld on thee, fearing my loues decesse.
1003Tis not my fault, the Bore prouokt my tong,
1004Be wreakt on him (inuisible commander)
1005Tis he foule creature, that hath done thee wrong,
1006I did but act, he's author of thy slaunder.
1007 Greefe hath two tongues, and neuer woman yet
1008 Could rule them both, without ten womens wit.
1009Thus hoping that Adonis is aliue,
1010Her rash suspect she doth extenuate,
1011And that his beautie may the better thriue,
1012With death she humbly doth insinuate.
1013 Tels him of trophies, statues, tombes, and stories,
1014 His victories, his triumphs, and his glories.
1015O Ioue quoth she, how much a foole was I,
1016To be of such a weake and sillie mind,
1017To waile his death who liues, and must not die,
1018Till mutuall ouerthrow of mortall kind?
1019 For he being dead, with him is beautie slaine,
1020 And beautie dead, blacke Chaos comes againe.
1021Fy, fy, fond loue, thou art as full of feare,
1022As one with treasure laden, hem'd with the eues,
1023Trifles vnwitnessed with eye, or eare,
1024Thy coward heart with false bethinking greeues.
1025 Euen at this word she heares a merry horne,
1026 Whereat she leaps, that was but late forlorne.
1027As Faulcons to the lure, away she flies,
1028The grasse stoops not, she treads on it so light,
1029And in her hast, vnfortunately spies
1030The foule Boares conquest, on her faire delight,
1031 Which seene, her eyes are murdred with the view,
1032 Like stars asham'd of day, themselues withdrew.
1033Or as the snaile, whose tender hornes being hit,
1034Shrinks backward in his shellie caue with paine,
1035And, there all smoothred vp, in shade doth sit,
1036Long after fearing to creepe forth againe:
1037 So at his bloudie view her eyes are fled,
1038 Into the deepe-darke cabbins of her head.
1039Where they resigne their office, and their light,
1040To the disposing of her troubled braine,
1041Who bids them still consort with vgly night,
1042And neuer wound the heart with lookes againe,
1043 Who like a king perplexed in his throne,
1044 By their suggestion, giues a deadly grone.
1045Whereat ech tributarie subiect quakes,
1046As when the wind imprisond in the ground,
1047Struggling for passage, earths foundation shakes,
1048Which with cold terror, doth mens minds confoud:
1049 This mutinie ech part doth so surprise,
1050 That fro their dark-beds once more leap her eies,
1051And being opend, threw vnwilling light
1052Vpon the wide wound, that the Boare had trencht
1053In his soft flanke, whose wonted lillie white
1054With purple tears that his woud wept, had drencht,
1055 No floure was nigh, no grasse, hearb, leaf, or weed,
1056 But stole his blood, and seemd with him to bleed.
1057This solemne sympathie, poore Venus noteth,
1058Ouer one shoulder doth she hang her head,
1059Dumblie she passions, frantikely she doteth,
1060She thinkes he could not die, he is not dead,
1061 Her voice is stopt, her ioynts forget to bow,
1063Vpon his hurt she lookes so stedfastly,
1064That her sight dazling, makes the wound seem three,
1065And then she reprehends her mangling eye,
1066That makes more gashes, where no breach shuld be:
1067 His face seemes twain, ech seuerall lim is doubled,
1068 For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being troubled.
1069My tongue cannot expresse my griefe for one,
1070And yet (quoth she) behold two Adons dead,
1071My sighes are blowne away, my salt teares gone,
1072Mine eyes are turn'd to fire, my heart to lead,
1073 Heauie hearts lead melt at mine eyes red fire,
1074 So shall I die by drops of hot desire.
1075Alas poore world what treasure hast thou lost,
1076What face remains aliue that's worth the viewing?
1077Whose tong is musicke now? what canst thou boast
1078Of things long since, or anie thing ensuing?
1079 The flowers are sweet, their colours fresh, & trim,
1080 But true sweet beautie liu'd, and di'de with him.
1081Bonnet, nor vaile hencefoorth no creature weare,
1082Nor sunne, nor winde will euer striue to kisse you,
1083Hauing no faire to loose, you need not feare,
1084The sun doth scorne you, & the wind doth hisse you.
1085 But when Adonis liu'd, sunne, and sharpe aire,
1086 Lurkt like two theeues, to rob him of his faire.
1087And therefore would he put his bonnet on,
1088Vnder whose brim the gaudie sunne would peepe,
1089The wind would blow it off, and being gon,
1090Play with his locks, then would Adonis weepe.
1091 And straight in pitie of his tender yeares,
1092 They both would striue who first should drie his teares.
1093To see his face the Lion walkt along,
1094Behind some hedge, because he would not fear him:
1095To recreate himselfe when he hath song,
1096The Tygre would be tame, and gently heare him.
1097 If he had spoke, the woffe would leaue his praie,
1098 And neuer fright the sillie lambe that daie.
1099When he beheld his shadow in the brooke,
1100The fishes spread on it their golden gils,
1101When he was by the birds such pleasure tooke,
1102That some would sing, some other in their bils
1103 Would bring him mulberies & ripe-red cherries,
1104 He fed them with his sight, they him with berries.
1105But this foule, grim, and vrchin-snowted Boare,
1106Whose downeward eye still looketh for a graue:
1107Ne're saw the beautious liuerie that he wore,
1108Witnesse the intertainment that he gaue.
