Venus and Adonis

 
 
 
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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLEY, EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TITCHFIELD
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 burden: only, if your
Honour seem but pleased, I account my self 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 de-
formed, 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 honour-
able survey, and your Honour to your heart's
content; which I wish may always answer your
content (n.) 1 pleasure, satisfaction, happiness
own wish and the world's hopeful expectation.
Your Honour's in all duty,
William Shakespeare
Even as the sun with purple-coloured face
purple (adj.) bright-red, blood-coloured, bloody
Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn,
morn (n.) morning, dawn
Rose-cheeked Adonis hied him to the chase;
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed
Hunting he loved, but love he laughed to scorn.
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
amain (adv.) 1 in all haste, at full speed
sick-thoughted (adj.) love-sick, infatuated
And like a bold-faced suitor 'gins to woo him.
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‘ Thrice-fairer than myself,’ thus she began,
‘ The field's chief flower, sweet above compare,
compare (n.) comparison, simile, analogy
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,
More white and red than doves or roses are;
Nature that made thee with herself at strife
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life.
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‘ Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed,
And rein his proud head to the saddle-bow;
If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed
meed (n.) 1 reward, prize, recompense
A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know.
Here come and sit, where never serpent hisses,
And being set, I'll smother thee with kisses;
set (adj.) 2 formally seated, arranged in a position of state
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‘ And yet not cloy thy lips with loathed satiety,
satiety (n.) 1 excess, over-abundance
But rather famish them amid their plenty,
Making them red and pale with fresh variety;
Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty.
A summer's day will seem an hour but short,
Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.’
sport (n.) 3 sexual recreation, intercourse, amorous dalliance
time-beguiling (adj.) which whiles away the time
waste (v.) 1 pass, spend, while away
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With this she seizeth on his sweating palm,
The precedent of pith and livelihood,
livelihood (n.) liveliness, animation, vivacity
pith (n.) 1 strength, toughness, mettle
precedent (n.) 1 example, instance, case
And, trembling in her passion, calls it balm,
Earth's sovereign salve to do a goddess good.
sovereign (adj.) 1 excellent, excelling, superlative
Being so enraged, desire doth lend her force
enraged (adj.) 1 passionate, ardent, furiously aroused
Courageously to pluck him from his horse.
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Over one arm the lusty courser's rein,
courser (n.) swift horse, sprinter, charger
lusty (adj.) 1 vigorous, strong, robust, eager
Under her other was the tender boy,
Who blushed and pouted in a dull disdain,
With leaden appetite, unapt to toy;
appetite (n.) 1 desire, longing, inclination, fancy
leaden (adj.) 2 heavy, dull, spiritless
toy (v.) flirt, dally, make amorous sport
unapt (adj.) 1 not inclined, unwilling, not prone
She red and hot as coals of glowing fire,
He red for shame, but frosty in desire.
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The studded bridle on a ragged bough
ragged (adj.) 2 broken, jagged, fragmented
Nimbly she fastens – O, how quick is love!
The steed is stalled up, and even now
stall (v.) tether, settle as in a stable
To tie the rider she begins to prove.
prove (v.) 1 test, try out, make trial [of]
Backward she pushed him, as she would be thrust,
And governed him in strength, though not in lust.
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So soon was she along as he was down,
Each leaning on their elbows and their hips;
Now doth she stroke his cheek, now doth he frown,
And 'gins to chide, but soon she stops his lips,
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove
And kissing speaks, with lustful language broken,
‘ If thou wilt chide, thy lips shall never open.’
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He burns with bashful shame; she with her tears
Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheeks;
Then with her windy sighs and golden hairs
To fan and blow them dry again she seeks.
He saith she is immodest, blames her miss;
miss (n.) wrong-doing, misbehaviour, misdeed
What follows more she murders with a kiss.
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Even as an empty eagle, sharp by fast,
even, e'en (adv.) 1 just, exactly
fast (n.) fasting, hunger
sharp (adj.) 6 [falconry] famished, hungry, starving
Tires with her beak on feathers, flesh and bone,
tire (v.) 1 feed greedily, prey ravenously
Shaking her wings, devouring all in haste,
Till either gorge be stuffed or prey be gone;
gorge (n.) 1 throat, stomach
Even so she kissed his brow, his cheek, his chin,
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]
And where she ends she doth anew begin.
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Forced to content, but never to obey,
content (n.) 3 acceptance, acquiescence
Panting he lies and breatheth in her face;
She feedeth on the steam as on a prey,
And calls it heavenly moisture, air of grace,
Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowers,
So they were dewed with such distilling showers.
distilling (adj.) infusing, penetrative, permeating the body
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Look how a bird lies tangled in a net,
tangle (v.) trap, snare, enmesh, hold fast
So fastened in her arms Adonis lies;
Pure shame and awed resistance made him fret,
awed (adj.) awe-struck, daunted, intimidated
Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes.
Rain added to a river that is rank
rank (adj.) 8 full to overflowing, brimful
Perforce will force it overflow the bank.
perforce (adv.) 2 of necessity, with no choice in the matter
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Still she entreats, and prettily entreats,
For to a pretty ear she tunes her tale:
tale (n.) 1 talking, discourse
tune (v.) 2 sing, utter, sound out
Still is he sullen, still he lours and frets,
'Twixt crimson shame and anger ashy-pale.
Being red, she loves him best, and being white,
Her best is bettered with a more delight.
more (adj.) 1 greater
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Look how he can, she cannot choose but love;
And by her fair immortal hand she swears
From his soft bosom never to remove
Till he take truce with her contending tears,
contending (adj.) struggling, antagonistic, opposed
truce, take come to terms, negotiate
Which long have rained, making her cheeks all wet;
And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt.
comptless incalculable, inestimable, immeasureable
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Upon this promise did he raise his chin,
Like a dive-dapper peering through a wave,
dive-dapper (n.) diving waterfowl, dabchick
Who, being looked on, ducks as quickly in;
So offers he to give what she did crave;
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request
But when her lips were ready for his pay,
He winks, and turns his lips another way.
wink (v.) 6 shrink away, wince, flinch
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Never did passenger in summer's heat
passenger (n.) wayfarer, traveller, passer-by
More thirst for drink than she for this good turn.
Her help she sees, but help she cannot get;
She bathes in water, yet her fire must burn.
‘ O, pity,’ 'gan she cry, ‘ flint-hearted boy!
'Tis but a kiss I beg; why art thou coy?
coy (adj.) 2 unresponsive, distant, standoffish, disdainful
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‘ I have been wooed, as I entreat thee now,
Even by the stern and direful god of war,
direful (adj.) dreadful, terrible, frightful
Whose sinewy neck in battle ne'er did bow,
sinewy (adj.) muscular, well-developed, brawny
Who conquers where he comes in every jar;
jar (n.) 1 conflict, quarrel, dissension
Yet hath he been my captive and my slave,
And begged for that which thou unasked shalt have.
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‘ Over my altars hath he hung his lance,
His battered shield, his uncontrolled crest,
crest (n.) 1 [originally the plume of feathers on a] helmet, head-piece
uncontrolled (adj.) not subject to control, never dominated
And for my sake hath learned to sport and dance,
To toy, to wanton, dally, smile and jest,
toy (v.) flirt, dally, make amorous sport
wanton (v.) play, sport, frolic
Scorning his churlish drum and ensign red,
churlish (adj.) 2 violent, rough, harsh
Making my arms his field, his tent my bed.
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‘ Thus he that overruled I overswayed,
oversway (v.) prevail upon, override, overturn
Leading him prisoner in a red-rose chain:
Strong-tempered steel his stronger strength obeyed,
Yet was he servile to my coy disdain.
coy (adj.) 1 gentle, considerate, solicitous
servile (adj.) 1 subordinate, controlled [by]
O, be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
For mastering her that foiled the god of fight!
foil (v.) 1 defeat, overcome; throw [in wrestling]
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‘ Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine-
Though mine be not so fair, yet are they red –
The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine.
What see'st thou in the ground? hold up thy head,
Look in mine eyeballs, there thy beauty lies;
Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes?
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‘ Art thou ashamed to kiss? then wink again,
wink (v.) 1 shut one's eyes
And I will wink; so shall the day seem night.
Love keeps his revels where there are but twain;
Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight.
sport (n.) 3 sexual recreation, intercourse, amorous dalliance
These blue-veined violets whereon we lean
Never can blab, nor know not what we mean.
blab (v.) 2 talk indiscreetly, betray secrets
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‘ The tender spring upon thy tempting lip
spring (n.) 2 sapling, shoot, young growth
Shews thee unripe; yet mayst thou well be tasted:
Make use of time, let not advantage slip;
advantage (n.) 1 right moment, favourable opportunity
Beauty within itself should not be wasted.
Fair flowers that are not gathered in their prime
Rot, and consume themselves in little time.
