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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Wrapt and confounded in a thousand feares,
    Like to a new-kild bird shee trembling lies:
    Shee dares not looke, yet winking there appeares
    Quicke-shifting Antiques vglie in her eyes.
    460"Such shadowes are the weake-brains forgeries,
    Who angrie that the eyes flie from their lights,
    In darknes daunts thē with more dreadfull sights.
    His hand that yet remaines vppon her brest,
    (Rude Ram to batter such an Iuorie wall:)
    465May feele her heart (poore Cittizen) distrest,
    Wounding it selfe to death, rise vp and fall;
    Beating her bulke, that his hand shakes withall.
    This moues in him more rage and lesser pittie,
    To make the breach and enter this sweet Citty.
    470First like a Trompet doth his tongue begin,
    To sound a parlie to his heartlesse foe,
    Who ore the white sheet peers her whiter chin,
    The reason of this rash allarme to know,
    Which he by dum demeanor seekes to show.
    475 But shee with vehement prayers vrgeth still,
    Vnder what colour he commits this ill.
    Thus he replies, the colour in thy face,
    That euen for anger makes the Lilly pale,
    And the red rose blush at her owne disgrace,
    480Shall plead for me and tell my louing tale.
    Vnder that colour am I come to scale
    Thy neuer conquered Fort, the fault is thine,
    For those thine eyes betray thee vnto mine.
    Thus I forestall thee, if thou meane to chide,
    485Thy beauty hath ensnar'd thee to this night,
    Where thou with patience must my will abide,
    My will that markes thee for my earths delight,
    Which I to conquer sought with all my might.
    But as reproofe and reason beat it dead,
    490 By thy bright beautie was it newlie bred.