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Her blue blood chang'd to black in every vein :
Wanting the spring that those shrunk pipes had fed,
Show'd life imprison'd in a body dead.

On this sad shadow Lucrece spends her eyes,
And shapes her sorrow to the beldame's woes;
Who nothing wants to answer but her cries,
And bitter words to ban her cruel foes.

The painter was no god to lend her those ;

And therefore Lucrece swears he did her wrong,
To give her so much grief, and not a tongue.

Poor instrument (quoth she) without a sound!
I'll tune thy woes with my lamenting tongue;
And drop sweet balm in Priam's painted wound,
And rail on Pyrrhus, that hath done him wrong,
And with my tears quench Troy, that burnt so long:
And with thy knife scratch out the angry eyes
Of all the Greeks, that are thine enemies.

Show me this strumpet, that began this stir,
That with my nails her beauty I may tear:
Thy heat of lust fond Paris did incur
This load of wrath, that burning Troy did bear;
Thy eye kindled the fire that burneth here:

And here in Troy, for trespass of thine eye,
'The sire, the son, the dame and daughter die.

Why should the private pleasure of some one,
Become the publick plague of many moe?
Let sin, alone committed, light alone
Upon his head, that hath transgressed so,
Let guiltless souls be freed from guilty wo.
For one's offence why should so many fall,
To plague a private sin in general?

Lo! here weeps Hecuba, here Priam dies!
Here manly Hector faints, here Troilus sounds!
Here friend by friend in bloody channel lies!
And friend to friend gives unadvised wounds!
And one man's lust these many lives confound!
Had doating Priam check'd his son's desire,
Troy had been bright with fame, and not with fire.

Here feelingly she weeps Troy's painted woes :
For sorrow, like a heavy hanging bell,
Once set a ringing, with his own weight goes;
Then little strength rings out the doleful knell.
So Lucrece set a-work, sad tales doth tell

To pencil'd pensiveness, and colour'd sorrow;
She lends them words, and she their looks doth borrow.

She throws her eyes about the painted round,
And whom she finds forlorn she doth lament:
At last she sees a wretched image bound,
That piteous looks to Phrygian shepherds lent;
His face, tho' full of cares, yet show'd content.

Onward to Troy with these blunt swains he goes,
So mild, that patience seem'd to scorn his woes.

In him the painter labour'd with his skill,
To hide deceit, and give the harmless show,
An humble gait, calm looks, eyes wailing still,
A brow unbent, that seem'd to welcome woe;
Cheeks, neither red, nor pale, but mingled so,

That blushing red, no guilty instance gave,
Nor ashy pale, the fear that false hearts have.

But like a constant and confirmed devil,
He entertain'd a show so seeming just;
And therein so insconc'd this secret evil,
That jealousy itself could not mistrust,
False creeping craft and perjury should thrust,
Into so bright a day such black-fac'd storms,
Or blot with hell-born sin such saint-like forms.

The well skill'd woman this wild image drew
For perjur'd Sinon, whose inchanting story
The credulous old Priam after slew;

Whose words like wild-fire burnt the shining glory
Of rich-built Ilion; that the skies were sorry,
And little stars shot from their fixed places,

When their glass fell wherein they viewed their faces.

This picture she advisedly perus'd,

And chid the painter for his wond'rous skill:
Saying, some shape in Sinon's was abus'd,
So fair a form lodg'd not a mind so ill:

And still on him she gaz'd, and gazing still,
Such signs of truth in his plain face she spy'd,
That she concludes the picture was bely'd.

It cannot be (quoth she) that so much guile,
She would have said, can lurk in such a look;
But Tarquin's shape came in her mind the while,
And from her tongue, can lurk, from cannot took :
It cannot be, she in that sense forsook,

And turn'd it thus ; it cannot be I find,
But such a face should bear a wicked mind.