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‘ Were I hard-favoured, foul, or wrinkled-old,
foul (adj.) 1 plain-looking, unattractive, ugly
hard-favoured (adj.) ugly, unattractive, unsightly, hideous
Ill-nurtured, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice,
churlish (adj.) 1 rude, blunt, ungracious
crooked (adj.) 1 malignant, perverse, contrary, devious
O'erworn, despised, rheumatic and cold,
overworn (adj.) 1 faded, worn out, worse for wear
rheumatic (adj.) 1 with symptoms of rheum [watery discharge], catarrhal, cold-like
Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice,
thick-sighted (adj.) with bad eyesight
Then mightst thou pause, for then I were not for thee;
But having no defects, why dost abhor me?
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‘ Thou canst not see one wrinkle in my brow;
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]
Mine eyes are grey and bright and quick in turning:
grey (adj.) 3 [of eyes] grey-blue, blue-tinged
My beauty as the spring doth yearly grow,
My flesh is soft and plump, my marrow burning;
My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt,
Would in thy palm dissolve, or seem to melt.
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‘ Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear,
discourse (v.) 1 talk, chat, converse
enchant (v.) charm, bewitch, win over
Or, like a fairy, trip upon the green,
Or, like a nymph, with long dishevelled hair,
Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen.
footing (n.) 4 footprint, track, trail
Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
compact (adj.) 2 made up, composed
Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.
aspire (v.) 1 ascend, rise up, climb [to]
gross (adj.) 5 heavy, weighty, bulky
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‘ Witness this primrose bank whereon I lie;
These forceless flowers like sturdy trees support me;
forceless (adj.) 2 frail, fragile, delicate
Two strengthless doves will draw me through the sky
strengthless (adj.) weak, delicate, puny
From morn till night, even where I list to sport me.
list (v.) 1 wish, like, please
morn (n.) morning, dawn
sport (v.) 1 make merry, take pleasure (in)
Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be
That thou shouldst think it heavy unto thee?
heavy (adj.) 6 tedious, tiresome, uninteresting
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‘ Is thine own heart to thine own face affected?
affected (adj.) 2 devoted, totally in love [with]
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.
shadow (n.) 2 reflection, reflected image
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‘ Torches are made to light, jewels to wear,
Dainties to taste, fresh beauty for the use,
dainty (n.) 3 delicacy, choice foodstuff
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.
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‘ Upon the earth's increase why shouldst thou feed,
increase (n.) 1 produce, growth, yield, crop
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.’
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By this, the love-sick queen began to sweat,
For where they lay the shadow had forsook them,
shadow (n.) 8 shade from the sun
And Titan, tired in the mid-day heat,
With burning eye did hotly overlook them,
hotly (adv.) 1 angrily, passionately, fiercely
overlook (v.) 2 rise above, look down on
Wishing Adonis had his team to guide,
So he were like him, and by Venus' side.
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And now Adonis, with a lazy spright,
sprite, spright (n.) 2 spirit, feeling, frame of mind
And with a heavy, dark, disliking eye,
dark (adj.) 1 sad, melancholic, gloomy
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy
His louring brows o'erwhelming his fair sight,
brow (n.) 3 eyebrow
louring (adj.) 2 frowning, scowling, angry
sight (n.) 1 eye
Like misty vapours when they blot the sky,
blot (v.) 3 obscure, darken, cloud
vapour (n.) 2 mist, cloud, fog
Souring his cheeks, cries ‘ Fie, no more of love!
sour (v.) give a morose expression, make sullen
The sun doth burn my face; I must remove.’
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‘ Ay me,’ quoth Venus, ‘ young, and so unkind!
What bare excuses mak'st thou to be gone!
bare (adj.) 3 worthless, wretched; or: barefaced, shameless
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;
shadow (n.) 6 shade, seclusion, place of retirement
If they burn too, I'll quench them with my tears.
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‘ 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,
Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me;
And were I not immortal, life were done
Between this heavenly and earthly sun.
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‘ Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel?
obdurate (adj.) stubborn, obstinate, inflexible
Nay, more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth.
relent (v.) yield, give way, give up
Art thou a woman's son, and canst not feel
What 'tis to love? how want of love tormenteth?
want (n.) 1 lack, shortage, dearth
O, had thy mother borne so hard a mind,
She had not brought forth thee, but died unkind.
unkind (adj.) 1 hostile, cruel, harsh
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‘ What am I that thou shouldst contemn me this?
contemn (v.) despise, scorn, treat with contempt
Or what great danger dwells upon my suit?
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship
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.
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‘ Fie, lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone,
senseless (adj.) 1 lacking human sensation, incapable of feeling
Well-painted idol, image dull and dead,
Statue contenting but the eye alone,
content (v.) 1 please, gratify, delight, satisfy
Thing like a man, but of no woman bred!
Thou art no man, though of a man's complexion,
complexion (n.) 2 constitution, physical make-up, outward appearance
For men will kiss even by their own direction.’
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This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue,
And swelling passion doth provoke a pause;
passion (n.) 1 powerful feeling, overpowering emotion [often opposed to ‘reason’]
Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong;
blaze, blaze forth (v.) proclaim, divulge, make known
Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause;
And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak,
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly
And now her sobs do her intendments break.
intendment (n.) intent, intention, purpose
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Sometimes she shakes her head, and then his hand;
sometime (adv.) 2 sometimes, now and then
Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground;
Sometime her arms infold him like a band;
band (n.) 5 bond, shackle, chain
infold (v.) enfold, wrap up, conceal
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.
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‘ Fondling,’ she saith, ‘ since I have hemmed thee here
fondling (n.) [term of endearrment] foolish one, dear pet
hem (v.) 1 enclose, surround, confine
Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
pale (n.) 1 fence, paling, enclosure
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.
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‘ Within this limit is relief enough,
limit (n.) 3 delimited territory, precinct, bounded region
relief (n.) 2 refreshment, sustenance, pasture
Sweet bottom-grass and high delightful plain,
bottom (n.) 5 valley, hollow, dell
Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough,
brake (n.) 1 bush, thicket
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.’
rouse (v.) 1 [hunting] startle from a lair, draw out
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At this Adonis smiles as in disdain,
That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple;
Love made those hollows, if himself were slain,
He might be buried in a tomb so simple,
Foreknowing well, if there he came to lie,
Why, there Love lived, and there he could not die.
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These lovely caves, these round enchanting pits,
Opened their mouths to swallow Venus' liking.
liking (n.) 1 desire, will, pleasure
Being mad before, how doth she now for wits?
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)
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!
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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!’
remorse (n.) 2 pity, compassion, tenderness
Away he springs, and hasteth to his horse.
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But lo, from forth a copse that neighbours by,
by (adv.) 1 near by, close at hand
A breeding jennet, lusty, young and proud,
jennet, gennet (n.) small Spanish horse
lusty (adj.) 1 vigorous, strong, robust, eager
Adonis' trampling courser doth espy,
courser (n.) swift horse, sprinter, charger
espy (v.) catch sight of, discern, see
And forth she rushes, snorts and neighs aloud.
The strong-necked steed, being tied unto a tree,
Breaketh his rein and to her straight goes he.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once
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Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
imperiously (adv.) majestically, with a commanding manner
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.
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His ears up-pricked; his braided hanging mane
braided (adj.) plaited, woven, divided into locks
up-pricked (adj.) pricked up, alert
Upon his compassed crest now stand on end;
compassed (adj.) curved, rounded, arched
crest (n.) 2 [on an animal head or neck] ridge of feathers, ridge of hairs; hackles
His nostrils drink the air, and forth again,
As from a furnace, vapours doth he send:
vapour (n.) 4 hot steamy breath
His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire,
glister (v.) glitter, sparkle, gleam
Shows his hot courage and his high desire.
courage (n.) 3 lust, sexual desire
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Sometime he trots, as if he told the steps,
sometime (adv.) 2 sometimes, now and then
tell (v.) 1 count out, number, itemize
With gentle majesty and modest pride;
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble
Anon he rears upright, curvets and leaps,
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently
curvet (v.) [of a horse] leap about, act friskily, prance
As who should say ‘ Lo, thus my strength is tried,
try (v.) 1 prove, ascertain, find out
And this I do to captivate the eye
captivate (v.) make captive, capture, imprison
Of the fair breeder that is standing by.’
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What recketh he his rider's angry stir,
reck (v.) regard, heed, care [for]
stir (n.) 2 movement, motion, agitation
His flattering ‘ Holla ’ or his ‘ Stand, I say ’?
holla (int.) whoa, stop [to a horse]
What cares he now for curb or pricking spur?
For rich caparisons or trappings gay?
caparison (n.) 1 trappings, adornments, trimmings
He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
For nothing else with his proud sight agrees.
