William Shakespeare.

The complete dramatic and poetical works of William Shakspeare ....: from ... online

. (page 7 of 214)
Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe complete dramatic and poetical works of William Shakspeare ....: from ... → online text (page 7 of 214)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


'Such devfls steal eflbcts from lightle« hell ;
For Sinon In his fire doth quake with cold.
And In that odd hot-burnInK fire doth dwell ;
Tltese oontrariee such unity do hold.
Only to flatter fools and make them bold :

So Priam's trust felse Siuou's tears doth flatter.

That he finds means to bum hb Troy with
water.'
Here, all enraged, such passion her assails,
TtMt patience IS quite beaten fkom her breast.
She tears the senseless Sinon with her nails.
Comparing him to that unhappy gUMt
WhoM deed hath made herself herM»lf detest:

At last she smilingly with this gives o'er ;

* Fool, fool ! ' quoth she. ' his wounds will not
be sore.'
Thus ebbs and flows the current of her sorrow,
And tlOM doih weary time with her complaining.
She looks for night, and then she longs for
morrow. Ling :

And both she thinks too long with her remain-
Short time seems long in scmtow's abarp sus-
taining:

Though woe be heavr, yet It seldom deeps ;

And they thai watch see time bow slow it



V Though \

> ^ AadtWej

V creefM.



Which all this time hath overslipp'dher thought,
That she with painted images bath spent ;



Being (Tom the feeling of her own }!ri«f brought
By deep sormise of oOiers' detriment ;
Losing ner woes in shows of discontent.



It easeth some, though none it ever cured.
To think their dolour others have endureo.

But now the mindfnl messenger, come back.
Brings home his lord and other compsny ;
Who finds his Lucrece cUd in mourning Uack :
And round about her tear-distalned eye
Blue circles stream'd, like rainbows in the sky : .
These water-galls in her dim element
Foretell new storms to those already spent.

Which when her sad-beholding husband saw,
Amasedly In her sad fece he stares :
Her eyes, though sod in tears, look'd red and raw.
Her lively colour kill'd with deadly cares.
He hath no power to ask her how she feres :
Both stood, like old acquaintance in a trance.
Met fer from home, wondering each other's
chance.

At last he takes her bv the bloodless hand.
And thus beginH: * What uncouth III event
Hath thee &fairn, that thou dost trembling

stand?
Sweet love, what spite hath thy feir colour spentf
Why art thou thus attired in discontent f
Unmask, dear dear, this moody heaviness.
And tell thy grief; that we may give redress.*

Three times with sighs she givee her sorrow fire.
Ere once she can dbcharge one word of woe :
At length addrese'd to answer his desire.
She modestlT prepares to let them know
Her honour is ta'en prisoner by the foe;
While Collatine and his consorted lords
With sad attention long to hear her words.

And now this pale swan In her watery neet
Begins the sad diige of her certain ending ;
'Few words,' quoth she,*shallfit the iretpass best.
Where no excuse can give the feult amending :
In me nioe vroes than words are now depending ;
And my Uments would be drawn out too long.
To tell them all with one poor tired tongue.

'Then be this all the task It hath to say:
Dear husband, in the interest of thy bed
A stranger came, and on that pillow lay
Where thou wast wont to rest thy weary head ;
And what wrong eltie mav be imagined
By foul enforcement might be done to me.
From that, alas, thy Lucrece Is not fr^e.

' For In the dreadfiil dead of dark midnight.
With shining falchion in my chamber came
A creeping creature, with a fiamiug light.
And softly cried "Awake, thou Roman dsme.
And entertain my love : else lasting shame
On thee and thine this niaht I will iufilct.
If thou my love'x desire do contradict.

' "Forsomehard-fevoar'd STOomofthine."qnoth
" Unless thou yoke tliy liking to my vrill, I he.
1 11 murder straight, and then I 'II slaushter thee
And swear I found you where you dla ftilfld
The loathsome act of lust, and so did kill
The lechers In their deed : this act win be
My feme and thy perpetual infamy."

'With this, I did begin to start and cry :
A»dth«A against my heart be sate his sword.



/.



Digitized by



Google






THE RAPE OP LUCRECE.



