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VENUS AND ADONIS.

For now she knows it is no gentle chace,
But the blunt bear, rough boar, or lion proud;
Because the cry remaineth in one place,
Where fearfully the dogs exclaim aloud:
Finding their enemy to be so curst,
They all strain curt'sy who shall cope him first.

This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear,
Thro' which it enters to surprize her heart;
Who overcome by doubt and bloodless fear,
With cold pale wakeness numbs each feeling part:

Like soldiers, when their captain once doth yield;

They basely fly, and dare not stay the field.

Thus stands she in a trembling extasy
Till cheering up her senses sore dismay'd,
She tells them 'tis a causeless tantasy,
And childish error, that they are alraid;

Bids them leave quaking, wills them fear no more:
And with that word, she spy'd the hunted boar.

Whose frothy mouth bepainted all with red,
Like milk and blood being mingled both together,
A second fear thro' all her sinews spread,
Which madly hurries her she knows not whither.
This way she runs, and now she will not further,
But back retires, to rate the boar for murder.

VENDS AND ADONIS.

A thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways,
She treads the paths that she untreads again;
Her more than haste is marred with delays:
Like the proceedings of a drunken brain,

Full of respect yet not at all respecting;

In hand with all things, nought at all effecting.

Here kennel'd in a break, she finds an hound,
And asks the weary caitiff for his master;
And there another licking of his wound,
'Gainst venom'd sores the only sovereign plaister:
And here she meets another sadly scolding,
To whom she speaks, and he replies with howling.

When he had ceas'd his ill resounding noise,
Another flap-mouth'd mourner, black and grim,
Against the welkin vollies out his voice;
Another and another answer him,

Clapping their proud tails to the ground below,
Shaking their scratcht ears, bleeding as they go.

Look how the world's poor people are amaz'd

At apparitions, signs and prodigies,

Whereon, with fearful eyes, they long have gaz'd,

Infusing them with dreadful prophecies:

So she, at these sad signs, draws up her breath,
And sighing it again, exclaims on death.

VENUS AND ADONIS.

Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean,
Hateful divorce of love (thus chides she death)
Grim-grining ghost, earth's worm, what dost thou mean
To stifle beauty and to steal his breath,

Who when he liv'd, his breath and beauty set

Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet?

If he be dead, O no ! it cannot be,

Seeing his beauty, thou shou'dst strike at it.

O ! yes, it may ; thou hast no eyes to see,

But hatefully at random dost thou hit.

Thy mark is feeble age ; but thy false dart
Mistakes that aim, and cleaves an infant's heart.

Hadst thou but hid beware, then he had spoke,
And hearing him, thy power had lost his power.
The destinies will curse thee for this stroke,
They hid thee crop a weed, thou pluck'st a flower:
Love's golden arrow at him should have fled,
And not death's ebon dart, to strike him dead.

Dost thou drink tears, that thou provok'st such weeping?

What may a heavy groan advantage thee?

Why hast thou cast into eternal sleeping

Those eyes, that taught all other eyes to see?
Now nature cares not for thy mortal vigour,
Since her best work is ruined with thy rigour.

VENUS AND ADONIS.

Here overcome, as one full of despair,
She veil'd her eye-lids, which like sluices stopp'd
The crystal tide, that from her two cheeks fair,
In the sweet channel of her bosom dropp'd.
But thro' the flood-gates breaks the silver rain,
And with his strong course opens them again.

O ! how her eyes and tears did lend and borrow!
Her eyes seen in her tears, tears in her eyes;
Both crystals, where they view'd each other's sorrow:
Sorrow, that friendly sighs sought still to dry.

But like a stormy day, now wind, now rain;

Sighs dry her cheeks, tears make them wet again.

Variable passions throng her constant woe,
As striving which should best become her grief;
All entertain'd, each passion labours so,
That every present sorrow seemeth chief.
But none is best, then join they all together,
Like many clouds consulting for foul weather.

By this, far off, she hears some huntsman hollow:
A nurse's song ne'er pleased her babe so well.
The dire imagination she did follow,
This sound of hope doth labour to expell:

For now reviving joy hids her rejoice,

And flatters her, it is Adonis' voice,

VENUS AND ADONIS.

Whereat her tears began to turn their tide,
Being prison'd in her eye, like pearls in glass:
Yet sometime falls an orient drop beside,
Which her cheek melts, as scorning it should pass
To wash the foul face of the sluttish ground,
Who is but drunken when she seemeth drown'd.

O hard believing love! how strange it seems

Not to believe ! and yet too credulous;

Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes,

Despair and hope make thee ridiculous!
The one doth natter thee in thoughts unlikely,
With likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly.

Now she unweaves the web that she had wrought,
Adonis lives and death is not to blame:
It was not she that call'd him all to nought,
Now she adds honours to his hateful name:

She 'cleeps him king of graves, and grave for kings

Imperial supreme of mortal things.

No, no, (quoth she) sweet death I did but jest;

Yet pardon me, I felt a kind of fear,

When as I met the boar, that bloody beast,

Which knows no pity, but is still severe.
Then gentle shadow (truth I must confess)
I rail'd on thee fearing my love's decease.

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