Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Whore of Babylon (Quarto, 1607)
  • Editors: Frances E. Dolan, Anna Pruitt

  • Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Thomas Dekker
    Editors: Frances E. Dolan, Anna Pruitt
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Whore of Babylon (Quarto, 1607)

    The Whore of Babylon.
    And windes it vp to height, or hurles it down,
    The least blast turnes the scale, where lies a crowne:
    Weele therefore take aduice. If these thinke fit
    We should be yours, you ours, we signe to it:
    530Your counsell Fairie Lords: Fideli speake.
    Fid. Would you (my royal mistres) haue those christal
    Faire, double-leaued doores, where light comes forth
    To cheere the world, neuer to open more?
    Would you haue all your slūbers turn'd to dreams,
    535Frightfull and broken? would you see your Lords
    (In stead of sitting at your Councell boards)
    Locking their graue, white, reuerend heads in steele?
    If so, you cannot for all Fairie land
    Find men to fit you better.
    540Titan. Florimell,
    Breathes there in you Fidelies spirit?
    Flor. No Lady.
    3. King. No nor in any brest that's soūd: true Coūceller,
    Already you speake musicke: you are strung
    545With golden chords; Angels guide on your tongue.
    Flor. These potent, politicke, and twin-borne states,
    Would to their mitred fortunes tie our fates:
    Our Fairie groues are greene, our temples stand
    Like goodly watch-towers, wafting passengers
    550From rockes, t'arriue them in the Holy land:
    Peace (here) eats fruits, which her own hād hath sown,
    Your lambes with lyons play: about your throne,
    The Palme, the Lawrell, and the abundant Vine
    Grow vp, and with your roses doe entwine.
    555But if these gripe your Scepter once,
    Titan. What then?
    Flor. Vultures are not more rauenous thā these men,
    Confusion, tyranie, vproares will shake all,
    Tygres, & wolues, and beares, will fil your seat,
    560In nothing (but in miserie) youle be great:
    Those black and poisonous waters that bore down
    In their rough torrent, Fairie townes and towers,
    And drownd our fields in Marianaes daies,
    Will (in a mercilesse inundation)