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Look when a painter would surpass the life,
In limning out a well-proportioned steed,
limn out (v.) paint, draw, portray
His art with nature's workmanship at strife,
As if the dead the living should exceed;
So did this horse excel a common one
common (adj.) 1 average, usual, general, ordinary
In shape, in courage, colour, pace and bone.
bone (n.) 1 body, physique, bodily frame
pace (n.) 1 way of walking, gait
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Round-hoofed, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,
shag (adj.) shaggy, with long rough hair
Broad breast, full eye, small head and nostril wide,
High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong,
passing (adv.) very, exceedingly, extremely
Thin mane, 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.
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Sometime he scuds far off and there he stares;
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently
scud (v.) move briskly, run swiftly
Anon he starts at stirring of a feather;
To bid the wind a base he now prepares,
bid the base / bass challenge someone to a chase [from ‘prisoner's base’, a boy's chasing game]
And whe'er he run or fly they know not whether;
For through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
Fanning the hairs, who wave like feathered wings.
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He looks upon his love and neighs unto her;
She answers him as if she knew his mind;
Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her,
She puts on outward strangeness, seems unkind,
strangeness (n.) estrangement, disaffection, coldness, aloofness
Spurns at his love and scorns the heat he feels,
spurn against / at (v.) kick out at, treat with contempt
Beating his kind embracements with her heels.
embracement (n.) embrace, clasping, hug
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Then, like a melancholy malcontent,
He veils his tail that, like a falling plume,
vail (v.) 1 lower, bow down, cast down [as in submission]
Cool shadow to his melting buttock lent;
He stamps, and bites the poor flies in his fume.
fume (n.) 2 fit of anger, furious mood
His love, perceiving how he was enraged,
Grew kinder, and his fury was assuaged.
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His testy master goeth about to take him;
go about (v.) 1 endeavour, set to work, start trying
testy (adj.) irritable, peevish, short-tempered
When, lo, the unbacked breeder, full of fear,
unbacked (adj.) unbroken, untrained, undisciplined
Jealous of catching, swiftly doth forsake him,
jealous (adj.) 1 suspicious, mistrustful, wary, watchful
With her the horse, and left Adonis there.
As they were mad, unto the wood they hie them,
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed
Out-stripping crows that strive to over-fly them.
over-fly (v.) fly past, overtake in flight
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All swoln with chafing, down Adonis sits,
chafing (n.) irritation, anger, rage
swoln (adj.) variant spelling of ‘swollen’
Banning his boisterous and unruly beast;
ban (v.) 1 curse, damn, revile
And now the happy season once more fits
That love-sick Love by pleading may be blest;
For lovers say, the heart hath treble wrong
When it is barred the aidance of the tongue.
aidance (n.) aid, assistance, help
bar (v.) 3 forbid, deny, deprive [of]
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An oven that is stopped, or river stayed,
stay (v.) 11 retain, keep back, withhold
stop (v.) 2 stop up, close (up), shut
Burneth more hotly, swelleth with more rage;
So of concealed sorrow may be said,
Free vent of words love's fire doth assuage;
vent (n.) 3 airing, utterance, telling
But when the heart's attorney once is mute,
attorney (n.) 2 advocate, mediator, promoter
The client breaks, as desperate in his suit.
break (v.) 18 go bankrupt, become insolvent
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition
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He sees her coming, and begins to glow,
Even as a dying coal revives with wind,
coal (n.) 1 ember, smouldering fuel
And with his bonnet hides his angry brow,
bonnet (n.) hat, cap
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]
Looks on the dull earth with disturbed mind,
Taking no notice that she is so nigh,
For all askance he holds her in his eye.
askance, askaunce (adv.) 1 sideways, surreptitiously, with a side glance
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O, what a sight it was, wistly to view
wistly (adv.) intently, attentively, earnestly
How she came stealing to the wayward boy!
To note the fighting conflict of her hue,
How white and red each other did destroy!
But now her cheek was pale, and by and by
It flashed forth fire, as lightning from the sky.
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Now was she just before him as he sat,
And like a lowly lover down she kneels;
With one fair hand she heaveth up his hat,
heave up (v.) raise, lift up
Her other tender hand his fair cheek feels:
His tend'rer cheek receives her soft hand's print
As apt as new-fall'n snow takes any dint.
apt (adj.) 6 impressionable, susceptible
dint (n.) 1 impression, force, mark
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O, what a war of looks was then between them,
Her eyes petitioners to his eyes suing!
His eyes saw her eyes as they had not seen them;
Her eyes wooed still, his eyes disdained the wooing:
And all this dumb play had his acts made plain
With tears which chorus-like her eyes did rain.
chorus-like (adv.) in the manner of a chorus, like a running commentary
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Full gently now she takes him by the hand,
A lily prisoned in a gaol of snow,
Or ivory in an alabaster band;
alablaster (adj.) white, smooth [as alabaster]
band (n.) 5 bond, shackle, chain
So white a friend engirts so white a foe:
engirt (v.) encircle, enclose
This beauteous combat, wilful and unwilling,
Showed like two silver doves that sit a-billing.
show (v.) appear, look [like], present [as]
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Once more the engine of her thoughts began:
engine (n.) 3 instrument, implement, organ
‘ O fairest mover on this mortal round,
mortal (adj.) 2 human, subject to death, characterized by mortality
round (n.) 3 globe, earth
Would thou wert as I am, and I a man,
My heart all whole as thine, thy heart my wound;
For one sweet look thy help I would assure thee,
Though nothing but my body's bane would cure thee.’
bane (n.) 1 ruin, woe, destruction
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‘ Give me my hand,’ saith he, ‘ why dost thou feel it?’
‘ Give me my heart,’ saith she, ‘ and thou shalt have it;
O, give it me, lest thy hard heart do steel it,
steel (v.) 1 turn to steel, harden
And being steeled, soft sighs can never grave it;
grave (v.) 2 engrave, inscribe [in], cut into
Then love's deep groans I never shall regard,
Because Adonis' heart hath made mine hard.’
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‘ For shame,’ he cries, ‘ let go, and let me go;
My day's delight is past, my horse is gone,
And 'tis your fault I am bereft him so.
bereave (v.) 1 take away [from], deprive, deny, rob
I pray you hence, and leave me here alone;
For all my mind, my thought, my busy care,
Is how to get my palfrey from the mare.’
care (n.) 4 anxiety, worry, solicitude [about]
palfrey (n.) horse for everyday riding
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Thus she replies: ‘ Thy palfrey, as he should,
Welcomes the warm approach of sweet desire.
Affection is a coal that must be cooled;
affection (n.) 3 desire, passion, lustful feeling
coal (n.) 1 ember, smouldering fuel
Else, suffered, it will set the heart on fire.
suffer (v.) 1 allow, permit, let
The sea hath bounds, but deep desire hath none,
Therefore no marvel though thy horse be gone.
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‘ How like a jade he stood tied to the tree,
jade (n.) 1 worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag
Servilely mastered with a leathern rein!
leathern (adj.) 1 leather-like
But when he saw his love, his youth's fair fee,
fee (n.) 2 payment, reward, recompense
He held such petty bondage in disdain,
Throwing the base thong from his bending crest,
base (adj.) 3 poor, wretched, of low quality
Enfranchising his mouth, his back, his breast.
enfranchise (v.) set free, liberate
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‘ Who sees his true-love in her naked bed,
Teaching the sheets a whiter hue than white,
But, when his glutton eye so full hath fed,
His other agents aim at like delight?
agent (n.) sense, organ, faculty
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal
Who is so faint that dare not be so bold
To touch the fire, the weather being cold?
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‘ Let me excuse thy courser, gentle boy;
courser (n.) swift horse, sprinter, charger
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind
And learn of him, I heartily beseech thee,
To take advantage on presented joy;
presented (adj.) 2 offered, bestowed, proffered
Though I were dumb, yet his proceedings teach thee.
O, learn to love; the lesson is but plain,
And once made perfect, never lost again.’
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‘ I know not love,’ quoth he, ‘ nor will not know it,
Unless it be a boar, and then I chase it.
'Tis much to borrow, and I will not owe it.
My love to love is love but to disgrace it;
For I have heard it is a life in death,
That laughs, and weeps, and all but with a breath.
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‘ Who wears a garment shapeless and unfinished?
Who plucks the bud before one leaf put forth?
If springing things be any jot diminished,
springing (adj.) growing, sprouting, developing
They wither in their prime, prove nothing worth.
