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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    For euen as subtill SINON here is painted,
    So sober sad, so wearie, and so milde,
    (As if with griefe or trauaile he had fainted)
    To me came TARQVIN armed to beguild
    1545With outward honestie, but yet defild
    With inward vice, as PRIAM him did cherish:
    So did I TARQVIN, so my Troy did perish.
    Looke looke how listning PRIAM wets his eyes,
    To see those borrowed teares that SINON sheeds,
    1550PRIAM why art thou old, and yet not wise?
    For euerie teare he fals a Troian bleeds:
    His eye drops fire, no water thence proceeds,
    Those roūd clear pearls of his that moue thy pitty,
    Are bals of quenchlesse fire to burne thy Citty.
    1555Such Deuils steale effects from lightlesse Hell,
    For SINON in his fire doth quake with cold,
    And in that cold hot burning fire doth dwell,
    These contraries such vnitie do hold,
    Only to flatter fooles, and make them bold,
    1560 So PRIAMS trust false SINONS teares doth flatter,
    That he finds means to burne his Troy with water.
    Here all inrag'd such passion her assailes,
    That patience is quite beaten from her breast,
    Shee tears the sencelesse SINON with her nailes,
    1565Comparing him to that vnhappie guest,
    Whose deede hath made herselfe, herselfe detest,
    At last shee smilingly with this giues ore,
    Foole fool, quoth she, his wounds wil not be sore.
    Thus ebs and flowes the currant of her sorrow,
    1570And time doth wearie time with her complayning,
    Shee looks for night, & then shee longs for morrow,
    And both shee thinks too long with her remayning.
    Short time seems long, in sorrowes sharp sustayning,
    Though wo be heauie, yet it seldome sleepes,
    1575 And they that watch, see time, how slow it creeps.