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VENUS AND ADONIS.

Even as the sun with purple-colour'd face
Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping 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 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,

• 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 sestyad :

“ The men of wealthy Sestos every year,

For his sake whom their goddess held so dear,
Rose-cheek'd Adonis, kept a solemn feast."

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,
The precedent of pith and livelihood,
And, trembling in her passion, calls it balm,
Earth's sovereign salve to do a goddess good :

Being so enrag'd, desire doth lend her force,

Courageously to pluck him from his horse.
Over one arm the lusty courser's rein,
Under her other was the tender boy,
Who blush'd and pouted in a dull disdain,
With leaden appetite, unapt to toy ;

She red and hot as coals of glowing fire,

He red for shame, but frosty in desire. The studded bridle on a ragged bough Nimbly she fastens : (O how quick is love !) The steed is stalled

up,

and even now To tie the rider she begins to prove:

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 burns with bashful shame, she with her tears
Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheeks:
Then with her windy sighs, and golden hairs,
To fan and blow them dry again she seeks:

He saith she is immodest, blames her 'miss; *
What follows more she murders with a kiss.

'Miss-amiss, fault. So in Sonnet CLI.:

" Love

Even as an empty eagle, sharp by fast,
Tires with her beak on feathers, flesh, and bone,
Shaking her wings, devouring all in haste,
Till either gorge be stuff'd, or prey be gone;

Even so she kiss'd his brow, his cheek, his chin,
And where she ends she doth anew begin.

Forc'd to content, but never to obey,
Panting he lies, and breatheth in her face;
She feedeth on the steam, as on a prey,
And calls it heavenly moisture, air of grace,

Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowers,
So they were dew'd with such distilling showers.

Look how a bird lies tangled in a net,
So fasten'd in her arms Adonis lies;
Pure shame and aw'd resistance made him fret,
Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes:

Rain added to a river that is rank,
Perforce will force it overflow the bank.

Still she entreats, and prettily entreats,
For to a pretty ear she tunes her tale;
Still is he sullen, still he low'rs and frets,
"Twixt crimson shame, and anger ashy pale;

“ Love is too young to know what conscience is ;

Yet who knows not conscience is born of love ?
Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,

Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove.” * Tires—tears, preys. The image is to be found without variation in ‘Henry VI., Part III.,' Act I., Scene 1:

“ Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke;

Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
Will cost my crown, and, like an empty eagle,

Tire on the flesh of me and of my son."
b Content-acquiescence.
Rank-full. Rank is often used

express excess or violence generally : and rankness is applied to a flood, in · King John,' Act V., Scene 4 :

“ And like a bated and retired flood,

Leaving our rankness and irregular course."

Being red, she loves him best; and being white,
Her best is better'd with a more delight.

Look how he can, she cannot choose but love;
And by her fair immortal hand she swears
From his soft bosom never to remove,
Till he take truce with her contending tears,

Which long have rain'd, making her cheeks all wet;
And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt.

Upon this promise did he raise his chin,
Like a dive-dapper peering through a wave,
Who, being look'd on, ducks as quickly in;
So offers he to give what she did crave;

But when her lips were ready for his pay, ,
He winks, and turns his lips another way.

Never did passenger in summer's heat
More thirst for drink than she for this good turn :
Her help she sees, but help she cannot get;
She bathes in water, yet her fire must burn:

“0, pity,” 'gan she cry, “ flint-hearted boy!
'T is but a kiss I beg; why art thou coy?

“ I have been woo'd, as I entreat thee now,
Even by the stern and direful god of war,
Whose sinewy neck in battle ne'er did bow,
Who conquers where he comes, in every jar;

Yet hath he been my captive and my slave,
And begg'd for that which thou unask'd shalt have.

Over my altars hath he hung his lance, His batter'd shield, his uncontrolled crest,

a Dive-dapper. One of the familiar names of the dab-chick is dive-dapper, or di-dapper; and this was the old poetical name. Beaumont and Fletcher, in the • Woman Hater,' have a comparison of the mutability of fortune with this nimble water-bird :—“ The misery of man may fitly be compared to a di-dapper, who, when she is under water past our sight, and indeed can seem no more to us, rises again, shakes but herself, and is the same she was."

And for my sake hath learn'd to sport and dance,
To toy, to wanton, dally, smile, and jest;

Scorning his churlish drum, and ensign red,
Making my arms his field, his tent my bed.

“ Thus he that overruld I oversway'd,
Leading him prisoner in a red-rose chain :
Strong-temper'd steel his stronger strength obey'd,
Yet was he servile to my coy disdain.

O be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
For mastering her that foild the god of fight!

“ Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine,
(Though mine be not so fair, yet are they red,)
The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine :
What seest thou in the ground ? hold up thy head;

Look in mine eyeballs, there thy beauty lies:
Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in 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 are 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 not what we mean.

“ The tender spring upon thy tempting lip
Shows thee unripe; yet mayst thou well be tasted;
Make use of time, let not advantage slip;
Beauty within itself should not be wasted :

Fair flowers that are not gather'd in their prime
Rot and consume themselves in little time.

"Were I hard-favour'd, foul, or wrinkled-old,
Ill-nurtur'd, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice,
O'er-worn, despised, rheumatic, and cold,
Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice,
Then mightst thou pause, for then I were not for thee;
But having no defects, why dost abhor me?

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