Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardy M. Cook
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Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


0.1
LVCRECE.
LONDON.
Printed by Richard Field, for Iohn Harrison, and are
to be sold at the signe of the white Greyhound
in Paules Churh-yard.1594.
TO THE RIGHT
HONOVRABLE, HENRY
VVriothesley, Earle of Southhampton,
and Baron of Titchfield.
THE loue I dedicate to your Lordship is without end: wher- of this Pamphlet without be- ginning is but a superfluous Moity. The warrant I haue of your Honourable disposition, not the worth of my vntutord Lines makes it assured of acceptance. VVhat I haue done is yours, what I haue to doe is yours, being part in all I haue, deuoted yours. VVere my worth greater, my duety would shew greater, meane time, as it is, it is bound to your Lordship; To whom I wish long life still lengthned with all happinesse.
Your Lordships in all duety.
VVilliam Shakespeare.
LVcius Tarquinius (for his excessiue pride surnamed Superbus)
after hee had caused his owne father in law Seruius Tullius to be cruelly murdred, and contrarie to the Romaine lawes and cu- stomes, not requiring or staying for the peoples suffrages, had possessed himselfe of the kingdome: went accompanyed with his sonnes and other Noble men of Rome, to besiege Ardea, during which siege, the principall men of the Army meeting one euening at the Tent of Sextus Tarquini- us the Kings sonne, in their discourses after supper euery one commended the vertues of his ownewife: among whom Colatinus extolled the incom- parable chastity of his wife Lucretia. In that pleasant humor they all po- sted to Rome, and intending by theyr secret and sodaine arriuall to make triall of that which euery one had before auouched, onely Colatinus finds his wife (though it were late in the night) spinning amongest her maides, the other Ladies were all found dauncing and reuelling, or in seuerall dis- ports: whereupon the Noble men yeelded Colatinus the victory, and his wife the Fame. At that time Sextus Tarquinius being enflamed with Lucrece beauty, yet smoothering his passions for the present, departed with the rest backe to the Campe: from whence he shortly after priuily withdrew himselfe, and was (according to his estate) royally entertayned and lodged by Lucrece at Colatium. The same night he tretcherouslie stealeth into her Chamber, violently rauisht her, and early in the mor- ning speedeth away. Lucrece in this lamentable plight, hastily dispatch- eth Messengers, one to Rome for her father, another to the Campe for Colatine. They came, the one accompanyed with Iunius Brutus, the o- ther with Publius Valerius: and finding Lucrece attired in mourning habite, demanded the cause of her sorrow. Shee first taking an oath of them for her reuenge, reuealed the Actor, and whole maner of his dea- ling, and withall sodainely stabbed her selfe. Which done, with one con- sent they all vowed to roote out the whole hated family of the Tarquins: and bearing the dead body to Rome, Brutus acquainted the people with the doer and manner of the vile deede: with a bitter inuectiue against the tyranny of the King, wherewith the people were so moued, that with one consent and a general acclamation, the Tarquins were all exiled, and the state gouernment changed from Kings to Consuls.
THE RAPE OF
LVCRECE.
1FROM the besieged Ardea all in post,
Borne by the trustlesse wings of false desire,
Lust-breathed TARQVIN, leaues the Roman host,
And to Colatium beares the lightlesse fire,
5VVhich in pale embers hid, lurkes to aspire,
And girdle with embracing flames, the wast
Of COLATINES fair loue, LVCRECE the chast.
Hap'ly that name of chast, vnhap'ly set
This batelesse edge on his keene appetite:
10VVhen COLATINE vnwisely did not let,
To praise the cleare vnmatched red and white,
VVhich triumpht in that skie of his delight:
VVhere mortal stars as bright as heauēs Beauties,
VVith pure aspects did him peculiar dueties.
15For he the night before in Tarquins Tent,
Vnlockt the treasure of his happie state:
VVhat priselesse wealth the heauens had him lent,
In the possession of his beauteous mate.
Reckning his fortune at such high proud rate,
20That Kings might be espowsed to more fame,
But King nor Peere to such a peerelesse dame.
O happinesse enioy'd but of a few,
And if possest as soone decayed and done:
As is the mornings siluer melting dew,
25Against the golden splendour of the Sunne.
An expir'd date canceld ere well begunne.
Honour and Beautie in the owners armes,
Are weakelie fortrest from a world ofharmes.
Beautie it selfe doth of it selfe perswade,
30The eies of men without an Orator,
VVhat needeth then Apologies be made
To set forth that which is so singuler?
Or why is Colatine the publisher
Of that rich iewell he should keepe vnknown,
35From theeuish eares because it is his owne?
Perchance his bost of Lucrece Sou'raigntie,
Suggested this proud issue of a King:
For by our eares our hearts oft taynted be:
Perchance that enuie of so rich a thing
40Brauing compare, disdainefully did sting
His high picht thoughts that meaner men should
That golden hap which their superiors want.
But some vntimelie thought did instigate,
His all too timelesse speede if none of those,
45His honor, his affaires, his friends, his state,
Neglected all, with swift intent he goes,
To quench the coale which in his liuer glowes.
O rash false heate, wrapt in repentant cold,
Thy hastie spring still blasts and nere growes old.
50VVhen at Colatia this false Lord arriued,
VVell was he welcom'd by the Romaine dame,
VVithin whose face Beautie and Vertue striued,
VVhich of them both should vnderprop her fame.
VVhē Vertue brag'd, Beautie wold blush for shame,
55VVhen Beautie bosted blushes, in despight
Vertue would staine that ore with siluer white.
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 thinkes he that her husbands shallow tongue,
The niggard prodigall that praisde her so:
80In that high taske hath done her Beauty wrong.
VVhich farre exceedes his barren skill to show.
Therefore that praise which COLATINE doth owe,
Inchaunted TARQVIN aunswers with surmise,
In silent wonder of still gazing eyes.
85This earthly sainct adored by this deuill,
Little suspecteth the false worshipper:
"For vnstaind thoughts do seldom dream on euill.
"Birds neuer lim'd, no secret bushes feare:
So guiltlesse shee securely giues good cheare,
90And reuerend welcome to her princely guest,
VVhose inward ill no outward harme exprest.
For that he colourd with his high estate,
Hiding base sin in pleats of Maiestie:
That nothing in him seemd inordinate,
95Saue sometime too much wonder of his eye,
VVhich hauing all, all could not satisfie;
But poorly rich so wanteth in his store,
That cloy'd with much, he pineth still for more.
But she that neuer cop't with straunger eies,
100Could picke no meaning from their parling lookes,
Nor read the subtle shining secrecies,
VVrit in the glassie margents of such bookes,
Shee toucht no vnknown baits, nor feard no hooks,
Nor could shee moralize his wanton sight,
105More then his eies were opend to the light.
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.
The ayme of all is but to nourse the life,
VVith honor, wealth, and ease in wainyng age:
And in this ayme there is such thwarting strife,
That one for all, or all for one we gage:
145As life for honour, in fell battailes rage,
Honor for wealth, and oft that wealth doth cost
The death of all, and altogether lost.
So that in ventring ill, we leaue to be
The things we are, for that which we expect:
150And this ambitious foule infirmitie,
In hauing much torments vs with defect
Of that we haue: so then we doe neglect
The thing we haue, and all for want of wit,
Make something nothing, by augmenting it.
155Such hazard now must doting TARQVIN make,
Pawning his honor to obtaine his lust,
And for himselfe, himselfe he must forsake.
Then where is truth if there be no selfe-trust?
VVhen shall he thinke to find a stranger iust,
160VVhen he himselfe, himselfe confounds, betraies,
To sclandrous tongues & wretched hateful daies?
Now stole vppon the time the dead of night,
VVhen heauie sleeep had closd vp mortall eyes,
No comfortable starre did lend his light,
165No noise but Owles, & wolues death-boding cries:
Now serues the season that they may surprise
The sillie Lambes, pure thoughts are dead & still,
VVhile Lust and Murder wakes to staine and kill.
And now this lustfull Lord leapt from his bed,
170Throwing his mantle rudely ore his arme,
Is madly tost betweene desire and dred;
Th'one sweetely flatters, th'other feareth harme,
But honest feare, bewicht with lustes foule charme,
Doth too too oft betake him to retire,
175Beaten away by brainesicke rude desire.
His Faulchon on a flint he softly smiteth,
That from the could stone sparkes of fire doe flie,
VVhereat a waxen torch forthwith he lighteth,
VVhich must be lodestarre to his lustfull eye.
180And to the flame thus speakes aduisedlie;
As from this cold flint I enforst this fire,
So LVCRECE must I force to my desire.
Here pale with feare he doth premeditate,
The daungers of his lothsome enterprise:
185And in his inward mind he doth debate,
VVhat following sorrow may on this arise.
Then looking scornfully, he doth despise
His naked armour of still slaughtered lust,
And iustly thus controlls his thoughts vniust.
190Faire torch burne out thy light, and lend it not
To darken her whose light excelleth thine:
And die vnhallowed thoughts, before you blot
VVith your vncleannesse, that which is deuine:
Offer pure incense to so pure a shrine:
195Let faire humanitie abhor the deede,
That spots & stains loues modest snow-white weed.
O shame to knighthood, and to shining Armes,
O foule dishonor to my houshoulds graue:
O impious act including all foule harmes.
200A martiall man to be soft fancies slaue,
True valour still a true respect should haue,
Then my digression is so vile, so base,
That it will liue engrauen in my face.
Yea though I die the scandale will suruiue,
205And be an eie-sore in my golden coate:
Some lothsome dash the Herrald will contriue,
To cipher me how fondlie I did dote:
That my posteritie sham'd with the note
Shall curse my bones, and hold it for no sinne,
210To wish that I their father had not beene.
VVhat win I if I gaine the thing I seeke?
