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His brawny sides, with hairy bristles arm'd,
Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter;
His short thick neck cannot be easily harm'd;
Being ireful, on the lion he will venture:
The thorny brambles and embracing bushes,
As fearful of him, part; through whom he rushes.
Alas, he nought esteems that face of thine,
To which Love's eyes pay tributary gazes;
Nor thy soft hands, sweet lips, and crystal eyne,
Whose full perfection all the world amazes;
But having thee at vantage, (wondrous dread!)
Would root these beauties as he roots the mead.
O, let him keep his loathsome cabin still;
Beauty hath nought to do with such foal fiends':
Come not within his danger by thy will;
They that thrive well, take counsel of their friends:
When thou didst name the boar, not to dissemble,
I fear'd thy fortune, and my joints did tremble.
Didst thou not mark my face! Was it not white?
Saw'st thou not signs of fear lurk in mine eye?
Grew I not faint? And fell I not downright?
Within my bosom, whereon thou dost lie,
My boding heart pants, beats, and takes no rest,
But, like an earthquake, shakes thee on my breast.
For where love reigns, disturbing jealousy
Doth call himself affection's sentinel;
Gives false alarms, suggesteth mutiny,
And in a peaceful hour doth cry, kill, kill;
Distemp'ring gentle love in his desire,
As air and water do abate the fire.
This sour informer, this bate-breeding spy,
This canker, that eats up love's tender spring,
5 This carry-tale, dissentious jealousy,
That sometime true news, sometime false doth bring,
Knocks at my heart, and whispers in mine ear,
That if I love thee, I thy death should fear :
And more than so, presenteth to mine eye
The picture of an angry chafing boar,
Under whose sharp fangs on his back doth lie
An image like thyself, all stain'd with gore;
Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed,
Doth make them droop with grief, and hang the head.
What should I do, seeing thee so indeed,
That tremble at the imagination?
By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill,
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear,
To hearken if his foes pursue him still;
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear;
And now his grief may be compared well
To one sore sick, that hears the passing bell.
Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch
Turn, and return, indenting with the way;
Each envious briar his weary legs doth scratch,
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay:
For misery is trodden on by many,
And being low, never reliev'd by any.
Lie quietly, and hear a little more;
Nay, do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise:
To make thee hate the hunting of the boar,
Unlike myself thou hear'st me moralize,
Applying this to that, and so to so;
For love can comment upon every woe.
Where did I leave?-No matter where, quoth he;
Leave me, and then the story aptly ends:
The night is spent. Why, what of that? quoth she:
I am, quoth he, expected of my friends;
And now 'tis dark, and going I shall fall ;-
In night, quoth she, desire sees best of all.
But if thou fall, O then imagine this,
The earth, in love with thee, thy footing trips,
And all is but to rob thee of a kiss.
Rich preys make true men thieves; so do thy lips
Make modest Dian cloudy and forlorn,
Lest she should steal a kiss, and die fors worn.
Now, of this dark night I perceive the reason:
Cynthia for shame obscures her silver shine,
Till forging Nature be condemn'd of treason,
For stealing moulds from heaven that were divine,
Wherein she fram'd thee, in high heaven's despite,
To shame the sun by day, and her by night.
And therefore hath she brib'd the Destinies,
To cross the curious workmanship of nature;
To mingle beauty with infirmities,
And pure perfection with impure defeature;
Making it subject to the tyranny
Of mad mischances, and much misery;
As burning fevers, agues pale and faint,
Life-poisoning pestilence, and frenzies wood,
The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed, The marrow-eating sickness, whose attaint
And fear doth teach it divination :
I prophesy thy death, my living sorrow,
If thou encounter with the boar to-morrow.
But if thou needs wilt hunt, be rul'd by me:
Uncouple at the timorous flying hare,
Or at the fox, which lives by subtilty,
Or at the roe, which no encounter dare:
Pursue these fearful creatures o'er the downs,
And on thy well-breath'd horse keep with thy hounds.
And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare,
Mark the poor wretch, to overshut his troubles,
How he out-runs the wind, and with what care
He cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles:
The many musits through the which he goes,
Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes.
Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep,
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell;
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep,
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell;
And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer;
Danger deviseth shifts; wit waits on fear:
For there his smell with others being mingled,
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt;
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out;
Then do they spend their mouths: Echo replies,
As if another chase were in the skies.
Disorder breeds by heating of the blood:
Surfeits, imposthumes, grief, and damn'd despair,
Swear nature's death for framing thee so fair.
And not the least of all these maladies,
But in one minute's fight brings beauty under:
Both favour, savour, hue, and qualities,
Whereat the impartial gazer late did wonder,
Are on the sudden wasted, thaw'd, and done,
As mountain-snow melts with the mid-day sun.
Therefore, despight of fruitless chastity,
Love-lacking vestals, and self-loving nuns,
That on the earth would breed a scarcity,
And barren dearth of daughters and of sons,
Be prodigal: the lamp that burns by night,
Dries up his oil, to lend the world his light.
What is thy body but a swallowing grave,
Seeming to bury that posterity,
Which by the rights of time thou needs must have,
If thou destroy them not in dark obscurity?
If so, the world will hold thee in disdain,
Sith in thy pride so fair a hope is slain.
So in thyself thyself art made away;
A mischief worse than civil home-bred strife,
Or theirs, whose desperate hands themselves do slay,
Or butcher-sire, that reaves his son of life.
Foul cankering rust the hidden treasure frets,
But gold that's put to use, more gold begets.
Nay then, quoth Adon, you will fall again
Into your idle over-handled theme;
The kiss I gave you is bestow'd in vain,
And all in vain you strive against the stream;
For by this black-fac'd night, desire's foul nurse,
Your treatise makes me like you worse and worse.
If love have lent you twenty thousand tongues,
And every tongue more moving than your own,
130 Bewitching like the wanton mermaid's songs,
Yet from mine ear the tempting tune is blown;
For know, my heart stands armed in mine ear,
And will not let a false sound enter there;
Lest the deceiving harmony should run
Into the quiet closure of my breast;
And then my little heart were quite undone,
In his bedchamber to be barr'd of rest.
No, lady, no; my heart longs not to groan,
But soundly sleeps, while now it sleeps alone.
What have you urg'd, that I cannot reprove?
The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger;
I hate not love, but your device in love,
That lends embracements unto every stranger.
You do it for increase, O strange excuse!
When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse.
Call it not love, for Love to heaven is fled,
Since sweating Lust on earth usurp'd his name;
Under whose simple semblance he hath fed
Upon fresh beauty, blotting it with blame;
Which the hot tyrant stains, and soon bereaves,
As caterpillars do the tender leaves.
Love comforteth, like sunshine after rain,
But lust's effect is tempest after sun;
Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain,
Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done.
Love surfeits not; lust like a glutton dies:
Love is all truth; lust full of forged lies.
More I could tell, but more I dare not say;
The text is old, the orator too green.
135 Therefore in sadness, now I will away;
My face is full of shame, my heart of teen:
Mine ears, that to your wanton talk attended,
Do burn themselves for having so offended.
With this he breaketh from the sweet embrace
Of those fair arms which bound him to her breast,
And homeward through the dark lawn runs apace;
Leaves Love upon her back deeply distress'd.
Look, how a bright star shooteth from the sky,
So glides he in the night from Venus' eye;
Which after him she darts, as one on shore
Gazing upon a late-embarked friend,
Till the wild waves will have him seen no more,
Whose ridges with the meeting clouds contend:
So did the merciless and pitchy night
Fold in the object that did feed her sight.
Whereat amaz'd, as one that unaware
Hath dropp'd a precious jewel in the flood,
Or 'stonish'd as night-wanderers often are,
Their light blown out in some mistrustful wood;
Even so confounded in the dark she lay,
Having lost the fair discovery of her way.
And now she beats her heart, whereat it groans,
That all the neighbour-caves, as seeming troubled,
Make verbal repetition of her moans;
Passion on passion deeply is redoubled:
Ah me! she cries, and twenty times, woe, woe!
And twenty echoes twenty times cry so.
She marking them, begins a wailing note,
And sings extemp'rally a woeful ditty; [dote;
How love makes young men thrall, and old men
How love is wise in folly, foolish-witty:
Her heavy anthem still concludes in woe,
And still the choir of echoes answer so.
