Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)
  • Editor: Hardy M. Cook
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-411-0

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    Not Peer Reviewed

    Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


    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.