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  • Title: Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)
  • Editor: Sonia Massai

  • Copyright Sonia Massai. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Sonia Massai
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)

    The Raigne of King
    The Poets write that great Achilles speare,
    Could heale the wound it made: the morrall is,
    What mighty men misdoo, they can amend:
    The Lyon doth become his bloody iawes,
    755And grace his forragement by being milde,
    When vassell feare lies trembling at his feete,
    The king will in his glory hide thy shame,
    And those that gaze on him to finde out thee,
    Will loose their eie-sight looking in the Sunne:
    760What can one drop of poyson harme the Sea,
    Whose hugie vastures can digest the ill,
    And make it loose his operation:
    The kings great name will temper their misdeeds,
    And giue the bitter portion of reproch:
    765A sugred sweet, and most delitious tast:
    Besides it is no harme to do the thing,
    Which without shame, could not be left vndone;
    Thus haue I in his maiesties behalfe,
    Apparraled sin, in vertuous sentences,
    770And dwel vpon thy answere in his sute.
    Cou: Vnnaturall beseege, woe me vnhappie,
    To haue escapt the danger of my foes,
    And to be ten times worse inuierd by friends:
    Hath he no meanes to stayne my honest blood,
    775But to corrupt the author of my blood,
    To be his scandalous and vile soliciter:
    No maruell though the braunches be then infected,
    When poyson hath encompassed the roote:
    No maruell though the leprous infant dye,
    780When the sterne dame inuennometh the Dug:
    Why then giue sinne a pasport to offend,
    And youth the dangerous reigne of liberty:
    Blot out the strict forbidding of the law,
    And cancell euery cannon that prescribes,
    785A shame for shame, or pennance for offence,
    No let me die, if his too boystrous will,