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Like shrill-tongued tapsters answering every call, A thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways;
She says “'Tis so:' they answer all “'Tis so; Her more than haste is mated with delays,
Full of respects, yet nought at all respecting : Lo, here the gentle lark, weary of rest,
In hand with all things, nought at all effecting. From his moist cabinet mounts up on high, And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast Here kennell'd in a brake she finds a hound, The sun ariseth in his majesty;
And asks the weary caitiff for his master, Who doth the world so gloriously behold And there another licking of his wound, That cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold. 'Gainst venom'd sores the only sovereign plaster;
And here she meets another sadly scowling, Venus salutes him with this fair good-morrow: To whom she speaks, and he replies with howl'O thou clear god, and patron of all light, 860
ing. From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow The beauteous influence that makes him bright, When he hath ceased his ill-resounding noise,
There lives a son that suck'd an earthly mother, Another flap-mouth'd mourner, black and grini, May lend thee light, as thou dost lend to other.' Against the welkin volleys out his voice ; 921
Another and another answer him, This said, she hasteth to a myrtle grove,
Clapping their proud tails to the ground below, Musing the morning is so much o'erworn,
Shaking their scratch'd ears, bleeding as they go. And yet she hears no tidings of her love: She hearkens for his hounds and for his horn: Look, how the world's poor people are amazed Anon she hears them chant it lustily,
At apparitions, signs and prodigies, And all in haste she coasteth to the cry. 870 Whereon with fearful eyes they long have gazed,
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies; And as she runs, the bushes in the way
So she at these sad signs draws up her breath Some catch her by the neck, some kiss her face, And sighing it again, exclaims on Death. Some twine about her thigh to make her stay: She wildly breaketh from their strict embrace, ‘Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean,
Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ache, Hateful divorce of love,'—thuschides she Death,Hasting to feed her fawn hid in some brake. “Grim-grinning ghost, earth's worm, what dost
thou mean By this, she hears the hounds are at a bay; To stifle beauty and to steal his breath, Whereat she starts, like one that spies an adder Who when he lived, his breath and beauty set Wreathed up in fatal folds just in his way,
Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet? The fear whereof doth make him shake and shudder;
880 'If he be dead,-O no, it cannot be, Even so the timorous yelping of the hounds Seeing his beauty, thou shouldst strike at it:Appals her senses and her spirit confounds. O
yes, it may; thou hast no eyes to see, But hatefully at random dost thou hit.
940 For now she knows it is no gentle chase,
Thy mark is feeble age, but thy false dart But the blunt boar, rough bear, or lion proud, Mistakes that aim and cleaves an infant's heart. Because the cry remaineth in one place, Where fearfully the dogs exclaim aloud:
'Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke, Finding their enemy to be so curst,
And, hearing him, thy power had lost his power. They all strain courtesy who shall cope him first. The Destinies will curse thee for this stroke;
They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluck'st a flower: This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear,
Love's golden arrow at him should have fled,
Like soldiers, when their captain once doth yield, weeping?
Why hast thou cast into eternal sleeping Thus stands she in a trembling ecstasy;
Those eyes that taught all other eyes to see? Till, cheering up her senses all dismay'd,
Now Nature cares not for thy mortal vigour, She tells them 'tis a causeless fantasy,
Since her best work is ruin'd with thy rigour.' And childish error, that they are afraid ; Bids them leave quaking, bids them fear no Here overcome, as one full of despair,
899 She vaild her eyelids, who, like sluices, stopt And with that word she spied the hunted boar, The crystal tide that from her two cheeks fair
In the sweet channel of her bosom dropt; Whose frothy mouth, bepainted all with red, But through the flood-gates breaks the silver Like milk and blood being mingled both together,
959 A second fear through all her sinews spread,
And with his strong course opens them again. Which madly hurries her she knows not whither:
This way she runs, and now she will no further, O, how her eyes and tears did lend and borrow! But back retires to rate the boar for murther. Her eyes seen in the tears, tears in her eye;
Both crystals, where they view'd each other's Fie, fie, fond love, thou art so full of fear sorrow,
As one with treasure laden, hemm’d with thieves; Sorrow that friendly sighs sought still to dry; Trifles, unwitnessed with eye or ear,
But like a stormy day, now wind, now rain, Thy coward heart with false bethinking grieves.' Sighs dry her cheeks, tears make them wetagain. Even at this word she hears a merry horn,
Whereat she leaps that was but late forlorn. Variable passions throng her constant woe, As striving who should best become her grief; As falcon to the lure, away she flies; All entertain'd, each passion labours so,
The grass stoops not, she treads on it so light; That every present sorrow seemeth chief, 970 And in her haste unfortunately spies
But none is best: then join they all together, The foul boar's conquest on her fair delight; 1030 Like many clouds consulting for foul weather. Which
eyes, as murder'd with the
view, By this, far off she hears some huntsman hollo; Like stars ashamed of day, themselves withdrew; A nurse's song ne'er pleased her babe so well: The dire imagination she did follow
Or, as the snail, whose tender horns being hit, This sound of hope doth labour to expel; Shrinks backward in his shelly cave with pain, For now reviving joy bids her rejoice,
And there, all smother'd up, in shade doth sit, And flatters her it is Adonis' voice.
