The Rape of Lucrece: A Poem
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When the king's son hears the chastity of one of his father's advisors praised, he sets out to sully her name, with tragic consequences.
THE RAPE OF LUCRECE William Shakespeare CONTENTS The Rape of Lucrece About the Author About the Series Copyright About the Publisher The Rape of Lucrece TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLEY, EARLE OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TITCHFIELD. The love I dedicate to your Lordship is without end: whereof this Pamphlet without beginning is but a superfluous Moity. The warrant I have of your Honourable disposition, not the worth of my untutord Lines makes it assured of acceptance. What I
fraud, or skill. Then call them not the authors of their ill,  No more than wax shall be accounted evil Wherein is stamp’d the semblance of a devil. Their smoothness, like a goodly champaign plain, Lays open all the little worms that creep; In men, as in a rough-grown grove, remain  Cave-keeping evils that obscurely sleep. Through crystal walls each little mote will peep. Though men can cover crimes with bold stern looks, Poor women’s faces are their own faults’ books. No
painted, So sober-sad, so weary, and so mild, As if with grief or travail 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 borrowed tears that Sinon sheds.  Priam, why art thou old, and yet not wise? For every tear he falls a Troyan bleeds; His eyes drops fire, no water thence
Brutus drew  The murd’rous knife, and, as it left the place, Her blood, in poor revenge, held it in chase; And bubbling from her breast, it doth divide In two slow rivers, that the crimson blood Circles her body in on every side,  Who like a late-sack’d island vastly stood Bare and unpeopled in this fearful flood. Some of her blood still pure and red remain’d, And some look’d black, and that false Tarquin stain’d. About the mourning and congealed face  Of that
for the morning light; She prays she never may behold the day. ‘For day’ quoth she ‘night’s scapes doth open lay; And my true eyes have never practis’d how To cloak offences with a cunning brow.  ‘They think not but that every eye can see The same disgrace which they themselves behold; And therefore would they still in darkness be, To have their unseen sin remain untold; For they their guilt with weeping will unfold,  And grave, like water that doth eat in steel, Upon my