Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


VVhen wilt thou be the humble suppliants friend
And bring him where his suit may be obtained?
VVhen wilt thou sort an howre great strifes to end?
900Or free that soule which wretchednes hath chained?
Giue phisicke to the sicke, ease to the pained?
The poore, lame, blind, hault, creepe, cry out for
But they nere meet with oportunitie.

The patient dies while the Phisitian sleepes,
905The Orphane pines while the oppressor feedes.
Iustice is feasting while the widow weepes.
Aduise is sporting while infection breeds.
Thou graunt'st no time for charitable deeds.
VVrath, enuy, treason, rape, and murthers rages,
910Thy heinous houres wait on them as their Pages.

VVhen Trueth and Vertue haue to do with thee,
A thousand crosses keepe them from thy aide:
They buie thy helpe, but sinne nere giues a fee,
He gratis comes, and thou art well apaide,
915As well to heare, as graunt what he hath saide.
My COLATINE would else haue come to me,
VVhen TARQVIN did, but he was staied by thee.