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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    Poore broken glasse, I often did behold
    In thy sweet semblance, my old age new borne,
    1760But now that faire fresh mirror dim and old
    Shewes me a bare-bon'd death by time out-worne,
    O from thy cheekes my image thou hast torne,
    And shiuerd all the beautie of my glasse,
    That I no more can see what once I was.

    1765O time cease thou thy course and last no longer,
    If they surcease to be that should suruiue:
    Shall rotten death make conquest of the stronger,
    And leaue the foultring feeble soules aliue?
    The old Bees die, the young possesse their hiue,
    1770Then liue sweet LVCRECE, liue againe and see
    Thy father die, and not thy father thee.

    By this starts COLATINE as from a dreame,
    And bids LVCRECIVS giue his sorrow place,
    And than in key-cold LVCRECE bleeding streame
    1775He fals, and bathes the pale feare in his face,
    And counterfaits to die with her a space,
    Till manly shame bids him possesse his breath,
    And liue to be reuenged on her death.
    M 3