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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    In vaine (quoth shee) I liue, and seeke in vaine
    1045Some happie meane to end a haplesse life.
    I fear'd by TARQVINS Fauchion to be slaine,
    Yet for the selfe same purpose seeke a knife;
    But when I fear'd I was a loyall wife,
    So am I now, ô no that cannot be,
    1050Of that true tipe hath TARQVIN rifled me.

    O that is gone for which I sought to liue,
    And therefore now I need not feare to die,
    To cleare this spot by death (at least) I giue
    A badge of Fame to sclanders liuerie,
    1055A dying life, to liuing infamie:
    Poore helplesse helpe, the treasure stolne away,
    To burne the guiltlesse casket where it lay.

    VVell well deare COLATINE, thou shalt not know
    The stained tast of violated troth:
    1060I will not wrong thy true affection so,
    To flatter thee with an infringed oath:
    This bastard graffe shall neuer come to growth,
    He shall not boast who did thy stocke pollute,
    That thou art doting father of his fruite.
    H 2