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TARQCIN AND LUCRECK.
So then he hath it, when he cannot use it,
Unruly blasts wait on the tender spring;
But ill annexed opportunity,
Or kills his life, or else his quality.
O ! opportunity! thy guilt is great:
Thou mak'st the vestal violate her oath;
Thou blow'st the fire when temperance is thaw'd;
Thou smother'st honesty, thou murder'st troth:
Thou foul abetter, thou notorious bawd!
Thou plantest scandal, and displacerh laud.
Thou ravisher, thou traitor, thou false thief!
Thy honey turns to gall, thy joy to grief.
TARQUIN AND LUCRECE.
Thy secret pleasure turns to open shame;
Thy private feasting to a public fast;
Thy smothering titles to a ragged name;
Thy sugarM tongue to bitter wormwood taste:
Thy violent vanities can never last.
When wilt thou be the humble suppliant's friend,
The poor, lame, blind, halt, creep, cry out for thee, But they ne'er meet with opportunity.
The patient dies, while the physician sleeps;
The orphan pines, while the oppressor feeds;
Justice is feasting, while the widow weeps;
Advice is sporting while infection breeds;
Thou grant'st no time for charitable deeds.
Wrath, envy, treason, rape and murder rages,
When truth and virtue have to do with thee,
TARQUIN AND LUCRECE.
Guilty thou art of murder and of theft;
Guilty of perjury and subordination;
Guilty of treason, forgery and shift;
Guilty of incest that abomination:
An accessary by thine inclination
To all sins past, and all that are to come,
Mishapen time, copesmate of ugly night;
Swift subtle post, carrier of grisly care;
Eater of youth, false slave to false delight,
Base watch of woes, sin's pack-horse, virtue's snare;
Thou nursest all, and murder'st all that are.
O hear me then, injurious shifting time!
Be guilty of my death, since of my crime.
Why hath thy servant opportunity,
Betrayed the hours thou gav'st me to repose?
Cancell'd my fortunes, and inchained me
To endless date of never-ending woes?
Time's office is to find the hate of foes,
Time's glory is to calm contending kings;
To unmask falshood, and bring truth to light;
To stamp the seal of time on aged things;
To wake the morn, and centinel the night;
To wrong the wronger, till he render right;
TAROUIN AND LUCRECE.
To fill with worm-holes stately monuments;
To spoil antiquities of hammer'd steel.
And turn the giddy round of fortune's wheel:
To shew the beldame daughters of her daughter;
To make a child a man, the man a child;
To slay the tyger, that doth live by slaughter;
To tame the unicorn and lion wild;
To mock the subtle in themselves beguil'd;
Why work'st thou mischief, in thy pilgrimage,
O, this dread night! wou'dst thou one hour come back,
Thou ceaseless lackey to eternity,
TABQUIN AND LUCRECE.
Disturb his hours of rest with restless trances;
Let him have time to tear his curled hair;
Let him have time against himself to rave;
Let him have time of time's help to despair;
Let him have time to live a loathed slave;
Let him have time a beggar's orts to crave,
Let him have time to see his friends his foes,
O time! thou tutor both to good and bad!