Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.

No man inueigh against the withered flowre,
1255But chide rough winter that the flowre hath kild,
Not that deuour'd, but that which doth deuour
Is worthie blame, ô let it not be hild
Poore womens faults, that they are so fulfild
VVith mens abuses, those proud Lords to blame,
1260Make weak-made womē tenants to their shame.

The president whereof in LVCRECE view,
Assail'd by night with circumstances strong
Of present death, and shame that might insue.
By that her death to do her husband wrong,
1265Such danger to resistance did belong:
That dying feare through all her bodie spred,
And who cannot abuse a bodie dead?

By this milde patience bid faire LVCRECE speake,
To the poore counterfaite of her complayning,
1270My girle, quoth shee, on what occasion breake
Those tears frō thee, that downe thy cheeks are raig-
If thou dost weepe for griefe of my sustaining:
Know gentle wench it small auailes my mood,
If tears could help, mine own would do me good.
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