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So fair a form lodg'd not a mind so ill;
Such signs of truth in his plain face she spy'd,
“ It cannot be," quoth she, “that so much guile (She would have said) can lurk in such a look ; But Tarquin's shape came in her mind the while, And from her tongue, can lurk from cannot took; It cannot be she in that sense forsook,
And turn'd it thus : “ It cannot be, I find, “ But such a face should bear a wicked mind:
“ For even as subtle Sinon here is painted, “ So sober-sad, so weary, and so mild,
(As if with grief or travail he had fainted) “ To me came Tarquin armed; so beguild 51 " With outward honesty, but yet defil'd
“ With inward vice: as Priam him did cherish, “ So did I Tarquin; so my Troy did perish.
Look, look, how listening Priam wets his eyes, “ To see those borrow'd tears that Sinon sheds.
Priam, why art thou old, and yet not wise ? “ For every tear he falls a Trojan bleeds; “ His eye drops fire, no water thence proceeds: “ Those round clear pearls of his that move
thy pity “ Are balls of quenchless fire to burn thy city.
6 beguild] i.e. guilefully covered.
“ Such devils steal effects from lightless hell ; “ For Sinon in his fire doth quake with cold, “ And in that cold, hot-burning fire doth dwell “ These contraries such unity do hold,
Only to flatter fools, and make them bold : “So Priam's trust false Sinon's tears doth flatter “ That he finds means to burn his Troy with
Here, all enrag'd, such passion her assails,
At last she smilingly with this gives o'er ;
not be sore.”
Thus ebbs and flows the current of her sorrow,
Though woe be heavy, yet it seldoın sleeps ;
Which all this time hath overslipp'd her thought,
Losing her woes in shows of discontent.
It easeth some, though none it ever cur'd,
But now the mindful messe ger, come back,
These water-galls 53 in her dim element
Which when her sad-beholding husband saw,
But stood, like old acquaintance in a trance,
At last he takes her by the bloodless hand, And thus begins:“What uncouth illevent [stand? “ Hath thee befallen, that thou dost trembling “Sweet love, what spite hath thy fair colour spent?
Why art thou thus attir'd in discontent? “ Unmask, dear dear, this moody heaviness, “And tell thy grief, that we may give redress."
water-galls] i.e. watery appearances in the sky, attendant on rainbows.
Three times with sighs she gives her sorrow fire,
While Collatine and his consorted lords
And now this pale swan in her watery nest Begins the sad dirge of her certain ending: “ Few words,” quoth she, “ shall fit the trespass
best, “Where no excuse can give the fault amending: “In me more woes than words are now depending;
“And my laments 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 else may be imagined
By foul enforcement might be done to me, “ From that, alas! thy Lucrece is not free.
" For in the dreadful dead of dark midnight, “ With shining falchion in my chamber came “ A creeping creature, with a flaming light,
54 address’d] i. e. ready.
“ And softly cried, Awake, thou Roman dame,
And entertain my love; else lasting shame
“For some hard-favour'd groom of thine, quoth he,
did fulfill “ The loathsome act of lust, and so did kill “ The lechers in their deed : this act will be
My fame, and thy perpetual infamy.
“ With this I did begin to start and cry,
“ And never be forgot in mighty Rome
“ Mine enemy was strong, my poor self weak, “ And far the weaker with so strong a fear : “My bloody judge forbade my tongue to speak; “ No rightful plea might plead for justice there : “ His scarlet lust came evidence to swear
“That my poor beauty had purloin'd his eyes, “ And when the judge is robb'd, the prisoner