Imatges de pàgina
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VENUS

AND

A D O N I S.

Vilia miretur vulgus, mihi flavus Apollo
Pocula Castalia plena ministrat aqua.

Ovid.

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.

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,
Couragiously to pluck him from his horse.

Over one arm the lusty courser's rein,
Under the 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 luft.

So soon was the along, as he was down,
Each leaning on their elbows and their hips :
Now doth the stroke his cheek, now doth he frown,
And 'gins to chide, but foon 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 the seeks:

He says, she is immodest, blames her 'miss ;
What follows more, she smothers with a kiss.

Even as an empty eagle, sharp by fast,
Tires with her beak on feathers, flesh, and bone,
Shaking her wings, devouring all in hafte,
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 breathing 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 the entreats, and prettily entreats,
For to a pretty ear the tunes her tale ;
Still is he fullen, still he low'rs and frets,
'Twixt crimson Thame and anger, ashy-pale ;

Being red, she loves him beft; 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 the 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 di-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 fees, but help the cannot get ;
She bathes in water, yet in fire must burn:

“ 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 finewy 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 creft,
And for

my

sake hath learn'd to sport and dance, To coy, to wanton, dally, smile, and jest ;

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

Thus him that over-ruld, 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 mast'ring 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 see'st thou in the ground ? hold up thy head;

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.

The tender spring upon thy tempting lip
Shows thee unripe ; yet may'st 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-natur'd, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice,
O'erworn, despised, rheumatick and cold,
Thick-fighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice,

Then might'st thou pause, for then I were not for thee;
But having no defects, why dost abhor me?

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