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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Mine enemy was strong, my poore selfe weake,
    (And farre the weaker with so strong a feare)
    My bloudie Iudge forbod my tongue to speake,
    No rightfull plea might plead for Iustice there.
    1650His scarlet Lust came euidence to sweare
    That my poore beautie had purloin'd his eyes,
    And when the Iudge is rob'd, the prisoner dies.
    O teach me how to make mine owne excuse,
    Or (at the least) this refuge let me finde,
    1655Though my grosse bloud be staind with this abuse,
    Immaculate, and spotlesse is my mind,
    That was not forc'd, that neuer was inclind
    To accessarie yeeldings, but still pure
    Doth in her poyson'd closet yet endure.
    1660Lo heare the hopelesse Marchant of this losse,
    With head declin'd, and voice dam'd vp with wo,
    With sad set eyes and wretched armes acrosse,
    From lips new waxen pale, begins to blow
    The griefe away, that stops his answer so.
    1665 But wretched as he is he striues in vaine,
    What he breaths out, his breath drinks vp again.
    As through an Arch, the violent roaring tide,
    Outruns the eye that doth behold his hast:
    Yet in the Edie boundeth in his pride,
    1670Backe to the strait that forst him on so fast:
    In rage sent out, recald in rage being past,
    Euen so his sighes, his sorrowes make a saw,
    To push griefe on, and back the same grief draw.
    Which speechlesse woe of his poore she attendeth,
    1675And his vntimelie frenzie thus awaketh,
    Deare Lord, thy sorrow to my sorrow lendeth
    Another power, no floud by raining slaketh,
    My woe too sencible thy passion maketh
    More feeling painfull, let it than suffice
    1680 To drowne on woe, one paire of weeping eyes.