Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


VVhat could he see but mightily he noted?
415VVhat did he note, but strongly he desired?
VVhat he beheld, on that he firmely doted,
And in his will his wilfull eye he tyred.
VVith more then admiration he admired
Her azure vaines, her alablaster skinne,
420Her corall lips, her snow-white dimpled chin.

As the grim Lion fawneth ore his pray,
Sharpe hunger by the conquest satisfied:
So ore this sleeping soule doth TARQVIN stay,
His rage of lust by gazing qualified;
425Slakt, not supprest, for standing by her side,
His eye which late this mutiny restraines,
Vnto a greater vprore tempts his vaines.

And they like stragling slaues for pillage fighting,
Obdurate vassals fell exploits effecting,
430In bloudy death and rauishment delighting;
Nor childrens tears nor mothers grones respecting,
Swell in their pride, the onset still expecting:
Anon his beating heart allarum striking,
Giues the hot charge, & bids thē do their liking.
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