Venus and Adonis by William Browne

Venus by Adonis’ side
Crying kiss’d, and kissing cried;
Wrung her hands and tore her hair,
For Adonis dying there.

Stay! quoth she: O stay and live!
Nature surely doth not give
To the earth her sweetest flowers
To be seen but some few hours.

On his face, still as he bled,
For each drop a tear she shed,
Which she kiss’d or wiped away, —
Else had drown’d him where he lay.

Fair Proserpina, quoth she,
Shall not have thee yet from me;
Nor thy soul to fly begin
While my lips can keep it in.

Here she closed again. And some
Say — Apollo would have come
To have cured his wounded limb —
But that she had smother’d him.

Venus and Adonis by William Browne
From Britannia’s Pastoral

William Browne (1590-1650?)


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