A dreame, a breath, a froth of fleeting ioy,
VVho buies a minutes mirth to waile a weeke?
Or sels eternitie to get a toy?
215For one sweete grape who will the vine destroy?
Or what fond begger, but to touch the crowne,
VVould with the scepter straight be strokē down?
If COLATINVS dreame of my intent,
VVill he not wake, and in a desp'rate rage
220Post hither, this vile purpose to preuent?
This siege that hath ingirt his marriage,
This blur to youth, this sorrow to the sage,
This dying vertue, this suruiuing shame,
VVhose crime will beare an euer-during blame.
225O what excuse can my inuention make
VVhen thou shalt charge me with so blacke a deed?
VVil not my tongue be mute, my fraile ioints shake?
Mine eies forgo their light, my false hart bleede?
The guilt beeing great, the feare doth still exceede;
230And extreme feare can neither fight nor flie,
But cowardlike with trembling terror die.
Had COLATINVS kild my sonne or sire,
Or laine in ambush to betray my life,
Or were he not my deare friend, this desire
235Might haue excuse to worke vppon his wife:
As in reuenge or quittall of such strife.
But as he is my kinsman, my deare friend,
The shame and fault finds no excuse nor end.
Shamefull it is: I, if the fact be knowne,
240Hatefull it is: there is no hate in louing,
Ile beg her loue: but she is not her owne:
The worst is but deniall and reproouing.
My will is strong past reasons weake remoouing:
VVho feares a sentence or an old mans saw,
245Shall by a painted cloth be kept in awe.
Thus gracelesse holds he disputation,
Tweene frozen conscience and hot burning will,
And with good thoughts makes dispensation,
Vrging the worser sence for vantage still.
250VVhich in a moment doth confound and kill
All pure effects, and doth so farre proceede,
That what is vile, shewes like a vertuous deede.
Quoth he, shee tooke me kindlie by the hand,
And gaz'd for tidings in my eager eyes,
255Fearing some hard newes from the warlike band,
VVhere her beloued COLATINVS lies.
O how her feare did make her colour rise!
First red as Roses that on Lawne we laie,
Then white as Lawne the Roses tooke awaie.
260And now her hand in my hand being lockt,
Forst it to tremble with her loyall feare:
VVhich strooke her sad, and then it faster rockt,
Vntill her husbands welfare shee did heare.
VVhereat shee smiled with so sweete a cheare,
265That had NARCISSVS seene her as shee stood,
Selfe-loue had neuer drown'd him in the flood.
VVhy hunt I then for colour or excuses?
All Orators are dumbe when Beautie pleadeth,
Poore wretches haue remorse in poore abuses,
270Loue thriues not in the hart that shadows dreadeth,
Affection is my Captaine and he leadeth.
And when his gaudie banner is displaide,
The coward fights, and will not be dismaide.
Then childish feare auaunt, debating die,
275Respect and reason waite on wrinckled age:
My heart shall neuer countermand mine eie;
Sad pause, and deepe regard beseemes the sage,
My part is youth and beates these from the stage.
Desire my Pilot is, Beautie my prise,
280Then who feares sinking where such treasure lies?
As corne ore-growne by weedes: so heedfull feare
Is almost choakt by vnresisted lust:
Away he steales with open listning eare,
Full of foule hope, and full of fond mistrust:
285Both which as seruitors to the vniust,
So crosse him with their opposit perswasion,
That now he vowes a league, and now inuasion.
VVithin his thought her heauenly image sits,
And in the selfe same seat sits COLATINE,
290That eye which lookes on her confounds his wits,
That eye which him beholdes, as more deuine,
Vnto a view so false will not incline;
But with a pure appeale seekes to the heart,
VVhich once corrupted takes the worser part.
295And therein heartens vp his seruile powers,
VVho flattred by their leaders iocound show,
Stuffe vp his lust: as minutes fill vp howres.
And as their Captaine: so their pride doth grow,
Paying more slauish tribute then they owe.
300By reprobate desire thus madly led,
The Romane Lord marcheth to LVCRECE bed.
The lockes betweene her chamber and his will,
Ech one by him inforst retires his ward:
But as they open they all rate his ill,
305VVhich driues the creeping theefe to some regard,
The threshold grates the doore to haue him heard,
Night-wandring weezels shreek to see him there,
They fright him, yet he still pursues his feare.
As each vnwilling portall yeelds him way,
310Through little vents and cranies of the place,
The wind warres with his torch, to make him staie,
And blowes the smoake of it into his face,
Extinguishing his conduct in this case.
But his hot heart, which fond desire doth scorch,
315Puffes forth another wind that fires the torch.
And being lighted, by the light he spies
LVCRECIAS gloue, wherein her needle sticks,
He takes it from the rushes where it lies,
And griping it, the needle his finger pricks.
320As who should say, this gloue to wanton trickes
Is not inur'd; returne againe in hast,
Thou seest our mistresse ornaments are chast.
But all these poore forbiddings could not stay him,
He in the worst sence consters their deniall:
325The dores, the wind, the gloue that did delay him,
He takes for accidentall things of triall.
Or as those bars which stop the hourely diall,
VVho with a lingring staie his course doth let,
Till euerie minute payes the howre his debt.
330So so, quoth he, these lets attend the time,
Like little frosts that sometime threat the spring,
To ad a more reioysing to the prime,
And giue the sneaped birds more cause to sing.
Pain payes the income of ech precious thing,
335Huge rocks, high winds, strong pirats, shelues and
The marchant feares, ere rich at home he lands.
Now is he come vnto the chamber dore,
That shuts him from the Heauen of his thought,
VVhich with a yeelding latch, and with no more,
340Hath bard him from the blessed thing he sought.
So from himselfe impiety hath wrought,
That for his pray to pray he doth begin,
As if the Heauens should countenance his sin.
But in the midst of his vnfruitfull prayer,
345Hauing solicited th'eternall power,
That his foule thoughts might cōpasse his fair faire,
And they would stand auspicious to the howre.
Euen there he starts, quoth he, I must deflowre;
The powers to whom I pray abhor this fact,
350How can they then assist me in the act?
Then Loue and Fortune be my Gods, my guide,
My will is backt with resolution:
Thoughts are but dreames till their effects be tried,
The blackest sinne is clear'd with absolution.
355Against loues fire, feares frost hath dissolution.
The eye of Heauen is out, and mistie night
Couers the shame that followes sweet delight.
This said, his guiltie hand pluckt vp the latch,
And with his knee the dore he opens wide,
360The doue sleeps fast that this night Owle will catch.
Thus treason workes ere traitors be espied.
VVho sees the lurking serpent steppes aside;
But shee sound sleeping fearing no such thing,
Lies at the mercie of his mortall sting.
365Into the chamber wickedlie he stalkes,
And gazeth on her yet vnstained bed:
The curtaines being close, about he walkes,
Rowling his greedie eye-bals in his head.
By their high treason is his heart mis-led,
370VVhich giues the watch-word to his hand ful soon,
To draw the clowd that hides the siluer Moon.
Looke as the faire and fierie pointed Sunne,
Rushing from forth a cloud, bereaues our sight:
Euen so the Curtaine drawne, his eyes begun
375To winke, being blinded with a greater light.
VVhether it is that shee reflects so bright,
That dazleth them, or else some shame supposed,
But blind they are, and keep themselues inclosed.
O had they in that darkesome prison died,
380Then had they seene the period of their ill:
Then COLATINE againe by LVCRECE side,
In his cleare bed might haue reposed still.
But they must ope this blessed league to kill,
And holie-thoughted LVCRECE to their sight,
385Must sell her ioy, her life, her worlds delight.
Her lillie hand, her rosie cheeke lies vnder,
Coosning the pillow of a lawfull kisse:
VVho therefore angrie seemes to part in sunder,
Swelling on either side to want his blisse.
390Betweene whose hils her head intombed is;
VVhere like a vertuous Monument shee lies,
To be admir'd of lewd vnhallowed eyes.
VVithout the bed her other faire hand was,
On the greene couerlet whose perfect white
395Showed like an Aprill dazie on the grasse,
VVith pearlie swet resembling dew of night.
Her eyes like Marigolds had sheath'd their light,
And canopied in darkenesse sweetly lay,
Till they might open to adorne the day.
400Her haire like goldē threeds playd with her breath,
O modest wantons, wanton modestie!
Showing lifes triumph in the map of death,
And deaths dim looke in lifes mortalitie.
Ech in her sleepe themselues so beautifie,
405As if betweene them twaine there were no strife,
But that life liu'd in death, and death in life.
Her breasts like Iuory globes circled with blew,
A paire of maiden worlds vnconquered,
Saue of their Lord, no bearing yoke they knew,
410And him by oath they truely honored.
These worlds in TARQVIN new ambition bred,
VVho like a fowle vsurper went about,
From this faire throne to heaue the owner out.
VVhat could he see but mightily he noted?
415VVhat did he note, but strongly he desired?
VVhat he beheld, on that he firmely doted,
And in his will his wilfull eye he tyred.
VVith more then admiration he admired
Her azure vaines, her alablaster skinne,
420Her corall lips, her snow-white dimpled chin.
As the grim Lion fawneth ore his pray,
Sharpe hunger by the conquest satisfied:
So ore this sleeping soule doth TARQVIN stay,
His rage of lust by gazing qualified;
425Slakt, not supprest, for standing by her side,
His eye which late this mutiny restraines,
Vnto a greater vprore tempts his vaines.
And they like stragling slaues for pillage fighting,
Obdurate vassals fell exploits effecting,
430In bloudy death and rauishment delighting;
Nor childrens tears nor mothers grones respecting,
Swell in their pride, the onset still expecting:
Anon his beating heart allarum striking,
Giues the hot charge, & bids thē do their liking.
