Abbildungen der Seite

Love is a spirit, all compact of fire',

Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.
Witness this primrose bank whereon I lie;
These forceless flowers like sturdy trees support me;
Two strengthless doves will draw me through the sky,
From morn till night', even where I list to sport me:

Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be
That thou shouldst 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 shouldst 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.


* The

all COMPACT of fire,] Compact” is made up or composed. Frenchman (says Nash) is wholly compact of deceivable courtship.”— Pierce Penniless,” printed by the Shakespeare Society, p. 25. See also Vol. ii. p. 381, where the Duke describes Jaques as "compact of jars.” In E. Guilpin's “Skialetheia," 1598, we read, “ Thou must have words compact of fire, and rage.”

i From morn till night,] So every old edition ; but Malone and all modern editors read corruptly, “ From morn to night.”

And now Adonis, with a lazy sprite,
And with a heavy, dark, disliking eye,
His lowering brows o'erwhelming 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 gone!
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,


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?

Oh! had thy mother borne so hard a mind,
She had not brought forth thee, but died unkind.

What am I, that thou shouldst contemn me this 3 ?
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.

2 SOURING his cheeks,] “ So wring his cheeks,” in the edition of 1593; but corrected in that of 1594, and in the later impressions. The old compositor may have been confused between “souring" in this line and “lowering" in that next but one above. In “ Antony and Cleopatra" (this Vol. p. 140) he misprinted “souringlowering.

contemn me this?] Steevens would read “contemn me thus," in opposition to all the old copies, but that printed at Edinburgh in 1627: he was not, however, aware of this feeble support. “This" and thus seem sometimes to have been used almost indifferently (see p. 494), but here the rhyme requires the former.


Fie! lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone,
Well-painted idol, image dull and dead,
Statue, contenting but the
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.

eye alone,

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:

• I'll be a park,] The copies of 1593 and 1594 have “a park ;" the edition of 1596, and others after it, read “ the park." Malone, when he published his “ Supplement," in 1780, printed " the park," from the edition of 1600, but he afterwards followed the most ancient text; and from our Introduction it will be seen that Heywood, when he quoted from “ Venus and Adonis" in his “ Fair Maid of the Exchange," resorted to the edition of 1593 or 1594, although he reads circle for “ circuit,"'- noticeable variation.

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.

[ocr errors]

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.


5- '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 written, and printed hir.

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.

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, fetlocks shag and long,
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide,
High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing strong,
Thin main, 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 :

6 And this I do,] So the editions of 1593 and 1594 : in the later impressions,

I “ And thus I do." This is one of the cases, alluded to on page 491, where it seems almost indifferent which word is employed.

? To bid the wind a base] i. e. To challenge the wind to a contest of speed, as at the game of prison-base, or prison-bars. See this Vol. p. 351. We meet with the expression “ to bid a base" in Hynd's “ Eliosto Libidinoso," 1606, Sign. C 2:

“Both these bid me a base, and I am readie to meete thee in the midway, when loe, reason steps in, and stoppes me running."

« ZurückWeiter »