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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    1065Nor shall he smile at thee in secret thought,
    Nor laugh with his companions at thy state,
    But thou shalt know thy intrest was not bought
    Basely with gold, but stolne from foorth thy gate.
    For me I am the mistresse of my fate,
    1070 And with my trespasse neuer will dispence,
    Till life to death acquit my forst offence.

    I will not poyson thee with my attaint,
    Nor fold my fault in cleanly coin'd excuses,
    My sable ground of sinne I will not paint,
    1075To hide the truth of this false nights abuses.
    My tongue shall vtter all, mine eyes like sluces,
    As from a mountaine spring that feeds a dale,
    Shal gush pure streams to purge my impure tale.

    By this lamenting Philomele had ended
    1080The well-tun'd warble of her nightly sorrow,
    And solemne night with slow sad gate descended
    To ouglie Hell, when loe the blushing morrow
    Lends light to all faire eyes that light will borrow.
    But cloudie LVCRECE shames her selfe to see,
    1085 And therefore still in night would cloistred be.