Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.

Her maide is gone, and shee prepares to write,
First houering ore the paper with her quill:
Conceipt and griefe an eager combat fight,
VVhat wit sets downe is blotted straight with will.
1300This is too curious good, this blunt and ill,
Much like a presse of people at a dore,
Throng her inuentions which shall go before.

At last shee thus begins: thou worthie Lord,
Of that vnworthie wife that greeteth thee,
1305Health to thy person, next, vouchsafe t'afford
(If euer loue, thy LVCRECE thou wilt see,)
Some present speed, to come and visite me:
So I commend me, from our house in griefe,
My woes are tedious, though my words are briefe.

1310Here folds shee vp the tenure of her woe,
Her certaine sorrow writ vncertainely,
By this short Cedule COLATINE may know
Her griefe, but not her griefes true quality,
Shee dares not thereof make discouery,
1315Lest he should hold it her own grosse abuse,
Ere she with bloud had stain'd her stain'd excuse.