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By this far off she hears some huntsman hollow;
A nurse's song ne'er pleas'd her babe so well:
The dire imagination she did follow
This sound of hope doth labour to expel;

For now reviving joy bids her rejoice,
And flatters her it is Adonis' voice.

Whereat her tears began to turn their tide,
Being prison'd in her eye, like pearls in glass ;
Yet sometimes falls an orient drop beside,
Which her cheek melts, as scorning it should pass

To wash the foul face of the sluttish ground,
Who is but drunken, when she seemeth drown'd.

Oh hard-believing love, how strange it seems
Not to believe, and yet too credulous !
Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes ;
Despair and hope make thee ridiculous :

The one doth flatter thee in thoughts unlikely,
In likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly.

Now she unweaves the web that she hath wrought;
Adonis lives, and Death is not to blame :
It was not she that call’d him all to nought;
Now she adds honours to his hateful name;

She clepes him king of graves', and grave for kings,

Imperious supreme of all mortal things.
No, no, quoth she, sweet Death, I did but jest ;
Yet pardon me, I felt a kind of fear,
When as I met the boar, that bloody beast,
Which knows no pity, but is still severe;

Then, gentle shadow, (truth I must confess)
I rail'd on thee, fearing my love's decease.


'Tis not my fault : the boar provok'd my tongue;
Be wreak’d on him, invisible commander;
'Tis he, foul creature, that hath done thee wrong;
I did but act, he's author of thy slander.

Grief hath two tongues, and never woman yet
Could rule them bothi, without ten women's wit.

s She clePes him king of graves,] She calls, or names him king of graves : see Vol. v. p. 419.

Thus hoping that Adonis is alive,
Her rash suspect she doth extenuate;
And that his beauty may the better thrive,
With death she humbly doth insinuate :

Tells him of trophies, statues, tombs, and stories,

His victories, his triumphs, and his glories.
Oh Jove! quoth she, how much a fool was I,
To be of such a weak and silly mind,
To wail his death, who lives, and must not die,
Till mutual overthrow of mortal kind;

For he being dead, with him is beauty slain,
And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again.

Fie, fie, fond love! thou art so full of fear,
As one with treasure laden hemm’d with thieves :
Trifles, unwitnessed with eye or ear,
Thy coward heart with false bethinking grieves.

Even at this word she hears a merry horn,
Whereat she leaps that was but late forlorn.

As falcons to the lure, away she flies :
The grass stoops not, she treads on it so light;
And in her haste unfortunately spies
The foul boar's conquest on her fair delight:

Which seen, her eyes, as murder'd with the view,
Like stars asham'd of day, themselves withdrew.

Or, as the snail, whose tender horns being hit,
Shrinks backward in his shelly cave with pain,
And there all smother'd up in shade doth sit,
Long after fearing to creep forth again :

So, at his bloody view, her eyes are fled
Into the deep-dark cabins of her head :

Where they resign their office and their light
To the disposing of her troubled brain;

6 As Falcons to the lure,] So the editions of 1593, 1594, and 1596 ; the impression of 1600 first introduced falcon, and that word has been adopted by modern editors, as if it had been the most ancient and authentic reading. In the last line but one of this stanza, we prefer "as” to are of the copy of 1593, because it seems required, and because we find the change made in the edition of the following year, which is supported by those of 1596 and 1600 : the Edinburgh impression of 1627 has are.

Who bids them still consort with ugly night,
And never wound the heart with looks again ;

Who, like a king perplexed in his throne,
By their suggestion gives a deadly groan,

Whereat each tributary subject quakes ;
As when the wind, imprison'd in the ground,
Struggling for passage, earth’s foundation shakes, ,
Which with cold terror doth men's minds confound.

This mutiny each part doth so surprise,
That from their dark beds once more leap her eyes ;


And, being open'd, threw unwilling light'
Upon the wide wound that the boar had trench'd
In his soft flank; whose wonted lily white
With purple tears, that his wound wept, was drench’d':

No flower was nigh, no grass, herb, leaf, or weed,
But stole his blood, and seem'd with him to bleed.

This solemn sympathy poor Venus noteth ;
Over one shoulder doth she hang her head,
Dumbly she passions, franticly she doteth;
She thinks he could not die, he is not dead :

Her voice is stopp’d, her joints forget to bow,
Her eyes are mad that they have wept till now.

