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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    As the grim Lion fawneth ore his pray,
    Sharpe hunger by the conquest satisfied:
    So ore this sleeping soule doth TARQVIN stay,
    His rage of lust by gazing qualified;
    425Slakt, not supprest, for standing by her side,
    His eye which late this mutiny restraines,
    Vnto a greater vprore tempts his vaines.
    And they like stragling slaues for pillage fighting,
    Obdurate vassals fell exploits effecting,
    430In bloudy death and rauishment delighting;
    Nor childrens tears nor mothers grones respecting,
    Swell in their pride, the onset still expecting:
    Anon his beating heart allarum striking,
    Giues the hot charge, & bids thē do their liking.
    435His drumming heart cheares vp his burning eye,
    His eye commends the leading to his hand;
    His hand as proud of such a dignitie,
    Smoaking with pride, marcht on, to make his stand
    On her bare brest, the heart of all her land;
    440 Whose ranks of blew vains as his hand did scale,
    Left their round turrets destitute and pale.
    They mustring to the quiet Cabinet,
    Where their deare gouernesse and ladie lies,
    Do tell her shee is dreadfullie beset,
    445And fright her with confusion of their cries.
    Shee much amaz'd breakes ope her lockt vp eyes,
    Who peeping foorth this tumult to behold,
    Are by his flaming torch dim'd and controld.
    Imagine her as one in dead of night,
    450From forth dull sleepe by dreadfull fancie waking,
    That thinkes shee hath beheld some gastlie sprite,
    Whose grim aspect sets euerie ioint a shaking,
    What terror tis: but shee in worser taking,
    From sleepe disturbed, heedfullie doth view
    455 The sight which makes supposed terror trew.