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“Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean, By this, far off she hears some huntsman hollo; Hateful divorce of love," thus chides she A nurse's song ne'er pleased her babe so well: Death,
The dire imagination she did follow “Grim-grinning ghost, earth's worm, what dost This sound of hope doth labour to expel; thou mean
For now reviving joy bids her rejoice, To stifle beauty and to steal his breath,
And flatters her it is Adonis' voice. Who when he lived, his breath and beauty set
Whereat her tears began to turn their tide, Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet ?
Being prison'd in her eye like pearls in glass; 980
Yet sometimes falls an orient drop beside, “If he be dead, — O no, it cannot be,
Which her cheek melts, as scorning it should pass, Seeing his beauty, thou shouldst strike at it: To wash the foul face of the sluttish ground, O yes, it may; thou hast no eyes to see,
Who is but drunken when she seemeth drown'd. But hatefully at random dost thou hit.
940 Thy mark is feeble age, but thy false dart O hard-believing love, how strange it seems Mistakes that aim and cleaves an infant's heart. Not to believe, and yet too credulous !
Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes; “Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke, Despair and hope makes thee ridiculous: And, hearing him, thy power had lost his power. The one doth flatter thee in thoughts unlikely, The Destinies will curse thee for this stroke; In likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly. They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluck'st a flower:
Love's golden arrow at him should have fled, Now she unweaves the web that she hath wrought; And not Death's ebon dart, to strike him Adonis lives, and Death is not to blame; 992 dead.
It was not she that call'd him all-to naught:
Now she adds honours to his hateful name; “Dost thou drink tears, that thou provokest such She clepes him king of graves and grave for weeping ?
kings, What may a heavy groan advantage thee?
Imperious supreme of all mortal things.
Now Nature cares not for thy mortal vigour, Yet pardon me I felt a kind of fear
Which knows no pity, but is still severe;
Then, gentle shadow, — truth I must confess, – She vail'd her eyelids, who, like sluices, stopt I rail'd on thee, fearing my love's decease. The crystal tide that from her two cheeks fair In the sweet channel of her bosom dropt;
“'Tis not my fault: the boar provoked my tongue; But through the flood-gates breaks the silver Be wreak'd on him, invisible commander; rain,
959 'Tis he, foul creature, that hath done thee wrong; And with his strong course opens them again. I did but act, he's author of thy slander;
Grief hath two tongues, and never woman yet O, how her eyes and tears did lend and borrow! Could rule them both without ten women's wit." Her eyes seen in the tears, tears in her eye; Both crystals, where they view'd each other's Thus hoping that Adonis is alive, sorrow,
Her rash suspect she doth extenuate; Sorrow that friendly sighs sought still to dry; And that his beauty may the better thrive,
But like a stormy day, now wind, now rain, With Death she humbly doth insinuate; Sighs dry her cheeks, tears make them wet Tells him of trophies, statues, tombs, and stories; again.
His victories, his triumphs, and his glories.
Variable passions throng her constant woe,
But none is best: then join they all together,
“O Jove," quoth she, “how much a fool was I
For he being dead, with him is beauty slain,
“When he beheld his shadow in the brook,
Thus weary of the world, away she hies, 1189
FROM THE RAPE OF LUCRECE
But now the mindful messenger, come back,
These water-galls in her dim element
By foul enforcement might be done to me,
From that, alas, thy Lucrece is not free.
On thee and thine this night I will inflict, 1630
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 you where you did fulfil The loathsome act of lust, and so did kill
The lechers ir their deed: this act will be
My fame and thy perpetual infamy.'
And never be forgot in mighty Rome
Which when her sad-beholding husband saw,
Both stood, like old acquaintance in a trance, Met far from home, wondering each other's
At last he takes her by the bloodless hand,
Unmask, dear dear, this moody heaviness,
“Mine enemy was strong, my poor self weak,
That my poor beauty had purloin'd his eyes;
And when the judge is robb'd the prisoner dies.
To accessary yieldings, but still pure
Three times with sighs she gives her sorrow fire,
While Collatine and his consorted lords
And now this pale swan in her watery nest 1611
And my laments would be drawn out too long,
Lo, here, the hopeless merchant of this loss, 1660
But, wretched as he is, he strives in vain;
“Then be this all the task it hath to say:
As through an arch the violent roaring tide
Even so his sighs, his sorrows, make a saw,
To push grief on, and back the same grief draw. Which speechless woe of his poor she attendeth, And his untimely frenzy thus awaketh: “Dear lord, thy sorrow to my sorrow lendeth Another power; no flood by raining slaketh. My woe too sensible thy passion maketh
More feeling-painful: let it then suffice 1679
To drown one woe, one pair of weeping eyes. “And for my sake, when I might charm thee so For she that was thy Lucrece, now attend me: Be suddenly revenged on my foe, Thine, mine, his own: suppose thou dost defend
But more than "he" her poor tongue could not
speak; Till after many accents and delays, Untimely breathings, sick and short assays, 1720
She utters this, “He, he, fair lords, 'tis he,
That guides this hand to give this wound to me.” Even here she sheathed in her harmless breast A harmful knife, that thence her soul unsheathed: That blow did bail it from the deep unrest Of that polluted prison where it breathed: Her contrite sighs unto the clouds bequeathed Her winged sprite, and through her wounds
doth fly Life's lasting date from cancell'd destiny::
From what is past: the help that thou shalt lend
Comes all too late, yet let the traitor die; For sparing justice feeds iniquity.
“But ere I name him, you fair lords," quoth she, Speaking to those that came with Collatine, “Shall plight your honourable faiths to me, 1690 With swift pursuit to venge this wrong of mine; For 'tis a meritorious fair design
To chase injustice with revengeful arms: Knights, by their oaths, should right poor ladies'
FROM A LOVER'S COMPLAINT “Yet did I not, as some my equals did, Demand of him, nor being desired yielded; Finding myself in honour so forbid,
150 With safest distance I mine honour shielded: Experience for me many bulwarks builded Of proofs new-bleeding, which remain'd the foil Of this false jewel, and his amorous spoil. “But, ah, who ever shunn'd by precedent The destined ill she must herself assay? Or forced examples, 'gainst her own content, To put the by-past perils in her way? Counsel may stop awhile what will not stay; For when we rage, advice is often seen
160 By blunting us to make our wits more keen.
At this request, with noble disposition
The protestation stops. “O, speak,” quoth she,
“How may this forced stain be wiped from me? “What is the quality of mine offence, Being constrain'd with dreadful circumstance? May my pure mind with the foul act dispense, My low-declined honour to advance? May any terms acquit me from this chance ?
The poison'd fountain clears itself again;
“Nor gives it satisfaction to our blood,
With this, they all at once began to say,
“No, no," quoth she," no dame, hereafter living,
By my excuse shall claim excuse's giving." Here with a sigh, as if her heart would break, She throws forth Tarquin's name: "He, he," she
"And long upon these terms I held my city,