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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    The homelie villaine cursies to her low,
    And blushing on her with a stedfast eye,
    1340Receaues the scroll without or yea or no,
    And forth with bashfull innocence doth hie.
    But they whose guilt within their bosomes lie,
    Imagine euerie eye beholds their blame,
    For LVCRECE thought, he blusht to see her shame.

    1345When seelie Groome (God wot) it was defect
    Of spirite, life, and bold audacitie,
    Such harmlesse creatures haue a true respect
    To talke in deeds, while others saucilie
    Promise more speed, but do it leysurelie.
    1350 Euen so this patterne of the worne-out age,
    Pawn'd honest looks, but laid no words to gage.

    His kindled duetie kindled her mistrust,
    That two red fires in both their faces blazed,
    Shee thought he blusht, as knowing TARQVINS lust,
    1355And blushing with him, wistlie on him gazed,
    Her earnest eye did make him more amazed.
    The more shee saw the bloud his cheeks replenish,
    The more she thought he spied in her som blemish.