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Venus and Adonis

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By: (1564-1616)

Venus and Adonis is Shakespeare's narrative poem about the love of the goddess Venus for the mortal youth Adonis, dedicated partly to his patron, the Earl of Southampton (thought by some to be the beautiful youth to which many of the Sonnets are addressed). The poem recounts Venus' attempts to woo Adonis, their passionate coupling, and Adonis' rejection of the goddess, to which she responds with jealousy, with tragic results. This recording features three different readers performing the narration, Venus, and Adonis.

First Page:

VENUS AND ADONIS

by William Shakespeare

'Villa miretur vulgus; mihi flavus Apollo Pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua.'

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLEY,

EARL OF SOUHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TICHFIELD.

RIGHT HONOURABLE,

I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to your lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burthen: only, if your honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours, till I have honoured you with some graver labour. But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and never after ear so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your honour to your heart's content; which I wish may always answer your own wish and the world's hopeful expectation.

Your honour's in all duty,

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

VENUS AND ADONIS

EVEN as the sun with purple colour'd face Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn, Rose cheek'd Adonis tried him to the chase; Hunting he lov'd, but love he laugh'd to scorn; 4 Sick thoughted Venus makes amain unto him, And like a bold fac'd suitor 'gins to woo him... Continue reading book >>


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