Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


Her pittie-pleading eyes are sadlie fixed
In the remorselesse wrinckles of his face.
Her modest eloquence with sighes is mixed,
VVhich to her Oratorie addes more grace.
565Shee puts the period often from his place,
And midst the sentence so her accent breakes,
That twise she doth begin ere once she speakes.
She coniures him by high Almightie loue,
By knighthood, gentrie, and sweete friendships oth,
570By her vntimely teares, her husbands loue,
By holie humaine law, and common troth,
By Heauen and Earth, and all the power of both:
That to his borrowed bed he make retire,
And stoope to Honor, not to fowle desire.
575Quoth shee, reward not Hospitalitie,
VVith such black payment, as thou hast pretended,
Mudde not the fountaine that gaue drinke to thee,
Mar not the thing that cannot be amended.
End thy ill ayme, before thy shoote be ended.
580He is no wood-man that doth bend his bow,
To strike a poore vnseasonable Doe.
My husband is thy friend, for his sake spare me,
Thy selfe art mightie, for thine own sake leaue me:
My selfe a weakling, do not then insnare me.
585Thou look'st not like deceipt, do not deceiue me.
My sighes like whirlewindes labor hence to heaue
If euer man were mou'd with womās mones,
Be moued with my teares, my sighes, my grones.
All which together like a troubled Ocean,
590Beat at thy rockie, and wracke-threatning heart,
To soften it with their continuall motion:
For stones dissolu'd to water do conuert.
O if no harder then a stone thou art,
Melt at my teares and be compassionate,
595Soft pittie enters at an iron gate.