Versione ebook di Readme.it powered by Softwarehouse.it
VENUS AND ADONIS
'Vilia miretur vulgus; mihi flavus Apollo
Pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua.'
RIGHT HONORABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLY
EARL OF SOUTHAMPTONAND BARON OF TICHFIELD.
I KNOW not how I shall offend in dedicating my
unpolished lines to your lordshipnor how the world will
censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a
burden onlyif your honour seem but pleasedI account
myself highly praisedand vow to take advantage of all idle
hourstill I have honoured you with some graver labour. But if
the first heir of my invention prove deformedI shall be
sorry it had so noble a god-fatherand never after ear so
barren a landfor fear it yield me still so bad a harvest.
I leave it to your honourable surveyand 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
Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn
Rose-cheek'd Adonis hied him to the chase;
Hunting he lovedbut love he laugh'd to scorn;
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him
And like a bold-faced suitor 'gins to woo him.
'Thrice-fairer than myself' thus she began
'The field's chief flowersweet above compare
Stain to all nymphsmore lovely than a man
More white and red than doves or roses are;
Nature that made theewith herself at strife
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life.
'Vouchsafethou wonderto alight thy steed
And rein his proud head to the saddle-bow;
If thou wilt deign this favourfor thy meed
A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know:
Here come and sitwhere never serpent hisses
And being setI'll smother thee with kisses;
'And yet not cloy thy lips with loathed satiety
But rather famish them amid their plenty
Making them red and pale with fresh variety
Ten kisses short as oneone long as twenty:
A summer's day will seem an hour but short
Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.'
With this she seizeth on his sweating palm
The precedent of pith and livelihood
And trembling in her passioncalls it balm
Earth's sovereign salve to do a goddess good:
Being so enrageddesire doth lend her force
Courageously to pluck him from his horse.
Over one arm the lusty courser's rein
Under her other was the tender boy
Who blush'd and pouted in a dull disdain
With leaden appetiteunapt to toy;
She red and hot as coals of glowing fire
He red for shamebut frosty in desire.
The studded bridle on a ragged bough
Nimbly she fastens:--Ohow quick is love!-The
steed is stalled upand even now
To tie the rider she begins to prove:
Backward she push'd himas she would be thrust
And govern'd him in strengththough not in lust.
So soon was she along as he was down
Each leaning on their elbows and their hips:
Now doth she stroke his cheeknow doth he frown
And 'gins to chidebut soon she stops his lips;
And kissing speakswith lustful language broken
'If thou wilt chidethy lips shall never open.'
He burns with bashful shame: she with her tears
Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheeks;
Then with her windy sighs and golden hairs
To fan and blow them dry again she seeks:
He saith she is immodestblames her 'miss;
What follows more she murders with a kiss.
Even as an empty eaglesharp by fast
Tires with her beak on feathersflesh and bone
Shaking her wingsdevouring all in haste
Till either gorge be stuff'd or prey be gone;
Even so she kissed his browhis cheekhis chin
And where she ends she doth anew begin.
Forced to contentbut never to obey
Panting he lies and breatheth in her face;
She feedeth on the steam as on a prey
And calls it heavenly moistureair of grace;
Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowers
So they were dew'd with such distilling showers.
Lookhow a bird lies tangled in a net
So fasten'd in her arms Adonis lies;
Pure shame and awed 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.
Still she entreatsand prettily entreats
For to a pretty ear she tunes her tale;
Still is he sullenstill he lours and frets
'Twixt crimson shame and anger ashy-pale:
Being redshe loves him best; and being white
Her best is better'd with a more delight.
Look how he canshe cannot choose but love;
And by her fair immortal hand she swears
From his soft bosom never to remove
Till he take truce with her contending tears
Which long have rain'dmaking her cheeks all wet;
And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt.
Upon this promise did he raise his chin
Like a dive-dapper peering through a wave
Whobeing look'd onducks as quickly in;
So offers he to give what she did crave;
But when her lips were ready for his pay
He winksand turns his lips another way.
Never did passenger in summer's heat
More thirst for drink than she for this good turn.
Her help she seesbut help she cannot get;
She bathes in wateryet her fire must burn:
'Opity' 'gan she cry'flint-hearted boy!
'Tis but a kiss I beg; why art thou coy?
'I have been woo'das 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 in every jar;
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 shieldhis uncontrolled crest
And for my sake hath learn'd to sport and dance
To toyto wantondallysmile and jest
Scorning his churlish drum and ensign red
Making my arms his fieldhis tent my bed.
'Thus he that overruled I oversway'd
Leading him prisoner in a red-rose chain:
Strong-tempered steel his stronger strength obey'd
Yet was he servile to my coy disdain.
Obe not proudnor brag not of thy might
For mastering her that foil'd the god of fight!
'Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine-Though
mine be not so fairyet are they red-The
kiss shall be thine own as well as mine.
What seest thou in the ground? hold up thy head:
Look in mine eye-ballsthere thy beauty lies;
Then why not lips on lipssince eyes in eyes?
'Art thou ashamed to kiss? then wink again
And I will wink; so shall the day seem night;
Love keeps his revels where they are but twain;
Be bold to playour sport is not in sight:
These blue-vein'd violets whereon we lean
Never can blabnor know not what we mean.
'The tender spring upon thy tempting lip
Shows thee unripe; yet mayst thou well be tasted:
Make use of timelet 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.
'Were I hard-favour'dfoulor wrinkled-old
Ill-nurturedcrookedchurlishharsh in voice
O'erworndespisedrheumatic and cold
Thick-sightedbarrenlean and lacking juice
Then mightst thou pausefor then I were not for thee
But having no defectswhy dost abhor me?
