Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


My husband is thy friend, for his sake spare me,
Thy selfe art mightie, for thine own sake leaue me:
My selfe a weakling, do not then insnare me.
585Thou look'st not like deceipt, do not deceiue me.
My sighes like whirlewindes labor hence to heaue
If euer man were mou'd with womās mones,
Be moued with my teares, my sighes, my grones.

All which together like a troubled Ocean,
590Beat at thy rockie, and wracke-threatning heart,
To soften it with their continuall motion:
For stones dissolu'd to water do conuert.
O if no harder then a stone thou art,
Melt at my teares and be compassionate,
595Soft pittie enters at an iron gate.

In TARQVINS likenesse I did entertaine thee,
Hast thou put on his shape, to do him shame?
To all the Host of Heauen I complaine me.
Thou wrongst his honor, woūdst his princely name:
600Thou art not what thou seem'st, and if the same,
Thou seem'st not what thou art, a God, a King;
For kings like Gods should gouerne euery thing.
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