Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Modern)

"O hateful, vaporous, and foggy Night,
Since thou art guilty of my cureless crime,
Muster thy mists to meet the eastern light,
Make war against proportioned course of time;
775Or, if thou wilt permit the sun to climb
His wonted height, yet ere he go to bed,
Knit poisonous clouds about his golden head."
"With rotten damps ravish the morning air;
Let their exhaled unwholesome breaths make sick
780The life of purity, the supreme fair,
Ere he arrive his weary noontide prick,
And let thy musty vapors march so thick
That in their smoky ranks his smothered light
May set at noon and make perpetual night."
785"Were Tarquin night, as he is but night's child,
The silver-shining queen he would distain;
Her twinkling handmaids too, by him defiled,
Through night's black bosom should not peep again.
So should I have copartners in my pain,
790And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage,
As palmers' chat makes short their pilgrimage."
"Where now I have no one to blush with me,
To cross their arms and hang their heads with mine,
To mask their brows and hide their infamy,
795But I alone, alone must sit and pine,
Seasoning the earth with showers of silver brine,
Mingling my talk with tears, my grief with groans,
Poor wasting monuments of lasting moans."
"O night, thou furnace of foul reeking smoke,
800Let not the jealous day behold that face
Which underneath thy black all-hiding cloak
Immodestly lies martyred with disgrace!
Keep still possession of thy gloomy place,
That all the faults which in thy reign are made
805May likewise be sepulchered in thy shade."