The colt that's backed and burdened being young
back (v.) 2 ride, mount, sit on
burden, burthen (v.) 1 load down, weigh down
Loseth his pride, and never waxeth strong.
wax (v.) 1 grow, become, turn
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‘ You hurt my hand with wringing; let us part,
wringing (n.) 1 squeezing, pressing, gripping
And leave this idle theme, this bootless chat;
bootless (adj.) useless, worthless, fruitless, unavailing
Remove your siege from my unyielding heart;
To love's alarms it will not ope the gate.
alarm, alarum, 'larm, 'larum (n.) 5 arousal, incitement, encouragement
alarm, alarum, 'larm, 'larum (n.) 2 attack, assault
ope (v.) open
Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your flattery;
For where a heart is hard they make no battery.’
battery (n.) 2 breach, entry
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‘ What, canst thou talk?’ quoth she, ‘ hast thou a tongue
O, would thou hadst not, or I had no hearing!
Thy mermaid's voice hath done me double wrong;
I had my load before, now pressed with bearing:
press (v.) 3 oppress, burden, weigh down
Melodious discord, heavenly tune harsh sounding,
Ear's deep-sweet music, and heart's deep-sore wounding.
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‘ Had I no eyes but ears, my ears would love
That inward beauty and invisible;
Or were I deaf, thy outward parts would move
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]
Each part in me that were but sensible.
sensible (adj.) 1 sensitive, responsive, capable of feeling
Though neither eyes nor ears, to hear nor see,
Yet should I be in love by touching thee.
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‘ Say that the sense of feeling were bereft me,
And that I could not see, nor hear, nor touch,
And nothing but the very smell were left me,
Yet would my love to thee be still as much;
For from the stillitory of thy face excelling
stillitory (n.) still, distilling chamber
Comes breath perfumed, that breedeth love by smelling.
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‘ But O, what banquet wert thou to the taste,
Being nurse and feeder of the other four!
Would they not wish the feast might ever last,
And bid Suspicion double-lock the door,
Lest Jealousy, that sour unwelcome guest,
Should by his stealing in disturb the feast?’
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Once more the ruby-coloured portal opened,
Which to his speech did honey passage yield;
Like a red morn, that ever yet betokened
morn (n.) morning, dawn
Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field,
wrack (n.) 2 wreck, loss, shipwreck
Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds,
Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.
flaw (n.) 1 gust, squall, blast
herdman (n.) herdsman
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This ill presage advisedly she marketh:
advisedly (adv.) 1 attentively, watchfully, carefully
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of]
presage (n.) 1 sign, indication, portent
Even as the wind is hush'd before it raineth,
Or as the wolf doth grin before he barketh,
grin (v.) bare the teeth, grimace, snarl
Or as the berry breaks before it staineth,
Or like the deadly bullet of a gun,
His meaning struck her ere his words begun.
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And at his look she flatly falleth down,
flatly (adv.) 2 in a prone position
For looks kill love and love by looks reviveth;
A smile recures the wounding of a frown.
recure (v.) heal, make whole, restore to health
But blessed bankrupt that by love so thriveth!
The silly boy, believing she is dead,
Claps her pale cheek, till clapping makes it red;
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And all amazed brake off his late intent,
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim
late (adj.) 1 recent, not long past
For sharply he did think to reprehend her,
Which cunning love did wittily prevent.
wittily (adv.) ingeniously, cleverly, resourcefully
Fair fall the wit that can so well defend her!
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability
For on the grass she lies as she were slain,
Till his breath breatheth life in her again.
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He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheeks,
He bends her fingers, holds her pulses hard,
He chafes her lips, a thousand ways he seeks
To mend the hurt that his unkindness marred;
He kisses her; and she, by her good will,
Will never rise, so he will kiss her still.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually
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The night of sorrow now is turned to day:
Her two blue windows faintly she upheaveth,
faintly (adv.) 3 weakly, feebly, faintheartedly
upheave (v.) raise, lift up
Like the fair sun, when in his fresh array
He cheers the morn and all the earth relieveth;
cheer (v.) encourage, urge on, galvanize
morn (n.) morning, dawn
And as the bright sun glorifies the sky,
So is her face illumined with her eye;
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Whose beams upon his hairless face are fixed,
As if from thence they borrowed all their shine.
Were never four such lamps together mixed,
Had not his clouded with his brow's repine;
brow (n.) 3 eyebrow
repine (n.) discontent, vexation, irritation
But hers, which through the crystal tears gave light,
Shone like the moon in water seen by night.
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‘ O, where am I?’ quoth she, ‘ in earth or heaven,
Or in the ocean drenched, or in the fire?
drench (v.) drown, plunge, immerse
What hour is this? or morn or weary even?
morn (n.) morning, dawn
Do I delight to die, or life desire?
But now I lived, and life was death's annoy;
annoy (n.) 1 trouble, vexation, distress
but (adv.) 2 just
But now I died, and death was lively joy.
lively (adj.) 2 life-giving, enlivening, invigorating
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‘ O, thou didst kill me: kill me once again.
Thy eyes' shrewd tutor, that hard heart of thine,
shrewd (adj.) 1 harsh, hard, severe
Hath taught them scornful tricks, and such disdain
That they have murdered this poor heart of mine;
And these mine eyes, true leaders to their queen,
But for thy piteous lips no more had seen.
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‘ Long may they kiss each other, for this cure!
O, never let their crimson liveries wear!
livery (n.) 1 uniform, costume, special clothing
wear (v.) 1 wear out, weary, tire
And as they last, their verdure still endure
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually
verdure, verdour (n.) sap, vitality, vigour, freshness
To drive infection from the dangerous year!
That the star-gazers, having writ on death,
star-gazer (n.) astrologer, almanac-writer
May say, the plague is banished by thy breath.
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‘ Pure lips, sweet seals in my soft lips imprinted,
seal (n.) 2 pledge, promise, token, sign
What bargains may I make, still to be sealing?
To sell myself I can be well contented,
So thou wilt buy, and pay, and use good dealing;
Which purchase if thou make, for fear of slips
Set thy seal manual on my wax-red lips.
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‘ A thousand kisses buys my heart from me;
And pay them at thy leisure, one by one.
What is ten hundred touches unto thee?
Are they not quickly told and quickly gone?
tell (v.) 1 count out, number, itemize
Say for non-payment that the debt should double,
Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble?’
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‘ Fair queen,’ quoth he, ‘ if any love you owe me,
Measure my strangeness with my unripe years:
measure (v.) 3 judge, appraise
strangeness (n.) estrangement, disaffection, coldness, aloofness
unripe (adj.) immature, youthful, inexperienced
Before I know myself, seek not to know me;
No fisher but the ungrown fry forbears:
fisher (n.) fisherman
forbear (v.) 2 leave alone, avoid, stay away [from]
fry (n.) 1 young fish
The mellow plum doth fall, the green sticks fast,
Or being early plucked is sour to taste.
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‘ Look, the world's comforter, with weary gait,
His day's hot task hath ended in the west;
The owl, night's herald, shrieks 'tis very late;
The sheep are gone to fold, birds to their nest;
And coal-black clouds that shadow heaven's light
Do summon us to part, and bid good night.
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‘ Now let me say “ Good night,” and so say you;
If you will say so, you shall have a kiss.’
‘ Good night,’ quoth she; and, ere he says ‘ Adieu,’
The honey fee of parting tendered is:
tender (v.) 1 offer, give, present
Her arms do lend his neck a sweet embrace;
Incorporate then they seem; face grows to face.
incorporate (adj.) united in one body, combined in one entity
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Till breathless he disjoined, and backward drew
disjoin (v.) disengage, separate [oneself]
The heavenly moisture, that sweet coral mouth,
Whose precious taste her thirsty lips well knew,
Whereon they surfeit, yet complain on drouth.
drouth (n.) 2 drought, thirst
surfeit (v.) 1 feed to excess, overindulge, glut
He with her plenty pressed, she faint with dearth
press (v.) 3 oppress, burden, weigh down
Their lips together glued, fall to the earth.
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Now quick desire hath caught the yielding prey,
And glutton-like she feeds, yet never filleth;
Her lips are conquerors, his lips obey,
Paying what ransom the insulter willeth;
insulter (n.) triumphant boaster, scorner, exulter
Whose vulture thought doth pitch the price so high
pitch (v.) 1 set, place
thought (n.) 1 intention, purpose, design
vulture (adj.) ravenous, devouring, rapacious
That she will draw his lips' rich treasure dry.
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And having felt the sweetness of the spoil,
spoil (n.) 2 plunder, booty
With blindfold fury she begins to forage;
forage (v.) 3 eat greedily, glut oneself [on]
Her face doth reek and smoke, her blood doth boil,
reek (v.) 2 break into a sweat, perspire
And careless lust stirs up a desperate courage,
careless (adj.) 5 reckless, thoughtless, heedless
Planting oblivion, beating reason back,
plant (v.) 1 set up, establish, introduce
Forgetting shame's pure blush and honour's wrack.
wrack (n.) 1 destruction, ruin
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Hot, faint, and weary, with her hard embracing,
hard (adj.) 8 pressing, persistent, unremitting
Like a wild bird being tamed with too much handling,
Or as the fleet-foot roe that's tired with chasing,
Or like the froward infant stilled with dandling.
froward (adj.) 1 perverse, obstinate, wilful, ungovernable
He now obeys and now no more resisteth,
While she takes all she can, not all she listeth.
list (v.) 1 wish, like, please
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What wax so frozen but dissolves with temp'ring,
dissolve (v.) 3 melt, liquefy
tempering (n.) softening, moulding
And yields at last to every light impression?