1109 If he did see his face, why then I know,
1110 He thought to kisse him, and hath kild him so.
1111Tis true, tis true, thus was Adonis slaine,
1112He ran vpon the Boare with his sharpe speare,
1113Who would not whet his teeth at him againe,
1114But by a kisse thought to perswade him there.
1115 And nousling in his flanke the louing swine,
1116 Sheath'd vnaware his tuske in his soft groine.
1117Had I bene tooth'd like him I must confesse,
1118With kissing him I should haue kild him first,
1119But he is dead, and neuer did he blesse
1120My youth with his, the more am I accurst.
1121 With this she falleth in the place she stood,
1122 And staines her face with his congealed bloud.
1123She lookes vpon his lips, and they are pale,
1124She takes him by the hand, and that is cold:
1125She whispers in his eares a heauy tale,
1126As if they heard the wofull words she told,
1127 She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes,
1128 Where lo, two lamps burnt out in darknesse lies.
1129Two glasses where her selfe, her selfe beheld
1130A thousand times, and now no more reflect,
1131Their vertue lost, wherein they late exceld,
1132And euerie beautie robd of his effect;
1133 Wonder of time (quoth she) this is my spight,
1134 That thou being dead, the day shuld yet be light.
1135Since thou art dead, loe here I prophecie,
1136Sorrow on loue hereafter shall attend:
1137It shall be wayted on with iealousie,
1138Find sweet beginning, but vnsauorie end.
1139 Nere setled equally, but high or lo,
1140 That all loues pleasure shall not match his wo.
1141It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud,
1142Bud, and be blasted, in a breathing while,
1143The bottome poyson, and the top ore-strawd
1144With sweets, that shall the truest sight beguile,
1145 The strongest bodie shall it make most weake,
1146 Strike the wise dumb, & teach the foole to speake
1147It shall be sparing, and too full of ryot,
1148Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures,
1149The staring ruffian shall it keepe in quiet,
1150Pluck down the rich, inrich the poore with treasures,
1151 It shall be raging mad, and sillie mild,
1152 Make the yoong old, the old become a child.
1153It shall suspect where is no cause of feare,
1154It shall not feare where it should most mistrust,
1155It shall be mercifull, and too seueare,
1156And most deceiuing, when it seemes most iust,
1157 Peruerse it shall be, where it showes most toward,
1158 Put feare to valour, courage to the coward.
1159It shall be cause of warre, and dire euents,
1160And set dissention twixt the sonne, and sire,
1161Subiect, and seruill to all discontents:
1162As drie combustious matter is to fire,
1163 Sith in his prime, death doth my loue destroy,
1164 They that loue best, their loues shall not enioy.
1165By this the boy that by her side lay kild,
1166Was melted like a vapour from her sight,
1167And in his bloud that on the ground laie spild,
1168A purple floure sprung vp, checkred with white,
1169 Resembling well his pale cheekes, and the blood,
1170 Which in round drops, vpo their whitenes stood.
1171She bowes her head, the new-sprong floure to smell,
1172Comparing it to her Adonis breath,
1173And saies within her bosome it shall dwell,
1174Since he himselfe is reft from her by death;
1175 She crops the stalke, and in the breach appeares,
1176 Green-dropping sap, which she copares to teares.
1177Poore floure (quoth she) this was thy fathers guise,
1178Sweet issue of a more sweet smelling sire,
1179For euerie little griefe to wet his eies,
1180To grow vnto himselfe was his desire;
1181 And so tis thine, but know it is as good,
1182 To wither in my brest, as in his blood.
1183Here was thy fathers bed, here in my brest,
1184Thou art the next of blood, and tis thy right.
1185Lo in this hollow cradle take thy rest,
1186My throbbing hart shall rock thee day and night;
1187 There shall not be one minute in an houre,
1188 Wherein I will not kisse my sweet loues floure.
1189Thus wearie of the world, away she hies,
1190And yokes her siluer doues, by whose swift aide,
1191Their mistresse mounted through the emptie skies,
1192In her light chariot, quickly is conuaide,
1193 Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen,
1194 Meanes to immure her selfe, and not be seen.
1] First published in 1593 with a dedication to the Earl of Southampton. A much expanded version of Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book X, with features from the story of the nymph Salmacis in Book IV. Back to Line
870] coasteth. Makes her way. Back to Line
887] curst. Ill-tempered, savage. Back to Line
888] straine curt'sie. Decline to go first, literally, use excessive courtesy. Back to Line
895] extasie. State of excitement or disquietude. Back to Line
907] spleenes. Caprices, sudden impulses. Back to Line
909] mated. Paralyzed. Back to Line
911] respects. Anxieties, fears.
respecting. Considering, heeding. Back to Line
respecting. Considering, heeding. Back to Line
912] In hand with. Occupied with. Back to Line
934] To stifle ... to steale. By stifling . . . by stealing. Back to Line
956] vaild. Lowered. Back to Line
993] all to nought. Utterly wicked. The frequent occurrence in Middle English of phrases like "all to-broken", "all to-shivered", meaning broken or shivered in pieces (the prefix "to" being intensive) led to the mistaken idea that "all-to" was one intensive prefix, meaning completely, utterly. Back to Line
995] clepes. Calls. Back to Line
996] supreme. Chief. Back to Line
999] When as. Whenas, i.e. when. Back to Line
1062] mad. Angry, furious. Back to Line
Publication Start Year:
RPO poem Editors:
N. J. Endicott
2RP.1.232; re-edited RPO 1996-2000.