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Where, like a virtuous monument, she lies, To be admir'd of lewd unhallow'd eyes.

Without the bed her other fair hand was,
On the green coverlet; whose perfect white
Show'd like an April daisy on the grass,
With pearly sweat, resembling dew of night.
Her eyes, like marigolds, hath sheath'd their light,
And canopied in darkness sweetly lay,
Till they might open to adorn the day.

Her hair, like golden threads, play'd with her breath;


O modest wantons! wanton modesty!
Showing life's triumph in the map of death,
And death's dim look in life's mortality:
Each in her sleep themselves so beautify,

As if between them twain there were no strife,
But that life liv'd in death, and death in life.
Her breasts, like ivory globes circled with blue,
A pair of maiden worlds unconquered,
Save of their lord no bearing yoke they knew,
And him by oath they truly honoured.
These worlds in Tarquin new ambition bred;
Who, like a foul usurper, went about
From this fair throne to heave the owner out.

What could he see but mightily he noted? What did he note but strongly he desir'd? What he beheld, on that he firmly doted, And in his will his wilful eye he tir'd. With more than admiration he admir'd


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Wrapp'd and confounded in a thousand fears,
Like to a new-kill'd bird she trembling lies;
She dares not look; yet, winking, there appears
Quick-shifting antics, ugly in her eyes:
Such shadows are the weak brain's forgeries; 460
Who, angry that the eyes fly from their lights,
In darkness daunts them with more dreadful


His hand, that yet remains upon her breast, -
Rude ram, to batter such an ivory wall!—
May feel her heart-poor citizen!-distress'd,
Wounding itself to death, rise up and fall,
Beating her bulk, that his hand shakes withal.
This moves in him more rage, and lesser pity,
To make the breach, and enter this sweet city.
First, like a trumpet, doth his tongue begin
To sound a parley to his heartless foe;
Who o'er the white sheet peers her whiter chin,
The reason of this rash alarm to know,
Which he by dumb demeanour seeks to show;
But she with vehement prayers urgeth still
Under what colour he commits this ill.


Thus he replies: "The colour in thy face-
That even for anger makes the lily pale,
And the red rose blush at her own disgrace-
Shall plead for me, and tell my loving tale:
Under that colour am I come to scale

Thy never-conquer'd fort: the fault is thine,
For those thine eyes betray thee unto mine.
"Thus I forestall thee, if thou mean to chide:
Thy beauty hath ensnar'd thee to this night,
Where thou with patience must my will abide;
My will that marks thee for my earth's delight,
Which I to conquer sought with all my might;
But as reproof and reason beat it dead,
By thy bright beauty was it newly bred.



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This said, he shakes aloft his Roman blade, Which, like a falcon towering in the skies, Coucheth the fowl below with his wings' shade, Whose crooked beak threats if he mount he dies: So under his insulting falchion lies

Harmless Lucretia, marking what he tells 510 With trembling fear, as fowl hear falcon's bells.

"Lucrece," quoth he, "this night I must enjoy thee:

If thou deny, then force must work my way,
For in thy bed I purpose to destroy thee:
That done, some worthless slave of thine I'll slay,
To kill thine honour with thy life's decay;

And in thy dead arms do I mean to place him,
Swearing I slew him, seeing thee embrace him.
"So thy surviving husband shall remain
The scornful mark of every open eye;
Thy kinsmen hang their heads at this disdain,


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Her pity-pleading eyes are sadly fix'd
In the remorseless wrinkles of his face;
Her modest eloquence with sighs is mix'd,

Yet, foul night-waking cat, he doth but dally,
While in his hold-fast foot the weak mouse panteth:
Her sad behaviour feeds his vulture folly,
A swallowing gulf that even in plenty wanteth:
His ear her prayers admits, but his heart granteth
No penetrable entrance to her plaining:

Tears harden lust, though marble wear with raining.


1 Winks, i.e. connives.


2 Remorseless, pitiless.

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What dar'st thou not when once thou art a king?
O, be remember'd, no outrageous thing
From vassal actors can be wip'd away;

Then kings' misdeeds cannot be hid in clay.
"This deed will make thee only lov'd for fear;
But happy monarchs still are fear'd for love: 611
With foul offenders thou perforce must bear,
When they in thee the like offences prove:
If but for fear of this, thy will remove;

For princes are the glass, the school, the book, Where subjects' eyes do learn, do read, do look.

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This said, he sets his foot upon the light,
For light and lust are deadly enemies:
Shame folded up in blind-concealing night,
When most unseen, then most doth tyrannize.
The wolf hath seiz'd his prey, the poor lamb cries;
Till with her own white fleece her voice con-

Entombs her outcry in her lips' sweet fold:

For with the nightly linen that she wears
He pens her piteous clamours in her head;
Cooling his hot face in the chastest tears
That ever modest eyes with sorrow shed.
O, that prone1 lust should stain so pure a bed!
The spots whereof could weeping purify,
Her tears should drop on them perpetually.

But she hath lost a dearer thing than life, And he hath won what he would lose again:

1 Prone, impetuous.


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Make war against proportion'd course of time; Or if thou wilt permit the sun to climb

His wonted height, yet ere he go to bed, Knit poisonous clouds about his golden head.

"With rotten damps ravish the morning air;
Let their exhal'd unwholesome breaths make sick
The life of purity, the supreme fair,
Ere he arrive his weary noon-tide prick;
And let thy misty vapours march so thick,
That in their smoky ranks his smother'd light
May set at noon, and make perpetual night.
"Were Tarquin Night, as he is but Night's child,
The silver-shining queen he would disdain;
Her twinkling handmaids too, by him defil'd,
Through Night's black bosom should not peep again:
So should I have co-partners in my pain;

And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage,

As palmers' chat make short their pilgrimage. "Where now I have no one to blush with me, To cross their arms, and hang their heads with mine, To mask their brows, and hide their infamy; But I alone alone must sit and pine, Seasoning the earth with showers of silver brine, Mingling my talk with tears, my grief with groans,

Poor wasting monuments of lasting moans.


"O Night, thou furnace of foul-reeking smoke,
Let not the jealous Day behold that face
Which underneath thy black all-hiding cloak
Immodestly lies martyr'd with disgrace!
Keep still possession of thy gloomy place,
That all the faults which in thy reign are made
May likewise be sepúlchred in thy shade!
"Make me not object to the tell-tale Day!
The light will show, charácter'd in my brow,
The story of sweet chastity's decay,
The impious breach of holy wedlock vow:
Yea, the illiterate, that know not how

To cipher what is writ in learned books,
Will quote my loathsome trespass in my looks.
"The nurse, to still her child, will tell my story,
And fright her crying babe with Tarquin's name;
The orator, to deck his oratory,

Will couple my reproach to Tarquin's shame;
Feast-finding minstrels, tuning my defame,

2 Quote observe.



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