In TOuUi, qoiok bearing and dezteriU ;
And here and there the painter inteilaoee
Pale cowards, marching on with tremhling paces;

Which heartless peasants did so well resemble.

That one would swear he saw them quake and
tremble.

In Aiax and Uljsses, O, what art
Of physiognomy might one behold!
The face of either c^ber'd either'* heart ;
Their &ce their manners most expresslr told :
In Ajax' eyes bluut race and rigour roll'd;
But the mild glance that sl^ iJlysses lent
8how'd deep regard and smiling government.

There pleading might yonsee graveNestor stand.



X"



As t were encouraging the Greeks to fight ;
Making such sober action with his hand.
That it Deguiled attention, citarm'd the sight :



In speech, it seem'd, bis beard, all silver white,
Wagg'd up and down, and from his lips did fly
Thin winding breath, which purl'd up to the
sky.

About him were a press of gaping fiicea.
Which beem'd to swallow up his sound advice ;
All jointly listeulng, but with several graces.
As if M)me mermaid did their ears entice.
Some high, some low, the )»inter was so nice ;
The scalps of many, almost hid behind*
To jump up higher seem'd, to mock the mind.

Here one man's hand lean'd on another's head.
Ilia nose being shadow'd bv his ueighlxmr's ear ;
Here one being throug'd bears back, all boirn

and red ;
Another smolher'd seems to pelt and swear:
And in their rage such signs of rage tlioy bear.
As, but for loss of Nestor's golden words.
It seem'd they wbnld debate with a ngry swords.

For much imaginary work was there ;

Ck>nceit deceitful, so compact, so kind.

That for Achilles* image stood hb spear.

Griped in an armed baud : himself behind.

Was left unseen, save to the eye of mind :
A hand, a foot, a face, a leg, a head.
Stood for the whole to be imagined.

And fh>m the waUs of strons-bMleged Troy
When their brave hope, bold Hector, march'd to
Stood many Trojan mothers, sharing joy [field.
To see their youthful sons bright weapons wield;
And to tbeir hope they such odd action yield.
That through their lisht ioy seemed to appear.
Like bright things sUun'd, a kind of heavy fear.

And trova the strand of Dnrdan, where they

fought.
To Simols' reedy banks the red blood ran.
Whose waves to imitate tiie battle sought
With swelliug i iJges : autl their ranks began
To break upon the galled shore, and than
Betire again, till, meeting greater ranks,
Theyjoiu and shoot iheirfosm at Simois' banks.

To this well-painted piece is Lucreoc, come.
To find a fiuie where all distress in stell'd.
Many she sees where cares luive carved some.
But none where all distress and dolour dwell'd.
Till she despairing Hecuba beheld, .
Staring on Priam's wounds with her old eyes,
Whichbleeding under Pyrrhus' proud foot lies.

In her the painter had anatomized [reign :
Time'd ruin, beauty's wreck, and grhn care's



Her cheeks with ehi^ and wrinkles were dia-

guised;
Of what she was no semblance did remain :
Her blue blood changed to black in every rein.
Wanting the spring that those shrunk pipes

hadfM,
Show'd life imprison'd in a body dead.

On this sad shadow Lucreoe spends her eyea.
And shapes her sorrow to the beldam's woes.
Who nothing wants to answer her but criea,
And bitter words to ban her cruel fbes :
The painter was no god to lend her those;
AndthereforeLuoreceswearshedid berwrong.
To give her so much grief and not a tongue.

* Poor instrument.' quoth she, *withont a sound,

I '11 tune thy woes with my lamenting tongue:

And drop sweet balm in Pnam's painted wound.

And rail on Pyrrhus that hatlidone him wrong;

And with my tears quench Troy that barns so

long ;

And with my knife scratch out the angry eyea

Of all the Greeks that are thine eueinieB.

'Show roe the strumpet that bc^an this stir.
That with mr nails her beauty I may tear.
Thy heat of lust, foud Paris, did incur
This load of wrath tliat burning Troy doth 1:



Thy eve kindled the fire that buruelh here;
And here in Troy, for trespass of thine eye.
The sire, the sou, the dame, and daughter dlo.

'Why should the private pleasure of some <nie
Become the public plague of many moe t
Let sin, alone committed, light alone
Upon his he*d that hath transgressed so ;
Let guiltless souls be freed (rom guilty woe:
For one's otfence why should so many Csll,
To plague a private sin in general?