435His drumming heart cheares vp his burning eye,
His eye commends the leading to his hand;
His hand as proud of such a dignitie,
Smoaking with pride, marcht on, to make his stand
On her bare brest, the heart of all her land;
440VVhose ranks of blew vains as his hand did scale,
Left their round turrets destitute and pale.
They mustring to the quiet Cabinet,
VVhere their deare gouernesse and ladie lies,
Do tell her shee is dreadfullie beset,
445And fright her with confusion of their cries.
Shee much amaz'd breakes ope her lockt vp eyes,
VVho peeping foorth this tumult to behold,
Are by his flaming torch dim'd and controld.
Imagine her as one in dead of night,
450From forth dull sleepe by dreadfull fancie waking,
That thinkes shee hath beheld some gastlie sprite,
VVhose grim aspect sets euerie ioint a shaking,
VVhat terror tis: but shee in worser taking,
From sleepe disturbed, heedfullie doth view
455The sight which makes supposed terror trew.
VVrapt and confounded in a thousand feares,
Like to a new-kild bird shee trembling lies:
Shee dares not looke, yet winking there appeares
Quicke-shifting Antiques vglie in her eyes.
460"Such shadowes are the weake-brains forgeries,
VVho angrie that the eyes flie from their lights,
In darknes daunts thē with more dreadfull sights.
His hand that yet remaines vppon her brest,
(Rude Ram to batter such an Iuorie wall:)
465May feele her heart (poore Cittizen) distrest,
VVounding it selfe to death, rise vp and fall;
Beating her bulke, that his hand shakes withall.
This moues in him more rage and lesser pittie,
To make the breach and enter this sweet Citty.
470First like a Trompet doth his tongue begin,
To sound a parlie to his heartlesse foe,
VVho ore the white sheet peers her whiter chin,
The reason of this rash allarme to know,
VVhich he by dum demeanor seekes to show.
475But shee with vehement prayers vrgethstill,
Vnder what colour he commits this ill.
Thus he replies, the colour in thy face,
That euen for anger makes the Lilly pale,
And the red rose blush at her owne disgrace,
480Shall plead for me and tell my louing tale.
Vnder that colour am I come to scale
Thy neuer conquered Fort, the fault is thine,
For those thine eyes betray thee vnto mine.
Thus I forestall thee, if thou meane to chide,
485Thy beauty hath ensnar'd thee to this night,
VVhere thou with patience must my will abide,
My will that markes thee for my earths delight,
VVhich I to conquer sought with all my might.
But as reproofe and reason beat it dead,
490By thy bright beautie was it newlie bred.
I see what crosses my attempt will bring,
I know what thornes the growing rose defends,
I thinke the honie garded with a sting,
All this before-hand counsell comprehends.
495But VVill is deafe, and hears no heedfull friends,
Onely he hath an eye to gaze on Beautie,
And dotes on what he looks, gainst law or duety.
I haue debated euen in my soule,
VVhat wrong, what shame, what sorrow I shal breed,
500But nothing can affections course controull,
Or stop the headlong furie of his speed.
I know repentant teares insewe the deed,
Reproch, disdaine, and deadly enmity,
Yet striue I to embrace mine infamy.
505This said, hee shakes aloft his Romaine blade,
VVhich like a Faulcon towring in the skies,
Cowcheth the fowle below with his wings shade,
VVhose crooked beake threats, if he mount he dies.
So vnder his insulting Fauchion lies
510Harmelesse LVCRETIA marking what he tels,
VVith trembling feare: as fowl hear Faulcōs bels.
LVCRECE, quoth he, this night I must enioy thee,
If thou deny, then force must worke my way:
For in thy bed I purpose to destroie thee.
515That done, some worthlesse slaue of thine ile slay.
To kill thine Honour with thy liues decaie.
And in thy dead armes do I meane to place him,
Swearing I slue him seeing thee imbrace him.
So thy suruiuing husband shall remaine
520The scornefull marke of euerie open eye,
Thy kinsmen hang their heads at this disdaine,
Thy issue blur'd with namelesse bastardie;
And thou the author of their obloquie,
Shalt haue thy trespasse cited vp in rimes,
525And sung by children in succeeding times.
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-
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.
In TARQVINS likenesse I did entertaine thee,
Hast thou put on his shape, to do him shame?
To all the Host of Heauen I complaine me.
Thou wrongst his honor, woūdst his princely name:
600Thou art not what thou seem'st, and if the same,
Thou seem'st not what thou art, a God, a King;
For kings like Gods should gouerne euery thing.
How will thy shame be seeded in thine age
VVhen thus thy vices bud before thy spring?
605If in thy hope thou darst do such outrage,
VVhat dar'st thou not when once thou art a King?
O be remembred, no outragious thing
From vassall actors can be wipt away,
Then Kings misdeedes cannot be hid in clay.
610This deede will make thee only lou'd for feare,
But happie Monarchs still are feard for loue:
VVith fowle offendors thou perforce must beare,
VVhen they in thee the like offences proue;
Ifbut for feare of this, thy will remoue.
615For Princes are the glasse, the schoole, the booke,
VVhere subiects eies do learn, do read, do looke.
And wilt thou be the schoole where lust shall learne?
Must he in thee read lectures of such shame?
VVilt thou be glasse wherein it shall discerne
620Authoritie for sinne, warrant for blame?
To priuiledge dishonor in thy name.
Thou backst reproch against long-liuing lawd,
And mak'st faire reputation but a bawd.
Hast thou commaund? by him that gaue it thee
625From a pure heart commaund thy rebell will:
Draw not thy sword to gard iniquitie,
For it was lent thee all that broode to kill.
Thy Princelie office how canst thou fulfill?
VVhen patternd by thy fault fowle sin may say,
630He learnd to sin, and thou didst teach the way.
Thinke but how vile a spectacle it were,
To view thy present trespasse in another:
Mens faults do seldome to themselues appeare,
Their own transgressions partiallie they smother,
635This guilt would seem death-worthie in thy brother.
O how are they wrapt in with infamies,
That frō their own misdeeds askaunce their eyes?
To thee, to thee, my heau'd vp hands appeale,
Not to seducing lust thy rash relier:
640I sue for exil'd maiesties repeale,
Let him returne, and flattring thoughts retire.
His true respect will prison false desire,
And wipe the dim mist from thy doting eien,
That thou shalt see thy state, and pittie mine.
645Haue done, quoth he, my vncontrolled tide
Turnes not, but swels the higher by this let.
Small lightes are soone blown out, huge fires abide,
And with the winde in greater furie fret:
The petty streames that paie a dailie det
650To their salt soueraigne with their fresh fals hast,
Adde to his flowe, but alter not his tast.
Thou art, quoth shee, a sea, a soueraigne King,
And loe there fals into thy boundlesse flood,
Blacke lust, dishonor, shame, mis-gouerning,
655VVho seeke to staine the Ocean of thy blood.
If all these pettie ils shall change thy good,
Thy sea within a puddels wombe is hersed,
And not the puddle in thy sea dispersed.
So shall these slaues be King, and thou their slaue,
660Thou noblie base, they baselie dignified:
Thou their faire life, and they thy fowler graue:
Thou lothed in their shame, they in thy pride,
The lesser thing should not the greater hide.
The Cedar stoopes not to the base shrubs foote,
665But low-shrubs wither at the Cedars roote.
So let thy thoughts low vassals to thy state,
No more quoth he, by Heauen I will not heare thee.
Yeeld to my loue, if not inforced hate,
In steed of loues coy tutch shall rudelie teare thee.
670That done, despitefullie I meane to beare thee
Vnto the base bed of some rascall groome,
To be thy partner in this shamefull doome.
This said, he sets his foote vppon the light,
For light and lust are deadlie enemies,
675Shame folded vp in blind concealing night,
VVhen most vnseene, then most doth tyrannize.
The wolfe hath ceazd his pray, the poor lamb cries,
Till with her own white fleece her voice controld,
Intombes her outcrie in her lips sweet fold.
680For with the nightlie linnen that shee weares,
He pens her piteous clamors in her head,
Cooling his hot face in the chastest teares,
That euer modest eyes with sorrow shed.
O that prone lust should staine so pure a bed,
685The spots whereof could weeping purifie,
Her tears should drop on them perpetuallie.
But shee hath lost a dearer thing then life,
And he hath wonne what he would loose againe,
This forced league doth force a further strife,
690This momentarie ioy breeds months of paine,
This hot desire conuerts to colde disdaine;
Pure chastitie is rifled of her store,
And lust the theefe farre poorer then before.
Looke as the full-fed Hound, or gorged Hawke,
695Vnapt for tender smell, or speedie flight,
Make slow pursuite, or altogether bauk,
The praie wherein by nature they delight:
So surfet-taking TARQVIN fares this night:
His tast delicious, in digestion sowring,
700Deuoures his will that liu'd by fowle deuouring.
O deeper sinne then bottomelesse conceit
Can comprehend in still imagination!
Drunken Desire must vomite his receipt
Ere he can see his owne abhomination.
705VVhile Lust is in his pride no exclamation
Can curbe his heat, or reine his rash desire,
Till like a Iade, self-will himselfe doth tire.
And then with lanke, and leane discolour'd cheeke,
VVith heauie eye, knit-brow, and strengthlesse pace,
710Feeble desire all recreant, poore and meeke,
Like to a banckrout begger wailes his cace:
The flesh being proud, Desire doth fight with grace;
For there it reuels, and when that decaies,
The guiltie rebell for remission praies.
715So fares it with this fault-full Lord of Rome,
VVho this accomplishment so hotly chased,
For now against himselfe he sounds this doome,
That through the length of times he stāds disgraced:
Besides his soules faire temple is defaced,
720To whose weake ruines muster troopes of cares,
To aske the spotted Princesse how she fares.
Shee sayes her subiects with fowle insurrection,
Haue batterd downe her consecrated wall,
And by their mortall fault brought in subiection
725Her immortalitie, and made her thrall,
To liuing death and payne perpetuall.