Things out of hope are compassed oft with vent'ring,
compass (v.) 1 accomplish, fulfil, achieve, bring about
oft (adv.) often
Chiefly in love, whose leave exceeds commission:
Affection faints not like a pale-faced coward,
affection (n.) 3 desire, passion, lustful feeling
faint (v.) 1 lose courage, show fear, lose heart, take fright
But then woos best when most his choice is froward.
froward (adj.) 1 perverse, obstinate, wilful, ungovernable
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When he did frown, O, had she then gave over,
Such nectar from his lips she had not sucked.
Foul words and frowns must not repel a lover;
foul (adj.) 5 harsh, rough, hard
What though the rose have prickles, yet 'tis plucked:
Were beauty under twenty locks kept fast,
Yet love breaks through, and picks them all at last.
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For pity now she can no more detain him;
The poor fool prays her that he may depart.
She is resolved no longer to restrain him;
Bids him farewell, and look well to her heart,
The which by Cupid's bow she doth protest
He carries thence incaged in his breast.
encaged, incaged (adj.) encaged, caged up
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‘ Sweet boy,’ she says, ‘ this night I'll waste in sorrow,
waste (v.) 1 pass, spend, while away
For my sick heart commands mine eyes to watch.
command (v.) 1 force, control, drive
watch (v.) 1 stay awake, keep vigil
Tell me, love's master, shall we meet to-morrow?
Say, shall we? shall we? wilt thou make the match?’
match (n.) 1 bargain, contract, agreement
He tells her, no; to-morrow he intends
To hunt the boar with certain of his friends.
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‘ The boar!’ quoth she; whereat a sudden pale,
pale (n.) 3 paleness, pallor [of the cheeks]
Like lawn being spread upon the blushing rose,
lawn (n.) [type of] fine linen
Usurps her cheek; she trembles at his tale,
And on his neck her yoking arms she throws.
yoking (adj.) embracing, enfolding, enclosing
She sinketh down, still hanging by his neck,
He on her belly falls, she on her back.
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Now is she in the very lists of love,
list (n.) 1 (usually plural) combat arena at a tournament
Her champion mounted for the hot encounter.
All is imaginary she doth prove;
prove (v.) 2 find, establish, experience
He will not manage her, although he mount her;
manage (v.) 3 [of horses] ride, handle, put through one's paces
That worse than Tantalus' is her annoy,
annoy (n.) 1 trouble, vexation, distress
To clip Elysium and to lack her joy.
clip (v.) 1 embrace, clasp, hug
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Even so poor birds, deceived with painted grapes,
Do surfeit by the eye and pine the maw;
maw (n.) belly, stomach; throat, gullet
pine (v.) 3 torment, trouble, afflict
surfeit (v.) 1 feed to excess, overindulge, glut
Even so she languisheth in her mishaps
As those poor birds that helpless berries saw.
helpless (adj.) unavailing, useless, unprofitable
The warm effects which she in him finds missing
She seeks to kindle with continual kissing.
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But all in vain, good queen, it will not be,
She hath assayed as much as may be proved;
assay (v.) 2 try, test the mettle of, put to the proof
prove (v.) 1 test, try out, make trial [of]
Her pleading hath deserved a greater fee;
She's Love, she loves, and yet she is not loved.
‘ Fie, fie,’ he says, ‘ you crush me; let me go;
You have no reason to withhold me so.’
withhold (v.) 2 detain, keep in possession
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‘ Thou hadst been gone,’ quoth she, ‘ sweet boy, ere this,
But that thou toldst me thou wouldst hunt the boar.
O, be advised: thou knowst not what it is
advise, avise (v.) 2 warn, counsel, caution
With javelin's point a churlish swine to gore,
churlish (adj.) 2 violent, rough, harsh
Whose tushes never sheathed he whetteth still,
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually
tush (n.) tusk
Like to a mortal butcher bent to kill.
bend (v.) 1 aim, direct, level, turn
bent (adj.) 1 determined, intent, resolved
mortal (adj.) 1 fatal, deadly, lethal
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‘ On his bow-back he hath a battle set
battle (n.) 2 battle array, war formation, ranks of soldiers
bow-back (n.) arched back
Of bristly pikes that ever threat his foes;
threat (v.) threaten
His eyes like glow-worms shine when he doth fret;
fret (v.) 6 rage, rampage
His snout digs sepulchres where'er he goes;
Being moved, he strikes whate'er is in his way,
move (v.) 2 move to anger, provoke, exasperate
And whom he strikes his cruel tushes slay.
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‘ His brawny sides, with hairy bristles armed,
Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter;
proof (n.) 1 tested strength, proven power of resistance, impenetrability
His short thick neck cannot be easily harmed;
Being ireful, on the lion he will venter:
ireful (adj.) wrathful, angry, furious
venture, venter (v.) run a risk, take a chance, dare to act
The thorny brambles and embracing bushes,
As fearful of him, part, through whom he rushes.
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‘ Alas, he nought esteems that face of thine,
To which Love's eyes pays tributary gazes;
Nor thy soft hands, sweet lips and crystal eyne,
crystal (adj.) 1 clear, bright, transparent
Whose full perfection all the world amazes;
But having thee at vantage – wondrous dread! –
vantage (n.) 2 advantageous position, place of vantage, superiority
Would root these beauties as he roots the mead.
mead (n.) meadow
root (v.) 3 root up, tear out
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‘ O, let him keep his loathsome cabin still;
cabin (n.) 2 den, hole, cave
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually
Beauty hath nought to do with such foul fiends.
fiend (n.) monster, malign being, evil foe
Come not within his danger by thy will;
They that thrive well take counsel of their friends.
When thou didst name the boar, not to dissemble,
dissemble (v.) 2 deceive, disguise the truth, pretend
I feared thy fortune, and my joints did tremble.
fear (v.) 2 fear for, worry about, be anxious about
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‘ Didst thou not mark my face? was it not white?
Sawst thou not signs of fear lurk in mine eye?
Grew I not faint? and fell I not downright?
downright (adv.) 1 straight away, directly
Within my bosom, whereon thou dost lie,
My boding heart pants, beats, and takes no rest,
boding (adj.) ominous, full of foreboding
But, like an earthquake, shakes thee on my breast.
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‘ For where Love reigns, disturbing Jealousy
jealousy (n.) 3 concern, anxiety, solicitude
Doth call himself Affection's sentinel;
affection (n.) 4 love, devotion
Gives false alarms, suggesteth mutiny,
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken
suggest (v.) 1 tempt, prompt, incite
And in a peaceful hour doth cry “ Kill, kill!”
Distempering gentle Love in his desire,
distemper (v.) disorder, derange, disturb, confuse
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind
As air and water do abate the fire.
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‘ This sour informer, this bate-breeding spy,
bate-breeding (adj.) mischief-making, discord-raising
This canker that eats up Love's tender spring,
canker (n./adj.) 1 grub that destroys plant buds and leaves, cankerworm, parasite
spring (n.) 2 sapling, shoot, young growth
This carry-tale, dissentious Jealousy,
carry-tale (n.) tell-tale, tale-bearer
That sometime true news, sometime false doth bring,
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken
sometime (adv.) 2 sometimes, now and then
Knocks at my heart, and whispers in mine ear
That if I love thee I thy death should fear;
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‘ And more than so, presenteth to mine eye
The picture of an angry chafing boar
Under whose sharp fangs on his back doth lie
An image like thyself, all stained with gore;
Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed
Doth make them droop with grief and hang the head.
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‘ What should I do, seeing thee so indeed,
That tremble at th' imagination?
The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed,
And fear doth teach it divination:
divination (n.) guess, conjecture, prophecy
I prophesy thy death, my living sorrow,
If thou encounter with the boar to-morrow.
encounter with (v.) 1 meet, approach [as an adversary]
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‘ But if thou needs wilt hunt, be ruled by me;
rule (v.) control, direct, guide
Uncouple at the timorous flying hare,
uncouple (v.) release pairs of hunting dogs for the chase
Or at the fox which lives by subtlety,
Or at the roe which no encounter dare.
