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VENUS AND ADONIS.
Even as the sun, with purple-coloured face, Had ta'en bis last leave of the wecping morn, Rose-cheek'd Adonis hied him to the chase : Hunting he lov'd, but love he laugh'd to scorn.
Sick-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 sweet 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. Vouchsafe thou wonder ! to alight thy steed, And rein his proud head to the saddle-bow ; If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed, A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know.
Here come and sit, where serpent never hisses,
And being set, I'll smother thee with kisses. And yet not cloy thy lips with loaded satiety, But rather famish them amid their plenty ; Making 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:
With this she seizeth on his sweating palm,
Being so enrag'd, desire doth lend her force
Courageously to pluck him from his horse.
She red and hot, as coals of glowing fire,
He red for shame, but frosty in desire.
Backward 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 : Now 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.
He says she is immodest, blames her miss ;
Even so she kiss'd his brow, his cheek, his chin,
And where she ends, she doth anew begin.
Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowers,
So they were dew'd with such distilling showers.
Rain added to a river that is rank,
Perforce will force it overflow the bank.
Being red, she loves him best ; and being white,
Her breast is better'd with a more delight.
Which long have rain'd, making her cheeks all wet,
And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt.
But when his lips were ready for his pay,
He winks, and turns his lips another way.
O pity, 'gan she cry, flint-hearted boy!
'Tis but a kiss I beg, why art thou coy ?
Yet hath he been my captive and my slave,
And begg’d for that which thou unask'd shall have. Over my altars hath he hung his lance, His batter'd shield, his uncontrolled crest,
And for my sake hath learn'd to sport and dance,
Scorning his churlish drum, and ensign red,
Making my arms his field, his tent my bed,
O, be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
For mast'ring her that foil'd the god of fight !
Look in mine eye-balls where thy beauty lies;
Then why not lips on lips since eyes on eyes? Art thou asham'd to kiss? Then wink again, And I will wink, so shall the day seem night ; Love keeps his revels where there be but twain ; Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight.
These blue-vein’d violets whereon we lean,
Never can blab, nor know they what we mean.
Rot and consume themselves in little time.
Then might'st thou pause, for then I were not for thee;
But, having no defects, why dost abhor me? Thou can'st not see one wrinkle in my brow, Mine eyes are grey, and bright, and quick in turning ; My beauty, as the spring doth yearly grow ; My flesh as soft and plump, my marrow burning ;
My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt; Would in thy palm dissolve, or seem to melt.
Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear,
green ; 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.
Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be
That thou should'st think it heavy unto thee?
Narcissus so himself, himself forsook,
And died to kiss his shadow in the brook.
Seeds spring from seeds, and beauty breedeth beauty,
Thou wert begot, to get it is thy duty.
And so, in spite of death, thou dost survive,
Wishing Adonis had his team to guide,
So he were like him, and by Venus' side.
 Alluding to twinned cherries, apples, peaches, &c. which accidentally grow into each other. STEEVENS.