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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Hee like a theeuish dog creeps sadly thence,
    Shee like a wearied Lambe lies panting there,
    He scowles and hates himselfe for his offence,
    Shee desperat with her nailes her flesh doth teare.
    740He faintly flies sweating with guiltie feare;
    Shee staies exclayming on the direfull night,
    He runnes and chides his vanisht loth'd delight.
    He thence departs a heauy conuertite,
    Shee there remaines a hopelesse cast-away,
    745He in his speed lookes for the morning light:
    Shee prayes shee neuer may behold the day.
    For daie, quoth shee, nights scapes doth open lay,
    And my true eyes haue neuer practiz'd how
    To cloake offences with a cunning brow.
    750They thinke not but that euerie eye can see,
    The same disgrace which they themselues behold:
    And therefore would they still in darkenesse be,
    To haue their vnseene sinne remaine vntold.
    For they their guilt with weeping will vnfold,
    755 And graue like water that doth eate in steele,
    Vppon my cheeks, what helpelesse shame I feele.
    Here shee exclaimes against repose and rest,
    And bids her eyes hereafter still be blinde,
    Shee wakes her heart by beating on her brest,
    760And bids it leape from thence, where it maie finde
    Some purer chest, to close so pure a minde.
    Franticke with griefe thus breaths shee forth her spite,
    Against the vnseene secrecie of night.
    O comfort-killing night, image of Hell,
    765Dim register, and notarie of shame,
    Blacke stage for tragedies, and murthers fell,
    Vast sin-concealing Chaos, nourse of blame.
    Blinde muffled bawd, darke harber for defame,
    Grim caue of death, whispring conspirator,
    770 With close-tong'd treason & the rauisher.