Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


O teach me how to make mine owne excuse,
Or (at the least) this refuge let me finde,
1655Though my grosse bloud be staind with this abuse,
Immaculate, and spotlesse is my mind,
That was not forc'd, that neuer was inclind
To accessarie yeeldings, but still pure
Doth in her poyson'd closet yet endure.

1660Lo heare the hopelesse Marchant of this losse,
With head declin'd, and voice dam'd vp with wo,
With sad set eyes and wretched armes acrosse,
From lips new waxen pale, begins to blow
The griefe away, that stops his answer so.
1665 But wretched as he is he striues in vaine,
What he breaths out, his breath drinks vp again.

As through an Arch, the violent roaring tide,
Outruns the eye that doth behold his hast:
Yet in the Edie boundeth in his pride,
1670Backe to the strait that forst him on so fast:
In rage sent out, recald in rage being past,
Euen so his sighes, his sorrowes make a saw,
To push griefe on, and back the same grief draw.