Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


Yet sometime TARQVIN was pronounced plaine,
But through his teeth, as if the name he tore,
This windie tempest, till it blow vp raine,
Held backe his sorrowes tide, to make it more.
1790At last it raines, and busie windes giue ore,
Then sonne and father weep with equall strife,
VVho shuld weep most for daughter or for wife.
The one doth call her his, the other his,
Yet neither may possesse the claime they lay.
1795The father saies, shee's mine, ô mine shee is
Replies her husband, do not take away
My sorrowes interest, let no mourner say
He weepes for her, for shee was onely mine,
And onelie must be wayl'd by COLATINE.
1800O, quoth LVCRETIVS, I did giue that life
VVhich shee to earely and too late hath spil'd.
VVoe woe, quoth COLATINE, shee was my wife,
I owed her, and tis mine that shee hath kil'd.
My daughter and my wife with clamors fild
1805The disperst aire, who holding LVCRECE life,
Answer'd their cries, my daughter and my wife.
BRVTVS who pluck't the knife from LVCRECE side,
Seeing such emulation in their woe,
Began to cloath his wit in state and pride,
1810Burying in LVCRECE wound his follies show,
He with the Romains was esteemed so
As seelie ieering idiots are with Kings,
For sportiue words, and vttring foolish things.
But now he throwes that shallow habit by,
1815VVherein deepe pollicie did him disguise,
And arm'd his long hid wits aduisedlie,
To checke the teares in COLATINVS eies.
Thou wronged Lord of Rome, quoth he, arise,
Let my vnsounded selfe suppos'd a foole,
1820Now set thy long experienc't wit to schoole.