Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


He stories to her eares her husbands fame,
VVonne in the fields of fruitfull Italie:
And decks with praises Colatines high name,
Made glorious by his manlie chiualrie,
110VVith bruised armes and wreathes of victorie,
Her ioie with heaued-vp hand she doth expresse,
And wordlesse so greetes heauen for his successe.
Far from the purpose of his comming thither,
He makes excuses for his being there,
115No clowdie show of stormie blustring wether,
Doth yet in his faire welkin once appeare,
Till sable Night mother of dread and feare,
Vppon the world dim darknesse doth displaie,
And in her vaultie prison, stowes the daie.
120For then is Tarquine brought vnto his bed,
Intending wearinesse with heauie sprite:
For after supper long he questioned,
VVith modest Lucrece, and wore out the night,
Now leaden slumber with liues strength doth fight,
125And euerie one to rest themselues betake,
Saue theeues, and cares, and troubled minds that
As one of which doth Tarquin lie reuoluing
The sundrie dangers of his wils obtaining:
Yet euer to obtaine his will resoluing.
130Though weake-built hopes perswade him to abstai­
Dispaire to gaine doth traffique oft for gaining,
And when great treasure is the meede proposed,
Though death be adiūct, ther's no death supposed.
Those that much couet are with gaine so fond,
135That what they haue not, that which they possesse
They scatter and vnloose it from their bond,
And so by hoping more they haue but lesse,
Or gaining more, the profite of excesse
Is but to surfet, and such griefes sustaine,
140That they proue bāckrout in this poore rich gain.