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Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardy M. Cook
Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)

Which all this time hath ouerslipt her thought,
That shee with painted Images hath spent,
Being from the feeling of her own griefe brought,
By deepe surmise of others detriment,
1580Loosing her woes in shews of discontent:
It easeth some, though none it euer cured,
To thinke their dolour others haue endured.
But now the mindfull Messenger come backe,
Brings home his Lord and other companie,
1585Who finds his LVCRECE clad in mourning black,
And round about her teare-distained eye
Blew circles stream'd, like Rain-bows in the skie.
These watergalls in her dim Element,
Foretell new stormes to those alreadie spent.
1590Which when her sad beholding husband saw,
Amazedlie in her sad face he stares:
Her eyes though sod in tears look'd red and raw,
Her liuelie colour kil'd with deadlie cares,
He hath no power to aske her how shee fares,
1595 Both stood like old acquaintance in a trance,
Met far from home, wondring ech others chance.
At last he takes her by the bloudlesse hand,
And thus begins: what vncouth ill euent
Hath thee befalne, that thou dost trembling stand?
1600Sweet loue what spite hath thy faire colour spent?
Why art thou thus attir'd in discontent?
Vnmaske deare deare, this moodie heauinesse,
And tell thy griefe, that we may giue redresse.
Three times with sighes shee giues her sorrow fire,
1605Ere once shee can discharge one word of woe:
At length addrest to answer his desire,
Shee modestlie prepares, to let them know
Her Honor is tane prisoner by the Foe,
While COLATINE and his consorted Lords,
1610 With sad attention long to heare her words.