Her song was tedious, and outwore the night.
For lovers' hours are long, though seeming short
If pleas'd themselves, others, they think, delight
In such like circumstance, with such like sport:
Their copious stories, oftentimes begun,
End without audience, and are never done.
For who hath she to spend the night withal,
But idle sounds resembling parasites;
Like shrill-tongu'd tapsters answering every call,
Soothing the humour of fantastic wits!
She says, 'tis so: they answer all, 'tis so;
And would say after her, if she said no.
Lo! here the gentle lark, weary of rest,
From his moist cabinet mounts up on high,
And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast
The Sun ariseth in his majesty;
Who doth the world so gloriously behold,
That cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold.
Venus salutes him with this fair good-morrow:
O, thou clear god, and patron of all light,
From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow
The beauteous influence that makes him bright,
There lives a son, that suck'd an earthly mother,
May lend thee light, as thou dost lend to other.
This said, she hasteth to a myrtle grove,
Masing the morning is so much o'er-worn;
And yet she hears no tidings of her love:
She hearkens for his hounds, and for his hora:
Anon she hears them chaunt it lustily,
And all in haste she coasteth to the cry.
And as she runs, the bushes in the way
Some catch her by the neck, some kiss her face,
Some twin'd about her thigh to make her stay;
She wildly breaketh from their strict embrace,
Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ake,
Hasting to feed her fawn hid in some brake.
By this she hears the hounds are at a bay,
Whereat she starts like one that spies an adder
Wreath'd up in fatal folds, just in his way,
The fear whereof doth make him shake and shudder,
Even so the timorous yelping of the bounds
Appals her senses, and her spright confounds.
For now she knows it is no gentle chase,
But the blunt boar, rough bear, or lion proud,
Because the cry remaineth in one place,
Where fearfully the dogs exclaim aloud:
Finding their enemy to be so curst,
They all strain court'sy, who shall cope him first.
This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear,
Through which it enters to surprise her heart;
Who, overcome by doubt and bloodless fear,
With cold-pale weakness numbs each feeling part:
Like soldiers, when their captain once doth yield,
They basely fly, and dare not stay the field.
Thus stands she in a trembling ecstasy,
Till, cheering up her senses sore-dismay'd,
She tells them, 'tis a causeless fantasy,
And childish error that they are afraid;
Bids them leave quaking, bids them fear no more;—
And with that word she spy'd the hunted boar;
Whose frothy mouth, bepainted all with red,
Like milk and blood being mingled both together,
A second fear through all her sinews spread,
Which madly hurries her she knows not whither:
This way she runs, and now she will no further,
But back retires to rate the boar for murther.
A thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways;
She treads the path that she untreads again;
Her more than haste is mated with delays,
Like the proceedings of a drunken brain;
Full of respect, yet nought at all respecting:
In hand with all things, nought at all effecting.
Here kennel'd in a brake she finds a hound,
And asks the weary caitiff for his master;
And there another licking of his wound,
'Gainst venom'd sores the only sovereign plaster;
And here she meets another sadly scowling,
To whom she speaks; and he replies with howling.
When he hath ceas'd his ill-resounding noise,
Another flap-mouth'd mourner, black and grim,
Against the welkin vollies out his voice;
Another and another answer him;
Clapping their proud tails to the ground below,
Shaking their scratch'd ears, bleeding as they go.
Look, how the world's poor people are amaz'd
At apparitions, signs, and prodigies,
Whereon with fearful eyes they long have gaz'd,
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies;
So she at these sad sighs draws up her breath,
And, sighing it again, exclaims on death.
Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean,
Hateful divorce of love, (thus chides she death,)
Grim-grinning ghost, earth's worm, what dost thou
To stifle beauty, and to steal his breath, [mean,
Who when he liv'd, his breath and beauty set
Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet?
If he be dead,-O no, it cannot be,
Seeing his beauty, thou should'st strike at it ;-
O yes, it may; thou hast no eyes to see,
But hatefully at random dost thou hit.
Thy mark is feeble age; but thy false dart
Mistakes that aim, and cleaves an infant's heart.
Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke,
And hearing him, thy power had lost his power,
The destinies will curse thee for this stroke;
They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluck'st a flower:
Love's golden arrow at him should have fled,
And not death's ebon dart, to strike him dead.
Dost thou drink tears, that thou provok'st suchweep-
What may a heavy groan advantage thee? [ing?
Why hast thou cast into eternal sleeping
Those eyes that taught all other eyes to see?
Now Nature cares not for thy mortal vigour,
Since her best work is ruin'd with thy rigour.
Here overcome, as one full of despair,
She vail'd her eye-lids, who, like sluices, stopp'd
The crystal tide that from her two cheeks fair
In the sweet channel of her bosom dropp'd;
But through the flood-gates breaks the silver rain,
And with his strong course opens them again.
O how her eyes and tears did lend and borrow!
Her eyes seen in the tears, tears in her eye; [row;
Both crystals, where they view'd each other's sor-
Sorrow, that friendly sighs sought still to dry;
But like a stormy day, now wind, now rain,
Sighs dry her cheeks, tears make them wet again.
Variable passions throng her constant woe,
As striving who should best become her grief;
All entertain'd, each passion labours so,
That every present sorrow seemeth chief,
But none is best; then join they all together,
Like many clouds consulting for foul weather.
By this, far off she hears some huntsman holla;
A nurse's song ne'er pleas'd her babe so well!
The dire imagination she did follow
This sound of hope doth labour to expel;
For now reviving joy bids her rejoice,
And flatters her, it is Adonis' voice.
Whereat her tears began to turn their tide,
Being prison'd in her eye, like pearls in glass;
Yet sometimes falls an orient drop beside,
Which her cheek melts, as scorning it should pass,
To wash the foul face of the sluttish ground,
Who is but drunken, when she seemeth drown'd.
O hard-believing love, how strange it seems
Not to believe, and yet too credulous!
Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes;
Despair and hope make thee ridiculous:
The one doth flatter thee in thoughts unlikely,
In likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly.
Now she unweaves the web that she hath wrought;
Adonis lives, and death is not to blame;
It was not she that call'd him all to nought;
Now she adds honours to his hateful name;
She clepes him king of graves, and grave for kings;
Imperious supreme of all mortal things.
No, no, quoth she, sweet Death, I did but jest;
Yet pardon me, I felt a kind of fear,
When as I met the boar, that bloody beast,
Which knows no pity, but is still severe;
Then, gentle shadow, (truth I must confess,)
I rail'd on thee, fearing my love's decease.
"Tis not my fault: the boar provok'd my tongue;
Be wreak'd on him, invisible commander;
'Tis he, foul creature, that hath done thee wrong;
I did but act, he's author of thy slander:
Grief hath two tongues, and never woman yet
Could rule them both, without ten women's wit.
Thus hoping that Adonis is alive,
Her rash suspect she doth extenuate;
And that his beauty may the better thrive,
With death she humbly doth insinuate :
Tells him of trophies, statues, tombs, and stories,
His victories, his triumphs, and his glories.
O Jove, quoth she, how much a fool was I,
To be of such a weak and silly mind,
To wail his death, who lives, and must not die, 70
Till mutual overthrow of mortal kind!
For he being dead, with him is beauty slain,
And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again.
Fie, fie, fond love, thou art so full of fear,
As one with treasure laden, hemm'd with thieves;
Trifles, unwitnessed with eye or ear,
Thy coward heart with false bethinking grieves.
Even at this word she hears a merry horn,
Whereat she leaps, that was but late forlorn.
As falcon to the lure, away she flies;
The grass stoops not, she treads on it so light;
And in her haste unfortunately spies
The foul boar's conquest on her fair delight;
Which seen, her eyes, as murder'd with the view,
Like stars asham'd of day, themselves withdrew.
