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Venus and Adonis (1592)


                            mihiflauus Apollo
     Pocula Castalia plena minister aqua.
    (Fair Phoebus lead me to the Muses’ spring.)
                                    —Ovid, Amores


       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.
232-234, Venus hitting on Adonis

Her hair gilds the water as she glides,
later spread on a towel to dry
sun glittering gold.


Make use of time, let not advantage slip.
A compact of flint, not fire.
The sunset begins to glow.


I’m headed into darker waters,
measuring my strangeness
against the stream.


The silver waves icy like shattered glass,
the black swirling chaos, the undertow,
the sharp sun burning in the sky.




[Excerpt from The Shakespeare Poems.]