'Lo, here weeps Hecuba, here Priam dlea.
Here manly Hector fUuts. hereTroilusswonnda,
Here friend by friend in bloody channel lies.
And friend to friend gives nnadvised woonda.
And one man's lust th'-se many lives confounds:

Had doting Priam check'd his son's desire.

Troy had been bright with fiune and not with
fire.*

Here fSaellngly she weeps Trov's painted woea :
For sorrow, like a heaTy-hanging bell.
Once set on ringing, with his own weight goea;
Then little strength rings out the dolefhl kaell :
So Lucrece. set a- work, aad tales doth tell

To pencill'd'pensivenees and oolonr'd sorrow;

She lends them words, and she their looks <h>lh
borrow.

She throws her eyea abont the painting round.
And whom she finds forlorn she doth hunent.
At last she sees a wretched image bound.
That piteous l#oks to Phrygian shepherds lent :
His face, though full of CH res. yet show'd oou tent;
Onward to Troy with the blunt swhIus he xoea,
So mlld,thiit patience seem'U to scorn bis woea.

In him the painter Ubour'd with his skill
To hide deceit, and give the harmless show
An humble gut, calm looks, eyea wailing atill,
A brow unbent, that seem'd to welcome woe;
Cheeks neither red nor pale, but mingled so
That blushing red no guilty instance gave.
Nor aahy pale the fear that &lse hearts have.

But, like a constant and confirmed devil,
Ha enieriain'd a ahow s« seemiag jmt^



Digitized by



Google



THE RAPE OF LUCRECE.



That dring frar through nil her bodj spread :
And who ouinot ftboM a body dead f

By thin, mild petl^nee bid fiiir Luereee «pe«k
To the poor counterfeit of her complaining :
*M7 girl/ qnotb ahe. 'ou what oocacion break
Thoee tean from tliee, tluU down thjr cheeks are

raining!
If thou doat weep for grief of mj sustaining.
Know, gentle weiicb, it small avails mv mood :
irtears could help,miue owuwould do me gaud.

'But tell me, girl, when went'— and there she

stay'd
Till after a deep groan — * Tarquin from hence ?*

* Madam, ere I wait up,' replied the uiaid,
•TIm more to Mame my sluggard negligence :
T«*t with tlte fault I thuH (ar can diitpeuse ;

Myself was stirring ere the break of day.
And, ere I rose, waw Tarquin gone away.

* But, lady, if your maid may bt* so bold.
She would request tu know yonr heavinesa.'
*0. peace ! ' quoth Lucr»fce: 'if it should be told.
The repetition cannot make it lees ;

For more it in ihnn I can well express :
And that deep torture may be oall'd a hell
When more is f^lt than one hath power to tell.

'Qo, get me hither paper, ink, and pen :
Tet save (liat Ubour, for I have them here.
What should I say ? One of my himband's men
Bid thou be ready, by and by, to bear
A letter to my lord, my love, my dear :
Bid him with itpeed prepare to carry it ; [writ.*
The cause craves haste, and it will soon be

Her maid la gone, and she prepares to write.
First hovering o'er the paper with her qnill :
Conceit and grief an eager combat tight :
What wit weU down U blotted t^traight with will ;
This is too curiousogood. this blunt snd ill :

Mnch like a presa of people at a door.

Throng her luventiona, which sluUl go before.

At last she thus begins: 'Thou worthy lord
Of thst unworthy wife that greeteth thee.
Health to thy person ! next vouchsafe t* aflbrd —
If ever, love, thy Lucrece thou wilt see-
Some present speed to come and viait me.
IS), I commend me from our house in grief:
My woea are tedioua, though my words are
brtef.'

Sere Iblda she up the tenon r of her woe,
er certain sorrow writ uncertainly.
By thiM short schedule Collatine may know
Her grief, but not her griefs true quality:
8be dares not thereof make discovery,
Lest he should hold It her own grosa abuse,
Kreshe with blood had sutn'd herstaiu'd ex-



B«side«, the life and feeling of her passk
She hoMnis, to spend when oe in by to he*



Miiou

^ . - ., - * hewr her;

When fliitiis and groans and tears may grace the
fkshion



Of her disgraoe, the better so to clear her [her.

