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Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)

THE RAPE OF LVCRECE.

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,
210 To wish that I their father had not beene.

What win I if I gaine the thing I seeke?
A dreame, a breath, a froth of fleeting ioy,
Who 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,
Would with the scepter straight be strokē down?

If COLATINVS dreame of my intent,
Will 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,
Whose crime will beare an euer-during blame.
C 2