Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardy M. Cook
Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.

VVithin his thought her heauenly image sits,
And in the selfe same seat sits COLATINE,
290That eye which lookes on her confounds his wits,
That eye which him beholdes, as more deuine,
Vnto a view so false will not incline;
But with a pure appeale seekes to the heart,
VVhich once corrupted takes the worser part.

295And therein heartens vp his seruile powers,
VVho flattred by their leaders iocound show,
Stuffe vp his lust: as minutes fill vp howres.
And as their Captaine: so their pride doth grow,
Paying more slauish tribute then they owe.
300By reprobate desire thus madly led,
The Romane Lord marcheth to LVCRECE bed.

The lockes betweene her chamber and his will,
Ech one by him inforst retires his ward:
But as they open they all rate his ill,
305VVhich driues the creeping theefe to some regard,
The threshold grates the doore to haue him heard,
Night-wandring weezels shreek to see him there,
They fright him, yet he still pursues his feare.