VVhich in her prescience shee controlled still,
But her foresight could not forestall their will.
Eu'n in this thought through the dark-night he stea-
730A captiue victor that hath lost in gaine,
Bearing away the wound that nothing healeth,
The scarre that will dispight of Cure remaine,
Leauing his spoile perplext in greater paine.
Shee beares the lode of lust he left behinde,
735And he the burthen of a guiltie minde.
Hee like a theeuish dog creeps sadly thence,
Shee like a wearied Lambe lies panting there,
He scowles and hates himselfe for his offence,
Shee desperat with her nailes her flesh doth teare.
740He faintly flies sweating with guiltie feare;
Shee staies exclayming on the direfull night,
He runnes and chides his vanisht loth'd delight.
He thence departs a heauy conuertite,
Shee there remaines a hopelesse cast-away,
745He in his speed lookes for the morning light:
Shee prayes shee neuer may behold the day.
For daie, quoth shee, nights scapes doth open lay,
And my true eyes haue neuer practiz'd how
To cloake offences with a cunning brow.
750They thinke not but that euerie eye can see,
The same disgrace which they themselues behold:
And therefore would they still in darkenesse be,
To haue their vnseene sinne remaine vntold.
For they their guilt with weeping will vnfold,
755And graue like water that doth eate in steele,
Vppon my cheeks, what helpelesse shame I feele.
Here shee exclaimes against repose and rest,
And bids her eyes hereafter still be blinde,
Shee wakes her heart by beating on her brest,
760And bids it leape from thence, where it maie finde
Some purer chest, to close so pure a minde.
Franticke with griefe thus breaths shee forth her
Against the vnseene secrecie of night.
O comfort-killing night, image of Hell,
765Dim register, and notarie of shame,
Blacke stage for tragedies, and murthers fell,
Vast sin-concealing Chaos, nourse of blame.
Blinde muffled bawd, darke harber for defame,
Grim caue of death, whispring conspirator,
770VVith close-tong'd treason & the rauisher.
O hatefull, vaporous, and foggy night,
Since thou art guilty of my curelesse crime:
Muster thy mists to meete the Easterne light,
Make war against proportion'd course of time.
775Or if thou wilt permit the Sunne to clime
His wonted height, yet ere he go to bed,
Knit poysonous clouds about his golden head.
VVith rotten damps rauish the morning aire,
Let their exhald vnholdsome breaths make sicke
780The life of puritie, the supreme faire,
Ere he arriue his wearie noone-tide pricke,
And let thy mustie vapours march so thicke,
That in their smoakie rankes, his smothred light
May set at noone, and make perpetuall night.
785VVere TARQVIN night, as he is but nights child,
The siluer shining Queene he would distaine;
Her twinckling handmaids to (by him defil'd)
Through nights black bosom shuld not peep again.
So should I haue copartners in my paine,
790And fellowship in woe doth woe asswage,
As Palmers chat makes short their pilgrimage.
VVhere now I haue no one to blush with me,
To crosse their armes & hang their heads with mine,
To maske their browes and hide their infamie,
795But I alone, alone must sit and pine,
Seasoning the earth with showres of siluer brine;
Mingling my talk with tears, my greef with grones,
Poore wasting monuments of lasting mones.
O night thou furnace of fowle reeking smoke!
800Let not the iealous daie behold that face,
VVhich vnderneath thy blacke all-hiding cloke
Immodestly lies martird with disgrace.
Keepe still possession of thy gloomy place,
That all the faults which in thy raigne are made,
805May likewise be sepulcherd in thy shade.
Make me not obiect to the tell-tale day,
The light will shew characterd in my brow,
The storie of sweete chastities decay,
The impious breach of holy wedlocke vowe.
810Yea the illiterate that know not how
To cipher what is writ in learned bookes,
VVill cote my lothsome trespasse in my lookes.
The nourse to still her child will tell my storie,
And fright her crying babe with TARQVINS name.
815The Orator to decke his oratorie,
VVill couple my reproch to TARQVINS shame.
Feast-finding minstrels tuning my defame,
VVill tie the hearers to attend ech line,
How TARQVIN wronged me, I COLATINE.
820Let my good name, that sencelesse reputation,
For COLATINES deare loue be kept vnspotted:
If that be made a theame for disputation,
The branches of another roote are rotted;
And vndeseru'd reproch to him alotted,
825That is as cleare from this attaint of mine,
As I ere this was pure to COLATINE.
O vnseene shame, inuisible disgrace,
O vnfelt sore, crest-wounding priuat scarre!
Reproch is stampt in COLATINVS face,
830And TARQVINS eye maie read the mot a farre,
"How he in peace is wounded not in warre.
"Alas how manie beare such shamefull blowes,
VVhich not thēselues but he that giues thē knowes.
If COLATINE, thine honor laie in me,
835From me by strong assault it is bereft:
My Honnie lost, and I a Drone-like Bee,
Haue no perfection of my sommer left,
But rob'd and ransak't by iniurious theft.
In thy weake Hiue a wandring waspe hath crept,
840And suck't the Honnie which thy chast Bee kept.
Yet am I guiltie of thy Honors wracke,
Yet for thy Honor did I entertaine him,
Comming from thee I could not put him backe:
For it had beene dishonor to disdaine him,
845Besides of wearinesse he did complaine him,
And talk't of Vertue (O vnlook't for euill,)
VVhen Vertue is prophan'd in such a Deuill.
VVhy should the worme intrude the maiden bud?
Or hatefull Kuckcowes hatch in Sparrows nests?
850Or Todes infect faire founts with venome mud?
Or tyrant follie lurke in gentle brests?
Or Kings be breakers of their owne behestes?
"But no perfection is so absolute,
That some impuritie doth not pollute.
855The aged man that coffers vp his gold,
Is plagu'd with cramps, and gouts, and painefull fits,
And scarce hath eyes his treasure to behold,
But like still pining TANTALVS he sits,
And vselesse barnes the haruest of his wits:
860Hauing no other pleasure of his gaine,
But torment that it cannot cure his paine.
So then he hath it when he cannot vse it,
And leaues it to be maistred by his yong:
VVho in their pride do presently abuse it,
865Their father was too weake, and they too strong
To hold their cursed-blessed Fortune long.
"The sweets we wish for, turne to lothed sowrs,
"Euen in the moment that we call them ours.
Vnruly blasts wait on the tender spring,
870Vnholsome weeds take roote with precious flowrs,
The Adder hisses where the sweete birds sing,
VVhat Vertue breedes Iniquity deuours:
VVe haue no good that we can say is ours,
But ill annexed opportunity
875Or kils his life, or else his quality.
O opportunity thy guilt is great,
Tis thou that execut'st the traytors treason:
Thou sets the wolfe where he the lambe may get,
VVho euer plots the sinne thou poinst the season.
880Tis thou that spurn'st at right, at law, at reason,
And in thy shadie Cell where none may spie him,
Sits sin to ceaze the soules that wander by him.
Thou makest the vestall violate her oath,
Thou blowest the fire when temperance is thawd,
885Thou smotherst honestie, thou murthrest troth,
Thou fowle abbettor, thou notorious bawd,
Thou plantest scandall, and displacest lawd.
Thou rauisher, thou traytor, thou false theefe,
Thy honie turnes to gall, thy ioy to greefe.
890Thy secret pleasure turnes to open shame,
Thy priuate feasting to a publicke fast,
Thy smoothing titles to a ragged name,
Thy sugred tongue to bitter wormwood tast,
Thy violent vanities can neuer last.
895How comes it then, vile opportunity
Being so bad, such numbers seeke for thee?
VVhen wilt thou be the humble suppliants friend
And bring him where his suit may be obtained?
VVhen wilt thou sort an howre great strifes to end?
900Or free that soule which wretchednes hath chained?
Giue phisicke to the sicke, ease to the pained?
The poore, lame, blind, hault, creepe, cry out for
But they nere meet with oportunitie.
The patient dies while the Phisitian sleepes,
905The Orphane pines while the oppressor feedes.
Iustice is feasting while the widow weepes.
Aduise is sporting while infection breeds.
Thou graunt'st no time for charitable deeds.
VVrath, enuy, treason, rape, and murthers rages,
910Thy heinous houres wait on them as their Pages.
VVhen Trueth and Vertue haue to do with thee,
A thousand crosses keepe them from thy aide:
They buie thy helpe, but sinne nere giues a fee,
He gratis comes, and thou art well apaide,
915As well to heare, as graunt what he hath saide.
My COLATINE would else haue come to me,
VVhen TARQVIN did, but he was staied by thee.
Guilty thou art of murther, and of theft,
Guilty of periurie, and subornation,
920Guilty of treason, forgerie, and shift,
Guilty of incest that abhomination,
An accessarie by thine inclination.
To all sinnes past and all that are to come,
From the creation to the generall doome.
925Misshapen time, copesmate of vgly night,
Swift subtle post, carrier of grieslie care,
Eater of youth, false slaue to false delight:
Base watch of woes, sins packhorse, vertues snare.
Thou noursest all, and murthrest all that are.
930O heare me then, iniurious shifting time,
Be guiltie of my death since of my crime.
VVhy hath thy seruant opportunity
Betraide the howres thou gau'st me to repose?
Canceld my fortunes, and inchained me
935To endlesse date of neuer-ending woes?
Times office is to fine the hate offoes,
To eate vp errours by opinion bred,
Not spend the dowrie of a lawfull bed.
Times glorie is to calme contending Kings,
940To vnmaske falshood, and bring truth to light,
To stampe the seale of time in aged things,
To wake the morne, and Centinell the night,
To wrong the wronger till he render right,
To ruinate proud buildings with thy howres,
945And smeare with dust their glitring golden towrs.