Or, as the snail, whose tender horns being hit,
Shrinks backward in his shelly cave with pain,
And there, all smother'd up in shade doth sit,
Long after fearing to creep forth again;
So, at his bloody view, her eyes are fled
Into the deep dark cabins of her head:
Where they resign their office and their light
To the disposing of her troubled brain ;
Who bids them still consort with ugly night,
And never wound the heart with looks again;
Who, like a king perplexed in his throne,
By their suggestion gives a deadly groan,
Whereat each tributary subject quakes;
As when the wind, imprison'd in the ground,
Struggling for passage, earth's foundation shakes,
Which with cold terror doth men's minds confound:
This mutiny each part doth so surprise,
That, from their dark beds, once more leap her eyes;
And, being open'd, threw unwilling light
Upon the wide wound that the boar had trench'd
In his soft flank: whose wonted lily white
With purple tears, that his wound wept, was drench'd:
No flower was nigh, no grass, herb, leaf, or weed,
But stole his blood, and seem'd with him to bleed.
This solemn sympathy poor Venus noteth;
Over one shoulder doth she hang her head;
Dumbly she passions, frantickly she doteth;
She thinks he could not die, he is not dead:
Her voice is stopp'd, her joints forget to bow;
Her eyes are mad, that they have wept till now.
Upon his hurt she looks so steadfastly,
That her sight dazzling makes the wound seem three;
And then she reprehends her mangling eye,
That makes more gashes where no breach should be:
His face seems twain, each several limb is doubled;
For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being troubled.
My tongue cannot express my grief for one.
And yet, quoth she, behold two Adons dead!
My sighs are blown away, my salt tears gone,
Mine eyes are turn'd to fire, my heart to lead:
Heavy heart's lead, melt at mine eyes' red fire!
So shall I die by drops of hot desire.
Alas, poor world, what treasure hast thou lost!
What face remains alive that's worth the viewing?
She looks upon his lips, and they are pale:
She takes him by the hand, and that is cold;
She whispers in his ears a heavy tale,
As if they heard the woeful words she told:
She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes,
Where, lo! two lamps, burnt out, in darkness lies:
Two glasses, where herself herself bebeld
A thousand times, and now no more reflect;
Their virtue lost, wherein they late excell'd,
And every beauty robb'd of his effect:
Wonder of time, quoth she, this is my spite,
That, you being dead, the day should yet be light.
Since thou art dead, lo! here I prophesy,
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend:
It shall be waited on with jealousy,
Find sweet beginning, but unsavoury end;
Ne'er settled equally, but high or low;
That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe.
It shall be fickle, false, and full of frand;
Bud and be blasted in a breathing-while;
750 Whose tongue is music now? what can'st thou boast The bottom poison, and the top o'er-straw'd
Of things long since, or any thing ensuing?
The flowers are sweet, their colours fresh and trim,
But true-sweet beauty liv'd and died with him.
Bonnet nor veil henceforth no creature wear!
Nor sun nor wind will ever strive to kiss you:
Having no fair to lose, you need not fear;"
The sun doth scorn you, and the wind doth hiss you:
But when Adonis liv'd, sun and sharp air
Lurk'd like two thieves, to rob him of his fair:
And therefore would he put his bonnet on,
Under whose brim the gaudy sun would peep,
The wind would blow it off, and, being gone,
Play with his locks; then would Adonis weep:
And straight in pity of his tender years,
They both would strive who first should dry his
To see his face, the lion walk'd along
Behind some hedge, because he would not fear him;
To recreate himself when he hath sung,
The tiger would be tame, and gently hear him ;
If he had spoke, the wolf would leave his prey,
And never fright the silly lamb that day.
When he beheld his shadow in the brook,
The fishes spread on it their golden gills;
When he was by, the birds such pleasure took,
That some would sing, some other in their bills
Would bring him mulberries, and ripe-red cherries;
He fed them with his sight, they him with berries.
But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted boar,
Whose downward eye still looketh for a grave,
Ne'er saw the beauteous livery that he wore;
Witness the entertainment that he gave:
If he did see his face, why then I know,
He thought to kiss him, and hath kill'd him so.
'Tis true, 'tis true; thus was Adonis slain:
He ran upon the boar with his sharp spear,
Who did not whet his teeth at him again,
But by a kiss thought to persuade him there;
And nuzzling in his flank, the loving swine
Sheath'd, unaware, the tusk in his soft groin.
Had I been tooth'd like him, I must confess,
With kissing him I should have kill'd him first;
But he is dead, and never did he, bless
My youth with his; the more am I accurst.
