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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    But shee hath lost a dearer thing then life,
    And he hath wonne what he would loose againe,
    This forced league doth force a further strife,
    690This momentarie ioy breeds months of paine,
    This hot desire conuerts to colde disdaine;
    Pure chastitie is rifled of her store,
    And lust the theefe farre poorer then before.

    Looke as the full-fed Hound, or gorged Hawke,
    695Vnapt for tender smell, or speedie flight,
    Make slow pursuite, or altogether bauk,
    The praie wherein by nature they delight:
    So surfet-taking TARQVIN fares this night:
    His tast delicious, in digestion sowring,
    700Deuoures his will that liu'd by fowle deuouring.

    O deeper sinne then bottomelesse conceit
    Can comprehend in still imagination!
    Drunken Desire must vomite his receipt
    Ere he can see his owne abhomination.
    705VVhile Lust is in his pride no exclamation
    Can curbe his heat, or reine his rash desire,
    Till like a Iade, self-will himselfe doth tire.