To fill with worme-holes stately monuments,
To feede obliuion with decay of things,
To blot old bookes, and alter their contents,
To plucke the quils from auncient rauens wings,
950To drie the old oakes sappe, and cherish springs:
To spoile Antiquities ofhammerd steele,
And turne the giddy round of Fortunes wheele.
To shew the beldame daughters ofher daughter,
To make the child a man, the man a childe,
955To slay the tygre that doth liue by slaughter,
To tame the Vnicorne, and Lion wild,
To mocke the subtle in themselues beguild,
To cheare the Plowman with increasefull crops,
And wast huge stones with little water drops.
960VVhy work'st thou mischiefe in thy Pilgrimage,
Vnlesse thou could'st returne to make amends?
One poore retyring minute in an age
VVould purchase thee a thousand thousand friends,
Lending him wit that to bad detters lends,
965O this dread night, would'st thou one howr come
I could preuent this storme, and shun thy wracke.
Thou ceaselesse lackie to Eternitie,
VVith some mischance crosse TARQVIN in his flight.
Deuise extreames beyond extremitie,
970To make him curse this cursed crimefull night:
Let gastly shadowes his lewd eyes affright,
And the dire thought of his committed euill,
Shape euery bush a hideous shapelesse deuill.
Disturbe his howres of rest with restlesse trances,
975Afflict him in his bed with bedred grones,
Let there bechaunce him pitifull mischances,
To make him mone, but pitie not his mones:
Stone him with hardned hearts harder then stones,
And let milde women to him loose their mildnesse,
980VVilder to him then Tygers in their wildnesse.
Let him haue time to teare his curled haire,
Let him haue time against himselfe to raue,
Let him haue time of times helpe to dispaire,
Let him haue time to liue a lothed slaue,
985Let him haue time a beggers orts to craue,
And time to see one that by almes doth liue,
Disdaine to him disdained scraps to giue.
Let him haue time to see his friends his foes,
And merrie fooles to mocke at him resort:
990Let him haue time to marke how slow time goes
In time of sorrow, and how swift and short
His time of follie, and his time of sport.
And euer let his vnrecalling crime
Haue time to waile th'abusing ofhis time.
995O time thou tutor both to good and bad,
Teach me to curse him that thou taught'st this ill:
At his owne shadow let the theefe runne mad,
Himselfe, himselfe seeke euerie howre to kill,
Such wretched hāds such wretched blood shuld spill.
1000For who so base would such an office haue,
As sclandrous deaths-man to so base a slaue.
The baser is he comming from a King,
To shame his hope with deedes degenerate,
The mightier man the mightier is the thing
1005That makes him honord, or begets him hate:
For greatest scandall waits on greatest state.
The Moone being clouded, presently is mist,
But little stars may hide them when they list.
The Crow may bath his coaleblacke wings in mire,
1010And vnperceau'd flie with the filth away,
But if the like the snow-white Swan desire,
The staine vppon his siluer Downe will stay.
Poore grooms are sightles night, kings glorious day,
Gnats are vnnoted wheresoere they flie,
1015But Eagles gaz'd vppon with euerie eye.
Out idle wordes, seruants to shallow fooles,
Vnprofitable sounds, weake arbitrators,
Busie your selues in skill contending schooles,
Debate where leysure serues with dull debators:
1020To trembling Clients be you mediators,
For me, I force not argument a straw,
Since that my case is past the helpe of law.
In vaine I raile at oportunitie,
At time, at TARQVIN, and vnchearfull night,
1025In vaine I cauill with mine infamie,
In vaine I spurne at my confirm'd despight,
This helplesse smoake of words doth me no right:
The remedie indeede to do me good,
Is to let forth my fowle defiled blood.
1030Poore hand why quiuerst thou at this decree?
Honor thy selfe to rid me of this shame,
For if I die, my Honor liues in thee,
But if I liue thou liu'st in my defame;
Since thou couldst not defend thy loyall Dame,
1035And wast affeard to scratch her wicked Fo,
Kill both thy selfe, and her for yeelding so.
This said, from her betombled couch shee starteth,
To finde some desp'rat Instrument of death,
But this no slaughter house no toole imparteth,
1040To make more vent for passage of her breath,
VVhich thronging through her lips so vanisheth,
As smoake from ÆTNA, that in aire consumes,
Or that which from discharged Cannon fumes.
In vaine (quoth shee) I liue, and seeke in vaine
1045Some happie meane to end a haplesse life.
I fear'd by TARQVINS Fauchion to be slaine,
Yet for the selfe same purpose seeke a knife;
But when I fear'd I was a loyall wife,
So am I now, ô no that cannot be,
1050Of that true tipe hath TARQVIN rifled me.
O that is gone for which I sought to liue,
And therefore now I need not feare to die,
To cleare this spot by death (at least) I giue
A badge of Fame to sclanders liuerie,
1055A dying life, to liuing infamie:
Poore helplesse helpe, the treasure stolne away,
To burne the guiltlesse casket where it lay.
VVell well deare COLATINE, thou shalt not know
The stained tast of violated troth:
1060I will not wrong thy true affection so,
To flatter thee with an infringed oath:
This bastard graffe shall neuer come to growth,
He shall not boast who did thy stocke pollute,
That thou art doting father of his fruite.
1065Nor shall he smile at thee in secret thought,
Nor laugh with his companions at thy state,
But thou shalt know thy intrest was not bought
Basely with gold, but stolne from foorth thy gate.
For me I am the mistresse of my fate,
1070And with my trespasse neuer will dispence,
Till life to death acquit my forst offence.
I will not poyson thee with my attaint,
Nor fold my fault in cleanly coin'd excuses,
My sable ground of sinne I will not paint,
1075To hide the truth of this false nights abuses.
My tongue shall vtter all, mine eyes like sluces,
As from a mountaine spring that feeds a dale,
Shal gush pure streams to purge my impure tale.
By this lamenting Philomele had ended
1080The well-tun'd warble of her nightly sorrow,
And solemne night with slow sad gate descended
To ouglie Hell, when loe the blushing morrow
Lends light to all faire eyes that light will borrow.
But cloudie LVCRECE shames her selfe to see,
1085And therefore still in night would cloistred be.
Reuealing day through euery crannie spies,
And seems to point her out where she sits weeping,
To whom shee sobbing speakes, ô eye of eyes,
VVhy pry'st thou throgh my window? leaue thy pee-
1090Mock with thy tickling beams, eies that are sleeping;
Brand not my forehead with thy percing light,
For day hath nought to do what's done by night.
Thus cauils shee with euerie thing shee sees,
True griefe is fond and testie as a childe,
1095VVho wayward once, his mood with naught agrees,
Old woes, not infant sorrowes beare them milde,
Continuance tames the one, the other wilde,
Like an vnpractiz'd swimmer plunging still,
VVith too much labour drowns for want of skill.
1100So shee deepe drenched in a Sea of care,
Holds disputation with ech thing shee vewes,
And to her selfe all sorrow doth compare,
No obiect but her passions strength renewes:
And as one shiftes another straight insewes,
1105Somtime her griefe is dumbe and hath no words,
Sometime tis mad and too much talke affords.
The little birds that tune their mornings ioy,
Make her mones mad, with their sweet melodie,
"For mirth doth search the bottome of annoy,
1110"Sad soules are slaine in merrie companie,
"Griefe best is pleas'd with griefes societie;
"True sorrow then is feelinglie suffiz'd,
"VVhen with like semblance it is simpathiz'd.
"Tis double death to drowne in ken of shore,
1115"He ten times pines, that pines beholding food,
"To see the salue doth make the wound ake more:
"Great griefe greeues most at that wold do it good;
"Deepe woes roll forward like a gentle flood,
VVho being stopt, the boūding banks oreflowes,
1120Griefe dallied with, nor law, nor limit knowes.
You mocking Birds (quoth she) your tunes intombe
VVithin your hollow swelling feathered breasts,
And in my hearing be you mute and dumbe,
My restlesse discord loues no stops nor rests:
1125"A woefull Hostesse brookes not merrie guests.
Ralish your nimble notes to pleasing eares,
"Distres likes dūps whē time is kept with teares.
Come Philomele that sing'st of rauishment,
Make thy sad groue in my disheueld heare,
1130As the danke earth weepes at thy languishment:
So I at each sad straine, will straine a teare,
And with deepe grones the Diapason beare:
For burthen-wise ile hum on TARQVIN still,
VVhile thou on TEREVS descants better skill.
1135And whiles against a thorne thou bear'st thy part,
To keepe thy sharpe woes waking, wretched I
To imitate thee well, against my heart
VVill fixe a sharpe knife to affright mine eye,
VVho if it winke shall thereon fall and die.
1140These meanes as frets vpon an instrument,
Shal tune our heart-strings to true languishment.
And for poore bird thou sing'st not in the day,
As shaming anie eye should thee behold:
Some darke deepe desert seated from the way,
1145That knowes not parching heat, nor freezing cold
VVill wee find out: and there we will vnfold
To creatures stern, sad tunes to change their kinds,
Since mē proue beasts, let beasts bear gētle minds.
As the poore frighted Deare that stands at gaze,
1150VVildly determining which way to flie,
Or one incompast with a winding maze,
That cannot tread the way out readilie:
So with her selfe is shee in mutinie,
To liue or die which of the twaine were better,
1155VVhen life is sham'd and death reproches detter.
To kill my selfe, quoth shee, alacke what were it,
But with my body my poore soules pollusion?
They that loose halfe with greater patience beare it,
Then they whose whole is swallowed in confusion.
1160That mother tries a mercilesse conclusion,
VVho hauing two sweet babes, when death takes
VVill slay the other, and be nurse to none.
My bodie or my soule which was the dearer?
VVhen the one pure, the other made deuine,
1165VVhose loue of eyther to my selfe was nearer?
VVhen both were kept for Heauen and COLATINE:
Ay me, the Barke pild from the loftie Pine,
His leaues will wither, and his sap decay,
So must my soule her barke being pild away.
