Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


Why hunt I then for colour or excuses?
All Orators are dumbe when Beautie pleadeth,
Poore wretches haue remorse in poore abuses,
270Loue thriues not in the hart that shadows dreadeth,
Affection is my Captaine and he leadeth.
And when his gaudie banner is displaide,
The coward fights, and will not be dismaide.

Then childish feare auaunt, debating die,
275Respect and reason waite on wrinckled age:
My heart shall neuer countermand mine eie;
Sad pause, and deepe regard beseemes the sage,
My part is youth and beates these from the stage.
Desire my Pilot is, Beautie my prise,
280 Then who feares sinking where such treasure lies?

As corne ore-growne by weedes: so heedfull feare
Is almost choakt by vnresisted lust:
Away he steales with open listning eare,
Full of foule hope, and full of fond mistrust:
285Both which as seruitors to the vniust,
So crosse him with their opposit perswasion,
That now he vowes a league, and now inuasion.