'Thou canst not see one wrinkle in my brow;
Mine eyes are gray and bright and quick in turning:
My beauty as the spring doth yearly grow
My flesh is soft and plumpmy marrow burning;
My smooth moist handwere it with thy hand felt
Would in thy palm dissolveor seem to melt.
'Bid me discourseI will enchant thine ear
Orlike a fairytrip upon the green
Orlike a nymphwith long dishevell'd hair
Dance on the sandsand yet no footing seen:
Love is a spirit all compact of fire
Not gross to sinkbut lightand will aspire.
'Witness this primrose bank whereon I lie;
These forceless flowers like sturdy trees support me;
Two strengthless doves will draw me through the sky
From morn till nighteven where I list to sport me:
Is love so lightsweet boyand may it be
That thou shouldst think it heavy unto thee?
'Is thine own heart to thine own face affected?
Can thy right hand seize love upon thy left?
Then woo thyselfbe of thyself rejected
Steal thine own freedom and complain on theft.
Narcissus so himself himself forsook
And died to kiss his shadow in the brook.
'Torches are made to lightjewels to wear
Dainties to tastefresh beauty for the use
Herbs for their smelland 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.
'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;
And soin spite of deaththou 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
And Titantired 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.
And now Adoniswith a lazy spright
And with a heavydarkdisliking eye
His louring brows o'erwhelming his fair sight
Like misty vapours when they blot the sky
Souring his cheeks cries 'Fieno more of love!
The sun doth burn my face: I must remove.'
'Ay me' quoth Venus'youngand so unkind?
What bare excuses makest thou to be gone!
I'll sigh celestial breathwhose gentle wind
Shall cool the heat of this descending sun:
I'll make a shadow for thee of my hairs;
If they burn tooI'll quench them with my tears.
'The sun that shines from heaven shines but warm
AndloI lie between that sun and thee:
The heat I have from thence doth little harm
Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me;
And were I not immortallife were done
Between this heavenly and earthly sun.
'Art thou obdurateflintyhard as steel
Naymore than flintfor stone at rain relenteth?
Art thou a woman's sonand canst not feel
What 'tis to love? how want of love tormenteth?
Ohad thy mother borne so hard a mind
She had not brought forth theebut died unkind.
'What am Ithat thou shouldst contemn me this?
Or what great danger dwells upon my suit?
What were thy lips the worse for one poor kiss?
Speakfair; but speak fair wordsor else be mute:
Give me one kissI'll give it thee again
And one for interestif thou wilt have twain.
'Fielifeless picturecold and senseless stone
Well-painted idolimage dun and dead
Statue contenting but the eye alone
Thing like a manbut of no woman bred!
Thou art no manthough of a man's complexion
For men will kiss even by their own direction.'
This saidimpatience chokes her pleading tongue
And swelling passion doth provoke a pause;
Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth he wrong;
Being judge in loveshe cannot right her cause:
And now she weepsand 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 himnow on the ground;
Sometimes her arms infold him like a band:
She wouldhe will not in her arms be bound;
And when from thence he struggles to be gone
She locks her lily fingers one in one.
'Fondling' she saith'since I have hemm'd thee here
Within the circuit of this ivory pale
I'll be a parkand thou shalt be my deer;
Feed where thou wilton mountain or in dale:
Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry
Stray lowerwhere the pleasant fountains lie.
Within this limit is relief enough
Sweet bottom-grass and high delightful plain
Round rising hillocksbrakes obscure and rough
To shelter thee from tempest and from rain
Then be my deersince I am such a park;
No dog shall rouse theethough a thousand bark.'
At this Adonis smiles as in disdain
That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple:
Love made those hollowsif himself were slain
He might be buried in a tomb so simple;
Foreknowing wellif there he came to lie
Whythere Love lived and there he could not die.
These lovely cavesthese round enchanting pits
Open'd their mouths to swallow Venus' liking.
Being mad beforehow doth she now for wits?
Struck dead at firstwhat needs a second striking?
Poor queen of lovein thine own law forlorn
To love a cheek that smiles at thee in scorn!
Now which way shall she turn? what shall she say?
Her words are doneher woes are more increasing;
The time is spenther object will away
And from her twining arms doth urge releasing.
'Pity' she cries'some favoursome remorse!'
Away he springs and hasteth to his horse.
Butlofrom forth a copse that neighbors by
A breeding jennetlustyyoung and proud
Adonis' trampling courser doth espy
And forth she rushessnorts and neighs aloud:
The strong-neck'd steedbeing tied unto a tree
Breaketh his reinand to her straight goes he.
Imperiously he leapshe neighshe bounds
And now his woven girths he breaks asunder;
The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds
Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven's thunder;
The iron bit he crusheth 'tween his teeth
Controlling what he was controlled with.
His ears up-prick'd; his braided hanging mane
Upon his compass'd crest now stand on end;
His nostrils drink the airand forth again
As from a furnacevapours doth he send:
His eyewhich scornfully glisters like fire
Shows his hot courage and his high desire.
Sometime he trotsas if he told the steps
With gentle majesty and modest pride;
Anon he rears uprightcurvets and leaps
As who should say 'Lothus my strength is tried
And this I do to captivate the eye
Of the fair breeder that is standing by.'
What recketh he his rider's angry stir
His flattering 'Holla' or his 'StandI say'?
What cares he now for curb or pricking spur?
For rich caparisons or trapping gay?
He sees his loveand nothing else he sees
For nothing else with his proud sight agrees.
Lookwhen a painter would surpass the life
In limning out a well-proportion'd steed
His art with nature's workmanship at strife
As if the dead the living should exceed;
So did this horse excel a common one
In shapein couragecolourpace and bone.
Round-hoof'dshort-jointedfetlocks shag and long
Broad breastfull eyesmall head and nostril wide
High crestshort earsstraight legs and passing strong
Thin manethick tailbroad buttocktender hide:
Lookwhat a horse should have he did not lack
Save a proud rider on so proud a back.