From tluU suspicion which the world might oear

To shun this blot, she would not blut the letter



With words,
better.



1 action might become them



.n:



To see tad slghta moves more tha
For tbfo tb« cy* tatarpreia to the



than hear them
8




The heavy motion that it doth behold.
When every part a part of woe doth bear.
'TIS but a part of sorrow that we hear :

Deep sounds make leaser noise than shallow
fords, [words.

And sorrow ebbe, being blown with wind of

Her letter now Is seal'd. and on it writ
'At Ardea to my lord with more than haste.*
The poet attends, and she delivers it.
Charging the sonr-faoed groom to hie as fast
As lagging fowU before the northern blast :
Speed more than speed but dull and slow she
STxtremltyktill urgeth such extremes, [deems:

The homely villain oourt'sies to her low ;
And, blushing on her, with a steadfast eye
Receives the scroll without or yea nr no.
And forth with baHhful innocence doth hie.
But they whtise guilt within their bosoms lie

Imagine every eye beholds their blame ;

For Lucrece thought he blush'd to see her
shame:

When, sill v groom ! God wot. it was defbot
Of spirit, lire, and bolil audacity.
Such harmless crestiiref* have a true respeci
To talk in deedM. while others saucily
Promise m6re speed, but do it lelMurely :
Even so this pattern of the wom>out age
Pawu'd Iionest looks, but laid no words to gage.

His kindled duty kindled her mistrust,
That two red flres in both their faces binted :
She thought he blusb'd, as knowing Turquin's

lust.
And. blushing with him, wistly on him gased :
Her earnest eye did make him more amazed :
The more she saw the blood bis cheeks replen-
ish. Ibleroish.
The more she thought he spied in ner some

Bnt long she thinks till he return again.
And yet' the duteous vsssal scarce is goue.
The weary time she cannot entertain.
For now 't Im sule to sigh, to weep, and groan :
So woe hath wearied woe. moan tired moan.

That she her plaints a little while doth sUy.

Pausing for meaus to mourn some newer way.

At last she calls to mind where hangs a piece
Of skllfbl painting, made for Prism s Troy:
Before the which is drawn the power of Qreece,
For Helen's rape the city to destroy.
Threatening cfoud-kissinx Ilion with annoy :
Which the conceited painter drew so proud,
As heaven, it seem'd, to kisa the turreU bow'd.

A thousand himenuble ottfects there.
In scorn of nature, art gave lifeless life:
Manv a dry drop seem'a a weepins tear,
Slieo for the slaughter'd hiisband by the wife :
The red blood reek'd, tobhow the painter's strife :

AnddvingeyeHglesm'dfoiththeirnshylightM.

Like dying coals burnt out in tedious nights.

There might you see the labouring pioner
BegrinuKTwith sweat, and smeared all with dust:
And fh>m the towers of Troy there would appear
The very eyelof men through loop- hopes thrust.
Gazing upon the Greeks with little lust :

Such sweet obeervance in this work was had.

That one might see those Ikr-ofTeyes look sad.



In'great oomfnanders grace and majest;
Ton night beliold, triamphiug in their



-fiMee; J ^



Digitized by



Google




THE RAPE OF LUCRECE.



And for. poor bird, thoa aiuK'nt not in tbe day,
Ab shaming any eye should tnee behold,
Some dark deep desert, seated from the way.
That knows not parchine heat nor freesinii cold,
Will we find out ; and there we will unfold

To creatures stern sad tunes, to change their
kinds: [uiindM.'

Since men prove beasts, let beasts bear gentle

As the poor fHsbted deer, that Htands at gaxe.
Wildly detenmuiiiff which WHy to tly,
Or one enoompasH'd with a wlitdine mate.
That cannot tread the way out readily ;
So with herself is she in mutiny.
To lire or die which of the twuin were better.
When life is shamed, and death reproach's
debtor.

'To kill myself,' quoth she. 'alack, what weie it,
But with my body mr poor soul's pollution ?
They that lose half with greater patience bear it
Than they whose whole i» swallow'd in coufUMion.
That mother tries a merciless conclusion [one,
Who.bavingtwoHweet babes, when death takes
Will slay the other and be uurne to none.

