Poem William Shakespeare

Venus and Adonis

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Even as the sun with purple-colour’d face

Had ta’en his last leave of the weeping morn,

Rose-cheek’d Adonis tried 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 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.


‘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 never serpent hisses;

And being set, I’ll smother thee with kisses:


‘And yet not cloy thy lips with loath’d 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.’

A Fairy Song


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