Look! how a bird lies tangled in a net,
So fasten'd in her arms Adonis lies;                  68
Pure shame and aw'd resistance made him fret,
Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes:
  Rain added to a river that is rank
  Perforce will force it overflow the bank.           72

Still she entreats, and prettily entreats,
For to a pretty ear she tunes her tale;
Still is he sullen, still he lours and frets,
'Twixt crimson shame and anger ashy-pale;             76
  Being red she loves him best; and being white,
  Her best is better'd with a more delight.
Look how he can, she cannot choose but love;
And by her fair immortal hand she swears,             80
From his soft bosom never to remove,
Till he take truce with her contending tears,
  Which long have rain'd, making her cheeks all wet;
  And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt.
Upon this promise did he raise his chin               85
Like a dive-dapper peering through a wave,
Who, being look'd on, ducks as quickly in;
So offers he to give what she did crave;              88
  But when her lips were ready for his pay,
  He winks, and turns his lips another way.
Never did passenger in summer's heat
More thirst for drink than she for this good turn.    92
Her help she sees, but help she cannot get;
She bathes in water, yet her fire must burn:
  'O! pity,' 'gan she cry, 'flint-hearted boy:
  'Tis but a kiss I beg; why art thou coy?            96
'I have been woo'd, as I entreat thee now,
Even by the stern and direful god of war,
Whose sinewy neck in battle ne'er did bow,
Who conquers where he comes m every jar;             100
  Yet hath he been my captive and my slave,
  And begg'd for that which thou unask'd shalt have.
'Over my altars hath he hung his lance,
His batter'd shield, his uncontrolled crest,         104
And for my sake hath learn'd to sport and dance
To toy, to wanton, dally, smile, and jest;
  Scorning his churlish drum and ensign red
  Making my arms his field, his tent my bed.         108
'Thus he that overrul'd I oversway'd,
Leading him prisoner in a red-rose chain:
Strong-temper'd steel his stronger strength obey'd,
Yet was he servile to my coy disdain.                112
  O! be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
  For mastering her that foil'd the god of fight.
Touch but my lips with those falr lips of thine,--
Though mine be not so fair, yet are they red,--      116
The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine:
What seest thou in the ground? hold up thy head:
  Look in mine eyeballs, there thy beauty lies;
  Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes?     120
'Art thou asham'd to kiss? then wink again,
And I will wink; so shall the day seem night;
Love keeps his revels where there are but twain;
Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight:          124
  These blue-vein'd violets whereon we lean
  Never can blab, nor know not what we mean.
'The tender spring upon thy tempting lip             127
Shows thee unripe, yet mayst thou well be tasted:
Make use of time, let not advantage slip;
Beauty within itself should not be wasted:
  Fair flowers that are not gather'd in their prime
  Rot and consume themselves in little time.         132
'Were I hard-favour'd, foul, or wrinkled-old,
Ill-nurtur'd, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice,
O'erworn, despised, rheumatic, and cold,
Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice,      136
  Then mightst thou pause, for then I were not for thee;
  But having no defects, why dost abhor me?
'Thou canst not see one winkle in my brow;           139
Mine eyes are grey and bright, and quick in turning;
My beauty as the spring doth yearly grow;
My flesh is soft and plump, my marrow burning;
  My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt.
  Would in thy palm dissolve, or seem to melt.       144
'Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear,
Or like a fairy, trip upon the green,
Or, like a nymph, with long dishevell'd hair,
Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen:         148
  Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
  Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.

Venus and Adonis Page 03

William Shakespeare

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