Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Lucrece (Quarto, 1594)


Poore broken glasse, I often did behold
In thy sweet semblance, my old age new borne,
1760But now that faire fresh mirror dim and old
Shewes me a bare-bon'd death by time out-worne,
O from thy cheekes my image thou hast torne,
And shiuerd all the beautie of my glasse,
That I no more can see what once I was.

1765O time cease thou thy course and last no longer,
If they surcease to be that should suruiue:
Shall rotten death make conquest of the stronger,
And leaue the foultring feeble soules aliue?
The old Bees die, the young possesse their hiue,
1770 Then liue sweet LVCRECE, liue againe and see
Thy father die, and not thy father thee.

By this starts COLATINE as from a dreame,
And bids LVCRECIVS giue his sorrow place,
And than in key-cold LVCRECE bleeding streame
1775He fals, and bathes the pale feare in his face,
And counterfaits to die with her a space,
Till manly shame bids him possesse his breath,
And liue to be reuenged on her death.
M 3