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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    Besides the life and feeling of her passion,
    Shee hoords to spend, when he is by to heare her,
    VVhen sighs, & grones, & tears may grace the fashiō
    1320Of her disgrace, the better so to cleare her
    From that suspiciō which the world might bear her.
    To shun this blot, shee would not blot the letter
    VVith words, till action might becom thē better.

    To see sad sights, moues more then heare them told,
    1325For then the eye interpretes to the eare
    The heauie motion that it doth behold,
    VVhen euerie part, a part of woe doth beare.
    Tis but a part of sorrow that we heare,
    Deep sounds make lesser noise thē shallow foords,
    1330And sorrow ebs, being blown with wind of words.

    Her letter now is seal'd, and on it writ
    At ARDEA to my Lord with more then hast,
    The Post attends, and shee deliuers it,
    Charging the sowr-fac'd groome, to high as fast
    1335As lagging fowles before the Northerne blast,
    Speed more then speed, but dul & slow she deems,
    Extremity still vrgeth such extremes.