Shakespeare: Imperiously he leaps

Shakespeare: Imperiously he leaps

Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds…

His ears up-prick’d; his braided hanging mane
Upon his compass’d crest now stand on end;
His nostrils drink the air, and forth again,
As from a furnace, vapours doth he send:
His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire,
Shows his hot courage and his high desire…

Look, when a painter would surpass the life,
In limning out a well-proportion’d steed,
His art with nature’s workmanship at strife,
As if the dead the living should exceed;  

  So did this horse excel a common one,
In shape, in courage, colour, pace and bone.

Round-hoof’d, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide,
High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong,
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.

~William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis


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