Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


So let thy thoughts low vassals to thy state,
No more quoth he, by Heauen I will not heare thee.
Yeeld to my loue, if not inforced hate,
In steed of loues coy tutch shall rudelie teare thee.
670That done, despitefullie I meane to beare thee
Vnto the base bed of some rascall groome,
To be thy partner in this shamefull doome.

This said, he sets his foote vppon the light,
For light and lust are deadlie enemies,
675Shame folded vp in blind concealing night,
VVhen most vnseene, then most doth tyrannize.
The wolfe hath ceazd his pray, the poor lamb cries,
Till with her own white fleece her voice controld,
Intombes her outcrie in her lips sweet fold.

680For with the nightlie linnen that shee weares,
He pens her piteous clamors in her head,
Cooling his hot face in the chastest teares,
That euer modest eyes with sorrow shed.
O that prone lust should staine so pure a bed,
685The spots whereof could weeping purifie,
Her tears should drop on them perpetuallie.