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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    O teach me how to make mine owne excuse,
    Or (at the least) this refuge let me finde,
    1655Though my grosse bloud be staind with this abuse,
    Immaculate, and spotlesse is my mind,
    That was not forc'd, that neuer was inclind
    To accessarie yeeldings, but still pure
    Doth in her poyson'd closet yet endure.

    1660Lo heare the hopelesse Marchant of this losse,
    VVith head declin'd, and voice dam'd vp with wo,
    VVith sad set eyes and wretched armes acrosse,
    From lips new waxen pale, begins to blow
    The griefe away, that stops his answer so.
    1665But wretched as he is he striues in vaine,
    VVhat he breaths out, his breath drinks vp again.

    As through an Arch, the violent roaring tide,
    Outruns the eye that doth behold his hast:
    Yet in the Edie boundeth in his pride,
    1670Backe to the strait that forst him on so fast:
    In rage sent out, recald in rage being past,
    Euen so his sighes, his sorrowes make a saw,
    To push griefe on, and back the same grief draw.