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VENUS AND ADONIS.

“ Vilia miretur vulgus, mihi flavus Apollo
Poculo Castalia plena ministret aqua."

OTID.

TO THE

RIGHT HONORABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLY,

EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TITCHFIELD.

Right HONORABLE,

I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to your Lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burthen : only if your honor seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours till I have honored you with some graver labor. But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and never after earl so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honorable survey, your honor 2 to your heart's content; which I wish may always answer your own wish, and the world's hopeful expectation.

Your Honor's in all duty,

and

William SHAKSPEARE.

1 Ear, plough.

· Ilonor. As a duke is now styled "your grace,” so “ your honor" was formerly the usual mode of address to noblemen in general.

VENUS AND ADONIS.

Even as the sun with purple-colored face
Had ta’en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheeked Adonis" bied him to the chase ;
Hunting he loved, but love he laughed 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 flower, sweet above compare,
Stain 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.

1 The poem of " Hero and Leander," although Marlowe's portion of it was not published till 1598, was probably well known in the poetical circles. The following lines are in the first ses. tyad :

“ The men of wealthy Sestos every year,

For his sake whom their goddess held so dear,
Rose-cheeked Adonis, kept a solemn feast.”

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