Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


But if thou yeeld, I rest thy secret friend,
The fault vnknowne, is as a thought vnacted,
"A little harme done to a great good end,
For lawfull pollicie remaines enacted.
530"The poysonous simple sometime is compacted
In a pure compound; being so applied,
His venome in effect is purified.
Then for thy husband and thy childrens sake,
Tender my suite, bequeath not to their lot
535The shame that from them no deuise can take,
The blemish that will neuer be forgot:
VVorse then a slauish wipe, or birth howrs blot,
For markes discried in mens natiuitie,
Are natures faultes, not their owne infamie.
540Here with a Cockeatrice dead killing eye,
He rowseth vp himselfe, and makes a pause,
VVhile shee the picture of pure pietie,
Like a white Hinde vnder the grypes sharpe clawes,
Pleades in a wildernesse where are no lawes,
545To the rough beast, that knowes no gentle right,
Nor ought obayes but his fowle appetite.
But when a black-fac'd clowd the world doth thret,
In his dim mist th'aspiring mountaines hiding:
From earths dark-womb, some gentle gust doth get,
550VVhich blow these pitchie vapours frō their biding:
Hindring their present fall by this deuiding.
So his vnhallowed hast her words delayes,
And moodie PLVTO winks while Orpheus playes.
Yet fowle night-waking Cat he doth but dallie,
555VVhile in his hold-fast foot the weak mouse pāteth,
Her sad behauiour feedes his vulture follie,
A swallowing gulfe that euen in plentie wanteth.
His eare her prayers admits, but his heart granteth
No penetrable entrance to her playning,
560"Tears harden lust though marble were with ray­