Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Lucrece (Modern)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Modern)

    Revealing day through every cranny spies
    And seems to point her out where she sits weeping;
    To whom she sobbing speaks, "O eye of eyes,
    Why pry'st thou through my window? Leave thy peeping,
    1090Mock with thy tickling beams eyes that are sleeping,
    Brand not my forehead with thy piercing light,
    For day hath naught to do what's done by night."
    Thus cavils she with everything she sees.
    True grief is fond and testy as a child
    1095Who, wayward once, his mood with naught agrees.
    Old woes, not infant sorrows, bear them mild:
    Continuance tames the one; the other, wild,
    Like an unpracticed swimmer plunging still,
    With too much labor drowns for want of skill.
    1100So she, deep drenchèd in a sea of care,
    Holds disputation with each thing she views,
    And to herself all sorrow doth compare;
    No object but her passion's strength renews,
    And as one shifts, another straight ensues.
    1105Sometime her grief is dumb and hath no words,
    Sometime 'tis mad and too much talk affords.
    The little birds that tune their morning's joy
    Make her moans mad with their sweet melody,
    For mirth doth search the bottom of annoy;
    1110Sad souls are slain in merry company;
    Grief best is pleased with grief's society.
    True sorrow then is feelingly sufficed
    When with like semblance it is sympathized.
    'Tis double death to drown in ken of shore;
    1115He ten times pines that pines beholding food;
    To see the salve doth make the wound ache more;
    Great grief grieves most at that would do it good;
    Deep woes roll forward like a gentle flood
    Who, being stopped, the bounding banks o'erflows;
    1120Grief dallied with nor law nor limit knows.