Venus and Adonis

Venus and Adonis

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VENUS AND ADONIS

EVEN as the sun with purple-colour'd faceHad ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn,Rose-cheek'd Adonis tried him to the chase;Hunting he lov'd, but love he laugh'd to scorn; 4Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,And like a bold-fac'd suitor 'gins to woo him.'Thrice fairer than myself,' thus she began,'The field's chief flower, sweet above compare, 8Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,More white and red than doves or roses are;Nature that made thee, with herself at strife,Saith that the world hath ending with thy life. 12'Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed,And rein his proud head to the saddle-bow;If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meedA thousand honey secrets shalt thou know: 16Here come and sit, where never serpent hisses;And being set, I'll smother thee with kisses:'And yet not cloy thy lips with loath'd satiety,But rather famish them amid their plenty, 20Making them red and pale with fresh variety;Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty:A summer's day will seem an hour but short,Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.' 24With this she seizeth on his sweating palm,The precedent of pith and livelihood,And, trembling in her passion, calls it balm,Earth's sovereign salve to do a goddess good: 28Being so enrag'd, desire doth lend her forceCourageously to pluck him from his horse.Over one arm the lusty courser's reinUnder her other was the tender boy, 32Who blush'd and pouted in a dull disdain,With leaden appetite, unapt to toy;She red and hot as coals of glowing fireHe red for shame, but frosty in desire. 36The studded bridle on a ragged boughNimbly she fastens;—O! how quick is love:—The steed is stalled up, and even nowTo tie the rider she begins to prove: 40Backward she push'd him, as she would be thrust,And govern'd him in strength, though not in lust.So soon was she along, as he was down,Each leaning on their elbows and their hips: 44Now doth she stroke his cheek, now doth he frown,And 'gins to chide, but soon she stops his lips;And kissing speaks, with lustful language broken,'If thou wilt chide, thy lips shall never open.' 48He burns with bashful shame; she with her tearsDoth quench the maiden burning of his cheeks;Then with her windy sighs and golden hairsTo fan and blow them dry again she seeks: 52He saith she is immodest, blames her miss;What follows more she murders with a kiss.Even as an empty eagle, sharp by fast,Tires with her beak on feathers, flesh and bone, 56Shaking her wings, devouring all in haste,Till either gorge be stuff'd or prey be gone;Even so she kiss'd his brow, his cheek, his chin,And where she ends she doth anew begin. 60Forc'd to content, but never to obey,Panting he lies, and breatheth in her face;She feedeth on the steam, as on a prey,And calls it heavenly moisture, air of grace; 64Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowersSo they were dewd with such distilling showers.Look! how a bird lies tangled in a net,So fasten'd in her arms Adonis lies; 68Pure shame and aw'd resistance made him fret,Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes:Rain added to a river that is rankPerforce will force it overflow the bank....