Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.

But Beautie in that white entituled,
From Venus doues doth challenge that faire field,
Then Vertue claimes from Beautie, Beauties red,
60VVhich Vertue gaue the golden age, to guild
Their siluer cheekes, and cald it then their shield,
Teaching them thus to vse it in the fight,
VVshame assaild, the red should fēce the white.

This Herauldry in LVCRECE face was seene,
65Argued by Beauties red and Vertues white,
Of eithers colour was the other Queene:
Prouing from worlds minority their right,
Yet their ambition makes them still to fight:
The soueraignty of either being so great,
70That oft they interchange ech others seat.

This silent warre of Lillies and of Roses,
VVhich TARQVIN vew'd in her faire faces field,
In their pure rankes his traytor eye encloses,
VVhere least betweene them both it should be kild.
75The coward captiue vanquished, doth yeeld
To those two Armies that would let him goe,
Rather then triumph in so false a foe.
Now