* My body or my soul, which was the dearer.
When the one pure, the other made divine?
Whose love of either to myself was nearer.
When both were kt^pt for heaven and Collatiue?
Ay me! the bark peel'd from the lofty pine.

His leaves will wither and hL« sap decsy ;
So must my soul, her bark being peel'd away.

* Her house is sack'd, her quiet interrupted.
Her mansion batter'd by the enemy ;
Her sacred temple spotted, Hpoil'd, corrupted.



Grossly engirt with daring infamy :
Then let it not be call'd impiety.
If in this blemish'd fort 1 make some hole



not be call'd impiety,
blemish'd fort 1 make
Through which I may con veythistroubled soul.

* Tet die I will not till my Collatine

Have heard the cause of my untimelj death ;

That he may vow. in that sad hour of mine.

Revenge on him that made me stop my breath.

My stained blood toTarquin I'll bequeath.
Which by him Uniuted Khiill for him be spent.
And as his due writ in my testament.

*My honour I'll bequeath unto the knife
That wounds my body so diihonoured.
*Tis honour to deprive dishonour'd lite ;
The one will live, the other being dead :
So of shame's ashes shall my ftune be bred ;
For In my death I murder shameftil scorn :
My shame bo dead, mine honour is new-born.

* Dear lord of that dear Jewel I have lost,
What legacy sliall 1 bequeath to thee t
My resolution, love, shall be thy boast.

By whose example thou revenged mayst be.

How Tarquin must be used, read it in me :
Myself, thy Mend, will kill myselC thy foe.
And tor my sake serve thou false Tarquin so.

'This brief abridgment of my will I make :
My soul and body to the skies and ground ;
My resolution, husband, do thou Uke ; [wound ;
Mine honour be the knife's that makes my
My shame be his that did my fame confound ;
And all my fame that lives dbburaed be
To those that live, and think no shame of me.

■Thou, Collatine, shalt oversee this will ;
How was I overseen that thou shalt see it !



I Mil ^



My blood shall wash tbe slander of mine Ul.

My life's foul deed, my life's feit- end shall f^ee It.

Faint not, fiaint heart, but stoutly say " So be it :"
Tield to my hand : my hand shall conquer the«:
Thou deao, both die, and both shall victors be.'

This plot of death when sadly she had laid.
And wiped the brinish pearl from her bright eyes.
With untuned tongue she hoaxaely calls Imt



Whom swift obedience to her mistress hies -.
For fleet-wing'd duty with thought's feathers
flieii.
Poor Lncrece' cheeks unto her maid seem ao
Am winter meads when sun doth melt their
snow.

Hermistressshedothgivedemure good-morrow.
With Boti-slow tongue, true m%rk of oiodesty.
And sorts a and look to her Udy's sorrow.
For why her fac« wore sorrow*! livery ;
But durst not ask of her audaciouslv
Why her two suna were cloud-eclipsed so.
Nor why her fiMr cheeks over- wasb'd with woe.

But as the earth doth weep, the sun being set*
Each flower moisten 'd like a melting eye :
£ven so the maid with swelling drops gan wet
Her circled eyne, enforced by sympathy
Of those fair suns set in her mistress' ekr.
Who in a salt- waved ocean queucli theu* llghi.
Which makes the maid weep like the dewj
night.

A pretty while these pretty creatnres stand.
Like ivory conduits coral osterns filling :
One justly weeps; the other takes in hand
No cause, but company, of her drops spilling:
Their gentle sex to weep are often willing ;
Grieving themselves to guess at otherb* smarts.
And then they drown their eyes or break their
hearts.

For men have marble, women waxen, minda.
And therefore are they form'd as marble wiU :
The weak oppress'd. the impression of Strang*

kinds
If. form'd in them by force, by fraud, or skill :
Then call them not the authors of their ill.
No more than wax shall be accounted evil
Wherein is stamp'd the eemblatice of a devU.

Theirsmoothnees,likeagoodlychampalgn plain.
Lays open all the little worms that creep;
In men, as in a rough -grown grove, reinain
Cave-keeping evils that obscurely sleep :
Through crystal walls each little mote will peep:

Though men can cover crimes with bold stern
looks.

