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So o'er this sleeping soul doth Tarquin stay,
His rage of lust by gazing qualified;
Slack'd, not suppress'd; for standing by her side
His eye, which late this mutiny restrains,
Unto a greater uproar tempts his veins :
And they, like straggling slaves for pillage fighting,
Obdurate vassals, fell exploits effecting,
In bloody death and ravishment delighting,
Nor children's tears nor mother's groans respecting,
Swell in their pride, the onset still expecting :
Anon his beating heart, alarum striking,
Gives the hot charge, and bids them do their liking.
His drumming heart cheers up his burning eye;
His eye commends the leading to his hand;
His hand, as proud of such a dignity,
Smoking with pride, march'd on to make his stand
On her bare breast, the heart of all her land;
Whose ranks of blue veins, as his hand did scale, Left their round turrets destitute and pale.
They, mustering to the quiet cabinet
Where their dear governess and lady lies,
Do tell her she is dreadfully beset,
And fright her with confusion of their cries.
She, much amazed, breaks ope her lock'd-up eyes.
Who, peeping forth this tumult to denoid,
Are by his flaming torch dimm'd and controll'd.
Imagine her, as one in dead of night
From forth dull sleep by dreadful fancy waking,
That thinks she hath beheld some ghastly sprite,
Whose grim aspect sets every joint a shaking;
What terror 'tis! but she, in worser taking,
From sleep disturbed, heedfully doth view
The sight which makes supposed terror true.
Wrapp'd and confounded in a thousand fears,
Like to a new-kill'd bird she trembling lies:
She dares not look; yet, winking, there appears
Quick-shifting antics, ugly in her eyes:
Such shadows are the weak brain's forgeries;
Who, angry that the eyes fly from their lights,
In darkness daunts them with more dreadful
His hand, that yet remains upon her breast,
(Rude ram, to batter such an ivory wall!)
May feel her heart, (poor citizen!) distress'd,
Wounding itself to death, rise up and fall,
Beating her bulk,1 that his hand shakes withal.
This moves in him more rage, and lesser pity,
To make the breach, and enter this sweet city.
First, like a trumpet, doth his tongue begin
To sound a parley to his heartless foe,
Who o'er the white sheet peers her whiter chin,
The reason of this rash alarm to know,
Which he by dumb demeanor seeks to show:
But she with vehement prayers urgeth still,
Under what color he commits this ill.
Thus he replies :-
:- -The color in thy face
(That even for anger makes the lily pale,
And the red rose blush at her own disgrace)
Shall plead for me, and tell my loving tale :
Under that color am I come to scale
Thy never-conquer'd fort; the fault is thine,
For those thine eyes betray thee unto mine.
Thus I forestall thee, if thou mean to chide :
Thy beauty hath ensnared thee to this night,
Where thou with patience must my will abide,—
My will, that marks thee for my earth's delight,
Which I to conquer sought with all my might;
But as reproof and reason beat it dead,
By thy bright beauty was it newly bred.
'I see what crosses my attempt will bring;
I know what thorns the growing rose defends;
I think the honey guarded with a sting:
All this, beforehand, counsel comprehends :
But will is deaf, and hears no heedful friends;
Only he hath an eye to gaze on beauty,
And dotes on what he looks, 'gainst law or
What wrong, what shame, what sorrow 1 shall
But nothing can affection's course control,
Or stop the headlong fury of his speed.
I know repentant tears ensue the deed,
Reproach, disdain, and deadly enmity;
Yet strive I to embrace mine infamy.'
This said, he shakes aloft his Roman blade,
Which, like a falcon towering in the skies,
Coucheth the fowl below with his wings' shade,
Whose crooked beak threats, if he mount he
So under his insulting falchion lies
Harmless Lucretia, marking what he tells
With trembling fear, as fowl hear falcons' bells.
'Lucrece,' quoth he, this night I must enjoy thee:
If thou deny, then force must work my way,
For in thy bed I purpose to destroy thee;
That done, some worthless slave of thine I'll slay,
To kill thine honor with thy life's decay;
And in thy dead arms do I mean to place him,
Swearing I slew him, seeing thee embrace him:
'So thy surviving husband shall remain
The scornful mark of every open eye;
Thy kinsmen hang their heads at this disdain;
Thy issue blurr'd with nameless bastardy :
And thou, the author of their obloquy,
Shalt have thy trespass cited up in rhymes,
And sung by children in succeeding times.
• But if thou yield, I rest thy secret friend :
The fault unknown is as a thought unacted;
A little harm, done to a great, good end,
For lawful policy remains enacted.
The poisonous simple sometimes is compacted
In a pure compound; being so applied,
His venom in effect is purified.
Then for thy husband and thy children's sake,
Tender 1 my suit: bequeathe not to their lot
The shame that from them no device can take,
The blemish that will never be forgot;
Worse than a slavish wipe, or birth-hour's blot :
For marks descried in men's nativity
Are nature's faults, not their own infamy.'
Here with a cockatrice' dead-killing eye
He rouseth up himself, and makes a pause;
While she, the picture of pure piety,
Like a white hind under the grype's sharp
Pleads in a wilderness, where are no laws,
To the rough beast that knows no gentle right,
Nor aught obeys but his foul appetite.
The grimin's or vulture's,