1170Her house is sackt, her quiet interrupted,
Her mansion batterd by the enemie,
Her sacred temple spotted, spoild, corrupted,
Groslie ingirt with daring infamie.
Then let it not be cald impietie,
1175If in this blemisht fort I make some hole,
Through which I may conuay this troubled soule.
Yet die I will not, till my COLATINE
Haue heard the cause of my vntimelie death,
That he may vow in that sad houre of mine,
1180Reuenge on him that made me stop my breath,
My stained bloud to TARQVIN ile bequeath,
VVhich by him tainted, shall for him be spent,
And as his due writ in my testament.
My Honor ile bequeath vnto the knife
1185That wounds my bodie so dishonored,
Tis Honor to depriue dishonord life,
The one will liue, the other being dead.
So of shames ashes shall my Fame be bred,
For in my death I murther shamefull scorne,
1190My shame so dead, mine honor is new borne.
Deare Lord of that deare iewell I haue lost,
VVhat legacie shall I bequeath to thee?
My resolution loue shall be thy bost,
By whose example thou reueng'd mayst be.
1195How TARQVIN must be vs'd, read it in me,
My selfe thy friend will kill my selfe thy fo,
And for my sake serue thou false TARQVIN so.
This briefe abridgement of my will I make,
My soule and bodie to the skies and ground:
1200My resolution Husband doe thou take,
Mine Honor be the knifes that makes my wound,
My shame be his that did my Fame confound;
And all my Fame that liues disbursed be,
To those that liue and thinke no shame of me.
1205Thou COLATINE shalt ouersee this will,
How was I ouerseene that thou shalt see it?
My bloud shall wash the sclander of mine ill,
My liues foule deed my lifes faire end shall free it.
Faint not faint heart, but stoutlie say so be it,
1210Yeeld to my hand, my hand shall conquer thee,
Thou dead, both die, and both shall victors be.
This plot of death when sadlie shee had layd,
And wip't the brinish pearle from her bright eies,
VVith vntun'd tongue shee hoarslie cals her mayd,
1215VVhose swift obedience to her mistresse hies.
"For fleet-wing'd duetie with thoghts feathers flies,
Poore LVCRECE cheeks vnto her maid seem so,
As winter meads when sun doth melt their snow.
Her mistresse shee doth giue demure good morrow,
1220VVith soft slow-tongue, true marke of modestie,
And sorts a sad looke to her Ladies sorrow,
(For why her face wore sorrowes liuerie.)
But durst not aske of her audaciouslie,
VVhy her two suns were clowd ecclipsed so,
1225Nor why her faire cheeks ouer-washt with woe.
But as the earth doth weepe the Sun being set,
Each flowre moistned like a melting eye:
Euen so the maid with swelling drops gan wet
Her circled eien inforst, by simpathie
1230Of those faire Suns set in her mistresse skie,
VVho in a salt wau'd Ocean quench their light,
VVhich makes the maid weep like the dewy night.
A prettie while these prettie creatures stand,
Like Iuorie conduits corall cesterns filling:
1235One iustlie weepes, the other takes in hand
No cause, but companie of her drops spilling.
Their gentle sex to weepe are often willing,
Greeuing themselues to gesse at others smarts,
And thē they drown their eies, or break their harts.
1240For men haue marble, women waxen mindes,
And therefore are they form'd as marble will,
The weake opprest, th'impression of strange kindes
Is form'd in them by force, by fraud, or skill.
Then call them not the Authors of their ill,
1245No more then waxe shall be accounted euill,
VVherein is stampt the semblance of a Deuill.
Their smoothnesse; like a goodly champaine plaine,
Laies open all the little wormes that creepe,
In men as in a rough-growne groue remaine.
1250Caue-keeping euils that obscurely sleepe.
Through christall wals ech little mote will peepe,
Though mē cā couer crimes with bold stern looks,
Poore womens faces are their owne faults books.
No man inueigh against the withered flowre,
1255But chide rough winter that the flowre hath kild,
Not that deuour'd, but that which doth deuour
Is worthie blame, ô let it not be hild
Poore womens faults, that they are so fulfild
VVith mens abuses, those proud Lords to blame,
1260Make weak-made womē tenants to their shame.
The president whereof in LVCRECE view,
Assail'd by night with circumstances strong
Of present death, and shame that might insue.
By that her death to do her husband wrong,
1265Such danger to resistance did belong:
That dying feare through all her bodie spred,
And who cannot abuse a bodie dead?
By this milde patience bid faire LVCRECE speake,
To the poore counterfaite of her complayning,
1270My girle, quoth shee, on what occasion breake
Those tears frō thee, that downe thy cheeks are raig-
If thou dost weepe for griefe of my sustaining:
Know gentle wench it small auailes my mood,
If tears could help, mine own would do me good.
1275But tell me girle, when went (and there shee staide,
Till after a deepe grone) TARQVIN from hence,
Madame ere I was vp (repli'd the maide,)
The more to blame my sluggard negligence.
Yet with the fault I thus farre can dispence:
1280My selfe was stirring ere the breake of day,
And ere I rose was TARQVIN gone away.
But Lady, if your maide may be so bold,
Shee would request to know your heauinesse:
(O peace quoth LVCRECE) if it should be told,
1285The repetition cannot make it lesse:
For more it is, then I can well expresse,
And that deepe torture may be cal'd a Hell,
VVhen more is felt then one hath power to tell.
Go get mee hither paper, inke, and pen,
1290Yet saue that labour, for I haue them heare,
(VVhat should I say) one of my husbands men
Bid thou be readie, by and by, to beare
A letter to my Lord, my Loue, my Deare,
Bid him with speede prepare to carrie it,
1295The cause craues hast, and it will soone be writ.
Her maide is gone, and shee prepares to write,
First houering ore the paper with her quill:
Conceipt and griefe an eager combat fight,
VVhat wit sets downe is blotted straight with will.
1300This is too curious good, this blunt and ill,
Much like a presse of people at a dore,
Throng her inuentions which shall go before.
At last shee thus begins: thou worthie Lord,
Of that vnworthie wife that greeteth thee,
1305Health to thy person, next, vouchsafe t'afford
(If euer loue, thy LVCRECE thou wilt see,)
Some present speed, to come and visite me:
So I commend me, from our house in griefe,
My woes are tedious, though my words are briefe.
1310Here folds shee vp the tenure of her woe,
Her certaine sorrow writ vncertainely,
By this short Cedule COLATINE may know
Her griefe, but not her griefes true quality,
Shee dares not thereof make discouery,
1315Lest he should hold it her own grosse abuse,
Ere she with bloud had stain'd her stain'd excuse.
Besides the life and feeling of her passion,
Shee hoords to spend, when he is by to heare her,
VVhen sighs, & grones, & tears may grace the fashiō
1320Of her disgrace, the better so to cleare her
From that suspiciō which the world might bear her.
To shun this blot, shee would not blot the letter
VVith words, till action might becom thē better.
To see sad sights, moues more then heare them told,
1325For then the eye interpretes to the eare
The heauie motion that it doth behold,
VVhen euerie part, a part of woe doth beare.
Tis but a part of sorrow that we heare,
Deep sounds make lesser noise thē shallow foords,
1330And sorrow ebs, being blown with wind of words.
Her letter now is seal'd, and on it writ
At ARDEA to my Lord with more then hast,
The Post attends, and shee deliuers it,
Charging the sowr-fac'd groome, to high as fast
1335As lagging fowles before the Northerne blast,
Speed more then speed, but dul & slow she deems,
Extremity still vrgeth such extremes.
The homelie villaine cursies to her low,
And blushing on her with a stedfast eye,
1340Receaues the scroll without or yea or no,
And forth with bashfull innocence doth hie.
But they whose guilt within their bosomes lie,
Imagine euerie eye beholds their blame,
For LVCRECE thought, he blusht to see her shame.
1345VVhen seelie Groome (God wot) it was defect
Of spirite, life, and bold audacitie,
Such harmlesse creatures haue a true respect
To talke in deeds, while others saucilie
Promise more speed, but do it leysurelie.
1350Euen so this patterne of the worne-out age,
Pawn'd honest looks, but laid no words to gage.
His kindled duetie kindled her mistrust,
That two red fires in both their faces blazed,
Shee thought he blusht, as knowing TARQVINS lust,
1355And blushing with him, wistlie on him gazed,
Her earnest eye did make him more amazed.
The more shee saw the bloud his cheeks replenish,
The more she thought he spied in her som blemish.
But long shee thinkes till he returne againe,
1360And yet the dutious vassall scarce is gone,
The wearie time shee cannot entertaine,
For now tis stale to sigh, to weepe, and grone,
So woe hath wearied woe, mone tired mone,
That shee her plaints a little while doth stay,
1365Pawsing for means to mourne some newer way.
At last shee cals to mind where hangs a peece
Of skilfull painting, made for PRIAMS Troy,
Before the which is drawn the power of Greece,
For HELENS rape, the Cittie to destroy,
1370Threatning cloud-kissing ILLION with annoy,
VVhich the conceipted Painter drew so prowd,
As Heauen (it seem'd) to kisse the turrets bow'd.
A thousand lamentable obiects there,
In scorne of Nature, Art gaue liuelesse life,
1375Many a dry drop seem'd a weeping teare,
Shed for the slaughtred husband by the wife.
The red bloud reek'd to shew the Painters strife,
And dying eyes gleem'd forth their ashie lights,
Like dying coales burnt out in tedious nights.
1380There might you see the labouring Pyoner
Begrim'd with sweat, and smeared all with dust,
And from the towres of Troy, there would appeare
The verie eyes of men through loop-holes thrust,
Gazing vppon the Greekes with little lust,
1385Such sweet obseruance in this worke was had,
That one might see those farre of eyes looke sad.
