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So fair a form lodg'd not a mind so ill;
And still on him she gaz’d, and gazing still,

Such signs of truth in his plain face she spy'd,
That she concludes the picture was bely'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,
That patience is quite beaten from her breast.
She tears the senseless Sinon with her nails,
Comparing him to that unhappy guest
Whose deed hath made herself herself 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 time doth weary time with her complaining.
She looks for night, and then she longs for morrow,
And both she thinks too long with her remaining :
Short time seems long in sorrow's sharp sustaining.

Though woe be heavy, yet it seldoın sleeps ;
And they that watch, see time how slow it creeps.

Which all this time hath overslipp'd her thought,
That she with painted images hath spent :
Being from the feeling of her own grief brought
By deep surmise of others’ detriment;

Losing her woes in shows of discontent.

It easeth some, though none it ever cur'd,
To think their dolour others have endur'd.

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But now the mindful messe ger, come back,
Brings home his lord and other company;
Who finds his Lucrece clad in mourning black ;
And round about her tear-distained eye
Blue circles stream'd, like rainbows in the sky.

These water-galls 53 in her dim element
Foretell new storms to those already spent.

Which when her sad-beholding husband saw,
Amazedly in her sad face 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 fares,

But stood, like old acquaintance in a trance,
Met far from home, wondering each other's


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,
Ere once she can discharge one word of woe:
At length'd address’d 54 to answer his desire,
She modestly 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 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
“ On thee and thine this night I will inflict,
“ If thou my love's desire do contradict.

“For some hard-favour'd groom of thine, quoth he,
“ Unless thou yoke thy liking to my will,
“I'll murder straight, and then I'll slaughter thee,
" And swear I found



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 then against my heart he set his sword,
“ Swearing, unless I took all patiently,
“ I should not live to speak another word:
“ So should my shame still rest upon record,

And never be forgot in mighty Rome
“ The adulterate death of Lucrece and her


“ 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


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