Poor women 's ikces are their own fknlte* books.

No man inveigh against the wither'd flower.
But chide rough winter that the flower hath

klH'd :
Not that devour'd, but that which doth devour.
Is worthy blame. O. let it not be hild
Poor women's faults, that they are so (blflll'd
With men's abuses: those proud lords, to
blame, [shame.

Make weak-made women tenants to their

Tlie precedent whereof in Lucreee view.
Aseatl'd by night with cireumstanoee strong
Of present death, and shame that might ensue
By that her death, to do her husband wrong :
Such danger to resistanos did belonf.



^



Digitized by



Google




•Out, Idle words, serrMito to Hhallow fools !

ViiproflUble sounds, weak arbitrators!

Butty yourselves in skill-contending schools;

l>ebtue where leisure server with dull debaters ;

To trembling clients be you mediators :
For me. I force not argument a straw,
bince that my case is |Hwt the help of law.

* In vain I rail at Opportunity.

At Time, at Tarquin, and uncheerful Night ;
In vain I cavil with mine inlaiuy,
111 vain I spurn ut my confirm'd despite :
Tlib helplenrt smoke of words doth me no right.
The remedy Indeed to do me good
Is to let forth my foul-defiled Dlood.

' Poor hand, why quiver'st thou tt this decree t
Honour thyself to rid me of this shame ;
For if I die. mr honour lives in thee;
But if I live, tuou livest in mv deliame :
Bince thou couldst not defend thy loyal dame.
And wast afeard to scratch her wicked loe.
Kill both thyself and her for yielding so.'

This said, ft^om her be-tumbled couch she start-

eth.
To find some desperate instrument of death :
But thhi no slaughterhouse no tool imparteih
To make more vc-ut for ptutMige of her oreatu ;
Which, throng iig through herlips.sovaiiiHheth

As smoke from ^Etua, that in air cousumeti.

Or that which from discharged cannon fumes.

* In vain,* quoth she, * I live, and seek in vain
Btmke happy mean to end a hapless life.

1 (ear'd by Tarquin 's falchion to be slain.
Yet for the self-same purpose seek a knife :
But when I fear'd I was u lo.al wife:

80 am I now : O no, that cannot be;

Of that true type hath Tarquin rifled me.

'O, that is gone for which I sought to live»
And therefore now I need not (ear to die.
To clear this spot by death, at least I give
A badge of tune to slander's livery :
A dying life to living infamy :
Poor helpleas help, the treasure stol'n away.
To born the guiltleae casket where it lay t

*Well, well, dear Collatine, thou shalt not know

The stained taste of violated troth ;

1 will not wrong thy true aflection so,

To flatter thee with an InfHnged oath ;

This basUrd gratT shall never oome to growth :
He shall not boast who did thr stock pollute
That thou art doting tether of his fWiii.

'Nor shall he smile at thee in secret thought,
Nor laugh with his companions at thy state :
But then shalt know thy interest was not bought
Basely with gold, but stol'n (Vom forth thy gate.
For me. I am the mii<tre«i of my (ate.

And with my trespass never will dispense.

Till life to death acquit my foroed o^nce.

■I will not poison thee with my attaint.
Nor fokl my Otiilt in cleanly-coin'd excuses;
My sable ground of sin I will not uaint.
To hide the truth of this false night's abuses :
My tongue shall uttervU: mine eyes, like sluices.
As ftrom a monntaln-^ring tlmt feeds a dale.
Shall gosh pure streams to purge my impure
tale/

By this, lamenting Philomel had ended
Thei "



S^w



wall-toned warble of her nightly sorrow.



And solemn night with slow sad gait descended

To ugly hell; when, lo, the blushing morrow

Len& light to all fair eyes tbai light will borrow:

But cloudy Lucreoe shames herself to see.

And therefore still in night would doister'd be.

Revealing day through every cranny spies, [ing;
And seems to point her out where she sits weep-
To whom she sobbing speaks : * O eye of eyes.
Why pry 'St thou througn my window 1 leave thy



[sleeping .

kling beams eves that are

Brand not my forehead with thy piercing light.



Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe complete dramatic and poetical works of William Shakspeare ....: from ... → online text (page 7 of 214)