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“ what excuse can my invention make,

Within his thought ber heavenly image sits,
When thou shalt charge me with so black a deed? | And in the self-same seat sits Collatine :
Will not my tongue be mute, my frail joints shake? | That eye which looks on her, confounds bis wits,
Mine eyes forego their light, my false heart bleed? | That eye which him bebolds, as more divine,
The guilt being great, the fear doth still exceed; Unto a view so false will not incline;
And extreme fear can neither fight nor fly, | But with a pure appeal seeks to the heart,
But, coward-like, with trembling terrour die. Which, once corrupted, takes the worser part;
“ Had Collatinus kill'd my son or sire,

And therein heartens up his servile powers,
Or lain iu ambush to betray my life,

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 have 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.
But as he is my kinsman, my dear friend,

By reprobate desire thus madly led,
The shame and fault finds no excuse nor end. The Roman lord marcheth to Lucrece' bed.
Shameful it is ;-ay, if the fact be known : The locks between her chamber and his will,
Hateful it is ;-there is no bate in loving:

Each one by him enforc'd, retires his ward;
I'll beg her love ;--but she is not her own : But as they open, they all rate bis ill,
The worst is but denial, and reproving :

Which drives the creeping thief to some regard :
My will is strong, past reason's weak removing. The threshold grates the door to have him heard;
Who fears a sentence or an old man's saw,

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.
Thus, graceless, holds he disputation

As each unwilling portal yields him way,
'Tween frozen conscience and hot-burning will, Through little vents and crannies of the place
And with good thoughts makes dispensation, The wind wars with his torcb, to make him stay,
Urging the worser sense for vantage still;

And blows the smoke of it into his face,
Which in a moment doth confound and kill Extinguishing his conduct in this case;
All pure effects, and doth so far proceed,

But his hot heart, wbich fond desire doth scorch,
That what is vile shows like a virtuous deed. Puffs forth another wind that fires the torch:
Quoth he, “ She took me kindly by the band, And being lighted, by the light he spies
And gaz'd for tidings in my eager eyes,

Lucretia's glove, wherein her needle sticks;
Fearing some hard news from the warlike band. He takes it from the rushes where it lies;
Where her beloved Collatinus lies.

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.”

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* And how her hand, in my hand being lock'd,
Forc'd it to tremble with her loyal fear!
Which struck her sad, and then it faster rock'd,
Until her husband's welfare she did hear;
Whereat she smiled with so sweet a cheer,
That had Narcissus seen her as she stood,
Self-love had never drown'd him in the flood.

But all these poor forbiddings could not stay him;
He in the worst sense construes their denial :
The doors, the wind, the glove that did delay him,
He takes for accidental things of trial;
Or as those bars which stop the hourly dial,
Who with a ling'ring stay his course doth let,
Till every minute pays the hour his debt.

“ Why hunt I then for colour or excuses ? “ So, so," quoth be, “these lets attend the time,
All orator3 are dumb when beauty pleadeth; Like little frosts that sometime threat the spring,

To add a more rejoicing to the prime,
Love thrives not in the heart that shadows dreadeth: And give the sneaped birds more cause to sing,
Affection is my captain, and he leadeth;

Pain pays the income of each precious thing ; (sands,
And when his gaudy banner is display'd,

Huge rocks, high winds, strong pirates, shelves and
The coward fights, and will not be dismay'd. The merchant fears, ere rich at home he lands."
“ Then childish fear avaunt! debating die! Now is he come unto the chamber door
Respect and reason wait on wrinkled age!

That shuts him from the Heaven of his thought,
My heart shall never countermand mine eye: | Which with a yielding latch, and with no more,
Sad pause and deep regard beseem the sage; Hath barr'd him from the blessed thing he sought.
My part is youth, and beats these from the stage: So from himself impiety hath wrought,
Desire my pilot is, beauty my prize;

That for his prey to pray he doth begin,
Then who fears sinking where such treasure lies?” As if the Heavens should countenance his sin.
As corn o'ergrown by weeds, so heedful fear But in the midst of his unfruitful prayer,
Is almost chok'd by unresisted lust.

Having solicited the eternal power,
Away be steals with open listening ear,

That bis foul thoughts might compass his fair fair,
Full of foul hope, and full of fond mistrust; And they would stand auspicious to the hour,
Both which, as servitors to the unjust,

Ev'n there he starts:-quoth he, “ I must deflower;
So cross him with their opposite persuasion, The powers to whom I pray, abhor this fact,
That now he vows a league, and now invasion. How can tbey then assist me in the act ?