Sometime he scuds far off and there he stares;
Anon he starts at stirring of a feather;
To bid the wind a base he now prepares
And whether he run or fly they know not whether;
For through his mane and tail the high wind sings
Fanning the hairswho wave like feather'd wings.
He looks upon his love and neighs unto her;
She answers him as if she knew his mind:
Being proudas females areto see him woo her
She puts on outward strangenessseems unkind
Spurns at his love and scorns the heat he feels
Beating his kind embracements with her heels.
Thenlike a melancholy malcontent
He veils his tail thatlike a falling plume
Cool shadow to his melting buttock lent:
He stamps and bites the poor flies in his fume.
His loveperceiving how he is enraged
Grew kinderand his fury was assuaged.
His testy master goeth about to take him;
Whenlothe unback'd breederfull of fear
Jealous of catchingswiftly doth forsake him
With her the horseand left Adonis there:
As they were madunto the wood they hie them
Out-stripping crows that strive to over-fly them.
All swoln with chafingdown Adonis sits
Banning his boisterous and unruly beast:
And now the happy season once more fits
That love-sick Love by pleading may be blest;
For lovers saythe heart hath treble wrong
When it is barr'd the aidance of the tongue.
An oven that is stopp'dor river stay'd
Burneth more hotlyswelleth with more rage:
So of concealed sorrow may be said;
Free vent of words love's fire doth assuage;
But when the heart's attorney once is mute
The client breaksas desperate in his suit.
He sees her comingand begins to glow
Even as a dying coal revives with wind
And with his bonnet hides his angry brow;
Looks on the dull earth with disturbed mind
Taking no notice that she is so nigh
For all askance he holds her in his eye.
Owhat a sight it waswistly to view
How she came stealing to the wayward boy!
To note the fighting conflict of her hue
How white and red each other did destroy!
But now her cheek was paleand by and by
It flash'd forth fireas lightning from the sky.
Now was she just before him as he sat
And like a lowly lover down she kneels;
With one fair hand she heaveth up his hat
Her other tender hand his fair cheek feels:
His tenderer cheek receives her soft hand's print
As apt as new-fall'n snow takes any dint.
Owhat a war of looks was then between them!
Her eyes petitioners to his eyes suing;
His eyes saw her eyes as they had not seen them;
Her eyes woo'd stillhis eyes disdain'd the wooing:
And all this dumb play had his acts made plain
With tearswhichchorus-likeher eyes did rain.
Full gently now she takes him by the hand
A lily prison'd in a gaol of snow
Or ivory in an alabaster band;
So white a friend engirts so white a foe:
This beauteous combatwilful and unwilling
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 amand I a man
My heart all whole as thinethy heart my wound;
For one sweet look thy help I would assure thee
Though nothing but my body's bane would cure thee!
'Give me my hand' saith he'why dost thou feel it?'
'Give me my heart' saith she'and thou shalt have it:
Ogive it melest thy hard heart do steel it
And being steel'dsoft sighs can never grave it:
Then love's deep groans I never shall regard
Because Adonis' heart hath made mine hard.'
'For shame' he cries'let goand let me go;
My day's delight is pastmy horse is gone
And 'tis your fault I am bereft him so:
I pray you henceand leave me here alone;
For all my mindmy thoughtmy busy care
Is how to get my palfrey from the mare.'
Thus she replies: 'Thy palfreyas he should
Welcomes the warm approach of sweet desire:
Affection is a coal that must be cool'd;
Elsesuffer'dit will set the heart on fire:
The sea hath boundsbut deep desire hath none;
Therefore no marvel though thy horse be gone.
'How like a jade he stoodtied to the tree
Servilely master'd with a leathern rein!
But when he saw his lovehis youth's fair fee
He held such petty bondage in disdain;
Throwing the base thong from his bending crest
Enfranchising his mouthhis backhis breast.
'Who sees his true-love in her naked bed
Teaching the sheets a whiter hue than white
Butwhen his glutton eye so full hath fed
His other agents aim at like delight?
Who is so faintthat dare not be so bold
To touch the firethe weather being cold?
'Let me excuse thy coursergentle boy;
And learn of himI heartily beseech thee
To take advantage on presented joy;
Though I were dumbyet his proceedings teach thee;
Olearn to love; the lesson is but plain
And once made perfectnever lost again.'
I know not love' quoth he'nor will not know it
Unless it be a boarand then I chase it;
'Tis much to borrowand I will not owe it;
My love to love is love but to disgrace it;
For I have heard it is a life in death
That laughs and weepsand all but with a breath.
'Who wears a garment shapeless and unfinish'd?
Who plucks the bud before one leaf put forth?
If springing things be any jot diminish'd
They wither in their primeprove nothing worth:
The colt that's back'd and burden'd being young
Loseth his pride and never waxeth strong.
'You hurt my hand with wringing; let us part
And leave this idle themethis bootless chat:
Remove your siege from my unyielding heart;
To love's alarms it will not ope the gate:
Dismiss your vowsyour feigned tearsyour flattery;
For where a heart is hard they make no battery.'
'What! canst thou talk?' quoth she'hast thou a tongue?
Owould thou hadst notor I had no hearing!
Thy mermaid's voice hath done me double wrong;
I had my load beforenow press'd with bearing:
Melodious discordheavenly tune harshsounding
Ear's deep-sweet musicand heart's deep-sore wounding.
'Had I no eyes but earsmy ears would love
That inward beauty and invisible;
Or were I deafthy outward parts would move
Each part in me that were but sensible:
Though neither eyes nor earsto hear nor see
Yet should I be in love by touching thee.
'Saythat the sense of feeling were bereft me
And that I could not seenor hearnor touch
And nothing but the very smell were left me
Yet would my love to thee be still as much;
For from the stillitory of thy face excelling
Comes breath perfumed that breedeth love by
'ButOwhat banquet wert thou to the taste
Being nurse and feeder of the other four!
