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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    At last shee cals to mind where hangs a peece
    Of skilfull painting, made for PRIAMS Troy,
    Before the which is drawn the power of Greece,
    For HELENS rape, the Cittie to destroy,
    1370Threatning cloud-kissing ILLION with annoy,
    Which the conceipted Painter drew so prowd,
    As Heauen (it seem'd) to kisse the turrets bow'd.
    A thousand lamentable obiects there,
    In scorne of Nature, Art gaue liuelesse life,
    1375Many a dry drop seem'd a weeping teare,
    Shed for the slaughtred husband by the wife.
    The red bloud reek'd to shew the Painters strife,
    And dying eyes gleem'd forth their ashie lights,
    Like dying coales burnt out in tedious nights.
    1380There might you see the labouring Pyoner
    Begrim'd with sweat, and smeared all with dust,
    And from the towres of Troy, there would appeare
    The verie eyes of men through loop-holes thrust,
    Gazing vppon the Greekes with little lust,
    1385 Such sweet obseruance in this worke was had,
    That one might see those farre of eyes looke sad.
    In great commaunders, Grace, and Maiestie,
    You might behold triumphing in their faces,
    In youth quick-bearing and dexteritie,
    1390And here and there the Painter interlaces
    Pale cowards marching on with trembling paces.
    Which hartlesse peasaunts did so wel resemble,
    That one would swear he saw them quake & trēble.
    In AIAX and VLYSSES, ô what Art
    1395Of Phisiognomy might one behold!
    The face of eyther cypher'd eythers heart,
    Their face, their manners most expreslie told,
    In AIAX eyes blunt rage and rigour rold,
    But the mild glance that slie VLYSSES lent,
    1400 Shewed deepe regard and smiling gouernment.