Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.

This picture shee aduisedly perus'd,
And chid the Painter for his wondrous skill:
Saying, some shape in SINONS was abus'd,
1530So faire a forme lodg'd not a mind so ill,
And still on him shee gaz'd, and gazing still,
Such signes of truth in his plaine face shee spied,
That shee concludes, the Picture was belied.

It cannot be (quoth she) that so much guile,
1535(Shee would haue said) can lurke in such a looke:
But TARQVINS shape, came in her mind the while,
And from her tongue, can lurk, from cannot, tooke
It cannot be, shee in that sence forsooke,
And turn'd it thus, it cannot be I find,
1540But such a face should beare a wicked mind.

For euen as subtill SINON here is painted,
So sober sad, so wearie, and so milde,
(As if with griefe or trauaile he had fainted)
To me came TARQVIN armed to beguild
1545VVith outward honestie, but yet defild
VVith inward vice, as PRIAM him did cherish:
So did I TARQVIN, so my Troy did perish.
Looke