Графични страници
PDF файл

That blow did bail it from the deep unrest
Of that polluted prison where it breathed;
Her contrite fighs unto the clouds bequeathed

Her winged sprite, and thro' her wounds doth fly
Life's lasting date from canceld destiny.

Stone-still, astonish'd with this deadly deed,
Stood Colatine and all his lordly crew,
Till Lucrece' father, that beholds her bleed,
Himself on her felf-flaughter'd body threw :
And from the purple fountain Brutus drew

The murd'rous knife, and as it left the place,

Her blood, in pure revenge, held it in chase.
And bubbling from her breast it doth divide
In two slow rivers, that the crimson blood
Circles her body in on every side ;
Who like a late fack'd island vastly stood
Bare and unpeopled in this fearful flood.

Some of her blood still pure and red remain'd,
And some look'd black, and that false Tarquin

About the mourning and congealed face
Of that black blood, a watry rigol goes,
Which seems to weep upon the tainted place;
And ever fince, as pitying Lucrece' woes,
Corrupted blood fome wat’ry token shows :

And blood untainted still doth red abide,
Blushing at that which is so putrify’d.

Daughter, dear daughter, old Lucretius cries,
That life was mine, which thou hast here depriy’d;
If in the child the father's image lies,
Where shall I live, now Lucrece is unliv'd ?
Thou waft not to this end from me deriv’d.

If children predecease progenitors,
We are their offspring, and they none of ours.

Poor broken glass, I often did behold
In thy sweet semblance, my old age new-born;
But now that fair fresh mirror, dim and cold,
Shews me a bare-bon’d death by time out-worn:
O! from


my image thou hast torn! And shiver'd all the beauty from my glass, That I no more can see what once I was.

O! time! cease thou thy course, and haste no longer,
If thou surcease to be, that should survive :
Shall rotten death make conquest of the stronger,
And leave the falt'ring feeble fouls alive?
The old bees die, the young possess their hive;

Then live sweet Lucrece, live again and see
Thy father die, and not thy father thee.

By this starts Colatine as from a dream,
And bids Lucretius give his forrow place;
And then in clay-cold Lucrece' bleeding stream
He falls, and bathes the pale fear in his face,
And counterfeits to die with her a space :

Till manly shame bids him poffels his breath,
And live to be revenged on her death.

The deep vexation of his inward soul
Hath serv'd a dumb arrest upon his tongue ;
Who made that forrow should his use controul,
Or keep him from heart-easing words so long,
He ʼgins to talk; but thro' his lips do throng

Weak words, so thick coine in his poor heart's aid,
That no man could distinguish what he said.

Yet sometime Tarquin was pronounced plain,
But thro' his teeth, as if his name he tore :
This windy tempeft, till it blow up rain,
Held back his sorrow's tide to make it more,
At last it rains, and busy winds give o'er :

Then son and father weep with equal strife,

Who should weep most for daughter, or for wife,
The one doth call her his, the other his;'
Yet neither may possess the claim they lay.
The father says, The's mine; O mine she is,
Replies her husband ; do not take away
My sorrow's interest, let no mourner say,

He weeps for her, for lhe was only mine,
And only must be wail'd by Colatine.

O! quoth Lucretius, I did give that life,
Which she too early and too late hath spill’d.
Wo! wo! quoth Colatine, she was my wife,
I own'd her, and 'tis mine, that she hath kill'd.
My daughter and my wife with clamours fill'd

The disperst air, who holding Lucrece life,
Answer'd their cries, my daughter and my wife.

Brutus, who pluck'd the knife from Lucrece' fide,
Seeing such emulation in their woe,
Began to clothe his wit in state and pride,
Burying in Lucrece wound his follies show:
He with the Romans was esteemed so,

As silly jeering ideots are with kings,
For sportive words, and uttering foolish things,

But now he throws that shallow habit by,
Wherein true policy did him disguise,


And arm’d his long-hid wits advisedly,
To check the tears in Colatinus' eyes.
Thou wronged lord of Rome, quoth he, arise ;

Let my unfounded self, fuppos'd a fool,
Now set thy long experienc'd wit to school.

Why, Colatine, is woe the cure for woe?
Do wounds help wounds, or grief help grievous
Is it revenge to give thyself a blow [deeds ?
For his foul act, by whom thy fair wife bleeds ?
Such childish humour from weak minds proceeds :

Thy wretched wife mistook the matter so,

To slay herself, that should have sain her foe. Courageous Roman, do not steep thy heart In such lamenting dew of lamentations ; But kneel with me, and help to bear thy part, To rouse our Roman gods with invocations, That they will suffer these abominations

(Since Rome herself in them doth stand disgrac'd) By our strong arms from forth her fair streets chas'd.

Now by the capitol that we adore !
And by this chaste blood so unjustly stain’d !
By heaven's fair fun, that breeds the fat earth's store !
By all our country rites in Rome maintain'd!
And by chaste Lucrece' soul, that late complain'd

Her wrongs to us, and by this bloody knife!
We will revenge the death of this true wife.

This said, he stroke his hand upon his breast,
And kiss'd the fatal knife to end his vow:
And to his protestation urg'd the rest,
Who wond'ring at him did his words allow :
Then jointly to the ground their knees they bow,

And that deep vow which Brutus made before, He doth again repeat, and that they swore.

When they had sworn to this advised doom,
They did conclude to bear dead Lucrece thence,
To shew the bleeding body throughout Rome,
And so to publish Tarquin's foul offence.
Which being done, with speedy diligence,

The Romans plausibly did give consent
To Tarquin's everlasting banishment.

« ПредишнаНапред »