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    Not Peer Reviewed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)


    To this well painted peece is LVCRECE come,
    To find a face where all distresse is steld,
    1445Manie shee sees, where cares haue carued some,
    But none where all distresse and dolor dweld,
    Till shee dispayring HECVBA beheld,
    Staring on PRIAMS wounds with her old eyes,
    Which bleeding vnder PIRRHVS proud foot lies.

    1450In her the Painter had anathomiz'd
    Times ruine, beauties wracke, and grim cares raign,
    Her cheeks with chops and wrincles were disguiz'd,
    Of what shee was, no semblance did remaine:
    Her blew bloud chang'd to blacke in euerie vaine,
    1455 Wanting the spring, that those shrunke pipes had (fed,
    Shew'd life imprison'd in a bodie dead.

    On this sad shadow LVCRECE spends her eyes,
    And shapes her sorrow to the Beldames woes,
    Who nothing wants to answer her but cries,
    1460And bitter words to ban her cruell Foes.
    The Painter was no God to lend her those,
    And therefore LVCRECE swears he did her wrong,
    To giue her so much griefe, and not a tong.