Would they not wish the feast might ever last
And bid Suspicion double-lock the door
Lest Jealousythat sour unwelcome guest
Shouldby his stealing indisturb the feast?'
Once more the ruby-colour'd portal open'd
Which to his speech did honey passage yield;
Like a red mornthat ever yet betoken'd
Wreck to the seamantempest to the field
Sorrow to shepherdswoe unto the birds
Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.
This ill presage advisedly she marketh:
Even as the wind is hush'd before it raineth
Or as the wolf doth grin before he barketh
Or as the berry breaks before it staineth
Or like the deadly bullet of a gun
His meaning struck her ere his words begun.
And at his look she flatly falleth down
For looks kill love and love by looks reviveth;
A smile recures the wounding of a frown;
But blessed bankruptthat by love so thriveth!
The silly boybelieving she is dead
Claps her pale cheektill clapping makes it red;
And all amazed brake off his late intent
For sharply he did think to reprehend her
Which cunning love did wittily prevent:
Fair fall the wit that can so well defend her!
For on the grass she lies as she were slain
Till his breath breatheth life in her again.
He wrings her nosehe strikes her on the cheeks
He bends her fingersholds her pulses hard
He chafes her lips; a thousand ways he seeks
To mend the hurt that his unkindness marr'd:
He kisses her; and sheby her good will
Will never riseso he will kiss her still.
The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day:
Her two blue windows faintly she up-heaveth
Like the fair sunwhen in his fresh array
He cheers the morn and all the earth relieveth;
And as the bright sun glorifies the sky
So is her face illumined with her eye;
Whose beams upon his hairless face are fix'd
As if from thence they borrow'd all their shine.
Were never four such lamps together mix'd
Had not his clouded with his brow's repine;
But herswhich through the crystal tears gave light
Shone like the moon in water seen by night.
'Owhere am I?' quoth she'in earth or heaven
Or in the ocean drench'dor in the fire?
What hour is this? or morn or weary even?
Do I delight to dieor life desire?
But now I livedand life was death's annoy;
But now I diedand death was lively joy.
'Othou didst kill me: kill me once again:
Thy eyes' shrewd tutorthat hard heart of thine
Hath taught them scornful tricks and such disdain
That they have murder'd this poor heart of mine;
And these mine eyestrue leaders to their queen
But for thy piteous lips no more had seen.
'Long may they kiss each otherfor this cure!
Onever let their crimson liveries wear!
And as they lasttheir verdure still endure
To drive infection from the dangerous year!
That the star-gazershaving writ on death
May saythe plague is banish'd by thy breath.
'Pure lipssweet seals in my soft lips imprinted
What bargains may I makestill to be sealing?
To sell myself I can be well contented
So thou wilt buy and pay and use good dealing;
Which purchase if thou makefor fear of slips
Set thy seal-manual on my wax-red lips.
'A thousand kisses buys my heart from me;
And pay them at thy leisureone by one.
What is ten hundred touches unto thee?
Are they not quickly told and quickly gone?
Sayfor non-payment that the debt should double
Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble?
'Fair queen' quoth he'if any love you owe me
Measure my strangeness with my unripe years:
Before I know myselfseek not to know me;
No fisher but the ungrown fry forbears:
The mellow plum doth fallthe green sticks fast
Or being early pluck'd is sour to taste.
'Lookthe world's comforterwith weary gait
His day's hot task hath ended in the west;
The owlnight's heraldshrieks''Tis very late;'
The sheep are gone to foldbirds to their nest
And coal-black clouds that shadow heaven's light
Do summon us to part and bid good night.
'Now let me say 'Good night' and so say you;
If you will say soyou shall have a kiss.'
'Good night' quoth sheandere he says 'Adieu'
The honey fee of parting tender'd is:
Her arms do lend his neck a sweet embrace;
Incorporate then they seem; face grows to face.
Tillbreathlesshe disjoin'dand backward drew
The heavenly moisturethat sweet coral mouth
Whose precious taste her thirsty lips well knew
Whereon they surfeityet complain on drouth:
He with her plenty press'dshe faint with dearth
Their lips together gluedfall to the earth.
Now quick desire hath caught the yielding prey
And glutton-like she feedsyet never filleth;
Her lips are conquerorshis lips obey
Paying what ransom the insulter willeth;
Whose vulture thought doth pitch the price so high
That she will draw his lips' rich treasure dry:
And having felt the sweetness of the spoil
With blindfold fury she begins to forage;
Her face doth reek and smokeher blood doth boil
And careless lust stirs up a desperate courage
Planting oblivionbeating reason back
Forgetting shame's pure blush and honour's wrack.
Hotfaintand wearywith her hard embracing
Like a wild bird being tamed with too much handling
Or as the fleet-foot roe that's tired with chasing
Or like the froward infant still'd with dandling
He now obeysand now no more resisteth
While she takes all she cannot all she listeth.
What wax so frozen but dissolves with tempering
And yields at last to every light impression?
Things out of hope are compass'd oft with venturing
Chiefly in lovewhose leave exceeds commission:
Affection faints not like a pale-faced coward
But then woos best when most his choice is froward.
When he did frownOhad she then gave over
Such nectar from his lips she had not suck'd.
Foul words and frowns must not repel a lover;
What though the rose have pricklesyet 'tis pluck'd:
Were beauty under twenty locks kept fast
Yet love breaks through and picks them all at last.
For pity now she can no more detain him;
The poor fool prays her that he may depart:
She is resolved no longer to restrain him;
Bids him farewelland look well to her heart
The whichby Cupid's bow she doth protest
He carries thence incaged in his breast.
