Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.

855The aged man that coffers vp his gold,
Is plagu'd with cramps, and gouts, and painefull fits,
And scarce hath eyes his treasure to behold,
But like still pining TANTALVS he sits,
And vselesse barnes the haruest of his wits:
860Hauing no other pleasure of his gaine,
But torment that it cannot cure his paine.

So then he hath it when he cannot vse it,
And leaues it to be maistred by his yong:
VVho in their pride do presently abuse it,
865Their father was too weake, and they too strong
To hold their cursed-blessed Fortune long.
"The sweets we wish for, turne to lothed sowrs,
"Euen in the moment that we call them ours.

Vnruly blasts wait on the tender spring,
870Vnholsome weeds take roote with precious flowrs,
The Adder hisses where the sweete birds sing,
VVhat Vertue breedes Iniquity deuours:
VVe haue no good that we can say is ours,
But ill annexed opportunity
875Or kils his life, or else his quality.
O