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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    O hatefull, vaporous, and foggy night,
    Since thou art guilty of my curelesse crime:
    Muster thy mists to meete the Easterne light,
    Make war against proportion'd course of time.
    775Or if thou wilt permit the Sunne to clime
    His wonted height, yet ere he go to bed,
    Knit poysonous clouds about his golden head.
    With rotten damps rauish the morning aire,
    Let their exhald vnholdsome breaths make sicke
    780The life of puritie, the supreme faire,
    Ere he arriue his wearie noone-tide pricke,
    And let thy mustie vapours march so thicke,
    That in their smoakie rankes, his smothred light
    May set at noone, and make perpetuall night.
    785Were TARQVIN night, as he is but nights child,
    The siluer shining Queene he would distaine;
    Her twinckling handmaids to (by him defil'd)
    Through nights black bosom shuld not peep again.
    So should I haue copartners in my paine,
    790 And fellowship in woe doth woe asswage,
    As Palmers chat makes short their pilgrimage.
    Where now I haue no one to blush with me,
    To crosse their armes & hang their heads with mine,
    To maske their browes and hide their infamie,
    795But I alone, alone must sit and pine,
    Seasoning the earth with showres of siluer brine;
    Mingling my talk with tears, my greef with grones,
    Poore wasting monuments of lasting mones.
    O night thou furnace of fowle reeking smoke!
    800Let not the iealous daie behold that face,
    Which vnderneath thy blacke all-hiding cloke
    Immodestly lies martird with disgrace.
    Keepe still possession of thy gloomy place,
    That all the faults which in thy raigne are made,
    805 May likewise be sepulcherd in thy shade.