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TARQUIN AND LUCRECE.

My husband is thy friend, for his sake spare me;
Thyself art mighty, for thy own sake leave me;
Myself a weakling, do not then insnare me;
Thou look’st not like deceit, do not deceive me;
My sighs like whirlwinds labour hence to heave thee.

If ever man was mov'd 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 dissolv'd 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.

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 honour, wound'st his princely name;
Thou art not what thou seem'st; and if the same,

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 dar'st do such outrage,
What dar’st thou not, when once thou art a king?
O ! be remember'd no outrageous thing

From vassal actors can be wip'd away,
Then kings' misdeeds cannot be bid in clay. .

TARQUIN AND LUCRECE.

This deed shall make thee only lov'd 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 to read, to look.

And wilt thou be the school where lust shall learn,
Must be in thee read lectures of such shame?
Wilt thou be glass, wherein it shall discern
Authority for sin, warrant for blame?
To privilege dishonour in thy name,

Thou back'st reproach against long living laud,
And mak’st fair reputation but a bawd.

Hast thou commanded? By him that gave it thee,
From a pure heart command thy rebel will :
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 wrapt in with infamies,
That from their own misdeeds askaunce their eyes!

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To thee, to thee, my heav'd-up hands appeal,
Not to seducing lust's outrageous fire;
I sue for exil'd majesty's repeal,
Let hiin return and flattering thoughts retire.
His true respect will prison false desire,

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

Have done, quoth he, my uncontrouled tide
Turns not, but swells the higher by this let;
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 false haste,
Add to his flow, but alter not the taste.

Thou art (quoth she) a sea, a sovereign king,
And lo! there falls into thy boundless flood
Black lust, dishonour, shame, misgoverning,
Who seek to stain the ocean of thy blood.
If all these petty ills should change thy good,

Thy sea within a puddle womb is burst,
And not the puddle in thy sea dispers’d.

So shall these slaves be king, and thou their slave ;
Thou nobly base, they basely dignified;
Thou their fair life, and they thy fouler grave;
Thou loathed in thy shame, they in thy pride:
The lesser thing should not the greater hide.

The cedar stoops not to the base shrub's foot,
But low shrubs wither at the cedar's root.

TARQUIN AND LUCRECE.

So let thy thougbts low vassals to thy state
No more, quoth he, by heaven I will not hear thee :
Yield to my love; if not, enforced hate,
Instead of love's coy touch, shall rudely tear thee :
That done, despitefully I mean to bear thee

Unto the base będ of some rascal groom,
To be thy partner in this shameful doom.

This said, he sets his foot upon the light,
For light and lust are deadly enemies :
Shame folded up in blind concealing night,
When most unseen, then most doth tyrannize.
The wolf has seiz’d his prey, the poor lamb cries,

Till with her own white fleece her voice controul'd,
Intombs her outcry in her lips' sweet fold.

. For with the nightly linen, that she wears,
He pens her piteous clamours in her head,
Cooling his hot face in the chastest tears,
That ever modest eyes with sorrow shed;
O that foul lust should stain so pure a bed !

The spots whereof, could weeping purify,
Her tears should drop on them perpetually.

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But she hath lost a dearer thing than life,
And he hath won what he would lose again;
This forced league doth force a further strife,
This momentary joy breeds months of pain,
This hot desire converts to cold disdain.

Pure chastity is rifled of her store,
And lust, the thief, far poorer than before.

TARQUIN AND LUCRECE.

Look as the full-fed hound or gorged hawk,
Unapt for tender smell, or speedy flight,
Make slow pursuit, or altogether balk
The prey wherein by nature they delight:
So surfeit-taking TARQUIN fears this night;

His taste delicious, in digestion souring,
Devours his will, that liv'd, by foul devouring.

O! deeper sin than bottomless conceit
Can comprehend in still imagination !
Drunken desire must vomit his receipt,
Ere he can see his own abomination.
While lust is in his pride, no exclamation

Can curb his heat, or rein his rash desire,
Till, like a jade, self-will himself doth tire.

And then with lank and lean discolour'd cheek,
With heavy eye, knit brow, and strengthless pace,
Feeble desire all recreant, poor and meek,
Like to a bankrupt beggar wails his case :
The flesh being proud, desire doth fight with grace.
For there it revels, and when that decays,
The guilty rebel for remission prays.

So fares it with this fault-full lord of Rome,
Who this accomplishment so hotly chas’d:
For now against himself he sounds this doom,
That thro' the length of time he stands disgrac'd :
Besides, his soul's fair temple is defac’d;

To those weak ruins muster troops of cares,
To ask the spotted princess how she fares.

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