In great commaunders, Grace, and Maiestie,
You might behold triumphing in their faces,
In youth quick-bearing and dexteritie,
1390And here and there the Painter interlaces
Pale cowards marching on with trembling paces.
VVhich hartlesse peasaunts did so wel resemble,
That one would swear he saw them quake & trēble.
In AIAX and VLYSSES, ô what Art
1395Of Phisiognomy might one behold!
The face of eyther cypher'd eythers heart,
Their face, their manners most expreslie told,
In AIAX eyes blunt rage and rigour rold,
But the mild glance that slie VLYSSES lent,
1400Shewed deepe regard and smiling gouernment.
There pleading might you see graue NESTOR stand,
As'twere incouraging the Greekes to fight,
Making such sober action with his hand,
That it beguild attention, charm'd the sight,
1405In speech it seemd his beard, all siluer white,
VVag'd vp and downe, and from his lips did flie,
Thin winding breath which purl'd vp to the skie.
About him were a presse of gaping faces,
VVhich seem'd to swallow vp his sound aduice,
1410All ioyntlie listning, but with seuerall graces,
As if some Marmaide did their eares intice,
Some high, some low, the Painter was so nice.
The scalpes of manie almost hid behind,
To iump vp higher seem'd to mocke the mind.
1415Here one mans hand leand on anothers head,
His nose being shadowed by his neighbours eare,
Here one being throng'd, bears back all boln, & red,
Another smotherd, seemes to pelt and sweare,
And in their rage such signes of rage they beare,
1420As but for losse of NESTORS golden words,
It seem'd they would debate with angrie swords.
For much imaginarie worke was there,
Conceipt deceitfull, so compact so kinde,
That for ACHILLES image stood his speare
1425Grip't in an Armed hand, himselfe behind
VVas left vnseene, saue to the eye of mind,
A hand, a foote, a face, a leg, a head
Stood for the whole to be imagined.
And from the wals of strong besieged TROY,
1430VVhen their braue hope, bold HECTOR march'd to
Stood manie Troian mothers sharing ioy,
To see their youthfull sons bright weapons wield,
And to their hope they such odde action yeeld,
That through their light ioy seemed to appeare,
1435(Like bright things staind) a kind of heauie feare.
And from the strond of DARDAN where they fought,
To SIMOIS reedie bankes the red bloud ran,
VVhose waues to imitate the battaile sought
VVith swelling ridges, and their rankes began
1440To breake vppon the galled shore, and than
Retire againe, till meeting greater ranckes
They ioine, & shoot their fome at SIMOIS bancks.
To this well painted peece is LVCRECE come,
To find a face where all distresse is steld,
1445Manie shee sees, where cares haue carued some,
But none where all distresse and dolor dweld,
Till shee dispayring HECVBA beheld,
Staring on PRIAMS wounds with her old eyes,
VVhich bleeding vnder PIRRHVS proud foot lies.
1450In her the Painter had anathomiz'd
Times ruine, beauties wracke, and grim cares raign,
Her cheeks with chops and wrincles were disguiz'd,
Of what shee was, no semblance did remaine:
Her blew bloud chang'd to blacke in euerie vaine,
1455VVanting the spring, that those shrunke pipes had
Shew'd life imprison'd in a bodie dead.
On this sad shadow LVCRECE spends her eyes,
And shapes her sorrow to the Beldames woes,
VVho nothing wants to answer her but cries,
1460And bitter words to ban her cruell Foes.
The Painter was no God to lend her those,
And therefore LVCRECE swears he did her wrong,
To giue her so much griefe, and not a tong.
Poore Instrument (quoth shee) without a sound,
1465Ile tune thy woes with my lamenting tongue,
And drop sweet Balme in PRIAMS painted wound,
And raile on PIRRHVS that hath done him wrong;
And with my tears quench Troy that burns so long;
And with my knife scratch out the angrie eyes,
1470Of all the Greekes that are thine enemies.
Shew me the strumpet that began this stur,
That with my nailes her beautie I may teare:
Thy heat of lust fond PARIS did incur
This lode of wrath, that burning Troy doth beare;
1475Thy eye kindled the fire that burneth here,
And here in Troy for trespasse of thine eye,
The Sire, the sonne, the Dame and daughter die.
VVhy should the priuate pleasure of some one
Become the publicke plague of manie moe?
1480Let sinne alone committed, light alone
Vppon his head that hath transgressed so.
Let guiltlesse soules be freed from guilty woe,
For ones offence why should so many fall?
To plague a priuate sinne in generall.
1485Lo here weeps HECVBA, here PRIAM dies,
Here manly HECTOR faints, here TROYLVS sounds;
Here friend by friend in bloudie channel lies:
And friend to friend giues vnaduised wounds,
And one mans lust these manie liues confounds.
1490Had doting PRIAM checkt his sons desire,
TROY had bin bright with Fame, & not with fire.
Here feelingly she weeps TROYES painted woes,
For sorrow, like a heauie hanging Bell,
Once set on ringing, with his own waight goes,
1495Then little strength rings out the dolefull knell,
So LVCRECE set a worke, sad tales doth tell
To pencel'd pensiuenes, & colour'd sorrow,
She lends them words, & she their looks doth bor-
Shee throwes her eyes about the painting round,
1500And who shee finds forlorne, shee doth lament:
At last shee sees a wretched image bound,
That piteous lookes, to Phrygian sheapheards lent,
His face though full of cares, yet shew'd content,
Onward to TROY with the blunt swains he goes,
1505So mild that patience seem'd to scorne his woes.
In him the Painter labour'd with his skill
To hide deceipt, and giue the harmlesse show
An humble gate, calme looks, eyes wayling still,
A brow vnbent that seem'd to welcome wo,
1510Cheeks neither red, nor pale, but mingled so,
That blushing red, no guiltie instance gaue,
Nor ashie pale, the feare that false hearts haue.
But like a constant and confirmed Deuill,
He entertain'd a show, so seeming iust,
1515And therein so ensconc't his secret euill,
That Iealousie it selfe could not mistrust,
False creeping Craft, and Periurie should thrust
Into so bright a daie, such blackfac'd storms,
Or blot with Hell-born sin such Saint-like forms.
1520The well-skil'd workman this milde Image drew
For periur'd SINON, whose inchaunting storie
The credulous old PRIAM after slew.
VVhose words like wild fire burnt the shining glorie
Of rich-built ILLION, that the skies were sorie,
1525And little stars shot from their fixed places,
VVhē their glas fel, wherin they view'd their faces.
This picture shee aduisedly perus'd,
And chid the Painter for his wondrous skill:
Saying, some shape in SINONS was abus'd,
1530So faire a forme lodg'd not a mind so ill,
And still on him shee gaz'd, and gazing still,
Such signes of truth in his plaine face shee spied,
That shee concludes, the Picture was belied.
It cannot be (quoth she) that so much guile,
1535(Shee would haue said) can lurke in such a looke:
But TARQVINS shape, came in her mind the while,
And from her tongue, can lurk, from cannot, tooke
It cannot be, shee in that sence forsooke,
And turn'd it thus, it cannot be I find,
1540But such a face should beare a wicked mind.
For euen as subtill SINON here is painted,
So sober sad, so wearie, and so milde,
(As if with griefe or trauaile he had fainted)
To me came TARQVIN armed to beguild
1545VVith outward honestie, but yet defild
VVith inward vice, as PRIAM him did cherish:
So did I TARQVIN, so my Troy did perish.
Looke looke how listning PRIAM wets his eyes,
To see those borrowed teares that SINON sheeds,
1550PRIAM why art thou old, and yet not wise?
For euerie teare he fals a Troian bleeds:
His eye drops fire, no water thence proceeds,
Those roūd clear pearls of his that moue thy pitty,
Are bals of quenchlesse fire to burne thy Citty.
1555Such Deuils steale effects from lightlesse Hell,
For SINON in his fire doth quake with cold,
And in that cold hot burning fire doth dwell,
These contraries such vnitie do hold,
Only to flatter fooles, and make them bold,
1560So PRIAMS trust false SINONS teares doth flatter,
That he finds means to burne his Troy with water.
Here all inrag'd such passion her assailes,
That patience is quite beaten from her breast,
Shee tears the sencelesse SINON with her nailes,
1565Comparing him to that vnhappie guest,
VVhose deede hath made herselfe, herselfe detest,
At last shee smilingly with this giues ore,
Foole fool, quoth she, his wounds wil not be sore.
Thus ebs and flowes the currant of her sorrow,
1570And time doth wearie time with her complayning,
Shee looks for night, & then shee longs for morrow,
And both shee thinks too long with her remayning.
Short time seems long, in sorrowes sharp sustayning,
Though wo be heauie, yet it seldome sleepes,
1575And they that watch, see time, how slow it creeps.
VVhich all this time hath ouerslipt her thought,
That shee with painted Images hath spent,
Being from the feeling of her own griefe brought,
By deepe surmise of others detriment,
1580Loosing her woes in shews of discontent:
It easeth some, though none it euer cured,
To thinke their dolour others haue endured.
But now the mindfull Messenger come backe,
Brings home his Lord and other companie,
1585VVho finds his LVCRECE clad in mourning black,
And round about her teare-distained eye
Blew circles stream'd, like Rain-bows in the skie.
These watergalls in her dim Element,
Foretell new stormes to those alreadie spent.
1590VVhich when her sad beholding husband saw,
Amazedlie in her sad face he stares:
Her eyes though sod in tears look'd red and raw,
Her liuelie colour kil'd with deadlie cares,
He hath no power to aske her how shee fares,
1595Both stood like old acquaintance in a trance,
Met far from home, wondring ech others chance.
At last he takes her by the bloudlesse hand,
And thus begins: what vncouth ill euent
Hath thee befalne, that thou dost trembling stand?
1600Sweet loue what spite hath thy faire colour spent?
VVhy art thou thus attir'd in discontent?