Long after fearing to creep forth again;
So, at his bloody view, her eyes are fled Whereat her tears began to turn their tide,
Into the deep dark cabins of her head : Being prison’d in her eye like pearls in glass ; 980 Yet sometimes falls an orient drop beside, Where they resign their office and their light Which her cheek melts, as scorning it should pass, To the disposing of her troubled brain; 1040
To wash the foul face of the sluttish ground, Who bids them still consort with ugly night, Who is but drunken when she seemeth drown'd. And never wound the heart with looks again ;
Who, like a king perplexed in his throne, O hard-believing love, how strange it seems By their suggestion gives a deadly groan, Not to believe, and yet too credulous ! Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes; Whereat each tributary subject quakes; Despair and hope makes thee ridiculous :
As when the wind, imprison'd in the ground, The one doth flatter thee in thoughts unlikely, Struggling for passage, earth's foundation shakes, In likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly. Which with cold terror doth men's minds confound.
This mutiny each part doth so surprise Now she unweaves the web that she hath wrought; That from their dark beds once more leap her Adonis lives, and Death is not to blame;
1050 It was not she that call'd him all-to naught: Now she adds honours to his hateful name; And, being open'd, threw unwilling light She clepes him king of graves and grave for Upon the wide wound that the boar had trench'd kings,
In his soft flank; whose wonted lily white Imperious supreme of all mortal things.
With purple tears, that his wound wept, was
drench'd: “No, no,' quoth she, “sweet Death, I did but jest ; No flower was nigh, no grass, herb, leaf, or weed, Yet pardon me I felt a kind of fear
But stole his blood and seem'd with him to bleed. When as I met the boar, that bloody beast, Which knows no pity, but is still severe;
This solemn sympathy poor Venus noteth; Then, gentle shadow,--truth I must confess,- Over one shoulder doth she hang her head; I rail'd on thee, fearing my love's decease. Dumbly she passions, franticly she doteth;
She thinks he could not die, he is not dead: 1060 ''Tis not my fault: the boar provoked my tongue; Her voice is stopt, her joints forget to bow; Be wreak'd on him, invisible commander;
Her eyes are mad that they have wept till now. 'Tis he, foul creature, that hath done thee wrong; I did but act, he's author of thy slander: Upon his hurt she looks so steadfastly,
Grief hath two tongues, and never woman yet That her sight dazzling makes the wound seem Could rule them both without ten women's wit.'
And then she reprehends her mangling eye, Thus hoping that Adonis is alive,
That makes more gashes where no breach should Her rash suspect she doth extenuate;
be: And that his beauty may the better thrive,
His face seems twain, each several limb is With Death she humbly doth insinuate;
doubled; Tells him of trophies, statues, tombs, and stories For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being His victories, his triumphs and his glories.
troubled. 'O Jove,' quoth she, “how much a fool was I “My tongue cannot express my grief for one, To be of such a weak and silly mind
And yet,' quoth she, 'behold two Adons dead ! To wail his death who lives and must not die My sighs are blown away, my salt tears gone, Till mutual overthrow of mortal kind!
Mine eyes are turn’d to fire, my heart to lead: For he being dead, with him is beauty slain, Heavy heart's lead, melt at mine eyes' red fire! And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again. So shall I die by drops of hot desire.
Alas, poor world, what treasure hast thou lost! Their virtue lost, wherein they late excell'd,
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend :
Ne'er settled equally, but high or low, 1139 The sun doth scorn you and the wind doth hiss That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe.
you: But when Adonis lived, sun and sharp air It shall be fickle, false and full of fraud, Lurk'd like two thieves, to rob him of his fair : Bud and be blasted in a breathing-while;
The bottom poison, and the top o'erstraw'd "And therefore would he put his bonnet on, With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile : Under whose brim the gaudy sun would peep; The strongest body shall it make most weak, The wind would blow it off and, being gone, Strike the wise dumb and teach the fool to speak. Play with his locks: then would Adonis weep;
And straight, in pity of his tender years, IONI * It shall be sparing and too full of riot, They both would strive who first should dry his Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures; tears.