For e'en as subtle Sinon here is painted,
So sober sad, so weary and so mild,
(As if with grief or travel he had fainted)
To me came Tarquin armed, so beguil'd
With outward honesty, but yet defil'd

With inward vice: as Priam him did cherish,
So did I Tarquin, so my Troy did perish.

Look, look how list'ning Priam wets his eyes,
To see those borrow'd tears that Sinon sheds!
Priam, why art thou old, and yet not wise?
For every tear he falls, a Trojan bleeds:
His eyes drop fire, no water thence proceeds.
Those round clear pearls of his, that move thy pity,
Are balls of quenchless fire to burn thy city.

Such devils steal effects from lightless hell,
For Sinon in his fire doth quake with cold,
And in that cold hot-burning fire doth dwell;
These contraries, such unity do hold,

Only to flatter fools, and make them bold :

So Priam's trust false Sinon's tears doth flatter, That he finds means to burn his Troy with water.

Here all inrag'd such passion her assails,
That patience is quite beaten from her breast;
She tears the senseless Sinon with her nails,
Comparing him to that unhappy guest,
Whose deed hath made herself herself detest.
At last she smilingly with this gives o'er,
Fool! fool! quoth she, his wounds will not be sore.

Thus ebbs and flows the current of her sorrow,
And time doth weary time with her complaining:
She looks for night, and then she longs for morrow,
And both she thinks too long with her remaining;
Short time seems long, in sorrow's sharp sustaining.
Tho' woe be heavy, yet it seldom sleeps,

And they that watch, see time how slow it creeps.

Which all this time hath over-slipt her thought,
That she with painted images hath spent,
Being from the feeling of her own grief brought,
By deep surmise of others detriment,
Losing her woes in shows of discontent.

It easeth some, tho' none it ever cur'd,
To think their dolour others have endur'd.

But now the mindful messenger come back,
Brings home his lord, and other company:
Who finds his Lucrece clad in mourning black,
And round about her tear-distained eye
Blue circles stream'd, like rainbows in the sky,
These watergalls, in her dim element,
Foretel new storms to those already spent.

Which when her sad beholding husband saw,
Amazedly in her sad face he stares :
Her eyes, tho' sod in tears, look red and raw,
Her lively colour kill'd with deadly cares,
He has no power to ask her how she fares,

But stood like old acquaintance in a trance,
Met far from home, wond'ring each other's chance.

At last he takes her by the bloodless hand,

And thus begins: What uncouth ill event

Hath thee befallen, that thou dost trembling stand?
Sweet love, what spite hath thy fair colour spent?
Why art thou thus attir'd in discontent?

Unmask, dear dear, this moody heaviness,
And tell thy grief, that we may give redress.

Three times with sighs she gives her sorrow fire,
Ere once she can discharge one word of woe:
At length address'd, to answer his desire,
She modestly prepares, to let them know

Her honour is ta'en prisoner by the foe :
While Colatine, and his consorted lords,
With sad attention long to hear her words.

And now this pale swan in her wat❜ry nest,
Begins the sad dirge of her certain ending.
Few words, quoth she, shall fit the trespass best,
Where no excuse can give the fault amending;
In me more woes than words are now depending:
And my laments would be drawn out too long,
To tell them all with one poor tired tongue.

Then be this all the task it hath to say,
Dear husband, in the interest of thy bed
A stranger came, and on that pillow lay,
Where thou wast wont to rest thy weary head;
And what wrong else may be imagined

By foul enforcement might be done to me,
From that, alas! thy Lucrece is not free.

For in the dreadful dead of dark midnight,
With shining fauchion in my chamber, came
A creeping creature with a flaming light,
And softly cry'd, Awake, thou Roman dame,
And entertain my love, else lasting shame,
On thee and thine this night I will inflict,
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 in their deed; this act will be
My fame, and thy perpetual infamy.

With this I did begin to start and cry,
And then against my heart he sets his sword,
Swearing, unless I took all patiently,

I should not live to speak another word:
So should my shame still rest upon record,
And never be forgot in mighty Rome,

Th' adult 'rate death of Lucrece and her groom.

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