" Then Love and Fortune be my gods, my guide! What could he see, but mightily he noted ? My will is back'd witb resolution :

What did he note, but strongly he desired ? Tboughts are but dreams till their effects be tried, What he beheld, on that he firmly doted, The blackest sin is clear'd with absolution ;

And in his will his wilful eye he tired.
Against love's fire fear's frost bath dissolution. | With more than admiration he admired
The eye of Heaven is out, and misty night

Her azure veios, her alabaster skin,
Covers the shame that follows sweet delight.” Her coral lips, her snow-white dimpled chin.
This said, his guilty hand pluck'd up the latch, As the grim lion fawneth o'er his prey,
And with his knee the door he opens wide: Sharp hunger by the conquest satisfied,
The dove sleeps fast that this night-ówl will catch; So o'er this sleeping soul doth Tarquin stay,
Thus treason works ere traitors be espied.

Hjs rage of lust by gazing qualified;
Who sees the lurking serpent, steps aside; Slack'd, not suppress'd; for standing by her side,
But she, found sleeping, fearing no such thing, His eye, which late this mutiny restrains,
Lies at the mercy of his mortal sting.

Unto a greater uproar tempts his veins : Into the chamber wickedly he stalks,

And they, like straggling slaves for pillage fighting, 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 bigh 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 had 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, In 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 lock'd-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 faming torch dimm'd and control'd.

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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 ensnar'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 haste 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 pight-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 granteth 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 knighthood, 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.

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* 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 vassal 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,
Bot happy monarchs still are fear'd for love: For light and lust are deadly enemies :
With foul offenders tbou 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? Must be in thee read lectures of such shame? He pens her piteous clamours 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 disbonour 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 parify, And mak'st fair reputation but a bawd.

Her tears should drop on them perpetually. « Hast thon 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 not 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,
Thy princely office how canst thou fulfil,

This bot desire converts to cold disdain:
Wben, pattern'd by thy fault, foul Sin may say, Pare chastity is rified of her store,
He learn'd to sin, and thou didst teach the way? And lust, the thief, far poorer than before.
Think but how vile a spectacle it were

Look as the full-fed hound or gorged hawk,
To view thy present tresssed in another.

Unapt for tender smell or speedy flight,
Men's faults do seldom to themselves appear; Make slow pursuit, or altogether balk
Their own transgressions partially they smother : The prey wherein by nature they delight;
This guilt would seem death-worthy in thy brother. So surfeit-taking Tarquin fares this night:
O bow are they wrapp'd in with infamies,

His taste delicious, in digestion souring,
That from their own misdeeds askaunce their eyes! Devours his will that liv'd by foul devouring.

O deeper sin thap bottomless conceit
Can comprehend in still imagination !
Drunken desire must vomit his receipt,
Ere he can see his own abomination.
While lust is in his pride, no exclamation
Can curb his heat, or rein his rash desire,
Till, like a jade, self-will himself doth tire.

To thee, to thee, my hear'd-up hands appeal,
Not to seducing lust, thy rash relier ;
I sue for exil'd majesty's repeal;
Let bim return, and flattering thoughts retire:
His true respect will 'prison false desire,
And wipe the dim mist from thy doting eyne,
That thou shalt see thy state, and pity mine."
* Hare done,” quoth he; “ my uncontrolled tide
Turns not, but swells the higher by this let.
Small lights are soon blown out, huge fires abide,
And with the wind in greater fury fret:
The petty streams that pay a daily debt
To their salt sovereign, with their fresh falls' haste,
Add to his flow, but alter not bis taste.”

And then with lank and lean discolour'd cheek,
With heavy eye, knit brow, and strengthless pace,
Feeble desire, all recreant, poor, and meek,
Like to a bankrupt beggar wails his case:
The flesh being proud, desire doth fight with grace,
For there it revels; and when that decays,
The guilty rebel for remission prays.

" Thou art," quoth she, “ a sea, a sovereign king;
And lo, there falls into thy boundless flood
Black lust, dishonour, shame misgoverning,
Who seek to stain the ocean of thy blood.
If all these petty ills shall change thy good,
Thy sea within a puddle's womb is hersed,
And not the paddle in thy sea dispersed.

So fares it with this faultful lord of Rome,
Who this accomplishment so hotly chased;
For now against himself he sounds this doom,
That through the length of times he stands disgraced:
Besides, his soul's fair temple is defaced; .
To whose weak ruins muster troops of cares,
To ask the spotted princess how she fares.

So shall these slaves be king, and thou their slave;
Thou nobly base, they basely dignified ;
Thou their fair life, and they thy fouler grave;
Thon loathed in their shame, they in thy pride :
The lesser thing should not the greater bide ;
The cedar stoops not to the base shrub's foot,
But low shrubs wither at the cedar's root.

VOL V.

