Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Titus Andronicus (Quarto 1, 1594)


The most lamentable Tragedie
In summers drought, Ile drop vpon thee still,
1155In winter with warme teares Ile melt the snow,
And keepe eternall springtime outhy face,
So thou refuse to drinke my deare sonnes blood.
Enter Lucius with his weapon drawne.
Oh reuerent Tribunes, Oh gentle aged men
1160Vnbinde my sonnes, reuerse the doome of death,
And let me say, (that neuer wept before)
My teares are now preuailing Oratours.
Lucius. Oh Noble Father you lament in vaine,
The Tribunes heare you not, no man is by,
1165And you recount your sorrowes to a stone.
Titus. Ah Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead,
Graue Tribunes, once more I intreat of you.
Lucius. My gratious Lord, no T ribune heares you speak.
Titus. VVhy tis no matter man, if they did heare
1170They would not marke me, if they did marke,
They would not pittie me, yet pleade I must,
1171.1And bootlesse vnto them.
Therefore I tell my sorrowes to the stones,
who though they cannot answere my distresse,
Yet in some sort they are better than the Tribunes,
1175For that they will not intercept my tale:
when I doe weepe, they humblie at my feete
Receiue my teares, and seeme to weepe with me,
And were they but attired in graue weeds,
Rome could afford no Tribunes like to these:
1180A stone is soft as waxe, Tribunes more hard than stones:
A stone is silent, and offendeth not,
And Tribunes with their tongues doome men to death.
But wherefore standst thou with thy weapon drawne?
1185Lucius. To rescue my two brothers from their death,
For which attempt the Iudges haue pronouncst,
My euerlasting doome of banishment.
Titus. O happie man, they haue befriended thee:
why