Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.

Perchance his bost of Lucrece Sou'raigntie,
Suggested this proud issue of a King:
For by our eares our hearts oft taynted be:
Perchance that enuie of so rich a thing
40Brauing compare, disdainefully did sting
His high picht thoughts that meaner men should
That golden hap which their superiors want.

But some vntimelie thought did instigate,
His all too timelesse speede if none of those,
45His honor, his affaires, his friends, his state,
Neglected all, with swift intent he goes,
To quench the coale which in his liuer glowes.
O rash false heate, wrapt in repentant cold,
Thy hastie spring still blasts and nere growes old.

50VVhen at Colatia this false Lord arriued,
VVell was he welcom'd by the Romaine dame,
VVithin whose face Beautie and Vertue striued,
VVhich of them both should vnderprop her fame.
VVhē Vertue brag'd, Beautie wold blush for shame,
55VVhen Beautie bosted blushes, in despight
Vertue would staine that ore with siluer white.
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