She says, her subjects with foul insurrection
Have batter'd down her consecrated wall,
And by their mortal fault brought in subjection
Her immortality, and made her thrall
To living death, and pain perpetual:
Which in her prescience she controlled still,
But her fore-sight could not fore-stall their wille,

D

Even in his thought, through the dark night he “ Where now I have no one to blush with me,
A captive victor, that hath lost in gain; (stealeth, To cross their arms, and hang their heads with mine,
Bearing away the wound that nothing healeth, To mask their brows, and hide their infamy;
The scar that will, despite of cure, remain, But I alone, alone must sit and pine,
Leaving his spoil perplex'd in greater pain.

Seasoning the earth with showers of silver brine, She bears the load of lust he left behind,

Mingling my talk with tears, my grief with groans, And he the burthen of a guilty mind.

Poor wasting monuments of lasting moans. He, like a theevish dog, creeps sadly thence,

“O Night, thou furnace of foul-reeking smoke, She like a wearied lamb lies panting there;

Let not the jealous day behold that face He scouls, and hates himself for his offence, Which underneath thy black all-biding cloke She desperate, with her nails ber flesh doth tear; Immodestly lies martyr'd with disgrace! He faintly flies, sweating with guilty fear;

Keep still possession of thy gloomy place, She stays exclaiming on the direful night,

That all the faults which in thy reign are made, He runs, and chides his vanish'd, loath'd, deligbt. May likewise be sepùlcher'd in thy shade! He thence departs a heavy convertite,

“ 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,
He in his speed looks for the morning light, The story of sweet chastity's decay,
She pravs she never may behold the day:

The impious breach of holy wedlock's vow :
“For day,"quoth sbe, "night-scapes doth open lay; Yea, the illiterate, that know not hov:
And my true eyes have never practis'd how

To 'cipher what is writ in learned books, To cloke offences with a cunning brow.

Will quote my loathsome trespass in my looks. “ They think not but that every eye can see “ The nurse, to still her child, will tell my story, The same disgrace which they themselves behold; | And fright her crying babe with Tarquin's name; And therefore would they still in darkness be, The orator, to deck his oratory, To have their unseen sin remain untold ;

Will couple my reproach to Tarquin's shame: For they their guilt with weeping will unfold, Feast-finding minstrels, tuning my defame, Aud grave, like water that doth eat in steel, Will tie the hearers to attend eaeh line, Upon my cheeks what helpless shame I feel.” How Tarquin wronged me, I Collatine. Here she exclaims against repose and rest,

“ Let my good name, that senseless reputation, And bids her eyes hereafter still be blind.

For Collatine's dear love be kept unspotted : She wakes her heart by beating on her breast, If that be made a theme for disputation, And bids it leap from thence, where it may find The branches of another root are rotted, Some purer chest, to close so pure a mind.

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 comfort-killing Night, image of Hell !
Dim register and notary of shame!
Black stage for tragedies and murders fell!
Vast sin-concealing chaos! nurse of blame!
Blind muffled bawd! dark harbour for defame !
Grim cave of death, whispering conspirator
With close-tongued treason and the ravisher!

“ O unseen shame! invisible disgrace!
O unfelt sore! crest-wounding, private scar!
Reproach is stamp'd in Collatinus' face,
And. Tarquin's eye may read the mot afar,
How he in peace is wounded, not in war.
Alas, how many bear such shameful blows,
Which not themselves, but he that gives them, knowst

“ O hateful, vaporous and foggy Night,
Since thou art guilty of my cureless crime,
Muster thy mists to meet the eastern light,
Make war against proportion'd course of time!
Or if thou wilt perinit the Sun to climb
His wonted height, yet, ere he go to bed,
Knit poisonous clouds about his golden head...

“ If, Collatine, thine honour lay in me,
From me by strong assault it is bereft.
My honey lost, and I, a drone-like bee,
Have no perfection of my summer left,
But robb’d and ransack'd by injurious theft :
In thy weak hive a wandering wasp hath crept,
And suck'd the honey which thy chaste bee kept.
“ Yet am I guiltless of thy honour's wreck;
Yet for thy honour did I entertain him;
Coming from thee, I could not put him back,
For it had been dishonour to disdain him :
Besides of weariness he did complain him,
And talk'd of virtue:-0 unlook'd for evil,
When virtue is prophan'd in such a devil !

“ With rotten damps ravish the morning air;
Let their exbal'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 distain;
Her twinkling handmaids too, by him defil'd,
Through night's black bosom should not peep again;
So should I have copartners in my pain :
And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage,
As palmers' chat makes short their pilgrimage.

“ Why should the worm intrude the maiden bud ?
Or hateful cuckoos hatch in sparrows' nests?
Or toads infect fair founts with venom mud?
Or tyrant folly lurk in gentle breasts?
Or kings be breakers of their own behests?
But no perfection is so absolute,
That some impurity doth not pollute.

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