Pursue these fearful creatures o'er the downs,
fearful (adj.) 1 timid, timorous, frightened, full of fear
And on thy well-breath'd horse keep with thy hounds.
keep (v.) 6 continue, carry on, remain
well-breathed (adj.) strong in wind, well-exercised
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‘ And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare,
foot, on 2 [hunting] roused, up for pursuit
purblind (adj.) 1 half-blind, dim-sighted
Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot his troubles,
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of]
overshoot (v.) 2 shoot ahead of, run out of reach of
How he outruns the wind, and with what care
He cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles.
crank (v.) wind, twist, zigzag
double (n.) sharp turn, doubling back
The many musits through the which he goes
muset, musit (n.) [of a hare] hiding place, lair
Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes.
amaze (v.) 1 confuse, perplex, bewilder
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‘ Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep,
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell,
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep,
cony (n.) rabbit
earth-delving (adj.) burrowing
keep (v.) 1 lodge, live, dwell
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell;
yell (n.) outcry, yelping, full cry
And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer.
sort (v.) 4 associate, keep company with
Danger deviseth shifts; wit waits on fear.
shift (n.) 4 stratagem, tactic, way
wait on / upon (v.) 1 accompany, attend
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability
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‘ For there his smell with others being mingled,
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt,
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled
single (v.) [hunting] single out, pick out
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out.
ado (n.) fuss, business, to-do
cleanly (adv.) 2 completely, totally, quite
fault (n.) 5 [hunting] break in a line of scent, loss of scent
Then do they spend their mouths; Echo replies,
spend one's mouth [hunting] bark, bay, give tongue
As if another chase were in the skies.
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‘ By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill,
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear,
To harken if his foes pursue him still:
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear;
alarm, alarum, 'larm, 'larum (n.) 1 call to arms, call to battle, signal to begin fighting
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently
And now his grief may be compared well
To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell.
passing (adj.) 2 ringing to mark a death
sore (adv.) 1 seriously, greatly, very much
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‘ Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch
dew-bedabbled (adj.) splashed all over with dew
Turn, and return, indenting with the way;
indent (v.) 1 move in a zigzag, double back
Each envious brier his weary legs doth scratch,
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay;
For misery is trodden on by many,
And being low, never relieved by any.
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‘ Lie quietly and hear a little more;
Nay, do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise.
To make thee hate the hunting of the boar,
Unlike myself thou hear'st me moralize,
moralise, moralize (v.) 3 teach by example, use illustration to make a point
Applying this to that, and so to so;
For love can comment upon every woe.
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‘ Where did I leave?’ ‘ No matter where,’ quoth he,
leave (v.) 5 break off, stop, interrupt oneself
‘ Leave me, and then the story aptly ends.
aptly (adv.) easily, readily
The night is spent.’ ‘ Why, what of that?’ quoth she.
‘ I am,’ quoth he, ‘ expected of my friends;
And now 'tis dark, and going I shall fall.’
‘ In night,’ quoth she, ‘ desire sees best of all.
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‘ But if thou fall, O, then imagine this,
The earth, in love with thee, thy footing trips,
footing (n.) 5 foot, step
And all is but to rob thee of a kiss.
Rich preys make true men thieves; so do thy lips
prey (n.) 2 booty, spoil, plunder
true (adj.) 4 honest, upright, law-abiding
Make modest Dian cloudy and forlorn,
cloudy (adj.) 1 sullen, gloomy, scowling
Lest she should steal a kiss, and die forsworn.
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word
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‘ Now of this dark night I perceive the reason:
Cynthia for shame obscures her silver shine,
Till forging Nature be condemned of treason,
forging (adj.) counterfeiting, making false copies
For stealing moulds from heaven that were divine,
Wherein she framed thee, in high heaven's despite,
To shame the sun by day and her by night.
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‘ And therefore hath she bribed the Destinies
To cross the curious workmanship of Nature,
cross (v.) 1 prevent, thwart, forestall
curious (adj.) 1 finely made, skilfully wrought, elaborate
To mingle beauty with infirmities
And pure perfection with impure defeature,
defeature (n.) disfigurement, defacement, loss of beauty
Making it subject to the tyranny
Of mad mischances and much misery;
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‘ As burning fevers, agues pale and faint,
ague (n.) fever, sickness, shaking [as caused by a fever]
Life-poisoning pestilence and frenzies wood,
wood (adj.) mad, wild, furious
The marrow-eating sickness whose attaint
attaint (n.) 2 stain, infection, corruption
Disorder breeds by heating of the blood,
Surfeits, imposthumes, grief and damned despair,
imposthume (n.) abscess, putrid swelling
surfeit (n.) 2 sickness brought on by excess
Swear Nature's death for framing thee so fair.
fair (adv.) 5 well, nobly, beautifully
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‘ And not the least of all these maladies
But in one minute's fight brings beauty under:
Both favour, savour, hue and qualities,
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks
hue (n.) appearance, complexion
Whereat th' impartial gazer late did wonder,
impartial (adj.) indifferent, disinterested, detached
late (adv.) recently, a little while ago / before
wonder (v.) 1 marvel [at], be astonished [at]
Are on the sudden wasted, thawed and done,
do (v.) 6 destroy, consume, reduce to nothing
As mountain snow melts with the midday sun.
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‘ Therefore, despite of fruitless chastity,
Love-lacking vestals and self-loving nuns,
vestal (n.) woman vowed to chastity, virgin, priestess
That on the earth would breed a scarcity
And barren dearth of daughters and of sons,
Be prodigal: the lamp that burns by night
prodigal (adj.) 2 effusive, lavish, generous
Dries up his oil to lend the world his light.
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‘ What is thy body but a swallowing grave,
Seeming to bury that posterity
Which by the rights of time thou needs must have,
If thou destroy them not in dark obscurity?
If so, the world will hold thee in disdain,
Sith in thy pride so fair a hope is slain.
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‘ So in thyself thyself art made away;
A mischief worse than civil home-bred strife,
civil (adj.) 3 of civil war
mischief (n.) 1 catastrophe, calamity, misfortune
Or theirs whose desperate hands themselves do slay,
Or butcher sire that reaves his son of life.
Foul cankering rust the hidden treasure frets,
cankering (adj.) decaying, corrupting, destroying
fret (v.) 1 wear out, eat away, erode
But gold that's put to use more gold begets.’
use (n.) 7 profit, interest, premium
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‘ Nay, then,’ quoth Adon, ‘ you will fall again
Into your idle over-handled theme;
The kiss I gave you is bestowed in vain,
And all in vain you strive against the stream;
For, by this black-faced night, desire's foul nurse,
foul (adj.) 1 plain-looking, unattractive, ugly
Your treatise makes me like you worse and worse.
treatise (n.) story, tale, narrative
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‘ If love have lent you twenty thousand tongues,
And every tongue more moving than your own,
Bewitching like the wanton mermaid's songs,
wanton (adj.) 1 carefree, light-hearted, frolicsome, playful
Yet from mine ear the tempting tune is blown;
For know, my heart stands armed in mine ear,
And will not let a false sound enter there;
false (adj.) 8 [of an instrument or voice] out of tune, discordant
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‘ Lest the deceiving harmony should run
Into the quiet closure of my breast;
closure (n.) 1 enclosure, bound, limit
And then my little heart were quite undone,
undone (adj.) ruined, destroyed, brought down
In his bedchamber to be barred of rest.
bar (v.) 3 forbid, deny, deprive [of]
No, lady, no; my heart longs not to groan,
But soundly sleeps, while now it sleeps alone.
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‘ What have you urged that I cannot reprove?
reprove (v.) disprove, rebut, refute, deny
urge (v.) 4 bring forward, advocate, represent
The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger;
I hate not love, but your device in love
device (n.) 8 resourcefulness, aspiration, cast of mind
That lends embracements unto every stranger.
embracement (n.) embrace, clasping, hug
You do it for increase: O strange excuse,
increase (n.) 2 offspring, descendants, procreation
When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse!
abuse (n.) 4 corrupt practice, wicked way
bawd (n.) pimp, procurer, pander, go-between
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‘ Call it not love, for Love to heaven is fled
Since sweating Lust on earth usurped his name;
Under whose simple semblance he hath fed
semblance (n.) 1 appearance, outward show
simple (adj.) 5 sincere, honest, open, innocent
Upon fresh beauty, blotting it with blame;
Which the hot tyrant stains and soon bereaves,
bereave (v.) 1 take away [from], deprive, deny, rob
As caterpillars do the tender leaves.
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‘ Love comforteth like sunshine after rain,
But Lust's effect is tempest after sun;
Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain,
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind
Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done;
Love surfeits not, Lust like a glutton dies;
Love is all truth, Lust full of forged lies.
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‘ More I could tell, but more I dare not say;
The text is old, the orator too green.
green (adj.) 2 youthful, inexperienced, immature
Therefore, in sadness, now I will away;
sadness, in / in good in earnest, seriously
My face is full of shame, my heart of teen:
teen (n.) trouble, grief, suffering
Mine ears that to your wanton talk attended
attend (v.) 7 listen [to], pay attention [to]
wanton (adj.) 6 lascivious, lewd, obscene
Do burn themselves for having so offended.’
