Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Sonia Massai
Not Peer Reviewed

Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)


The Raigne of King
750The Poets write that great Achilles speare,
Could heale the wound it made: the morrall is,
What mighty men misdoo, they can amend:
The Lyon doth become his bloody iawes,
And grace his forragement by being milde,
755When vassell feare lies trembling at his feete,
The king will in his glory hide thy shame,
And those that gaze on him to finde out thee,
Will loose their eie-sight looking in the Sunne:
What can one drop of poyson harme the Sea,
760Whose hugie vastures can digest the ill,
And make it loose his operation:
The kings great name will temper their misdeeds,
And giue the bitter portion of reproch:
A sugred sweet, and most delitious tast:
765Besides it is no harme to do the thing,
Which without shame, could not be left vndone;
Thus haue I in his maiesties behalfe,
Apparraled sin, in vertuous sentences,
And dwel vpon thy answere in his sute.
770Cou: Vnnaturall beseege, woe me vnhappie,
To haue escapt the danger of my foes,
And to be ten times worse inuierd by friends:
Hath he no meanes to stayne my honest blood,
But to corrupt the author of my blood,
775To be his scandalous and vile soliciter:
No maruell though the braunches be then infected,
When poyson hath encompassed the roote:
No maruell though the leprous infant dye,
When the sterne dame inuennometh the Dug:
780Why then giue sinne a pasport to offend,
And youth the dangerous reigne of liberty:
Blot out the strict forbidding of the law,
And cancell euery cannon that prescribes,
A shame for shame, or pennance for offence,
785No let me die, if his too boystrous will,
Will