Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.

Hast thou commaund? by him that gaue it thee
625From a pure heart commaund thy rebell will:
Draw not thy sword to gard iniquitie,
For it was lent thee all that broode to kill.
Thy Princelie office how canst thou fulfill?
VVhen patternd by thy fault fowle sin may say,
630He learnd to sin, and thou didst teach the way.

Thinke but how vile a spectacle it were,
To view thy present trespasse in another:
Mens faults do seldome to themselues appeare,
Their own transgressions partiallie they smother,
635This guilt would seem death-worthie in thy brother.
O how are they wrapt in with infamies,
That frō their own misdeeds askaunce their eyes?

To thee, to thee, my heau'd vp hands appeale,
Not to seducing lust thy rash relier:
640I sue for exil'd maiesties repeale,
Let him returne, and flattring thoughts retire.
His true respect will prison false desire,
And wipe the dim mist from thy doting eien,
That thou shalt see thy state, and pittie mine.