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Look, when a black-faced cloud the world doth


In his dim mist the aspiring mountains hiding,
From earth's dark womb some gentle gust doth get.
Which blows these pitchy vapors from their biding.
Hindering their present fall by this dividing;

So his unhallow'd haste her words delays,
And moody Pluto winks while Orpheus plays.

Yet, foul, night-waking cat, he doth but dally,
While in his holdfast foot the weak mouse panteth;
Her sad behavior feeds his vulture folly;

A swallowing gulf, that even in plenty wanteth :
His ear her prayers admits, but his heart granteth
No penetrable entrance to her plaining:

Tears harden lust, though marble wear with raining.

Her pity-pleading eyes are sadly fix'd
In the remorseless wrinkles of his face;
Her modest eloquence with sighs is mix'd,
Which to her oratory adds more grace.
She puts the period often from his place,

And 'midst the sentence so her accent breaks,
That twice she doth begin ere once she speaks.

She conjures him by high almighty Jove,
By knighthood, gentry, and sweet friendship's oath,
By her untimely tears, her husband's love,
By holy human law, and common troth,

By heaven and earth, and all the power of both,

That to his borrow'd bed he make retire,
And stoop to honor, not to foul desire.

Quoth she,—' Reward not hospitality

With such black payment as thou hast pretended; '
Mud not the fountain that gave drink to thee:
Mar not the thing that cannot be amended:
End thy ill aim, before thy shoot be ended.
He is no woodman, that doth bend his bow

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To strike a poor, unseasonable doe.

My husband is thy friend, for his sake spare


Thyself art mighty, for thine own sake leave me;
Myself a weakling, do not then ensnare me:

Thou look'st not like deceit; do not deceive me :
My sighs, like whirlwinds, labor hence to heave


If ever man were moved with woman's moans, Be moved with my tears, my sighs, my groans:

All which together, like a troubled ocean,
Beat at thy rocky and wreck-threatening heart,
To soften it with their continual motion;
For stones dissolved to water do convert.

O, if no harder than a stone thou art,
Melt at my tears, and be compassionate !
Soft pity enters at an iron gate.

Intended, proposed to thyself.

'In Tarquin's likeness I did entertain thee: Hast thou put on his shape to do him shame ? To all the host of heaven I complain me,

Thou wrong'st his honor, wound'st his princely


Thou art not what thou seem'st; and if the


Thou seem'st not what thou art, a god, a king; For kings, like gods, should govern every thing.

'How will thy shame be seeded in thine age,
When thus thy vices bud before thy spring?
If in thy hope thou darest do such outrage,
What darest thou not when once thou art


O, be remember'd,1 no outrageous thing
From vassal actors can be wiped away;
Then kings' misdeeds cannot be hid in clay.

'This deed will make thee only loved for fear,
But happy monarchs still are fear'd for love :
With foul offenders thou perforce must bear,
When they in thee the like offences prove :
If but for fear of this, thy will remove;


For princes are the glass, the school, the book, Where subjects' eyes do learn, do read, do look.

Bear it in your mind.

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And wilt thou be the school where Lust shall


Must he in thee read lectures of such shame?
Wilt thou be glass, wherein it shall discern
Authority for sin, warrant for blame,

To privilege dishonor in thy name?

Thou back'st reproach against long-lived laud,
And makest fair reputation but a bawd.

'Hast thou command? by him that gave it thee,

From a pure heart command thy rebel will:

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Draw not thy sword to guard iniquity,

For it was lent thee all that brood to kill.

Thy princely office how canst thou fulfil,

When, pattern'd by thy fault, foul Sin may say,

He learn'd to sin, and thou didst teach the way?

'Think but how vile a spectacle it were

To view thy present trespass in another.

Men's faults do seldom to themselves appear;

Their own transgressions partially they smother: This guilt would seem death-worthy in thy brother. O, how are they wrapp'd in with infamies,

That from their own misdeeds askaunce their eyes!

To thee, to thee, my heaved-up hands appeal, Not to seducing lust, thy rash relier;

I sue for exiled majesty's repeal;

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Let him return, and flattering thoughts retire :
His true respect will prison false desire,

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And wipe the dim mist from thy doting eyne,
That thou shalt see thy state, and pity mine.'

Have done,' quoth he:

my uncontrolled tide Turns not, but swells the higher by this let: 1

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 his taste.'

'Thou art,' quoth sue, a sea, a sovereign king;
And, lo, there falls into thy boundless flood
Black lust, dishonor, 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 hearsed,
And not the puddle in thy sea dispersed.

So shall these slaves be king, and thou their


Thou nobly base, they basely dignified;

Thou their fair life, and they thy fouler grave;
Thou loathed in their shame, they in thy pride.
The lesser thing should not the greater hide :

I Obstruction

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