A beautiful boy. The allusion is to Adonis, who was beloved by
Venus, and was killed by a boar while hunting.
Rose-cheeked Adonis hied him to the chase;
Hunting he loved; but love he laughed to scorn.
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And, like a bold-faced suitor, gins to woo him.
—Shakespeare: Venus and Adonis.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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