« ForrigeFortsett »
At this request, with noble disposition,
Each present lord began to promise aid,
As bound in knighthood to her imposition,
Langing to hear the hateful foe bewray'd :
But she that yet her fad task hath not said,
The protestation stops. O speak, quoth she,
How may-this forced stain-be wip'd from me?
What is the quality of my offence,
Being constrain'd with dreadful circumstance ?
May my pure mind with the foul act dispense,
My low declined honour to advance ?
May any terms acquit me from this chance ?
The poison'd fountain clears itself again,
And why not I, from this compelled stain?
With this they all at once began to say,
Her body's stain the mind untainted clears,
While with a joyless smile she turns away
The face, that map, which deep impression bears
Of hard misfortune carved in with tears.
No, no, quoth she, no dame hereafter living,
By my excuse shall claim excuses giving.
Here with a figh, as if her heart would break,
She throws forth Tarquin's name. He, he, she says:
But more, than he, her poor tongue could not speak,
Till after many:accents and delays,
Untimely breathings, fick and short afsays,
She utters this, He, he, fair lord, 'tis be
That guides this hand to give this wound to me.
Even-here she sheathed in her harmless breast
A harmful knife, that thence her soul unsheathed, .
That blow did bail it from the deep unrest
Of that polluted prison where it breathed;
Her contrite fighs unto the clouds bequeathed
Her winged sprite, and thro' her wounds doch fly
Life's lasting date from cancel'd deftiny.
Stone-still, astonish'd with this deadly deed,
Stood Colatine and all his lordly crew,
Till Lucrece' father, that beholds her bleed,
Himfelf on her felt-flaughter'd body threw:.
And from the purple fountain Brutus drew
The murd'ious knife, and as it left the place,
Her blood, in pure revenge, held it in chase.
And bubbling from her breast it doth divide
In two flow rivers, that the crimson blood
Circles her body in on every side ;,
Who like a late fack'd island vastly stood.
Bare and unpeopled in this fearful flood.
Some of her blood still pure and red remrin'd,
And some look'd black, and that falfe Tarquin
About the mourning and congealed face
Of that black blood, a watry, rigol goes,
Which seems to weep upon the tainted place ;,
And ever fince, as pitying Lucrece' woes,
Corrupted blood some wat'ry token shows :
And blood untainted still doth red abide,
Blushing at that which is so putrify'd.
Daughter, dear daughter, old Lucretius cries,
That life was mine, which thou hast here depriv'd ;;
If in the child the father's image lies,
Where shall I live, now Lucrece is unliv'd ?
Thou wast not to this end from me deriy’d.
I children predecease progenitors,
We are their offspring, and they none of ours.
Poor broken glass,.I often did behold
In thy sweet semblance, my old age new-born ;
But now that fair fresh mirror, dim and cold,
Shews me a bare-bon’s death by time out-worm::
O! from my cheeks my image thou hast torn!
And shiver'd all the beauty: from ny glass,
That I no more can see what once I was. -
O! time! cease thou thy course, and hafte no longerg
If thou furcease to be, that should survive :
Shall rotten death make conquest of the stronger,
And leave the falt'ring feeble fouls alive?
The old bees die, the young postess their hive ;
Then live sweet Lucrece, live again and fee:
Thy father die, and not thy father thee.:
By this starts Colatine as from a dream,
And bids Lucretius give his forrow place ;
And then in clay cold Lucrece' bleeding streama's
He falls, and bathes the pale fear in his face,
And counterfeits to die with her a space :
Till manly shame bids him possess his breath,
And live to be revenged on her death.
The deep vexation of his inward soul
Hath serv'd a dumb arrett upon his tongue;
Who made that sorrow should his use controul,
Or keep him from heart-easing words so long, ·
He 'gins to talk; but thro' his lips do throng
Weak words, so thick come in his poor heart's aid,
That no man could distinguish what he said. -
Yet sometime Tarquin was pronounced plaiņg-
Butthro' his teeth, as if his name he tore:n
This windy tempeft, till it blow up rain,
Held back his forrow's tide to make it more..
At laft it rains, and busy winds give o'er :
Then son and father weep with equal strife,
Who should weep most för daughter, or for wise:
The one doth-call her his, the other his ;
Yet neither may poflefs the claim they lay.
The father says, she's mine; O mine she is,
Replies her husband ; do not take away: :
My sorrow's interest, let no mourner say,
He weeps for her, for she was only mineg.
And only must be wail'd by Colatine.
O! quotả Lucretius, I did give that life;
Which she too early and too late hath spilld:
Wo! wo! quoth Colatine, she was my wife,
I own'd her,, and 'tis mine, that she hath kill'd:
My daughter and my wife with clamours fill'd
The disperst air, who holding Lucrece life,
Answer'd their cries; my daughter and my wife.
Brutus, who pluck?d the knife from Lucrece' fide,
Seeing such emulation in their woeg.
Began to clothe his wit in flate and pride;
Burying in Lucrece' wound his follies thow:
He with the Romans was esteemed so,
As-filly jeering ideots are with kings,
For sportive words, and uttering foolish things.
But now he throws that shallow habit by,
Wherein true policy did him disguises,
And arm'd his long-hid wits advisedly;..
To check the tears in Colatinus' eyes:
Thou wronged lord of Rome, quoth he, arise ;
Let my unfounded self, suppos'd a fool,
Now let thy long experienc'd wit to school.
Why, Colatine; is woe the cure for woe?
Do wounds help wounds, or griefhelp grievous deeds??
Is it revenge to give thyself a blow-
For his foul-act, by whom thy fair wife bleeds ? -
Such childish humour from weak minds proceeds:
Thy wretched wife mistook the matter so,
To flay herself, that should have flain her foes -
Courageous Roman, do not steep thy heart
In such lamenting dew of lamentations ;
But kneel with me, and help to bear thy part,',
To rouse our Roman gods with invocations,
That they will suffer these abominations
(Since Rome herself in them doth stand difgracid) By our strong arms from forth her fair streets chas'd..
Now by the capitol that we adore !
And by this chaste blood fo'unjustly stain'd! *
By heaven's fair sun, that breeds the fat earth's store ! ?
By all our country rites in Rome maintain'd!
And by chaste Lucrece' soul, that late complain'd *
Her wrongs to us, and by this bloody knife!
We will revenge the death of this true wife.
This faid, he stroke his hand upon his breast, in
And kiss'd' the fatal knife to end his vow :
And to his protestation urg'd the rest, :
Who wond’ring at him did his words allow:
Then jointy to the ground their knees they bowy,