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“Q what excuse can my invention make, Within his thought ber heavenly image sits,
And therein beartens up his servile powers,
Who, flatter'd by their leader's jocund show, Or were he not my dear friend, this desire
Stuff up his lust, as minutes fill up hours ; Might bave excuse to work upon his wife; And as their captain, so their pride doth grow, As in revenge or quittal of such strife:
Paying more slavish tribute than they owe.
By reprobate desire thus madly led,
Each one by him enforc'd, retires his ward;
Which drives the creeping thief to some regard :
Night-wandring weasels shriek to see him there; Shall by a painted cloth be kept in awe."
They fright him, yet he still pursues his fear.
As each ynwilling portal yields bim way,
And blows the smoke of it into his face,
But his hot heart, wbich fond desire doth scorch,
Lucretia's glove, wherein her needle sticks;
And griping it, the neeld bis finger pricks: O how her fear did make her colour rise!
As who should say, “ This glove to wanton tricks First red as roses that on lawn we lay,
Is not inur’d; return again in haste ; Then white as lawn, the roses took away.
Thou seest our mistress' ornaments are chaste." * And how her hand, in my hand being lock'd, But all these poor forbiddings could not stay him; Forc'd it to tremble with her loyal fear!
He in the worst sense construes their denial : Which struck her sad, and then it faster rock'd, The doors, the wind, the glove that did delay him, Until her husband's welfare she did hear;
He takes for accidental things of trial; Whereat she smiled with so sweet a cheer,
Or as those bars which stop the hourly dial, That bad Narcissus seen her as she stood,
Who with a ling'ring stay his course doth let, Self-love had never drown'd him in the flood. Till every minute pays the hour his debt. “ Why hunt I then for colour or excuses ?
" quoth be, “these lets attend the time,
Pain pays the income of each precious thing ; (sands,
Huge rocks, high winds, strong pirates, shelves and
That for his prey to pray he doth begin,
Having solicited the eternal power,
That bis foul thoughts might compass his fair fair,
Ev'n there he starts:--quoth he, “ I must deflower;
" Then Love and Fortune be my gods, my guide! What could he see, but mightily he noted ?
What did he note, but strongly he desired ?
His rage of lust by gazing qualified;
Unto a greater uproar tempts his veins : Into the chamber wickedly he stalks,
And they, like straggling slaves for pillage fightings And gazeth on her yet unstained bed.
Obdurate vassals, fell exploits effecting, The curtains being close, about he walks,
In bloody death and ravishment delighting, Rolling his greedy eye-balls in his head:
Nor children's tears, nor mothers' groans respecting, By their high treason is his heart misled;
Swell in their pride, the onset still expecting : Which gives the watch-word to his hand full soon, Anon his beating heart, alarum striking, To draw the cloud that hides the silver Moon. Gives the hot charge, and bids them do their liking. Look as the fair and firy-pointed Sun,
His drumming heart cheers up his burning eye, Rushing from forth a cloud, bereaves our sight; His eye commends the leading to his hand; Even so, the curtain drawn, his eyes begun His hand, as proud of such a dignity, To wink, being blinded with a greater light: Smoking with pride, march'd on to make his stand Whether it is, that she reflects so bright,
On her bare breast, the heart of all her land; That dazzleth them, or else some shame supposed; whose ranks of blue veins, as his hand did scale, But blind they are, and keep themselves enclosed. Left their round turrets destitute and pale. O, had they in that darksome prison died, They mustering to the quiet cabinet Then bad they seen the period of their ill! Where their dear governess and lady lies, Theu Collatine again by Lucrece' side,
Do tell her she is dreadfully beset, lo his clear bed might have reposed still :
And fright her with confusion of their cries: But they must ope, this blessed league to kill; She, much amaz'd, breaks ope her lockd-up eyes, And holy-thoughted Lucrece to their sight Who, peeping forth this tumult to behold, Must sell her joy, her life, her world's delight. Are by his flaming torch dimm'd and controla. Her lily band her rosy cheek lies '
Imagine her as one in dead of night Cozening the pillow of a lawful kiss ;
From forth dull sleep by dreadful fancy waking, Who, therefore angry, seems to part in sunder, That thinks she hath beheld some ghastly sprite, Svelling on either side to want his bliss;
Whose grim aspect sets every joint a shaking ; Between whose hills her head entombed' is : What terrour 't is! but she, in worser taking, Where, like a virtuous monument, she lies, From sleep disturbed, heedfully doth view To be admir'd of lewd unhallow'd egés.
