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Love is a spirit, all compact of fire',
Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.
Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be
Is thine own heart to thine own face affected ?
Narcissus so himself himself forsook,
Torches are made to light, jewels to wear,
Seeds spring from seeds, and beauty breedeth beauty;
Upon the earth's increase why shouldst thou feed,
And so in spite of death thou dost survive,
By this, the love-sick queen began to sweat,
Wishing Adonis had his team to guide,
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,
Souring his cheeks?, cries, Fie! no more of love:
Ah me! (quoth Venus,) young, and so unkind ?
I'll make a shadow for thee of my hairs;
The sun that shines from heaven shines but warm,
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?
Oh! had thy mother borne so hard a mind,
What am I, that thou shouldst contemn me this 3 ?
Give me one kiss, I'll give it thee again,
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 “souring” lowering.
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,
Thou art no man, though of a man's complexion,
This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue,
And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak,
Sometimes she shakes her head, and then his hand,
And when from thence he struggles to be gone,
Fondling, she saith, since I have hemm’d thee here,
Graze on my lips, and if those hills be dry,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.
Then, be my deer, since I am such a park;
At this Adonis smiles, as in disdain,
• 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,
Fore-knowing well, if there he came to lie,
These lovely caves, these round enchanting pits,
Poor queen of love, in thine own law forlorn,
Now which way shall she turn? what shall she say?
Pity! she cries ; some favour, some remorse !
But lo! from forth a copse that neighbours by,
The strong-neck'd steed, being tied unto a tree,
Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
The iron bit he crusheth 'tween his teeth,
His ears up prick’d, his braided hanging mane
His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire,
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,
And this I do', to captivate the eye
Of the fair breeder that is standing by.
He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
Look, when a painter would surpass the life,
So did his horse excel a common one,
Round-hoof'd, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,
Look, what a horse should have he did not lack,
Sometime he scuds far off, and there he stares;
For through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
He looks upon his love, and neighs unto her;
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."