Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.

In vaine (quoth shee) I liue, and seeke in vaine
1045Some happie meane to end a haplesse life.
I fear'd by TARQVINS Fauchion to be slaine,
Yet for the selfe same purpose seeke a knife;
But when I fear'd I was a loyall wife,
So am I now, ô no that cannot be,
1050Of that true tipe hath TARQVIN rifled me.

O that is gone for which I sought to liue,
And therefore now I need not feare to die,
To cleare this spot by death (at least) I giue
A badge of Fame to sclanders liuerie,
1055A dying life, to liuing infamie:
Poore helplesse helpe, the treasure stolne away,
To burne the guiltlesse casket where it lay.

VVell well deare COLATINE, thou shalt not know
The stained tast of violated troth:
1060I will not wrong thy true affection so,
To flatter thee with an infringed oath:
This bastard graffe shall neuer come to growth,
He shall not boast who did thy stocke pollute,
That thou art doting father of his fruite.
H 2