Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.

And then with lanke, and leane discolour'd cheeke,
VVith heauie eye, knit-brow, and strengthlesse pace,
710Feeble desire all recreant, poore and meeke,
Like to a banckrout begger wailes his cace:
The flesh being proud, Desire doth fight with grace;
For there it reuels, and when that decaies,
The guiltie rebell for remission praies.

715So fares it with this fault-full Lord of Rome,
VVho this accomplishment so hotly chased,
For now against himselfe he sounds this doome,
That through the length of times he stāds disgraced:
Besides his soules faire temple is defaced,
720To whose weake ruines muster troopes of cares,
To aske the spotted Princesse how she fares.

Shee sayes her subiects with fowle insurrection,
Haue batterd downe her consecrated wall,
And by their mortall fault brought in subiection
725Her immortalitie, and made her thrall,
To liuing death and payne perpetuall.
VVhich in her prescience shee controlled still,
But her foresight could not forestall their will.
F 2