'Witness this primrose bank whereon I lie;           151
These forceless flowers like sturdy trees support me;
Two strengthless doves will draw me through the sky,
From morn till night, even where I list to sport me:
  Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be
  That thou shouldst think it heavy unto thee?       156
'Is thine own heart to shine own face affected?
Can thy right hand seize love upon thy left?
Then woo thyself, be of thyself rejected,
Steal thine own freedom, and complain on theft.      160
  Narcissus so himself himself forsook,
  And died to kiss his shadow in the brook.
'Torches are made to light, jewels to wear,
Dainties to taste, fresh beauty for the use,         164
Herbs for their smell, and sappy plants to bear;
Things growing to themselves are growth's abuse:
  Seeds spring from seeds, and beauty breedeth beauty;
  Thou wast begot; to get it is thy duty.            168
'Upon the earth's increase why shouldst thou feed,
Unless the earth with thy increase be fed?
By law of nature thou art bound to breed,
That thine may live when thou thyself art dead;      172
  And so in spite of death thou dost survive,
  In that thy likeness still is left alive.'
By this the love-sick queen began to sweat,
For where they lay the shadow had forsook them,      176
And Titan, tired in the mid-day heat
With burning eye did hotly overlook them,
  Wishing Adonis had his team to guide,
  So he were like him and by Venus' side.            180
And now Adonis with a lazy spright,
And with a heavy, dark, disliking eye,
His louring brows o'erwhelming his fair sight,
Like misty vapours when they blot the sky,           184
  Souring his cheeks, cries, 'Fie! no more of love:
  The sun doth burn my face; I must remove.'
'Ay me,' quoth Venus, 'young, and so unkind!
What bare excuses mak'st thou to be gone!            188
I'll sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind
Shall cool the heat of this descending sun:
  I'll make a shadow for thee of my hairs;           191
  If they burn too, I'll quench them with my tears.
'The sun that shines from heaven shines but warm,
And lo! I lie between that sun and thee:
The heat I have from thence doth little harm,
Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me;      196
  And were I not immortal, life were done
  Between this heavenly and earthly sun.
'Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel?
Nay, more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth:   200
Art thou a woman's son, and canst not feel
What 'tis to love? how want of love tormenteth?
  O! had thy mother borne so hard a mind,            203
  She had not brought forth thee, but died unkind.

'What am I that thou shouldst contemn me this?
Or what great danger dwells upon my suit?
What were thy lips the worse for one poor kiss?
  Speak, fair; but speak fair words, or else be mute:
  Give me one kiss, I'll give it thee again,         209
And one for interest if thou wilt have twain.
'Fie! lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone,
Well-painted idol, image dull and dead,              212
Statue contenting but the eye alone,
Thing like a man, but of no woman bred:
  Thou art no man, though of a man's complexion,
  For men will kiss even by their own direction.'    216
This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue,
And swelling passion doth provoke a pause;
Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong;
Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause:     220
  And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak,
  And now her sobs do her intendments break.
Sometimes she shakes her head, and then his hand;
Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground;            224
Sometimes her arms infold him like a band:
She would, he will not in her arms be bound;
  And when from thence he struggles to be gone,
  She locks her lily fingers one in one.             228
'Fondling,' she saith, 'since I have hemm'd thee here
Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
I'll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer;
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale:        232
  Graze on my lips, and if those hills be dry,
  Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.

Venus and Adonis Page 04

William Shakespeare

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