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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    And being lighted, by the light he spies
    LVCRECIAS gloue, wherein her needle sticks,
    He takes it from the rushes where it lies,
    And griping it, the needle his finger pricks.
    320As who should say, this gloue to wanton trickes
    Is not inur'd; returne againe in hast,
    Thou seest our mistresse ornaments are chast.
    But all these poore forbiddings could not stay him,
    He in the worst sence consters their deniall:
    325The dores, the wind, the gloue that did delay him,
    He takes for accidentall things of triall.
    Or as those bars which stop the hourely diall,
    Who with a lingring staie his course doth let,
    Till euerie minute payes the howre his debt.
    330So so, quoth he, these lets attend the time,
    Like little frosts that sometime threat the spring,
    To ad a more reioysing to the prime,
    And giue the sneaped birds more cause to sing.
    Pain payes the income of ech precious thing,
    335 Huge rocks, high winds, strong pirats, shelues and (sands
    The marchant feares, ere rich at home he lands.
    Now is he come vnto the chamber dore,
    That shuts him from the Heauen of his thought,
    Which with a yeelding latch, and with no more,
    340Hath bard him from the blessed thing he sought.
    So from himselfe impiety hath wrought,
    That for his pray to pray he doth begin,
    As if the Heauens should countenance his sin.
    But in the midst of his vnfruitfull prayer,
    345Hauing solicited th'eternall power,
    That his foule thoughts might cōpasse his fair faire,
    And they would stand auspicious to the howre.
    Euen there he starts, quoth he, I must deflowre;
    The powers to whom I pray abhor this fact,
    350 How can they then assist me in the act?