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VENUS AND ADONIS.
Vilia miretur vulgus, mihi flavus Apollo
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLY,
Earl of Southampton and Baron of Tichfield.
I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to your lordship, not kow the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burden: only, if your honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours, uill I have honoured you with some graver labour.' But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and never after ear so barren a land, for fear it yield me stili so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your honour to your heart's content ; which I wish may always answer your own wish, and the world's hopeful expectation.
Your Honour's in all duty,
Even as the sun with purple-colour'd face He burns with bashful shame; she with her tean
So fasten'd in her arms Adonis lies:
Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes :
For to a pretty ear she tunes her tale ;
Look how he can, she cannot choose but love ; Under her other was the tender boy,
And by her fair immortal hand she swears, Who blush'd and pouted in a dull disdain, From his soft bosom never to remove, With leaden appetite, unapt to toy;
Till he take truce with her contending tears, She red and hot, as coals of glowing fire,
Which long have rain'd, making her cheeks all wet; He red for shame, but frosty in desire.
And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt. The studded bridle on a ragged bough
Upon this promise did he raise his chin, Nimbly she fastens; (0, how quick is love!) Like a dive dapper peering through a wavo, The steed is stalled up, and even now
Who being look'd on, ducks as quickly in; To tie the rider she begins to prove :
So offers he to give what she did crave; Backward she push'd him, as she would be thrust, But when her lips were ready for his pay, And govern'd him in strength, though not in lust. He winks, and turns his lips another way. So soon was she along, as he was down,
Never did passenger in summer's heat, Each leaning on their elbows and their hips : More thirst for drink than she for this good turn. Now doth she stroke his chock, now doth he frown, Her help she sees, but help she cannot get; And 'gins to chide, but soon she stops his lips : She bathes in water, yet her fire must burn : And kissing speaks, with lustful language brokon, 0, pity, 'gan she cry, Aint-hearted boy; V thou will chide, thy lips shall never open.
'Tis but a kiss I beg; why art thou coy?
I have been woo'd as I entreat thee now, Upon the earth's increase why should'st thou feed,
By this, the love-sick queen began to sweat,
With burning eye did hotly overlook them; Scorning his churlish drum, and ensign red, Wishing Adonis had his team to guide, Making my arms his field, his tent my bed. So he were like him, and by Venus' side. Thus he that over-ruld, I oversway'd,
And now Adonis, with a lazy spright, Leading him prisoner in a red-rose chain : And with a heavy, dark, disliking eye, Strong-temper'd steel his stronger strength obey'd, His low'ring brows o'er-whelming his fair sight, Yet was he servile to my coy disdain,
Like misty vapours, when they blot the sky, O, be not proud, nor brag not of thy might, Souring his cheeks, cries, Fie, no more of love; For mastering her that foil'd the god of fight. The sun doth burn my face; I must remove. Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine, Ah me, (quoth Venus,) young, and so unkind ? (Though mine be not so fair, yet are they red,) What bare excuses mak'st thou to be gone? The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine ;- I'll sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind What see'st thou in the ground? hold up thy head; Shall cool the heat of this descending sun; Look in mine eye-balls, ihere thy beauty lies : I'll make a shadow for thee of my hairs; Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes ? If they burn too, I'll quench them with my tears. Art thou asham'd to kiss? then wink again, The sun that shines from heaven, shines but warm, And I will wink; so shall the day seem night; And lo, I lie between that sun and thee; Love keeps his revels where there are but twain ; The heat I have from thence doth little harm, Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight; Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me: These blue-vein'd violets whereon we lean, And were I not immortal, life were done, Never can blab, nor know not what we mean. Between this heavenly and earthly sun. The tender spring upon thy tempting lip
Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel, Shows thee unripe ; yet may'st thou well be tasted; Nay more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth ? Make use of time, let not advantage slip; Art thou a woman's son, and canst not feel Beauty within itself should not be wasted: What 'tis to love? how want of love tormenteth Fair flowers that are not gather'd in their prime, O, had thy mother borne so hard a mind, Rot and consume themselves in little time. She had not brought forth thee, but died unkind. Were I hard-favour'd, foul, or wrinkled-old, What am I, that thou should'st contemn me this? Ill-nurtur’d, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice, Or what great danger dwells upon my sut? O'er-worn, despised, rheumatic, and cold, What were thy lips the worse for one poor kiss ? Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice, Speak, fair ; but speak fair words, or else be mute : Then might'st thou pause, for then I were not for Give me one kiss, I'll give it thee again,
And one for interest, if thou wilt have twain. But having no defects, why dost abhor me?