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With this, he breaketh from the sweet embrace
Of those fair arms which bound him to her breast,
And homeward through the dark laund runs apace;
apace (adv.) quickly, speedily, at a great rate
laund (n.) clearing [in a wood], glade, grassy space
Leaves Love upon her back deeply distressed.
Look how a bright star shooteth from the sky,
So glides he in the night from Venus' eye;
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Which after him she darts, as one on shore
Gazing upon a late-embarked friend,
Till the wild waves will have him seen no more,
Whose ridges with the meeting clouds contend;
So did the merciless and pitchy night
pitchy (adj.) pitch-dark, black, inky, dark
Fold in the object that did feed her sight.
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Whereat amazed as one that unaware
amazed (adj.) dumbfounded, stunned, thunderstruck, overwhelmed
Hath dropped a precious jewel in the flood,
Or 'stonished as night-wanderers often are,
astonish, 'stonish (v.) 2 stun, dumbfound, strike dumb with dismay
Their light blown out in some mistrustful wood;
mistrustful (adj.) fearful, intimidating, raising concern
Even so confounded in the dark she lay
Having lost the fair discovery of her way.
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And now she beats her heart, whereat it groans,
That all the neighbour caves, as seeming troubled,
Make verbal repetition of her moans;
Passion on passion deeply is redoubled:
deeply (adv.) 2 loudly, sonorously, resoundingly
passion (n.) 5 passionate outburst, emotional passage
‘ Ay me!’ she cries, and twenty times, ‘ Woe, woe!’
And twenty echoes twenty times cry so.
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She, marking them, begins a wailing note,
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of]
And sings extemporally a woeful ditty;
ditty (n.) 1 song
extemporally (adv.) in an improvised way, impromptu
How love makes young men thrall, and old men dote;
dote (v.) become deranged, behave foolishly
thrall (adj.) captive, enslaved, subject
How love is wise in folly, foolish witty:
Her heavy anthem still concludes in woe,
anthem (n.) song of mourning, hymn of grief
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy
And still the choir of echoes answer so.
choir, quire (n.) 1 company, group, assembly
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Her song was tedious, and outwore the night,
outwear (v.) 3 outlast, last the whole length of
For lovers' hours are long, though seeming short:
If pleased themselves, others, they think, delight
In such-like circumstance, with such-like sport.
circumstance (n.) 1 detail(s), particular(s), specifics
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment
Their copious stories, oftentimes begun,
End without audience, and are never done.
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For who hath she to spend the night withal
But idle sounds resembling parasites,
Like shrill-tongued tapsters answering every call,
tapster (n.) inn waiter, drawer of ale
Soothing the humour of fantastic wits?
fantastic (adj.) 1 extravagant, fanciful, ingenious
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice
wit (n.) 6 lively person, sharp-minded individual
She says ‘ 'Tis so;’ they answer all ‘ 'Tis so,’
And would say after her, if she said ‘ No.’
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Lo, here the gentle lark, weary of rest,
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind
From his moist cabinet mounts up on high,
cabinet (n.) 2 dwelling, lodging
moist (adj.) 1 damp, dripping, dewy
And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast
The sun ariseth in his majesty;
Who doth the world so gloriously behold
That cedar-tops and hills seem burnished gold.
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Venus salutes him with this fair good-morrow:
‘ O thou clear god, and patron of all light,
From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow
The beauteous influence that makes him bright,
There lives a son that sucked an earthly mother,
May lend thee light, as thou dost lend to other.’
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This said, she hasteth to a myrtle grove,
Musing the morning is so much o'erworn,
overworn (adj.) 2 used up, spent
And yet she hears no tidings of her love;
She hearkens for his hounds and for his horn.
hearken (v.) 1 listen [to], pay attention [to]
Anon she hears them chant it lustily,
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently
chant it sing out, give tongue
And all in haste she coasteth to the cry.
coast (v.) 3 make one's way, approach [towards]
cry (n.) 2 [of hounds] noise, call, yelp
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And as she runs, the bushes in the way
Some catch her by the neck, some kiss her face,
Some twine about her thigh to make her stay;
She wildly breaketh from their strict embrace,
strict (adj.) 2 tight, close, pressing
Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ache,
dug (n.) nipple, teat, breast
milch (adj.) 1 milking, in milk
Hasting to feed her fawn hid in some brake.
brake (n.) 1 bush, thicket
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By this she hears the hounds are at a bay;
bay (n.) 1 [hunting] last stand, point of capture
this, by by this time
Whereat she starts, like one that spies an adder
Wreathed up in fatal folds just in his way,
The fear whereof doth make him shake and shudder:
Even so the timorous yelping of the hounds
timorous (adj.) 1 fearful, apprehensive, doubting
Appals her senses and her spirit confounds.
confound (v.) 6 amaze, dumbfound, stun
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For now she knows it is no gentle chase,
gentle (adj.) 4 peaceful, calm, free from violence
But the blunt boar, rough bear, or lion proud,
blunt (adj.) 4 rough, harsh, unsparing
Because the cry remaineth in one place,
cry (n.) 2 [of hounds] noise, call, yelp
Where fearfully the dogs exclaim aloud.
Finding their enemy to be so curst,
curst (adj.) 2 angry, furious, fierce
They all strain court'sy who shall cope him first.
cope, cope with (v.) 1 encounter, face, have to do [with], come into contact [with]
strain (v.) 5 transgress, go beyond, exceed
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This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear,
dismal (adj.) 2 sinister, ominous, malign
Through which it enters to surprise her heart;
Who, overcome by doubt and bloodless fear,
With cold-pale weakness numbs each feeling part;
feeling (adj.) 2 capable of sensation
Like soldiers, when their captain once doth yield,
They basely fly and dare not stay the field.
basely (adv.) dishonourably, shamefully, ignominiously
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat
stay (v.) 6 stay put on, maintain a presence on
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Thus stands she in a trembling ecstasy;
ecstasy (n.) 3 emotion, state of mind, feeling
Till, cheering up her senses all dismayed,
She tells them 'tis a causeless fantasy,
causeless (adj.) 2 groundless, unjustified, idle
And childish error, that they are afraid;
Bids them leave quaking, bids them fear no more;
And with that word she spied the hunted boar,
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Whose frothy mouth, bepainted all with red,
bepaint (v.) cover over, colour, tinge
Like milk and blood being mingled both together,
A second fear through all her sinews spread,
sinew (n.) 2 nerve
Which madly hurries her she knows not whither:
This way runs, and now she will no further,
But back retires to rate the boar for murther.
murther (n./v.) variant spelling of ‘murder’
rate (v.) 1 berate, reproach, rebuke, scold
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A thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways;
spleen (n.) 5 impulse, caprice, whim
She treads the path that she untreads again;
untread (v.) retrace, go back upon
Her more than haste is mated with delays,
mate (v.) 2 check, frustrate, hinder
Like the proceedings of a drunken brain,
Full of respects, yet nought at all respecting,
respect (n.) 1 consideration, factor, circumstance
respect (v.) 2 bear in mind, consider
In hand with all things, nought at all effecting.
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Here kennelled in a brake she finds a hound,
brake (n.) 1 bush, thicket
And asks the weary caitiff for his master,
caitiff (n.) [sympathetic or contemptuous] miserable wretch, wretched creature
And there another licking of his wound,
'Gainst venomed sores the only sovereign plaster;
venomed (adj.) poisoned, venomous
And here she meets another sadly scowling,
To whom she speaks, and he replies with howling.
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When he hath ceased his ill-resounding noise,
Another flap-mouthed mourner, black and grim,
flap-mouthed (adj.) with wide loosely hanging lips
Against the welkin volleys out his voice;
welkin (n.) sky, firmament, heavens
Another and another answer him,
Clapping their proud tails to the ground below,
Shaking their scratched ears, bleeding as they go.
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Look how the world's poor people are amazed
At apparitions, signs and prodigies,
Whereon with fearful eyes they long have gazed,
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies;
So she at these sad signs draws up her breath
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn
And, sighing it again, exclaims on Death.
exclaim on / upon (v.) accuse, blame, denounce [loudly]
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‘ Hard-favoured tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean,
hard-favoured (adj.) ugly, unattractive, unsightly, hideous
Hateful divorce of love,’ – thus chides she Death –
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove
divorce (n.) 1 cause of separation, reason for estrangement
‘ Grim-grinning ghost, earth's worm, what dost thou mean
To stifle beauty and to steal his breath
Who when he lived, his breath and beauty set
Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet?
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‘ If he be dead – O no, it cannot be,
Seeing his beauty, thou shouldst strike at it –
O yes, it may; thou hast no eyes to see,
But hatefully at random dost thou hit.
Thy mark is feeble age; but thy false dart
Mistakes that aim, and cleaves an infant's heart.
