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.

Upon his hurt she looks so steadfastly

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:
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 anything 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 Having no fair to lose, you need not fear; The sun doth scorn you, and the wind doth hiss you: But when Adonis liv'd, sun and sharp air

Lurk'd like two thieves to rob him of his fair;

a Fair-beauty.

"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.

"But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted a 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.

"'T is true, 't is 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;

a Urchin-snouted-with the snout of the urchin, or hedgehog.

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 woeful 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 you being dead the day should yet be light.

"Since thou art dead, lo! here I prophesy,
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend;
It shall be waited on with jealousy,
Find sweet beginning but unsavoury end;
Ne'er settled equally, but high or low;

That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe.

"It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud;
Bud and be blasted in a breathing while;
The bottom poison, and the top o'erstraw'd a
With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile :
The strongest body shall it make most weak,
Strike the wise dumb, and teach the fool to speak.

"It shall be sparing, and too full of riot, Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures; The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet,

Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures:

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

It shall be raging mad, and silly mild,
Make the young old, the old become a child.

"It shall suspect where is no cause of fear;
It shall not fear where it should most mistrust;
It shall be merciful, and too severe,

And most deceiving when it seems most just;
Perverse it shall be where it shows most toward,
Put fear to valour, courage to the coward.


It shall be cause of war and dire events,

And set dissention 'twixt the son and sire;
Subject and servile to all discontents,

As dry combustious matter is to fire;

Sith in his prime death doth my love destroy,
They that love best their loves shall not enjoy."

By this, the boy that by her side lay kill'd
Was melted like a vapour from her sight,
And in his blood that on the ground lay spill'd,
A purple flower sprung up, chequer'd with white,
Resembling well his pale cheeks, and the blood
Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood.

She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to smell,
Comparing it to her Adonis' breath;

And says, within her bosom it shall dwell,
Since he himself is reft from her by death:
She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears
Green dropping sap, which she compares to tears.

[ocr errors]

"Poor flower," quoth she, this was thy father's guise, (Sweet issue of a more sweet smelling sire,) For every little grief to wet his eyes:

To grow unto himself was his desire,

And so 't is thine; but know, it is as good
To wither in my breast as in his blood.

"Here was thy father's bed, here in my breast; Thou art the next of blood, and 't is thy right:

Lo! in this hollow cradle take thy rest,

My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night: There shall not be one minute in an hour

Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower."

Thus weary of the world, away she hies,
And yokes her silver doves; by whose swift aid
Their mistress mounted, through the empty skies
In her light chariot quickly is convey'd,

Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen
Means to immure herself, and not be seen.

« VorigeDoorgaan »