The sight which makes supposed terrour true. Without the bed her other fair hand was,
Wrapp'd and confounded in a thousand fears, On the green coverlet; whose perfect wbite Like to a new-killd bird she trembling lies; Show'd like an April daisy on the grass,
She dares not look; yet, winking, there appears With pearly sweat, resembling dew of night. Quick-shifting antics, ugly in her eyes: Her eges, like marigolds, had sheath'd their light, Such shadows are the weak brain's forgeries; And, canopied in darkness, sweetly lay,
Who, angry that the eyes fly from their lights, Till they might open to adorn the day.
In darkness daunts thern with more dreadfal sights. Her hair, like golden threads, play'd with her breath; His hand that yet remains upon her breast, O nodest wantons ! wanton modesty!
(Rude ram, to batter such an ivory wall!) Showing life's triumph in the map of death, May feel her heart (poor citizen !) distress'd, And death's dim look in life's mortality.
Wounding itself to death, rise up and fall, Each in her sleep themselves so beautify,
Beating her bulk, that his hand shakes withal. As if between them twain there were no strife, This moves in him more rage, and lesser pity, Bat that life liv'd in death, and death in life. To make the breach, and enter this sweet city. Her breasts, like ivory globes circled with blue, First, like a trumpet, doth his tongue begin A pair of maiden worlds unconquered,
To sound a parley to his heartless foe, Save of their lord no bearing yoke they knew, Who o'er the white sheet peers her whiter chin, And him by oath they truly honoured.
The reason of this rash alarm to know, These worlds in Tarquin new ambition bred ; Which he by dumb demeanour seeks to show; Who, like a foul usurper, went about
But she with vehement prayers urgeth still, From this fair throne to heave the owner out. Under what colour he commits this ill.
Thus he replies: “ The colour in thy face Here with a cockatrice dead-killing eye, (That even for anger makes the lily pale,
He rouseth up himself, and makes a pause, And the red rose blush at her own disgrace) While she, the picture of pure piety, Shall plead for me, and tell my loving tale: Like a white hind under the grype's sharp claws, Under that colour am I come to scale
Pleads in a wilderness, where are no laws, Thy never-conquer'd fort; the fault is thine, To the rough beast that knows no gentle right, For those thine eyes betray thee unto mine. Nor aught obeys but his foul appetite. “ Thus I forestall thee, if thou mean to chide: Look, when a black-fac'd cloud the world doth threat, Thy beauty hath en snar'd thee to this night, In bis dim mist th' aspiring mountains hiding, Where thou with patience must my will abide, From earth's dark womb some gentle gust doth get, My will that marks thee for my earth's delight, Which blows these pitchy vapours from their biding, Which I to conquer sought with all my might; Hindering their present fall by this dividing; But as reproof and reason beat it dead,
So his unhallow'd baste her words delays, By thy bright beauty was it newly bred.
And moody Pluto winks while Orpheus plays. “ I see what crosses my attempt will bring; Yet, foul night-waking cat, he doth but dally, I know what thorns the growing rose defends;
While in his hold-fast foot the weak mouse panteth: I think the honey guarded with a sting;
Her sad behaviour feeds his vulture folly, All this, beforehand, counsel comprebends: A swallowing gulf that ev'n in plenty wanteth: But will is deaf, and hears no heedful friends; His ear her prayers admits, but his heart grantet? Only he hath an eye to gaze on beauty,
No penetrable entrance to her plaining; And dotes on what he looks, 'gainst law or duty. Tears harden lust, though marble wear with raining. “ I have debated, even in my soul,
Her pity-pleading eyes are sadly fixed What wrong, what shame, what sorrow I shall breed; In the remorseless wrinkles of his face; But nothing can affection's course control,
Her modest eloquence with sighs is mixed, Or stop the headlong fury of his speed.
