Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


But shee hath lost a dearer thing then life,
And he hath wonne what he would loose againe,
This forced league doth force a further strife,
690This momentarie ioy breeds months of paine,
This hot desire conuerts to colde disdaine;
Pure chastitie is rifled of her store,
And lust the theefe farre poorer then before.

Looke as the full-fed Hound, or gorged Hawke,
695Vnapt for tender smell, or speedie flight,
Make slow pursuite, or altogether bauk,
The praie wherein by nature they delight:
So surfet-taking TARQVIN fares this night:
His tast delicious, in digestion sowring,
700Deuoures his will that liu'd by fowle deuouring.

O deeper sinne then bottomelesse conceit
Can comprehend in still imagination!
Drunken Desire must vomite his receipt
Ere he can see his owne abhomination.
705VVhile Lust is in his pride no exclamation
Can curbe his heat, or reine his rash desire,
Till like a Iade, self-will himselfe doth tire.