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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    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;
    If but 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.