'Sweet boy' she says'this night I'll waste in sorrow
For my sick heart commands mine eyes to watch.
Tell meLove's mastershall we meet to-morrow?
Sayshall we? shall we? wilt thou make the match?'
He tells herno; to-morrow he intends
To hunt the boar with certain of his friends.
'The boar!' quoth she; whereat a sudden pale
Like lawn being spread upon the blushing rose
Usurps her cheek; she trembles at his tale
And on his neck her yoking arms she throws:
She sinketh downstill hanging by his neck
He on her belly fallsshe on her back.
Now is she in the very lists of love
Her champion mounted for the hot encounter:
All is imaginary she doth prove
He will not manage heralthough he mount her;
That worse than Tantalus' is her annoy
To clip Elysium and to lack her joy.
Even as poor birdsdeceived with painted grapes
Do surfeit by the eye and pine the maw
Even so she languisheth in her mishaps
As those poor birds that helpless berries saw.
The warm effects which she in him finds missing
She seeks to kindle with continual kissing.
But all in vain; good queenit will not be:
She hath assay'd as much as may be proved;
Her pleading hath deserved a greater fee;
She's Loveshe lovesand yet she is not loved.
'Fiefie' he says'you crush me; let me go;
You have no reason to withhold me so.'
'Thou hadst been gone' quoth she'sweet boyere this
But that thou told'st me thou wouldst hunt the boar.
Obe advised! thou know'st not what it is
With javelin's point a churlish swine to gore
Whose tushes never sheathed he whetteth still
Like to a mortal butcher bent to kill.
'On his bow-back he hath a battle set
Of bristly pikesthat ever threat his foes;
His eyeslike glow-wormsshine when he doth fret;
His snout digs sepulchres where'er he goes;
Being movedhe strikes whate'er is in his way
And whom he strikes his cruel tushes slay.
'His brawny sideswith hairy bristles arm'd
Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter;
His short thick neck cannot be easily harm'd;
Being irefulon the lion he will venture:
The thorny brambles and embracing bushes
As fearful of himpartthrough whom he rushes.
'Alashe nought esteems that face of thine
To which Love's eyes pay tributary gazes;
Nor thy soft handssweet lips and crystal eyne
Whose full perfection all the world amazes;
But having thee at vantage--wondrous dread!-Would
root these beauties as he roots the mead.
'Olet him keep his loathsome cabin still;
Beauty hath nought to do with such foul fiends:
Come not within his danger by thy will;
They that thrive well take counsel of their friends.
When thou didst name the boarnot to dissemble
I fear'd thy fortuneand my joints did tremble.
'Didst thou not mark my face? was it not white?
Saw'st thou not signs of fear lurk in mine eye?
Grew I not faint? and fell I not downright?
Within my bosomwhereon thou dost lie
My boding heart pantsbeatsand takes no rest
Butlike an earthquakeshakes thee on my breast.
'For where Love reignsdisturbing Jealousy
Doth call himself Affection's sentinel;
Gives false alarmssuggesteth mutiny
And in a peaceful hour doth cry 'Killkill!'
Distempering gentle Love in his desire
As air and water do abate the fire.
'This sour informerthis bate-breeding spy
This canker that eats up Love's tender spring
This carry-taledissentious Jealousy
That sometime true newssometime false doth bring
Knocks at my heat and whispers in mine ear
That if I love theeI thy death should fear:
'And more than sopresenteth to mine eye
The picture of an angry-chafing boar
Under whose sharp fangs on his back doth lie
An image like thyselfall stain'd with gore;
Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed
Doth make them droop with grief and hang the head.
'What should I doseeing thee so indeed
That tremble at the imagination?
The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed
And fear doth teach it divination:
I prophesy thy deathmy living sorrow
If thou encounter with the boar to-morrow.
'But if thou needs wilt huntbe ruled by me;
Uncouple at the timorous flying hare
Or at the fox which lives by subtlety
Or at the roe which no encounter dare:
Pursue these fearful creatures o'er the downs
And on thy well-breath'd horse keep with thy
'And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare
Mark the poor wretchto overshoot his troubles
How he outruns the wind and with what care
He cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles:
The many musets through the which he goes
Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes.
'Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell
And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer:
Danger deviseth shifts; wit waits on fear:
'For there his smell with others being mingled
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out;
Then do they spend their mouths: Echo replies
As if another chase were in the skies.
'By thispoor Watfar off upon a hill
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear
To harken if his foes pursue him still:
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear;
And now his grief may be compared well
To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell.
'Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch
Turnand returnindenting with the way;
Each envious brier his weary legs doth scratch
Each shadow makes him stopeach murmur stay:
For misery is trodden on by many
And being low never relieved by any.
'Lie quietlyand hear a little more;
Naydo not strugglefor thou shalt not rise:
To make thee hate the hunting of the boar
Unlike myself thou hear'st me moralize
Applying this to thatand so to so;
For love can comment upon every woe.
'Where did I leave?' 'No matter where' quoth he
'Leave meand then the story aptly ends:
The night is spent.' 'Whywhat of that?' quoth she.
'I am' quoth he'expected of my friends;
And now 'tis darkand going I shall fall.'
'In night' quoth she'desire sees best of all
'But if thou fallOthen imagine this
The earthin love with theethy footing trips
And all is but to rob thee of a kiss.
Rich preys make true men thieves; so do thy lips
Make modest Dian cloudy and forlorn
Lest she should steal a kiss and die forsworn.
'Now of this dark night I perceive the reason:
Cynthia for shame obscures her silver shine
Till forging Nature be condemn'd of treason
For stealing moulds from heaven that were divine;
Wherein she framed thee in high heaven's despite
To shame the sun by day and her by night.
