'Tis not my fault: the boar provok'd my tongue;
Be wreak'd on him, invisible commander;             1004
'Tis he, foul creature, that hath done thee wrong;
I did but act, he 's author of my slander:
  Grief hath two tongues: and never woman yet,
  Could rule them both without ten women's wit.'
Thus hoping that Adonis is alive,                   1009
Her rash suspect sile doth extenuate;
And that his beauty may the better thrive,
With Death she humbly doth insinuate;               1012
  Tells him of trophies, statues, tombs; and stories
  His victories, his triumphs, and his glories.
'O Jove!' quoth she, 'how much a fool was I,
To be of such a weak and silly mind                 1016
To wail his death who lives and must not die
Till mutual overthrow of mortal kind;
  For he being dead, with him is beauty slain,
  And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again.        1020
'Fie, fie, fond love! thou art so full of fear
As one with treasure laden, hemm'd with thieves
Trifles, unwitnessed with eye or ear,
Thy coward heart with false bethinking grieves.'    1024
  Even at this word she hears a merry horn
  Whereat she leaps that was but late forlorn.
As falcon to the lure, away she flies;
The grass stoops not, she treads on it so light;    1028
And in her haste unfortunately spies
The foul boar's conquest on her fair delight;
  Which seen, her eyes, as murder'd with the view,
  Like stars asham'd of day, themselves withdrew:
Or, as the snail, whose tender horns being hit,     1033
Shrinks backwards in his shelly cave with pain,
And there, all smother'd up, in shade doth sit,
Long after fearing to creep forth again;            1036
  So, at his bloody view, her eyes are fled
  Into the deep dark cabills of her head;
Where they resign their office and their light
To the disposing of her troubled brain;             1040
Who bids them still consort with ugly night,
And never wound the heart with looks again;
  Who, like a king perplexed in his throne,
  By their suggestion gives a deadly groan,         1044
Whereat each tributary subject quakes;
As when the wind, imprison'd in the ground,
Struggling for passage, earth's foundation shakes,
Which with cold terror doth men's minds confound.
  This mutiny each part doth so surprise            l049
  That from their dark beds once more leap her eyes;
And, being open'd, threw unwilling light
Upon the wide wound that the boar had trench'd
In his soft flank; whose wonted lily white          1053
With purple tears, that his wound wept, was drench'd:
  No flower was nigh, no grass, herb, leaf, or weed
  But stole his blood and seem'd with him to bleed.
This solemn sympathy poor Venus noteth,             1057
Over one shoulder doth she hang her head,
Dumbly she passions, franticly she doteth;
She thinks he could not die, he is not dead:        1060
  Her voice is stopp'd, her joints forget to bow,
  Her eyes are mad that they have wept till now.
Upon his hurt she looks so steadfastly,
That her sight dazzling makes the wound seem three;
And then she reprehends her mangling eye,           1065
That makes more gashes where no breach should be:
  His face seems twain, each several limb is doubled;
  For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being troubled.
'My tongue cannot express my grief for one,         1069
And yet,' quoth she, 'behold two Adons dead!
My sighs are blown away, my salt tears gone,
Mine eyes are turn'd to fire, my heart to lead:     1072
  Heavy heart's lead, melt at mine eyes' red fire!
  So shall I die by drops of hot desire.
'Alas! poor world, what treasure hast thou lost!
What face remains alive that's worth the viewing?
Whose tongue is music now? what canst thou boast
Of things long since, or anything ensuing?          1078
  The flowers are sweet, their colours fresh and trim;
  But true-sweet beauty liv'd and died with him.
'Bonnet nor veil henceforth no creature wear!       1081
Nor sun nor wind will ever strive to kiss you:
Having no fair to lose, you need not fear;
The sun doth scorn you, and the wind doth hiss you:
  But when Adonis liv'd, sun and sharp air          1085
  Lurk'd like two thieves, to rob him of his fair:
'And therefore would he put his bonnet on,
Under whose brim the gaudy sun would peep;          1088
The wind would blow it off, and, being gone,
Play with his locks: then would Adonis weep;
  And straight, in pity of his tender years,
  They both would strive who first should dry his tears.

Venus and Adonis Page 14

William Shakespeare

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