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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    1275But tell me girle, when went (and there shee staide,
    Till after a deepe grone) TARQVIN from hence,
    Madame ere I was vp (repli'd the maide,)
    The more to blame my sluggard negligence.
    Yet with the fault I thus farre can dispence:
    1280 My selfe was stirring ere the breake of day,
    And ere I rose was TARQVIN gone away.

    But Lady, if your maide may be so bold,
    Shee would request to know your heauinesse:
    (O peace quoth LVCRECE) if it should be told,
    1285The repetition cannot make it lesse:
    For more it is, then I can well expresse,
    And that deepe torture may be cal'd a Hell,
    When more is felt then one hath power to tell.

    Go get mee hither paper, inke, and pen,
    1290Yet saue that labour, for I haue them heare,
    (What should I say) one of my husbands men
    Bid thou be readie, by and by, to beare
    A letter to my Lord, my Loue, my Deare,
    Bid him with speede prepare to carrie it,
    1295 The cause craues hast, and it will soone be writ.