'And therefore hath she bribed the Destinies
To cross the curious workmanship of nature
To mingle beauty with infirmities
And pure perfection with impure defeature
Making it subject to the tyranny
Of mad mischances and much misery;
'As burning feversagues pale and faint
Life-poisoning pestilence and frenzies wood
The marrow-eating sicknesswhose attaint
Disorder breeds by heating of the blood:
Surfeitsimposthumesgriefand damn'd despair
Swear nature's death for framing thee so fair.
'And not the least of all these maladies
But in one minute's fight brings beauty under:
Both favoursavourhue and qualities
Whereat the impartial gazer late did wonder
Are on the sudden wastedthaw'd and done
As mountain-snow melts with the midday sun.
'Thereforedespite of fruitless chastity
Love-lacking vestals and self-loving nuns
That on the earth would breed a scarcity
And barren dearth of daughters and of sons
Be prodigal: the lamp that burns by night
Dries up his oil to lend the world his light.
'What is thy body but a swallowing grave
Seeming to bury that posterity
Which by the rights of time thou needs must have
If thou destroy them not in dark obscurity?
If sothe world will hold thee in disdain
Sith in thy pride so fair a hope is slain.
'So in thyself thyself art made away;
A mischief worse than civil home-bred strife
Or theirs whose desperate hands themselves do slay
Or butcher-sire that reaves his son of life.
Foul-cankering rust the hidden treasure frets
But gold that's put to use more gold begets.'
'Naythen' quoth Adon'you will fall again
Into your idle over-handled theme:
The kiss I gave you is bestow'd in vain
And all in vain you strive against the stream;
Forby this black-faced nightdesire's foul nurse
Your treatise makes me like you worse and worse.
'If love have lent you twenty thousand tongues
And every tongue more moving than your own
Bewitching like the wanton mermaid's songs
Yet from mine ear the tempting tune is blown
For knowmy heart stands armed in mine ear
And will not let a false sound enter there;
'Lest the deceiving harmony should run
Into the quiet closure of my breast;
And then my little heart were quite undone
In his bedchamber to be barr'd of rest.
Noladyno; my heart longs not to groan
But soundly sleepswhile now it sleeps alone.
'What have you urged that I cannot reprove?
The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger:
I hate not lovebut your device in love
That lends embracements unto every stranger.
You do it for increase: O strange excuse
When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse!
'Call it not lovefor Love to heaven is fled
Since sweating Lust on earth usurp'd his name;
Under whose simple semblance he hath fed
Upon fresh beautyblotting it with blame;
Which the hot tyrant stains and soon bereaves
As caterpillars do the tender leaves.
'Love comforteth like sunshine after rain
But Lust's effect is tempest after sun;
Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain
Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done;
Love surfeits notLust like a glutton dies;
Love is all truthLust full of forged lies.
'More I could tellbut more I dare not say;
The text is oldthe orator too green.
Thereforein sadnessnow I will away;
My face is full of shamemy heart of teen:
Mine earsthat to your wanton talk attended
Do burn themselves for having so offended.'
With thishe breaketh from the sweet embrace
Of those fair arms which bound him to her breast
And homeward through the dark laund runs apace;
Leaves Love upon her back deeply distress'd.
Lookhow a bright star shooteth from the sky
So glides he in the night from Venus' eye.
Which after him she dartsas one on shore
Gazing upon a late-embarked friend
Till the wild waves will have him seen no more
Whose ridges with the meeting clouds contend:
So did the merciless and pitchy night
Fold in the object that did feed her sight.
Whereat amazedas one that unaware
Hath dropp'd a precious jewel in the flood
Or stonish'd as night-wanderers often are
Their light blown out in some mistrustful wood
Even so confounded in the dark she lay
Having lost the fair discovery of her way.
And now she beats her heartwhereat it groans
That all the neighbour cavesas seeming troubled
Make verbal repetition of her moans;
Passion on passion deeply is redoubled:
'Ay me!' she criesand twenty times 'Woewoe!'
And twenty echoes twenty times cry so.
She marking them begins a wailing note
And sings extemporally a woeful ditty;
How love makes young men thrall and old men dote;
How love is wise in follyfoolish-witty:
Her heavy anthem still concludes in woe
And still the choir of echoes answer so.
Her song was tedious and outwore the night
For lovers' hours are longthough seeming short:
If pleased themselvesothersthey thinkdelight
In such-like circumstancewith suchlike sport:
Their copious stories oftentimes begun
End without audience and are never done.
For who hath she to spend the night withal
But idle sounds resembling parasites
Like shrill-tongued tapsters answering every call
Soothing the humour of fantastic wits?
She says ''Tis so:' they answer all ''Tis so;'
And would say after herif she said 'No.'
Lohere the gentle larkweary of rest
From his moist cabinet mounts up on high
And wakes the morningfrom whose silver breast
The sun ariseth in his majesty;
Who doth the world so gloriously behold
That cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold.
Venus salutes him with this fair good-morrow:
'O thou clear godand patron of all light
From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow
The beauteous influence that makes him bright
There lives a son that suck'd an earthly mother
May lend thee lightas thou dost lend to other.'
This saidshe hasteth to a myrtle grove
Musing the morning is so much o'erworn
And yet she hears no tidings of her love:
She hearkens for his hounds and for his horn:
Anon she hears them chant it lustily
And all in haste she coasteth to the cry.
And as she runsthe bushes in the way
Some catch her by the necksome kiss her face
Some twine about her thigh to make her stay:
She wildly breaketh from their strict embrace
Like a milch doewhose swelling dugs do ache
Hasting to feed her fawn hid in some brake.
By thisshe hears the hounds are at a bay;
Whereat she startslike one that spies an adder
Wreathed up in fatal folds just in his way
The fear whereof doth make him shake and shudder;
Even so the timorous yelping of the hounds
Appals her senses and her spirit confounds.
For now she knows it is no gentle chase
But the blunt boarrough bearor 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 courtesy who shall cope him first.
