Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare: Poems.  1914.

The Passionate Pilgrim, IV.

“Sweet Cytherea, sitting by a brook”

SWEET Cytherea, sitting by a brook 
With young Adonis, lovely, fresh, and green, 
Did court the lad with many a lovely look, 
Such looks as none could look but beauty’s queen. 
She told him stories to delight his ear;         5
She show’d him favours to allure his eye; 
To win his heart, she touch’d him here and there,— 
Touches so soft still conquer chastity. 
But whether unripe years did want conceit, 
Or he refus’d to take her figur’d proffer,  10
The tender nibbler would not touch the bait, 
But smile and jest at every gentle offer: 
  Then fell she on her back, fair queen, and toward: 
  He rose and ran away; ah! fool too froward. 



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