Vnmaske deare deare, this moodie heauinesse,
And tell thy griefe, that we may giue redresse.
Three times with sighes shee giues her sorrow fire,
1605Ere once shee can discharge one word of woe:
At length addrest to answer his desire,
Shee modestlie prepares, to let them know
Her Honor is tane prisoner by the Foe,
VVhile COLATINE and his consorted Lords,
1610VVith sad attention long to heare her words.
And now this pale Swan in her watrie nest,
Begins the sad Dirge of her certaine ending,
Few words (quoth shee) shall fit the trespasse best,
VVhere no excuse can giue the fault amending.
1615In me moe woes then words are now depending,
And my laments would be drawn out too long,
To tell them all with one poore tired tong.
Then be this all the taske it hath to say,
Deare husband in the interest of thy bed
1620A stranger came, and on that pillow lay,
VVhere thou wast wont to rest thy wearie head,
And what wrong else may be imagined,
By foule inforcement might be done to me,
From that (alas) thy LVCRECE is not free.
1625For in the dreadfull dead of darke midnight,
VVith shining Fauchion in my chamber came
A creeping creature with a flaming light,
And softly cried, awake thou Romaine Dame,
And entertaine my loue, else lasting shame
1630On thee and thine this night I will inflict,
If thou my loues desire do contradict.
For some hard fauour'd Groome of thine, quoth he,
Vnlesse thou yoke thy liking to my will
Ile murther straight, and then ile slaughter thee,
1635And sweare I found you where you did fulfill
The lothsome act of Lust, and so did kill
The lechors in their deed, this Act will be
My Fame, and thy perpetuall infamy.
VVith this I did begin to start and cry,
1640And then against my heart he set his sword,
Swearing, vnlesse I tooke all patiently,
I should not liue to speake another word.
So should my shame still rest vpon record,
And neuer be forgot in mightie Roome
1645Th'adulterat death of LVCRECE, and her Groome.
Mine enemy was strong, my poore selfe weake,
(And farre the weaker with so strong a feare)
My bloudie Iudge forbod my tongue to speake,
No rightfull plea might plead for Iustice there.
1650His scarlet Lust came euidence to sweare
That my poore beautie had purloin'd his eyes,
And when the Iudge is rob'd, the prisoner dies.
O teach me how to make mine owne excuse,
Or (at the least) this refuge let me finde,
1655Though my grosse bloud be staind with this abuse,
Immaculate, and spotlesse is my mind,
That was not forc'd, that neuer was inclind
To accessarie yeeldings, but still pure
Doth in her poyson'd closet yet endure.
1660Lo heare the hopelesse Marchant of this losse,
VVith head declin'd, and voice dam'd vp with wo,
VVith sad set eyes and wretched armes acrosse,
From lips new waxen pale, begins to blow
The griefe away, that stops his answer so.
1665But wretched as he is he striues in vaine,
VVhat he breaths out, his breath drinks vp again.
As through an Arch, the violent roaring tide,
Outruns the eye that doth behold his hast:
Yet in the Edie boundeth in his pride,
1670Backe to the strait that forst him on so fast:
In rage sent out, recald in rage being past,
Euen so his sighes, his sorrowes make a saw,
To push griefe on, and back the same grief draw.
VVhich speechlesse woe of his poore she attendeth,
1675And his vntimelie frenzie thus awaketh,
Deare Lord, thy sorrow to my sorrow lendeth
Another power, no floud by raining slaketh,
My woe too sencible thy passion maketh
More feeling painfull, let it than suffice
1680To drowne on woe, one paire of weeping eyes.
And for my sake when I might charme thee so,
For shee that was thy LVCRECE, now attend me,
Be sodainelie reuenged on my Foe.
Thine, mine, his own, suppose thou dost defend me
1685From what is past, the helpe that thou shalt lend me
Comes all too late, yet let the Traytor die,
"For sparing Iustice feeds iniquitie.
But ere I name him, you faire Lords, quoth shee,
(Speaking to those that came with COLATINE)
1690Shall plight your Honourable faiths to me,
VVith swift pursuit to venge this wrong of mine,
For 'tis a meritorious faire designe,
To chase iniustice with reuengefull armes,
Knights by their oaths should right poore Ladies
1695At this request, with noble disposition,
Each present Lord began to promise aide,
As bound in Knighthood to her imposition,
Longing to heare the hatefull Foe bewraide.
But shee that yet her sad taske hath not said,
1700The protestation stops, ô speake quoth shee,
How may this forced staine be wip'd from me?
VVhat is the qualitie of my offence
Being constrayn'd with dreadfull circumstance?
May my pure mind with the fowle act dispence
1705My low declined Honor to aduance?
May anie termes acquit me from this chance?
The poysoned fountaine cleares it selfe againe,
And why not I from this compelled staine?
VVith this they all at once began to saie,
1710Her bodies staine, her mind vntainted cleares,
VVhile with a ioylesse smile, shee turnes awaie
The face, that map which deepe impression beares
Of hard misfortune, caru'd it in with tears.
No no, quoth shee, no Dame hereafter liuing,
1715By my excuse shall claime excuses giuing.
Here with a sigh as if her heart would breake,
Shee throwes forth TARQVINS name: he he, she saies,
But more then he, her poore tong could not speake,
Till after manie accents and delaies,
1720Vntimelie breathings, sicke and short assaies,
Shee vtters this, he he faire Lords, tis he
That guides this hand to giue this wound to me.
Euen here she sheathed in her harmlesse breast
A harmfull knife, that thence her soule vnsheathed,
1725That blow did baile it from the deepe vnrest
Of that polluted prison, where it breathed:
Her contrite sighes vnto the clouds bequeathed
Her winged sprite, & through her woūds doth flie
Liues lasting date, from cancel'd destinie.
1730Stone still, astonisht with this deadlie deed,
Stood COLATINE, and all his Lordly crew,
Till LVCRECE Father that beholds her bleed,
Himselfe, on her selfe-slaughtred bodie threw,
And from the purple fountaine BRVTVS drew
1735The murdrous knife, and as it left the place,
Her blood in poore reuenge, held it in chase.
And bubling from her brest, it doth deuide
In two slow riuers, that the crimson bloud
Circles her bodie in on euerie side,
1740VVho like a late sack't Iland vastlie stood
Bare and vnpeopled, in this fearfull flood.
Some of her bloud still pure and red remain'd,
And som look'd black, & that false TARQVIN stain'd.
About the mourning and congealed face
1745Of that blacke bloud, a watrie rigoll goes,
VVhich seemes to weep vpon the tainted place,
And euer since as pittying LVCRECE woes,
Corrupted bloud, some waterie token showes,
And bloud vntainted, still doth red abide,
1750Blushing at that which is so putrified.
Daughter, deare daughter, old LVCRETIVS cries,
That life was mine which thou hast here depriued,
If in the childe the fathers image lies,
VVhere shall I liue now LVCRECE is vnliued?
1755Thou wast not to this end from me deriued.
If children prædecease progenitours,
VVe are their ofspring and they none of ours.
Poore broken glasse, I often did behold
In thy sweet semblance, my old age new borne,
1760But now that faire fresh mirror dim and old
Shewes me a bare-bon'd death by time out-worne,
O from thy cheekes my image thou hast torne,
And shiuerd all the beautie of my glasse,
That I no more can see what once I was.
1765O time cease thou thy course and last no longer,
If they surcease to be that should suruiue:
Shall rotten death make conquest of the stronger,
And leaue the foultring feeble soules aliue?
The old Bees die, the young possesse their hiue,
1770Then liue sweet LVCRECE, liue againe and see
Thy father die, and not thy father thee.
By this starts COLATINE as from a dreame,
And bids LVCRECIVS giue his sorrow place,
And than in key-cold LVCRECE bleeding streame
1775He fals, and bathes the pale feare in his face,
And counterfaits to die with her a space,
Till manly shame bids him possesse his breath,
And liue to be reuenged on her death.
The deepe vexation of his inward soule,
1780Hath seru'd a dumbe arrest vpon his tongue,
VVho mad that sorrow should his vse controll,
Or keepe him from heart-easing words so long,
Begins to talke, but through his lips do throng
VVeake words, so thick come in his poor harts aid,
1785That no man could distinguish what he said.
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.
VVhy COLATINE, is woe the cure for woe?
Do wounds helpe wounds, or griefe helpe greeuous
Is it reuenge to giue thy selfe a blow,
For his fowle Act, by whom the faire wife bleeds?
1825Such childish humor from weake minds proceeds,
Thy wretched wife mistooke the matter so,
To slaie her selfe that should haue slaine her Foe.
Couragious Romaine, do not steepe thy hart
In such relenting dew of Lamentations,
1830But kneele with me and helpe to beare thy part,
To rowse our Romaine Gods with inuocations,
That they will suffer these abhominations.
(Since Rome her self in thē doth stand disgraced,)
By our strong arms frō forth her fair streets chaced.
1835Now by the Capitoll that we adore,
And by this chast bloud so vniustlie stained,
By heauens faire sun that breeds the fat earths store,
By all our countrey rights in Rome maintained,
And by chast LVCRECE soule that late complained
1840Her wrongs to vs, and by this bloudie knife,
VVe will reuenge the death of this true wife.
This sayd, he strooke his hand vpon his breast,
And kist the fatall knife to end his vow:
And to his protestation vrg'd the rest,
1845VVho wondring at him, did his words allow.
Then ioyntlie to the ground their knees they bow,
And that deepe vow which BRVTVS made before,
He doth againe repeat, and that they swore.
VVhen they had sworne to this aduised doome,
1850They did conclude to beare dead LVCRECE thence,
To shew her bleeding bodie thorough Roome,
And so to publish TARQVINS fowle offence;
VVhich being done, with speedie diligence,
The Romaines plausibly did giue consent,
1855To TARQVINS euerlasting banishment.
FINIS.