This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear
Through which it enters to surprise her heart;
Whoovercome by doubt and bloodless fear
With cold-pale weakness numbs each feeling part:
Like soldierswhen their captain once doth yield
They basely fly and dare not stay the field.
Thus stands she in a trembling ecstasy;
Tillcheering up her senses all dismay'd
She tells them 'tis a causeless fantasy
And childish errorthat they are afraid;
Bids them leave quakingbids them fear no more:-And
with that word she spied the hunted boar
Whose frothy mouthbepainted all with red
Like milk and blood being mingled both together
A second fear through all her sinews spread
Which madly hurries her she knows not whither:
This way runsand now she will no further
But back retires to rate the boar for murther.
A thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways;
She treads the path that she untreads again;
Her more than haste is mated with delays
Like the proceedings of a drunken brain
Full of respectsyet nought at all respecting;
In hand with all thingsnought at all effecting.
Here kennell'd in a brake she finds a hound
And asks the weary caitiff for his master
And there another licking of his wound
'Gainst venom'd sores the only sovereign plaster;
And here she meets another sadly scowling
To whom she speaksand he replies with howling.
When he hath ceased his ill-resounding noise
Another flap-mouth'd mournerblack and grim
Against the welkin volleys out his voice;
Another and another answer him
Clapping their proud tails to the ground below
Shaking their scratch'd earsbleeding as they go.
Lookhow the world's poor people are amazed
At apparitionssigns and prodigies
Whereon with fearful eyes they long have gazed
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies;
So she at these sad signs draws up her breath
And sighing it againexclaims on Death.
Hateful divorce of love'--thus chides she Death-'
Grim-grinning ghostearth's wormwhat dost thou mean
To stifle beauty and to steal his breath
Who when he livedhis breath and beauty set
Gloss on the rosesmell to the violet?
'If he be dead--O noit cannot be
Seeing his beautythou shouldst strike at it:-O
yesit may; thou hast no eyes to see
But hatefully at random dost thou hit.
Thy mark is feeble agebut thy false dart
Mistakes that aim and cleaves an infant's heart.
'Hadst thou but bid bewarethen he had spoke
Andhearing himthy power had lost his power.
The Destinies will curse thee for this stroke;
They bid thee crop a weedthou pluck'st a flower:
Love's golden arrow at him should have fled
And not Death's ebon dartto strike dead.
'Dost thou drink tearsthat thou provokest 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 ruin'd with thy rigour.'
Here overcomeas one full of despair
She vail'd her eyelidswholike sluicesstopt
The crystal tide that from her two cheeks fair
In the sweet channel of her bosom dropt;
But through the flood-gates breaks the silver rain
And with his strong course opens them again.
Ohow her eyes and tears did lend and borrow!
Her eyes seen in the tearstears in her eye;
Both crystalswhere they view'd each other's sorrow
Sorrow that friendly sighs sought still to dry;
But like a stormy daynow windnow rain
Sighs dry her cheekstears make them wet again.
Variable passions throng her constant woe
As striving who should best become her grief;
All entertain'deach 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 thisfar off she hears some huntsman hollo;
A nurse's song ne'er pleased her babe so well:
The dire imagination she did follow
This sound of hope doth labour to expel;
For now reviving joy bids her rejoice
And flatters her it is Adonis' voice.
Whereat her tears began to turn their tide
Being prison'd in her eye like pearls in glass;
Yet sometimes falls an orient drop beside
Which her cheek meltsas 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 lovehow strange it seems
Not to believeand yet too credulous!
Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes;
Despair and hope makes thee ridiculous:
The one doth flatter thee in thoughts unlikely
In likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly.
Now she unweaves the web that she hath wrought;
Adonis livesand Death is not to blame;
It was not she that call'd himall-to naught:
Now she adds honours to his hateful name;
She clepes him king of graves and grave for kings
Imperious supreme of all mortal things.
'Nono' quoth she'sweet DeathI did but jest;
Yet pardon me I felt a kind of fear
When as I met the boarthat bloody beast
Which knows no pitybut is still severe;
Thengentle shadow--truth I must confess-I
rail'd on theefearing my love's decease.
''Tis not my fault: the boar provoked my tongue;
Be wreak'd on himinvisible commander;
'Tis hefoul creaturethat hath done thee wrong;
I did but acthe's author of thy slander:
Grief hath two tonguesand never woman yet
Could rule them both without ten women's wit.'
Thus hoping that Adonis is alive
Her rash suspect she doth extenuate;
And that his beauty may the better thrive
With Death she humbly doth insinuate;
Tells him of trophiesstatuestombsand stories
His victorieshis triumphs and his glories.
'O Jove' quoth she'how much a fool was I
To be of such a weak and silly mind
To wail his death who lives and must not die
Till mutual overthrow of mortal kind!
For he being deadwith him is beauty slain
Andbeauty deadblack chaos comes again.
'Fiefiefond lovethou art so full of fear
As one with treasure ladenhemm'd thieves;
Triflesunwitnessed with eye or ear
Thy coward heart with false bethinking grieves.'
Even at this word she hears a merry horn
Whereat she leaps that was but late forlorn.
As falcon to the lureaway she flies;
The grass stoops notshe treads on it so light;
And in her haste unfortunately spies
The foul boar's conquest on her fair delight;
Which seenher eyesas murder'd with the view
Like stars ashamed of daythemselves withdrew;
Oras the snailwhose tender horns being hit
Shrinks backward in his shelly cave with pain
And thereall smother'd upin shade doth sit
Long after fearing to creep forth again;
Soat his bloody viewher eyes are fled
Into the deep dark cabins of her head:
Where they resign their office and their light
To the disposing of her troubled brain;
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
Whereat each tributary subject quakes;
As when the windimprison'd in the ground
Struggling for passageearth's foundation shakes
Which with cold terror doth men's minds confound.
