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Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be
That thou should'st think it heavy unto thee?
Is thine own heart to thine own face affected?
Can thy right hand seize love upon thy left?
Then woo thyself, be of thyself rejected,
Steal thine own freedom, and complain on theft.
Narcissus so himself himself forsook,
And died to kiss his shadow in the brook.
Torches are made to light, jewels to wear,
Dainties to taste, fresh beauty for the use;
Herbs for their smell, and sappy plants to bear;
Things growing to themselves are growth's abuse :
Seeds spring from seeds, and beauty breedeth beauty;
Thou wast begot, to get it is thy duty.
Upon the earth's increase why should'st thou feed,
Unless the earth with thy increase be fed ?
By law of nature thou art bound to breed,
That thine may live, when thou thyself art dead;
And so in spite of death thou dost survive,
In that thy likeness still is left alive.
By this, the love-sick queen began to sweat,
For where they lay the shadow had forsook them,
And Titan, 'tired in the mid-day heat,
With burning eye did hotly overlook them;
Wishing Adonis had his team to guide,
So he were like him, and by Venus' side.
And now Adonis, with a lazy sprite,
And with a heavy, dark, disliking eye,
His lowering brows o'er-whelming his fair sight,
Like misty vapours, when they blot the sky,
Souring his cheeks', cries, Fie! no more of love :
The sun doth burn my face; I must remove.
Ah me! (quoth Venus,) young, and so unkind?
What bare excuses mak'st thou to be
I Souring his cheeks,] “So uring his cheeks,” in the edition of 1593 ; but corrected in that of 1594, and in the later impressions.
I'll sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind
Shall cool the heat of this descending sun:
I'll make a shadow for thee of my hairs;
If they burn too, I'll quench them with my tears.
The sun that shines from heaven shines but warm,
And lo! I lie between that sun and thee:
The heat I have from thence doth little harm,
Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me;
And were I not immortal, life were done,
Between this heavenly and earthly sun.
Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel?
Nay more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth;
Art thou a woman's son, and canst not feel
What 'tis to love? how want of love tormenteth?
0! had thy mother borne so hard a mind,
She had not brought forth thee, but died unkind.
What am I, that thou should'st contemn me this??
Or what great danger dwells upon my suit?
What were thy lips the worse for one poor kiss ?
Speak fair ; but speak fair words, or else be mute :
Give me one kiss, I'll give it thee again,
And one for interest, if thou wilt have twain.
Fie! lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone,
Well-painted idol, image dull and dead,
Statue, contenting but the eye alone,
Thing like a man, but of no woman bred :
Thou art no man, though of a man's complexion,
For men will kiss even by their own direction.
This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue,
And swelling passion doth provoke a pause;
Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong:
Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause;
And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak,
And now her sobs do her intendments break.
Sometimes she shakes her head, and then his hand,
Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground;
Sometimes her arms infold him like a band :
She would, he will not in her arms be bound;
And when from thence he struggles to be gone,
She locks her lily fingers one in one.
Fondling, she saith, since I have hemm'd thee here,
Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
I'll be a park?, and thou shalt be my deer;
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale :
Graze on my lips, and if those hills be dry,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.
Within this limit is relief enough,
Sweet bottom-grass, and high delightful plain,
Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough,
To shelter thee from tempest, and from rain:
Then, be my deer, since I am such a park ;
No dog shall rouse thee, though a thousand bark.
At this Adonis smiles, as in disdain,
That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple :
Love made those hollows, if himself were slain,
He might be buried in a tomb so simple ;
Fore-knowing well, if there he came to lie,
Why, there Love liv'd, and there he could not die.
These lovely caves, these round enchanting pits,
Open'd their mouths to swallow Venus' liking.
Being mad before, how doth she now for wits?
Struck dead at first, what needs a second striking ?
Poor queen of love, in thine own law forlorn,
To love a cheek that smiles at thee in scorn !
Now which way shall she turn? what shall she say?
Her words are done, her woes the more increasing ;
The time is spent, her object will away,
And from her twining arms doth urge releasing.
Pity! she cries, some favour, some remorse !
Away he springs, and hasteth to his horse.
But lo! from forth a copse that neighbours by,
A breeding jennet, lusty, young, and proud,
Adonis' trampling courser doth espy,
And forth she rushes, snorts, and neighs aloud :
The strong-neck'd steed, being tied unto a tree,
Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he.
Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
And now his woven girths he breaks asunder ;
The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds,
Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven's thunder :
The iron bit he crusheth 'tween his teeth“,
Controlling what he was controlled with.
His ears up prick’d, his braided hanging mane
Upon his compass'd crest now stands on end;
His nostrils drink the air, and forth again,
As from a furnace, vapours doth he send :
His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire,
Shows his hot courage, and his high desire.
Sometime he trots, as if he told the steps,
With gentle majesty, and modest pride;
Anon he rears upright, curvets and leaps,
As who should say, lo! thus my strength is tried;
And this I do, to captivate the eye
Of the fair breeder that is standing by.
What recketh he his rider's angry stir,
His flattering holla, or his “ Stand, I say?"
What cares he now for curb, or pricking spur,
For rich caparisons, or trapping gay?
He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
For nothing else with his proud sight agrees.
– 'tween his teeth,) The edition 1594 alone misprints "his ” hir : few mistakes could be more common, arising from the fact, that her was formerly often printed hir.
5 And this I do] So the editions of 1593 and 1594 : in the later impressions, * And thus I do."
Look, when a painter would surpass the life,
In limning out a well-proportion'd steed,
His art with nature's workmanship at strife,
As if the dead the living should exceed;
So did his horse excel a common one,
In shape, in courage, colour, pace, and bone.
Round-hoof'd, short-jointed, the fetlocks shag and long,
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide,
High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing strong,
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide :
Look, what a horse should have he did not lack,
Save a proud rider on so proud a back.
Sometime he scuds far off, and there he stares ;
Anon he starts at stirring of a feather :
To bid the wind a base he now prepares,
And whe'r he run, or fly, they know not whether ;
For through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
Fanning the hairs, who wave like feather'd wings.
He looks upon his love, and neighs unto her;
She answers him, as if she knew his mind :
Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her,
She puts on outward strangeness, seems unkind ;
Spurns at his love, and scorns the heat he feels,
Beating his kind embracements with her heels.
Then, like a melancholy malcontent,
He vails his tail, that, like a falling plume,
Cool shadow to his melting buttock lent:
He stamps, and bites the poor flies in his fume.
His love, perceiving how he is enrag’d,
Grew kinder, and his fury was assuag d.