Fie, lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone, Thou can'st not see one wrinkle in
Well-painted idol, image, dull and dead, Mine eyes are grey,'and bright, and quick in turning; Statue, contenting but the eye alone, My beauty as the spring doth yearly grow, Thing like a man, but of no woman bred; My flesh is soft and plump, my marrow burning;, Thou art no man, though of a man's complexion, My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt, For men will kiss even by their own direction. Would in thy palm dissolve, or seem to melt. This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue, Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear, And swelling passion doth provoke a pause ; Or, like a fairy, trip upon the green,
Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong ; Or, like a nymph, with long dishevell'd hair, Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause : Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen: And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak, Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
And now her sobs do her intendments break. Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire. Sometimes she shakes her head, and then his hand, Witness this primrose bank whereon I lie; Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground; These forceless flowers like sturdy trees support me; Sometimes her arms infold him like a band Two strengthless doves will draw me thro' the sky, She would, he will not in her arms be bound: From morn till night, even where I list to sport me; And when from thence he struggles to be gone, Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be
She locks her lily fingers, one in one. That thou should'st think it heavy unto thee ?
Fondling, she saith, since I have hemm'd thee here, Is thine own heart to thine own face affected ? Within the circuit of this ivory pale, Can thy right hand seize love upon thy left ? I'll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer ; Then woo ihyself, be of thyself rejected,
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale : Steal thine own freedom, and complain on theft, Graze on my lips; and, if those hills be dry, Narcissus, so, himself himself forsook,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie. And died to kiss his shadow in the brook.
Within this limit is relief enough, Torches are made to light, jewels to wear, Sweet bottom-grass, and high delightful plain, Dainties to taste, fresh beauty for the use; Round rising hillocks, brakes, obscure and rough, Herbs for their smell, and sappy plants to bear; To shelter thee from tempest and from rain ; Things growing to themselves are growth's abuse : Then be my deer, since I am such a park ; Seeds spring from seeds, and beauty breedeth No dog shall rouse thee, though a thousand bark. beauty;
At this Adonis smiles, as in disdain, Thou wast begot, -to get, it is thy duty.
That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple :
Love made those hollows, if himself were slain, 1 ‘Mine eyes are grey.' What we now call blue He might be buried in a tomb so simple ; eyes, were, in Shakspeare's time, called grey eyes, and Fore-knowing well, if there he came to 'lie, were considered as eminently beautiful.-Malone. Why there Love liv'd, and there he could not die.
These lovely caves, these round enchanting pits, All swoln with chasing, down Adonis sits,
eart hath treble wrong,
So of concealed sorrow may be said ;
And with his bonnet hides his angry brow;
It flash'd forth fire, as lightning from the sky.
With one fair hand she heaveth up his hal,
Her other tender hand his fair cheek feels :
o, what a war of looks was then between them! With gentle majesty, and modest pride;
Her eyes, petitioners, to his eyes suing ;
His eyes saw her eyes as they had not seen them,
And all this dumb play had his acts made plain Of the fair breeder ihat is standing by.
With tears, which, chorus-like, her eyes did rain.
Full gently now she takes him by the hand,
A lily prison’d in a gaol of snow,
So while a friend engirts so white a foe :
Show'd like two silver doves that sit a billing.
Once more the engine of her thoughts began;
O, fairest mover on this mortal round,
Would thou wert as I am, and I a man,
My heart all whole as thine, thy heart my wound;
For one sweet look thy help I would assure thee,
Because Adonis' heart hath made mine hard.
For shame, he cries, let go, and let me go;
My day's delight is past, my horse is gone,
And 'uis your fault I am bereft him so;
How like a jade he stood, tied to the tree,
But when he saw his love, his youth's fair fee,
Throwing the base thong from his bending crest,
Enfranchising his mouth, his back, his breast.
Who sees his true love in her naked bed,