This mutiny each part doth so surprise
That from their dark beds once more leap her eyes;
Andbeing open'dthrew unwilling light
Upon the wide wound that the boar had trench'd
In his soft flank; whose wonted lily white
With purple tearsthat his wound weptwas drench'd:
No flower was nighno grassherbleafor weed
But stole his blood and seem'd with him to bleed.
This solemn sympathy poor Venus noteth;
Over one shoulder doth she hang her head;
Dumbly she passionsfranticly she doteth;
She thinks he could not diehe is not dead:
Her voice is stopther joints forget to bow;
Her eyes are mad that they have wept til now.
Upon his hurt she looks so steadfastly
That her sight dazzling makes the wound seem three;
And then she reprehends her mangling eye
That makes more gashes where no breach should be:
His face seems twaineach several limb is doubled;
For oft the eye mistakesthe brain being troubled.
'My tongue cannot express my grief for one
And yet' quoth she'behold two Adons dead!
My sighs are blown awaymy salt tears gone
Mine eyes are turn'd to firemy heart to lead:
Heavy heart's leadmelt at mine eyes' red fire!
So shall I die by drops of hot desire.
'Alaspoor worldwhat 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 sinceor any thing ensuing?
The flowers are sweettheir colours fresh and trim;
But true-sweet beauty lived and died with him.
'Bonnet nor veil henceforth no creature wear!
Nor sun nor wind will ever strive to kiss you:
Having no fair to loseyou need not fear;
The sun doth scorn you and the wind doth hiss you:
But when Adonis livedsun and sharp air
Lurk'd like two thievesto rob him of his fair:
'And therefore would he put his bonnet on
Under whose brim the gaudy sun would peep;
The wind would blow it off andbeing gone
Play with his locks: then would Adonis weep;
And straightin pity of his tender years
They both would strive who first should dry his tears.
'To see his face the lion walk'd along
Behind some hedgebecause he would not fear him;
To recreate himself when he hath sung
The tiger would be tame and gently hear him;
If he had spokethe wolf would leave his prey
And never fright the silly lamb that day.
'When he beheld his shadow in the brook
The fishes spread on it their golden gills;
When he was bythe birds such pleasure took
That some would singsome other in their bills
Would bring him mulberries and ripe-red cherries;
He fed them with his sightthey him with berries.
'But this foulgrimand urchin-snouted boar
Whose downward eye still looketh for a grave
Ne'er saw the beauteous livery that he wore;
Witness the entertainment that he gave:
If he did see his facewhy then I know
He thought to kiss himand hath kill'd him so.
''Tis true'tis true; thus was Adonis slain:
He ran upon the boar with his sharp spear
Who did not whet his teeth at him again
But by a kiss thought to persuade him there;
And nuzzling in his flankthe loving swine
Sheathed unaware the tusk in his soft groin.
'Had I been tooth'd like himI must confess
With kissing him I should have kill'd him first;
But he is deadand never did he bless
My youth with his; the more am I accurst.'
With thisshe falleth in the place she stood
And stains her face with his congealed blood.
She looks upon his lipsand they are pale;
She takes him by the handand that is cold;
She whispers in his ears a heavy tale
As if they heard the woeful words she told;
She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes
Wherelotwo lampsburnt outin darkness lies;
Two glasseswhere herself herself beheld
A thousand timesand now no more reflect;
Their virtue lostwherein they late excell'd
And every beauty robb'd of his effect:
'Wonder of time' quoth she'this is my spite
Thatthou being deadthe day should yet be light.
'Since thou art deadlohere I prophesy:
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend:
It shall be waited on with jealousy
Find sweet beginningbut unsavoury end
Ne'er settled equallybut high or low
That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe.
'It shall be ficklefalse and full of fraud
Bud and be blasted in a breathing-while;
The bottom poisonand the top o'erstraw'd
With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile:
The strongest body shall it make most weak
Strike the wise dumb and teach the fool to speak.
'It shall be sparing and too full of riot
Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures;
The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet
Pluck down the richenrich the poor with treasures;
It shall be raging-mad and silly-mild
Make the young oldthe old become a child.
'It shall suspect where is no cause of fear;
It shall not fear where it should most mistrust;
It shall be merciful and too severe
And most deceiving when it seems most just;
Perverse it shall be where it shows most toward
Put fear to valourcourage to the coward.
'It shall be cause of war and dire events
And set dissension 'twixt the son and sire;
Subject and servile to all discontents
As dry combustious matter is to fire:
Sith in his prime Death doth my love destroy
They that love best their loves shall not enjoy.'
By thisthe boy that by her side lay kill'd
Was melted like a vapour from her sight
And in his blood that on the ground lay spill'd
A purple flower sprung upchequer'd with white
Resembling well his pale cheeks and the blood
Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood.
She bows her headthe new-sprung flower to smell
Comparing it to her Adonis' breath
And sayswithin her bosom it shall dwell
Since he himself is reft from her by death:
She crops the stalkand in the breach appears
Green dropping sapwhich she compares to tears.
'Poor flower' quoth she'this was thy fathers guise-
Sweet issue of a more sweet-smelling sire-For
every little grief to wet his eyes:
To grow unto himself was his desire
And so 'tis thine; but knowit is as good
To wither in my breast as in his blood.
'Here was thy father's bedhere in my breast;
Thou art the next of bloodand 'tis thy right:
Loin this hollow cradle take thy rest
My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night:
There shall not be one minute in an hour
Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower.'
Thus weary of the worldaway she hies
And yokes her silver doves; by whose swift aid
Their mistress mounted through the empty skies
In her light chariot quickly is convey'd;
Holding their course to Paphoswhere their queen
Means to immure herself and not be seen.