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To eat up error by opinion bred,
Not spend the dow'ry of a lawful bed.
Time's glory is to calm contending kings ;
To unmafk falfhood, and bring truth to light;
To ftamp the seal of time on aged things;
To wake the morn, and centinel the night;
To wrong the wronger, till he render right;
To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours,
And smear with duft their glittering golden towers:
To fill with worm holes stately monuments ;
To feed oblivion with decay of things;
To blot old books, and alter their contents i
To pluck the quills from antient ravens wings;
To dry the old oak’s fap, and cherish fprings ;
To spoil antiquities of hammer'd steel,
And turn the giddy round of fortune's wheel:
To shew the beldame daughters of her daughter ;
To make the child a man, the man a child,
To flay the tyger, that doth live by flaughter;
To tame the unicorn and lion wild ;
To mock the subtle in the themselves beguild;
To chear the plowman with increaseful crops,
And waste huge ftones with little water drops
Why work'st thou mischief in thy pilgrimage,
Unlefs thou could'st return to make amends?
One poor retiring minute, in an age,
Would purchase thee a thousand thousand friends,
Lending him wit, that to bad debtors lends. [back,
O! this dread night! would'At thou one hour come
I could prevent this storm, and thun this wrack.
Thou ceaseless lackey to eternity,
With some mischance cross Tarquin in his flight;
Devise extremes beyond extremity,
To make him curse this cursed crimeful night :
Let ghastly shadows his lewd eyes affright,
And the dire thought of his committed evil
Shape every bush a hideous shapeless devil.
Difturb his hours of rest with restless trances;
Afflict him in his bed with bed-rid groans :
Let there bechance him pitiful mischances,
To make him-moan, but pity not his moans:
Stone him with harden'd hearts, harder than stones,
And let mild women to him lose their mildness,
Wilder to him than tygers in their wildness.
Let him have time to tear his curled hair:
Let him have time against himself to rave;
Let:him have time of time's help to despair ;
Let him have time to live a loathed llave;
Let him have time a beggar's orts to crave;
And time to see one, that by alms does live,
Disdain to him disdained scraps to give.
Let him have time to see his friends his foes,
And merry fools to mock at him refort:
Let him have time to mark how flow time goes
In time of sorrow, and how swift and short
His time of folly, and his time of sport:
And ever let his unrecalling time
Have time to wail th' abusing of his time.
O time! thou tutor both to good and bad !
Teach me to curse him, that thou taught'lt this ill;
At his own shadow let the thief run mad,
Himself, himself seek every hour to kill ;
Such wretched hands such wretched blood should spill!
For who so base would such an office have,
As flanderous death's-man to fo base a lare?
The baser is he, coming from a king,
To shame his hope with deeds degenerate ;
The mightier man, the mightier is the thing,
That makes him honoured, or begets him hate :
For greatest scandal waits on greatest state.
The moon being clouded, presently is mist;
But little stars may hide them when they lift
The crow may bathe his cole-black wings in mire,
And unperceived fly with the filth away ;
But if the like the snow-white swan degre,
The ftain upon his Glver down will stay.
Poor grooms are fightless night, kings glorious day.
Gnats are unnoted whereroe'er they fly,
But eagles gaz'd upon with every eye.
O idle words ! servants to shallow fools;
Unprofitable founds, weak arbitrators;
Busy yourselves in skill-contending schools :
Debate where leifure ferves, with dull debators :
To trembling clients be their mediators.
For me, I force not argument a straw,
Since that my case is part all help of law.
In vain I rail at opportunity,
At time, at Tarquin, and unsearchful night!
In vain I cavil with mine infamy,
In vain I spurn at my confirm'd despight :
This helpless smoke of words doth me no right,
The remedy indeed to do me good,
Is to let forth my foul defiled blood.
Poor hand, why quiver'ft thou at this decree ?
Honour thyself, to rid me of this shame;
For if I die, my honour lives in thee:
But if I live, thou liv'it in my defamc;
Since thou could'ft not defend thy loyal dameg,
And wast afraid to scratch her wicked foe,
Kill both thyself, and her for yielding so.
This said, from her betumbled couch she starts, ,
To find some desperate instrument of death.
But this no flaughter house, no tool imparts,
To make more vent for patrage ot her breatb,
Which thronging thro' her lips so vanisheth,
As smoke from Ætna; that in air consumes,
Or that which from discharged cannon fumes
In vain (quoth the) i live, and seek in vain
Some happy mean, to end a hapless life :
I fear'd by Carquin's fauchion to be flain,
Yet for the self-fame purpose seek a knife :
But when I fear'd, I was a loyal wife ;
So am I now: 0 no! that cannot be;
Of that true type hath Tarquin riflcd me.
O! that is gone, for which I fought to live,
And therefore now I need not tear to die;
To clear this spot by death (at least) I give
A badge of fame to ffander's livery,
A dying life to living infamy!
Poor helpless help, the treasure stol'n away, ,
To burn the guiltless casket where it lay.
T#RQUIN and LuCRECE:
Well, well, dear Colatine, thou shalt not know
The stained taste of violated troth
I will not wrong thy true affection fo,
To flatter thee with an insringed oath :
This. bastard grass shall never come to growth ;
He shall not boast, who did thy stock pollutego
That thou art doating father of his fruit.
Nor shalt bie smile at thee in secret thought,
Nor laugh with his companions at thy ftate;
But thou shalt know thy interest was not bought
Basely with gold, but ftoľn from forth thy gate.
For me, I'am the mistress of my fate,
And with my trespass never will dispense,
Till life to death acquit my first offence.
I will not poifon thee' with my attaint,
Not fold my fault in cleanly coin'd excuses;
My fable ground of on I will not paint,
To hide the truth of this false night's abuses':
As from a mountain spring, that feeds a dale,
Shall gulh pure streams, to pürge my impure tale.
By this, lamenting Philomel had' ended *
The well-tun'd warble of her nightly sorrow;
And folemn night with flow sad gait descended
To ugly hell'; when lo! the blushing morrow
Lends light to all fair eyes, that light would borrow.
But cloudy Lucrece fhames herself to fee;
And therefore still in night would cloister'd be.
Revealing day thro' every cranny spies, '50253 And seems to point běr out where the Ge's weeping ,