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Yet sometimes 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 flatter thee in thoughts unlikely,
In likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly.

Now she unweaves the web that she hath wrought;
Adonis lives, and Death is not to blame;
It was not she that call'd him all-to naught;
Now she adds honours to his hateful name;
She clepes him king of graves, and grave for

Imperious supreme of all mortal things.

"No, no," quoth she, "sweet Death, I did but jest;

Yet pardon me, I felt a kind of fear,

Whenas 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.

"Tis not my fault: the boar provoked my tongue,

Be wreak'd on him, invisible commander;
'Tis he, foul creature, that hath done thee wrong;
I did but act, he's author of thy slander :

Grief hath two tongues, and never woman yet,
Could rule them both, without ten women's


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 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,

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.

'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.'
Éven 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;
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 ashamed of day, themselves withdrew.

Or, as the snail, whose tender horns being hit,
Shrinks backward in his shelly cave with pain,
And there, all smother'd up, in shade doth sit,
Long after fearing to creep forth again ;

So, at his bloody view, her 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 wind, imprison'd in the ground,
Struggling for passage, earth's foundation shakes,
Which with cold terror doth men's minds con-

This mutiny each part doth so surprise,

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
With purple tears, that his wound wept, was

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;
Over one shoulder doth she hang her head;
Dumbly she passions, franticly she doteth;
She thinks he could not die, he is not dead :

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

That makes more gashes where no breach should


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, 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 : 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?

The flowers are sweet, their colours fresh and


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 lose, you need not fear;
The sun doth scorn you, and the wind doth hiss


But when Adonis lived, sun and sharp air 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;

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.

"To see his face the lion walk'd along Behind some hedge, because he would not fear him;

To recreate himself, when he hath sung,

The tiger would be tame, and gently hear him; If he had spoke, the 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 by, the birds such pleasure took, That some would sing, some other in their bills Would bring him mulberries, and ripe-red cherries;

He fed them with his sight, they him with berries.

"But this foul, grim, and 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 face, why then I know
He thought to kiss him, and 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 flank, the loving swine
Sheathed, unaware, the tusk in his soft groin.

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