Which to her oratary adds more grace. I know repentant tears ensue the deed,
She puts the period often from his place, Reproach, disdain, and deadly enmity;
And midst the sentence so her accent breaks, Yet strive I to embrace mine infamy."
That twice she doth begin ere once she speaks. This said, he shakes aloft his Roman blade, She conjures him by high almighty Jove, Which like a faulcon towering in the skies,
By kuighthood, gentry, and sweet friendship's oath, Coucheth the fowl below with his wings' sbade, By her untimely tears, her husband's love, Whose crooked beak threats if he mount he dies : By holy human law, and common troth, So under the insulting falchion lies
By Heaven and Earth, and all the power of both, Harmless Lucretia, marking what he tells,
That to his borrow'd bed he make retire, With trembling fear, as fowl hear faulcons' bells. And stoop to honour, not to foul desire. " Lucrece,"quoth he, “this night I must enjoy thee: Quoth she, “ Reward not hospitality If thou deny, then force must work my way, With such black payment as thou hast pretended; For in thy bed I purpose to destroy thee;
Mud not the fountain that gave drink to thee; That done, some worthless slave of thine I 'll slay, Mar not the thing that cannot be amended; To kill thine honour with thy life's decay; End thy ill aim, before thy shoot be ended: And in thy dead arms do I mean to place him, He is no wood-man that doth bend his bow Swearing I slew bim, seeing thee embrace him. To strike a poor unseasonable doe. “ So thy surviving husband shall remain
“ My husband is thy friend, for his sake spare me; The scornful mark of every open eye;
Thyself art mighty, for thine own sake leave me; Thy kinsmen hang their heads at this disdain, Myself a weakling, do not then ensnare me. Thy issue blurr'd with nameless bastardy:
Thou look'st not like deceit; do not deceive me: And thou, the author of their obloquy,
My sighs, like whirlwinds, labour hence to heave thee. Shall have thy trespass cited up in rhymes, If ever man were muv'd with woman's moans, And sung by children in succeeding times. Be moved with my tears, my sighs, my groans ; “ But if thou yield, I rest thy secret friend : “ All which together, like a troubled ocean, The fault unknown is as a thought unacted; Beat at thy rocky and wreck-threatening heart, A little harm, done to a great good end,
To soften it with their continual motion;
For stones dissolv'd to water do convert.
Melt at my tears and be compassionate!
Soft pity enters at an iron gate. " Then for thy husband's and thy children's sake, “ In Tarquin's likeness I did entertain thee: Tender my suit: bequeath not to their lot Hast thou put on his shape to do him shame? The shame that from them no device can take, To all the host of Heaven I complain me, (name. The blemish that will never be forgot ;
Thou wrong'st his honour, wound'st his princely Worse than a slavish wipe, or birth-hour's blot : Thou art not what thou seem'st; and if the same, For marks descried in men's nativity
Thou seem'st not what thou art, a god, a king ; Are Nature's faults, not their own infamy." For kings like gods should govern every thing.
* How will thy shame be seeded in thine age, “ So let thy thoughts, low vassals to thy state" | When thus thy vices bud before thy spring ? “No more," quoth he, “by Heaven I will not hear If in thy hope thou dar'st do such outrage, Yield to my love; if not, enforced hate, [thee: What dar'st thou not when once thou art a king ? Instead of love's coy touch, shall rudely tear thee; O be remember'd, no outrageous thing
That done, despitefully I mean to bear thee From Fassal actors can be wip'd away;
Unto the base bed of some rascal groom, Then kings' misdeeds cannot be hid in clay. To be thy partner in this shameful doom." * This deed will make thee only lov'd for fear, This said, he sets his foot upon the light, Bat happy monarchs still are fear'd for love: For light and lust are deadly enemies : With foul offenders thou perforce must bear, Shame folded up in blind concealing night, When they in thee the like offences prove: When most unseen, then most doth tyrannize. If bat for fear of this, thy will remove ;
The wolf hath seiz'd his prey, the poor lamb cries, For princes are the glass, the school, the book, Till with her own white fleece her voice controllid Where subjects' eyes do learn, do read, do look. Entombs her outcry in her lips' sweet fold : " And wilt thou be the school where lust shall learn? For with the nightly lined that she wears, Must be in thee read lectures of such shame? He pens her piteous clatnours in ber head; Wilt thou be glass, wherein it shall discern Cooling his hot face in the chastest tears Authority for sin, warrant for blame,
That ever modest eyes with sorrow shed. To privilege dishonour in thy name?
