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VENUS AND ADONIS.
Vilia miretur vulgus mihi flavus Apollo
Even as the sun with purple-colour'd face
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. 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 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."
Being so enrag'd, desire doth lend her force,
Over one arm the lusty courser's rein,
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 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 says, she is immodest, blames her 'miss ;
What follows more she smothers with a kiss.
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,
Still she entreats, and prettily entreats,
Being red, she loves him best; and being white,
Her best 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 her lips were ready for his pay,
He winks, and turns his lips another way.
“Oh pity,” 'gan she cry, “ flint-hearted boy ;
'Tis 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
altars hath he hung his lance,
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,