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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    Now stole vppon the time the dead of night,
    When heauie sleeep had closd vp mortall eyes,
    No comfortable starre did lend his light,
    165No noise but Owles, & wolues death-boding cries:
    Now serues the season that they may surprise
    The sillie Lambes, pure thoughts are dead & still,
    While Lust and Murder wakes to staine and kill.

    And now this lustfull Lord leapt from his bed,
    170Throwing his mantle rudely ore his arme,
    Is madly tost betweene desire and dred;
    Th'one sweetely flatters, th'other feareth harme,
    But honest feare, bewicht with lustes foule charme,
    Doth too too oft betake him to retire,
    175 Beaten away by brainesicke rude desire.

    His Faulchon on a flint he softly smiteth,
    That from the could stone sparkes of fire doe flie,
    Whereat a waxen torch forthwith he lighteth,
    Which must be lodestarre to his lustfull eye.
    180And to the flame thus speakes aduisedlie;
    As from this cold flint I enforst this fire,
    So LVCRECE must I force to my desire.