O, that prone lust should stain so pure a bed! Thou back'st reproach against long-living laud, The spots whereof could weeping purify, And mak'st fair reputation but a bawd.
Her tears should drop on them perpetually. “ Hast thou command ? by him that gave it thee, But she hath lost a dearer thing than life, From a pure heart command thy rebel will : And he hath won what he would lose again. Draw dot thy sword to guard iniquity,
This forced league doth force a further strife, For it was lent thee all that brood to kill.
This momentary joy breeds months of pain,
This hot desire converts to cold disdain:
Look as the full-fed hound or gorged hawk,
Unapt for tender smell or speedy flight,
His taste delicious, in digestion souring,
Can comprehend in still imagination !
Drunken desire must vomit his receipt,
While lust is in his pride, no exclamation
Like to a bankrupt beggar wails his case: The petty streams that pay a daily debt
The flesh being proud, desire doth fight with grace, To their salt sovereign, with their fresh falls' haste, For there it revels; and when that decays, Add to his flow, but alter not bis taste.”
The guilty rebel for remission prays. “ Thou art," quoth she, “ a sea, a sovereign king; So fares it with this faultful lord of Rome, And lo, there falls into thy boundless flood Who this accomplishment so hotly chased; Black lust, dishonour, shame misgoverning, For now against himself he sounds this doom, Who seek to stain the ocean of thy blood.
That through the length of times he stands disgraced : If all these petty ills shall change thy good, Besides, his soul's fair temple is defaced; Thy sea within a puddle's womb is hersed,
To whose weak ruins muster troops of cares, And not the puddle in thy sea dispersed.
To ask the spotted princess how she fares. So shall these slaves be king, and thou their slave; She says, her subjects with foul insurrection Thon nobly base, they basely dignified ;
Have batter'd down her consecrated wall, Thou their fair life, and they thy fouler grave; And by their mortal fault brought in subjection Thou loathed in their shame, they in thy pride : Her immortality, and made her thrall The lesser thing should not the greater hide ; To living death, and pain perpetual: The cedar stoops not to the base shrub's foot, Which in her prescience she controlled still, But low shrubs wither at the cedar's root.
But her fore-sight could not fore-stall their will...
Even in his thought, through the dark night he “ Where now I have no one to blush with me,
Mingling my talk with tears, my grief with groans, And he the burthen of a guilty mind.
Poor wasting monuments of lasting moans.
Let not the jealous day behold that face
Keep still possession of thy gloomy place,
That all the faults which in thy reign are made,
“ Make me not object to the tell-tale day! She there remains a hopeless cast-away:
The light will show, charàcter'd in my brow,
Will quote my loathsome trespass in my looks.
Will couple my reproach to Tarquin's shame:
For Collatine's dear love be kept unspotted :
And undeserv'd reproach to him allotted, Frantic with grief thus breathes she forth her spite That is as clear from this attaint of mine, Against the unseen secresy of night.
As I, ere this, was pure to Collatine.
O unfelt sore! crest-wounding, private scar!
“ If, Collative, thine honour lay in me,
But robb’d and ransack'd by injurious theft :
In thy weak hive a wandering wasp bath crept,
Coming from thee, I could not put him back,
For it had been dishonour to disdain him: And let thy misty vapours march so thick,
Besides of weariness he did complain him, That in their smoky ranks his smother'd light And talk'd of virtue:-0 unlook'd for evil, May set at noon, and make perpetual night. When virtue is prophan’d in such a devil ! * Were Tarquin night, (as he is but night's child) " Why should the worm intrude the maiden bad? The silver-shiping queen he would distain; Or hateful cuckoos hatch in sparrows' nests? Her twinkling handmaids too, by him defild, Or toads infect fair founts with venom mud? Through night's black bosom should not pecp again; Or tyrant folly lurk in gentle breasts? So should I have copartners in my pain:
Or kings be breakers of their own behests ?
But no perfection is so absolute,