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious
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‘ Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke,
And, hearing him, thy power had lost his power.
The Destinies will curse thee for this stroke;
They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluckst a flower.
Love's golden arrow at him should have fled,
And not Death's ebon dart, to strike him dead.
ebon (adj.) 2 dark, sombre
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‘ Dost thou drink tears, that thou provok'st such weeping?
What may a heavy groan advantage thee?
advantage (v.) 1 benefit, help, aid
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy
Why hast thou cast into eternal sleeping
Those eyes that taught all other eyes to see?
Now Nature cares not for thy mortal vigour,
mortal (adj.) 1 fatal, deadly, lethal
vigour (n.) power, efficacy, effect
Since her best work is ruined with thy rigour.’
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Here overcome as one full of despair,
She vailed her eyelids, who, like sluices, stopped
sluice (n.) floodgate
vail (v.) 1 lower, bow down, cast down [as in submission]
The crystal tide that from her two cheeks fair
crystal (adj.) 1 clear, bright, transparent
In the sweet channel of her bosom dropped;
But through the flood-gates breaks the silver rain,
And with his strong course opens them again.
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding
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O, how her eyes and tears did lend and borrow!
Her eye seen in the tears, tears in her eye;
Both crystals, where they viewed each other's sorrow,
crystal (n.) (plural) eyes
sorrow (n.) mourning, lamentation
Sorrow that friendly sighs sought still to dry;
But like a stormy day, now wind, now rain,
Sighs dry her cheeks, tears make them wet again.
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Variable passions throng her constant woe,
passion (n.) 1 powerful feeling, overpowering emotion [often opposed to ‘reason’]
As striving who should best become her grief;
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to
strive (v.) compete, contend, vie
All entertained, each passion labours so
entertain (v.) 1 receive, admit, let in
That every present sorrow seemeth chief,
But none is best. Then join they all together,
Like many clouds consulting for foul weather.
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By this, far off she hears some huntsman hollow;
holla, holloa (v.) halloo, shout, call out [to]
this, by by this time
A nurse's song ne'er pleased her babe so well.
The dire imagination she did follow
This sound of hope doth labour to expel;
For now reviving joy bids her rejoice,
And flatters her it is Adonis' voice.
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Whereat her tears began to turn their tide,
Being prisoned in her eye like pearls in glass;
Yet sometimes falls an orient drop beside,
beside (adv.) 2 passing by, to one side
orient (adj.) 1 lustrous, brilliant, bright
Which her cheek melts, as scorning it should pass
To wash the foul face of the sluttish ground,
Who is but drunken when she seemeth drowned.
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O hard-believing love, how strange it seems
Not to believe, and yet too credulous!
Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes;
Despair, and hope, makes thee ridiculous:
The one doth flatter thee in thoughts unlikely,
In likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly.
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Now she unweaves the web that she hath wrought:
Adonis lives, and Death is not to blame;
blame, to to be blamed, blameworthy
It was not she that called him, all to nought:
naught, nought (adj.) 1 worthless, useless, of no value
Now she adds honours to his hateful name;
She clepes him king of graves, and grave for kings,
clepe (v.), past form clept [archaism] call, name, style
Imperious supreme of all mortal things.
imperious, emperious (adj.) imperial, majestic, sovereign
supreme (n.) supreme ruler, king, highest in authority
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‘ No, no,’ quoth she, ‘ sweet Death, I did but jest;
Yet pardon me, I felt a kind of fear
When as I met the boar, that bloody beast,
Which knows no pity, but is still severe:
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually
Then, gentle shadow – truth I must confess –
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind
shadow (n.) 5 spirit, phantom, spectre, ghost
I railed on thee, fearing my love's decease.
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about]
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‘ 'Tis not my fault: the boar provoked my tongue;
Be wreaked on him, invisible commander;
wreak (v.) 1 revenge, requite, pay back
'Tis he, foul creature, that hath done thee wrong;
I did but act, he's author of thy slander.
author (n.) 1 creator, originator, instigator
Grief hath two tongues, and never woman yet
Could rule them both without ten women's wit.’
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability
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Thus, hoping that Adonis is alive,
Her rash suspect she doth extenuate;
suspect (n.) suspicion, mistrust, doubt
And that his beauty may the better thrive,
With Death she humbly doth insinuate;
insinuate (v.) 1 curry favour, work subtly [on], ingratiate oneself
Tells him of trophies, statues, tombs, and stories
story (v.) give an account of, portray
His victories, his triumphs and his glories.
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‘ O Jove,’ quoth she, ‘ how much a fool was I
To be of such a weak and silly mind
To wail his death who lives, and must not die
Till mutual overthrow of mortal kind!
mutual (adj.) 1 common, general, omnipresent
For he being dead, with him is Beauty slain,
And, Beauty dead, black Chaos comes again.
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‘ Fie, fie, fond love, thou art as full of fear
As one with treasure laden, hemmed with thieves;
hem (v.) 1 enclose, surround, confine
Trifles unwitnessed with eye or ear
unwitnessed (adj.) unconfirmed, unsupported, unverified [by]
Thy coward heart with false bethinking grieves.’
bethinking (n.) reflection, rumination, considering
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken
Even at this word she hears a merry horn,
Whereat she leaps that was but late forlorn.
late (adv.) recently, a little while ago / before
leap (v.) 2 rejoice, enthuse, exult
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As falcon to the lure, away she flies;
The grass stoops not, she treads on it so light;
And in her haste unfortunately spies
The foul boar's conquest on her fair delight;
Which seen, her eyes, as murdered with the view,
Like stars ashamed of day, themselves withdrew;
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Or as the snail, whose tender horns being hit,
Shrinks backward in his shelly cave with pain,
shelly (adj.) shell-like, shell-covered
And there all smothered up in shade doth sit,
Long after fearing to creep forth again;
So at his bloody view her eyes are fled
Into the deep-dark cabins of her head;
cabin (n.) 2 den, hole, cave
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Where they resign their office and their light
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function
To the disposing of her troubled brain;
disposing (n.) disposal, management, control
Who bids them still consort with ugly night,
And never wound the heart with looks again;
Who, like a king perplexed in his throne,
By their suggestion gives a deadly groan:
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Whereat each tributary subject quakes,
tributary (adj.) paying a tribute, contributory
As when the wind, imprisoned in the ground,
Struggling for passage, earth's foundation shakes,
Which with cold terror doth men's minds confound.
This mutiny each part doth so surprise,
That from their dark beds once more leap her eyes;
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And being opened, threw unwilling light
Upon the wide wound that the boar had trenched
trench (v.) 2 gouge, cut, gash
In his soft flank; whose wonted lily-white
wonted (adj.) accustomed, usual, customary
With purple tears that his wound wept was drenched:
purple (adj.) bright-red, blood-coloured, bloody
No flower was nigh, no grass, herb, leaf or weed,
But stole his blood and seemed with him to bleed.
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This solemn sympathy poor Venus noteth;
solemn (adj.) 2 impressive, breathtaking, awe-inspiring
Over one shoulder doth she hang her head;
Dumbly she passions, franticly she doteth:
passion (v.) experience deep feeling, be profoundly moved, grieve
She thinks he could not die, he is not dead.
Her voice is stopped, her joints forget to bow;
Her eyes are mad that they have wept till now.
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Upon his hurt she looks so steadfastly
That her sight dazzling makes the wound seem three;
dazzle (v.) grow dim, become unable to see properly
And then she reprehends her mangling eye
reprehend (v.) 1 reprove, censure, rebuke
That makes more gashes where no breach should be:
His face seems twain, each several limb is doubled,
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct
For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being troubled.
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‘ 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 turned 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.
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‘ 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 any thing ensuing?
The flowers are sweet, their colours fresh and trim;
sweet (adj.) 1 perfumed, scented, fragrant
trim (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, smart
But true sweet beauty lived and died with him.
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‘ Bonnet nor veil henceforth no creature wear;
Nor sun nor wind will ever strive to kiss you.
Having no fair to lose, you need not fear;
fair (n.) 1 fair face, beauty
The sun doth scorn you, and the wind doth hiss you.
But when Adonis lived, sun and sharp air
Lurked like two thieves, to rob him of his fair;
fair (n.) 1 fair face, beauty
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‘ And therefore would he put his bonnet on,
bonnet (n.) hat, cap
Under whose brim the gaudy sun would peep;
gaudy (adj.) 1 bright, brilliant, shining
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,
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once
tender (adj.) 2 immature, undeveloped, inexperienced
They both would strive who first should dry his tears.
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‘ To see his face the lion walked along
Behind some hedge, because he would not fear him;
fear (v.) 1 frighten, scare, terrify, daunt
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.
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify
silly (adj.) 1 helpless, defenceless, vulnerable
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‘ 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.
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‘ But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted boar,