The staring ruffian shall it keepin quiet,
Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with trea“To see his face the lion walk'd along
1150 Behind some hedge, because he would not fear him; It shall be raging-mad and silly-mild, To recreate himself when he hath sung,
Make the young old, the old become a child. The tiger would be tame and gently hear him ;
If he had spoke, the wolf would leave his prey 'It shall suspect where is no cause of fear;
It shall be merciful and too severe,
Perverse it shall be where it shows most toward, When he was by, the birds such pleasure took, Put fear to valour, courage to the coward, That some would sing, some other in their bills Would bring him mulberries and ripe-red cher- 'It shall be cause of war and dire events, ries;
And set dissension 'twixt the son and sire; 1160 He fed them with his sight, they him with berries. Subject and servile to all discontents,
As dry combustious matter is to fire: • But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted boar, Sith in his prime Death doth my love destroy, Whose downward eye still looketh for a grave,
They that love best their loves shall not enjoy.' Ne'er saw the beauteous livery that he wore; Witness the entertainment that he gave :
By this, the boy that by her side lay kill'd If he did see his face, why then I know Was melted like a vapour from her sight, He thought to kiss him, and hath kill'd him so. And in his blood that on the ground lay spillid,
A purple flower sprung up, chequer'd with white, 'tis true; thus was Adonis slain : 111 Resembling well his pale cheeks and the blood He ran upon the boar with his sharp spear,
Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood. Who did not whet his teeth at him again, But by a kiss thought to persuade him there; She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to And nuzzling in his flank, the loving swine
1171 Sheathed unaware the tusk in his soft groin. Comparing it to her Adonis' breath,
And says, within her bosom it shall dwell, Had I been tooth'd like him, I must confess, Since he himself is reft from her by death : With kissing him I should have kill'd him first; She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears But he is dead, and never did he bless
Green dropping sap, which she compares to tears. My youth with his; the more am I accurst.' 1120
With this, she falleth in the place she stood, ‘Poor flower,' quoth she, “this was thy father's And stains her face with his congealed blood. guise
Sweet issue of a more sweet-smelling sireShe looks upon his lips, and they are pale;
For every little grief to wet his eyes: She takes him by the hand, and that is cold; To grow unto himself was his desire,
n so She whispers in his ears a heavy tale,
And so 'tis thine ; but know, it is as good As if they heard the woeful words she told;
To wither in my breast as in his blood. She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes, where, lo, two lamps, burntout, in darkness lies; Here was thy father's bed, here in my breast;
Thou art the next of blood, and 'tis thy right: Two glasses, where herself herself beheld Lo, in this hollow cradle take thy rest, A thousand tiines, and now no more reflect; 1130 My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night:
The love I dedicate to your lordship is without end; whereof this pamphlet, without beginning, is but a superfluous moiety. The warrant I have of your honourable disposition, not the worth of my untutored lines, makes it assured of acceptance. What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have, devoted yours. Were my worth greater, my duty would show greater; meantime, as it is, it is bound to your lordship, to whom I wish long life, still lengthened with all happiness.
Your lordship's in all duty,
THE ARGUMENT. Lucius TARQUINIUS, for his excessive pride surnamed Superbus, after he had caused his own father-in-law Servius Tullius to be cruelly murdered, and, contrary to the Roman laws and customs, not requiring or staying for the people's suffrages, had possessed himself of the kingdom, went, accompanied with his sons and other noblemen of Rome, to besiege Ardea. During which siege the principal men of the army meeting one evening at the tent of Sextus Tarquinius, the king's son, in their discourses after supper every one commended the virtues of his own wife: among whom Collatinus extolled the incomparable chastity of his wife Lucretia. In that pleasant humour they all posted to Rome; and intending, by their secret and sudden arrival, to make trial of that which every one had before avouched, only Collatinus finds his wife, though it were late in the night, spinning amongst her maids: the other ladies were all found dancing and revelling, or in several disports. Whereupon the noblemen yielded Collatinus the victory, and his wife the fame. At that time Sextus Tarquinius being inflamed with Lucrece' beauty, yet smothering his passions for the present, departed with the rest back to the camp; from whence he shortly after privily withdrew himself, and was, according to his estate, royally entertained and lodged by Lucrece at Collatium. The same night he treacherously stealeth into her chamber, violently ravished her, and early in the morning speedeth away. Lucrece, in this lamentable plight, hastily dispatcheth messengers, one to Rome for her father, another to the camp for Collatine. They came, the one accompanied with Junius Brutus, the other with Publius Valerius; and finding Lucrece attired in mourning habit, demanded the cause of her sorrow. She, first taking an oath of them for her revenge, revealed the actor, and whole manner of his dealing, and withal suddenly stabbed herself. Which done, with one consent they all vowed to root out the whole hated family of the Tarquins; and bearing the dead body to Rome, Brutus acquainted the people with the doer and manner of the vile deed, with a bitter invective against the tyranny of the king: wherewith the people were so moved, that with one consent and a general acclamation the Tarquins were all exiled, and the state government changed from kings to consuls.
