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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    He stories to her eares her husbands fame,
    Wonne in the fields of fruitfull Italie:
    And decks with praises Colatines high name,
    Made glorious by his manlie chiualrie,
    110With bruised armes and wreathes of victorie,
    Her ioie with heaued-vp hand she doth expresse,
    And wordlesse so greetes heauen for his successe.
    Far from the purpose of his comming thither,
    He makes excuses for his being there,
    115No clowdie show of stormie blustring wether,
    Doth yet in his faire welkin once appeare,
    Till sable Night mother of dread and feare,
    Vppon the world dim darknesse doth displaie,
    And in her vaultie prison, stowes the daie.
    120For then is Tarquine brought vnto his bed,
    Intending wearinesse with heauie sprite:
    For after supper long he questioned,
    With modest Lucrece, and wore out the night,
    Now leaden slumber with liues strength doth fight,
    125 And euerie one to rest themselues betake,
    Saue theeues, and cares, and troubled minds that (wake.
    As one of which doth Tarquin lie reuoluing
    The sundrie dangers of his wils obtaining:
    Yet euer to obtaine his will resoluing.
    130Though weake-built hopes perswade him to abstai-(ning
    Dispaire to gaine doth traffique oft for gaining,
    And when great treasure is the meede proposed,
    Though death be adiūct, ther's no death supposed.
    Those that much couet are with gaine so fond,
    135That what they haue not, that which they possesse
    They scatter and vnloose it from their bond,
    And so by hoping more they haue but lesse,
    Or gaining more, the profite of excesse
    Is but to surfet, and such griefes sustaine,
    140 That they proue bāckrout in this poore rich gain.