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Or, like a nymph, with long dishevell❜d hair, Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen: Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
Not gross to sink, but light, and 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 night, even where I list to sport
Is love so light, sweet boy, and 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 thyself, be 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 light, jewels to wear, Dainties to taste, fresh beauty for the use, Herbs for their smell, and sappy plants to
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
Unless the earth with thy increase be fed?
By law of Nature thou art bound to breed,
By this, the love-sick queen began to sweat,
And Titan, 'tired in the mid-day heat,
And now Adonis, with a lazy spright,
The sun doth burn my face; I must remove."
"Ah me," quoth Venus, "young, and so unkind?
"The sun that shines from heaven shines but
And, lo, I lie between that sun and thee;
"Art thou obdùrate, flinty, hard as steel,
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,
And one for interest, if thou wilt have twain.
"Fie, lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone,
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: 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; 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.
"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: Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry, Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.
"Within this limit is relief enough,
Sweet bottom-grass, and high delightful plain, Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough,
To shelter thee from tempest and from rain;
At this Adonis smiles as in disdain,
That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple: Love made those hollows, if himself were slain, He might be buried in a tomb so simple;
Foreknowing well, if there he came to lie, Why, there Love lived, and there he could not die.
These lovely caves, these round enchanting pits, Open'd their mouths to swallow Venus' liking: Being mad before, how doth she now for wits? Struck dead at first, what needs a second striking?
Poor queen of love, in 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 done, her woes the more increasing,
The time is spent, her object will away,
Away he springs, and hasteth to his horse.
But lo, from forth a copse that neighbours by, A breeding jennet, lusty, young, and proud, Adonis' trampling courser doth espy,
And forth she rushes, snorts, and neighs aloud : The strong-neck'd steed, being tied unto a tree,
Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he.
Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
The iron bit he crushes 'tween his teeth,
His ears up prick'd; his braided hanging mane
His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire,
Sometime he trots, as if he told the steps,
And this I do to captivate the eye
Of the fair breeder that is standing by.