For he the night before, in Tarquin's tent, In their pure ranks his traitor
encloses ; Unlock'd the treasure of his happy state;
Where, lest between them both it should be killid, What priceless wealth the heavens had him lent The coward captive vanquished doth yield In the possession of his beauteous mate;
To those two armies that would let him
go, Reckoning his fortune at such high-proud rate, Rather than triumph in so false a foe.
That kings might be espoused to more fame, 20
The niggard prodigal that praised her so,-
In that high task hath done her beauty wrong,
SO And, if possess'd, as soon decay'd and done Which far exceeds his barren skill to show : As is the morning's silver-melting dew
Therefore that praise which Collatine doth owe Against the golden splendour of the sun!
Enchanted Tarquin answers with surmise, An expired date, cancell'd ere well begun:
In silent wonder of still-gazing eyes.
Little suspecteth the false worshipper;
For unstain'd thoughts do seldom dream on evil; The eyes of men without an orator;
Birds never limed no secret bushes fear: What needeth then apologies be made,
So guiltless she securely gives good cheer To set forth that which is so singular?
And reverend welcome to her princely guest, 90 Or why is Collatine the publisher
Whose inward ill no outward harm expressid: Of that rich jewel he should keep unknown From thievish ears, because it is his own? For that he colour'd with his high estate,
Hiding base sin in plaits of majesty ; Perchance liis boast of Lucrece' sovereignty That nothing in him seem'd inordinate, Suggested this proud issue of a king;
Save sometime too much wonder of his eye, For by our ears our hearts oft tainted be:
Which, having all, all could not satisfy; Perchance that envy of so rich a thing,
But, poorly rich, so wanteth in his store, Braving compare, disdainsully did sting
40 That, cloy'd with much, he pineth still for more. His high-pitch'd thoughts, that meaner men should vaunt
But she, that never coped with stranger eyes, That golden hap which their superiors want. Could pick no meaning from their parling looks,
Nor read the subtle-shining secrecies But some untimely thought did instigate
Writ in the glassy margents of such books: His all-too-timeless speed, if none of those : She touch'd no unknown baits, nor fear'd no hooks; His honour, his affairs, his friends, his state, Nor could she moralize his wanton sight, Neglected all, with swift intent he goes
More than his eyes were open’d to the light. To quench the coal which in his liver glows. O'rash false heat, wrapp'd in repentant cold, He stories to her ears her husband's fame, Thy hasty spring still blasts, and ne'er grows old! Won in the fields of fruitful Italy;
And decks with praises Collatine's high name, When at Collatium this false lord arrived, 50 Made glorious by his manly chivalry Well was he welcoined by the Roman dame, With bruised arms and wreaths of victory: Within whose face beauty and virtue strived Her joy with heaved-up hand she doth express, Which of them both should underprop her fame : And, wordless, so greets heaven for his success. When virtue bragg’d, beauty would blush for shame;
Far from the purpose of his coming hither, When beauty boasted blushes, in despite He makes excuses for his being there: Virtue would stain that o'er with silver white. No cloudy show of stormy blustering weather
Doth yet in his fair welkin once appear; But beauty, in that white intituled,
Till sable Night, mother of Dread and Fear, From Venus' doves doth challenge that fair field: Upon the world dim darkness doth display, Then virtue claims from beauty beauty's red, And in her vaulty prison stows the Day. Which virtue gave the golden age to gild 60 Their silver cheeks, and call'd it then their shield; | For then is Tarquin brought unto his bed,
Teaching them thus to use it in the fight, Intending weariness with heavy spright; When shame assail'd, the red should fence the For, after supper, long he questioned white.
With modest Lucrece, and wore out the night:
Now leaden slumber with life's strength doth fight; This heraldry in Lucrece' face was seen,
And every one to rest themselves betake, Argued by beauty's red and virtue's white:
Save thieves, and cares, and troubled minds, Of either's colour was the other queen,
that wake. Proving from world's minority their right: Yet their ambition makes them still to fight; As one of which doth Tarquin lie revolving
The sovereignty of either being so great, The sundry dangers of his will's obtaining; That oft they interchange each other's seat. 70 Yet ever to obtain his will resolving,
Though weak-built hopes persuade him to abTheir silent war of lilies and of roses,
130 Which Tarquin view'd in her fair face's field, Despair to gain doth traffic oft for gaining;