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Upon his hurt she looks so stedfastly,
That her sight dazzling makes the wound seem three ;
And then she reprehends her mangling eye,
That makes more gashes where no breach should be:

His face seems twain, each several limb is doubled ;
For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being troubled.


My tongue cannot express my grief for one,
And yet, quoth she, behold two Adons dead !
My sighs are blown away, my salt tears gone,
Mine eyes are turn’d to fire, my heart to lead :

7 — threw unwilling Light] “ Light” is the word in the two earliest editions of 1593 and 1594: in that of 1596, night (not right, as Malone states) was substituted, and it became sight in the impression of 1600, and in the Edinburgh edition, 1627.

was drench'd :) Here we necessarily follow the copy of 1600, for all the earlier impressions read “ had drench’d.”


Heavy heart's lead, melt at mine eyes' red fire !
So shall I die by drops of hot desire.

Alas, poor world, what treasure hast thou lost !
What face remains alive that's worth the viewing?
Whose tongue is music now? what canst thou boast
Of things long since, or any thing ensuing?

The flowers are sweet, their colours fresh and trim;
But true sweet beauty liv'd and died with him.

Bonnet nor veil henceforth no creature wear;
Nor sun nor wind will ever strive to kiss you :
Having no fair to lose, you need not fear;
The sun doth scorn you, and the wind doth hiss

But when Adonis liv'd, sun and sharp air
Lurk’d, like two thieves, to rob him of his fair:

And therefore would he put his bonnet on,
Under whose brim the gaudy sun would peep,
The wind would blow it off, and being gone,
Play with his locks: then, would Adonis weep,

And straight in pity of his tender years,
They both would strive who first should dry his tears.

To see his face, the lion walk'd along
Behind some hedge, because he would not fear him';
To recreate himself when he hath sung,
The tiger would be tame, and gently hear him;

If he had spoke, the wolf would leave his prey,
And never fright the silly lamb that day.

When he beheld his shadow in the brook,
The fishes spread on it their golden gills :
When he was by, the birds such pleasure took,
That some would sing, some other in their bills

Would bring him mulberries, and ripe red cherries;
He fed them with his sight, they him with berries.



9 – to rob him of his fair :] i.e. Of bis beauty : "fair," as three lines above, · was often used for fairness : see Vol. ii. pp. 124. 192. 390, &c.

1 - because he would not fear him ;] i.e. Alarm or frighten him : this use of the verb “ to fear” was common. See Vol. iii. p. 504; Vol. iv. p. 174, &c.

But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted boar?,
Whose downward eye still looketh for a grave,
Ne'er saw the beauteous livery that he wore ;
Witness the entertainment that he gave:

If he did see his face, why then, I know,
He thought to kiss him, and hath kill'd him so.

'Tis true, 'tis true: thus was Adonis slain.
He ran upon the boar with his sharp spear,
Who did not' whet his teeth at him again,
But by a kiss thought to persuade him there;

And nuzzling in his flank, the loving swine
Sheath’d, unaware, the tusk in his soft groin.

Had I been tooth'd like him, I must confess,
With kissing him I should have kill'd him first :
But he is dead, and never did he bless
My youth with his, the more am I accurst.

With this she falleth in the place she stood,
And stains her face with his congealed blood.

She looks upon his lips, and they are pale ;
She takes him by the hand, and that is cold ;
She whispers in his ears a heavy tale,
As if they heard the woful words she told :

She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes,
Where lo ! two lamps, burnt out, in darkness lies :

Two glasses, where herself herself beheld
A thousand times, and now no more reflect;
Their virtue lost, wherein they late excell'd,
And every beauty robb'd of his effect :

Wonder of time, quoth she, this is my spite,
That, thou being dead', the day should yet be light.

U'RCHIN-gnouted boar,) An“ urchin" is, properly, a hedge-hog, and it is so employed in Vol. v. p. 32; but in " The Tempest," A. i. sc. 2, it rather means an evil spirit, or fairy.

3 Who did not] Thus the 4to, 1593. The editions of 1594 and 1596 read “ Who would not,” which was followed in all the subsequent copies.

4 That, thou being dead,] So the editions of 1593, 1594, &c., until that of 1600, which has you. Malone followed the latter, and modern editors follow Malone. The error is tritling, but it is as well to be right.

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