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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."
Even at this word she hears a merry horn,
Whereat she leaps, that was but late forlorn.
As faicon 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'd 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 terrors doth men's mind confound:
This mutiny each part doth so surprise,
That from their dark beds, once more leap her eyes;
And, being open'd, threw unwilling sight
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 drench'd:
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 be:
His face seems twain, each several limb is doubled;
For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being troubled.
+ Goes half mad.
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, as 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 trim ; But true-sweet beauty lived and died in him. "Bonnet or 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 you : 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 feart 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 would not whet his teeth at him again,
But by a kiss thought to persuade him there;
And nuzzling in his flank, the loving swine
Sheath'd, unaware, his tusk in his soft groin.
*Fair was formerly used substantively in the sense of beauty.
The urchin is the sea-hedgehog.
"Had I been tooth'd like him, I must confess
With kissing him I should have kill'd him first;
But he is dead, and never did he bless
My youth with his; the more I am accurst."
With this she falleth in the place she stood,
And stains her face with his congealed blood.
She looks upon his lips, and they are pale;
She takes him by the hand, and that is cold;
She whispers in his ear a heavy tale,
As if he heard the woeful words she told :
She lifts the coffer lids that close his eyes,
Where lo! two lamps, burnt out, in darkness lies:
Two glasses, where herself herself beheld
A thousand times, and now no more reflect;
Their virtue lost, wherein they late excell'd,
And every beauty robb'd of his effect:
"Wonder of time," quoth she, "this is my spite,*
That, you being dead, the day should yet be light.
"Since thou art dead, lo! here I prophesy,
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend;
It shall be waited on with jealousy,
Find sweet beginning, but unsavoury end;
Ne'er settled equally, too high or low;
That all love's pleasure shall not match its woe.
"It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud,
And shall be blasted in a breathing-while;+
The bottom poison, and the top o'er-straw'd
With sweets, that shall the sharpest 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 rich, enrich the poor with treasures:
It shall be raging-mad, and silly-mild,
Make the young old, the 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, when it seems most toward,
Put fear to valour, courage 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 love shall not enjoy."
In a breath.
This is purposely to vex me.
By this, the 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 up, chequer'd with white:
Resembling well his pale cheeks, and the blood
Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood.
She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to smell,
Comparing it to her Adonis' breath;
And says, within her bosom it shall dwell,
Since he himself is reft from her by death:
She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears Green dropping sap, which she compares to tears. "Poor flower," quoth she, "this was thy father's 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 know, it is as good
To wither in my breast, as in his blood.
"Here was thy father's bed, here in my breast;
Thou art the next of blood, and 'tis thy right:
Lo in this hollow cradle take thy rest,
My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night:
There shall not be one minute of an hour,
Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower."
Thus, weary of the world, away 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 Paphos, where their queen
Means to immure herself, and not be seen.