With this she falleth in the place she stood,
And stains her face with his congealed blood.
With sweets, that shall the truest sight beguile :
The strongest body shall it make most weak;
Strike the wise dumb, and teach the fool to speak.
It shall be sparing, and too full of riot,
Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures;
The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet,
Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures.
It shall be raging-mad, and silly-mild,
Make the young old, the old become a child.
It shall suspect, where is no cause of fear;
It shall not fear, where it should most mistrust;
It shall be merciful, and too severe,
And most deceiving, when it seems most just;
Perverse it shall be, where it shews most toward;
Put fear to valour, courage to the coward.
It shall be cause of war, and dire events,
And set dissention 'twixt the son and sire;
Subject and servile to all discontents,
As dry combustious matter is to fire;
Sith in his prime death doth my love destroy,
They that love best, their loves shall not enjoy.
By this the boy that by her side lay kill'd,
Was melted like a vapour from her sight,
And in his blood, that on the ground lay spill'd,
A purple flower sprung up, checquer'd with white;
Resembling well his pale cheeks, and the blood
Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood.
She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to smell,
Comparing it to her Adonis' breath;
And says, within her bosom it shall dwell,
Since he himself is reft from her by death:
She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears
Green dropping sap, which she compares to tears.
Poor flower, quoth she, this was thy father's guise,
(Sweet issue of a more sweet-smelling sire,)
For every little grief to wet his eyes:
To grow unto himself was his desire,
And so 'tis thine; but know, it is as good
To wither in my breast, as in his blood.
Here was thy father's bed, here in my breast;
Thou art the next of blood, and 'tis thy right:
Lo! in this hollow cradle take thy rest,
My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night:
There shall not be one minute in an hour,
Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower.
Thus weary of the world, away she hies,
And yokes her silver doves; by whose swift aid,
Their mistress mounted through the empty skies
In her light chariot quickly is convey'd;
Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen
Means to immure herself and not be seen.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLY,
Earl of Southampton, and Baron of Tichfield.
THE love I dedicate to your lordship is without end; whereof this pamphlet, without beginning, is but a superfluous moiety. The warrant I have of your honourable disposition, not the worth of my untutored lines, makes it assured of acceptance. What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have, devoted yours. Were my worth greater, my duty would shew greater; mean time, as it is, it is bound to your lordship, to whom I wish long life, still lengthened with happiness.
Your lordship's in all duty,
LUCIUS TARQUINIUS (for his excessive pride surnamed Superbus) after he had caused his own father-in-law, Servius Tullius, to be cruelly murdered, and, contrary to the Roman laws and customs, not requiring or staying for the people's suffrages, had possessed himself of the kingdom; went, accompanied with his sons, and other noblemen of Rome, to besiege Ardea. During which siege, the principal men of the army meeting one evening at the tent of Sextus Tarquinius, the king's son, in their discourses after supper every one commended the virtues of his own wife; among whom, Collatinus extolled the incomparable chastity of his wife Lucretia. In that pleasant humour they all posted to Rome; and intending, by their secret and sudden arrival, to make trial of that which every one had before avouched, only Collatinus finds his wife (though it were late in the night) spinning amongst her maids; the other ladies were all found dancing and revelling, or in several disports. Whereupon the noblemen yielded Collatinus the victory, and his wife the fame. At that time, Sextus Tarquinius being inflamed with Lucrece' beauty, yet smothering his passions for the present, departed with the rest back to the camp; from whence he shortly after privily withdrew himself, and was (according to his state) royally entertained and lodged by Lucrece at Collatium. The same night, he treacherously stealeth into her chamber, violently ravished her, and early in the morning speedeth away. Lucrece, in this lamentable plight, hastily despatcheth messengers, one to Rome for her father, another to the camp for Collatine. They came, the one accompanied with Junius Brutus, the other with Publius Valerius; and finding Lucrece attired in mouruing habit, demanded the cause of her sorrow. She, first taking an oath of them for her revenge, revealed the actor, and whole manner of his dealing, and withal suddenly stabbed herself. Which done, with one consent, they all vowed to root out the whole hated family of the Tarquins; and bearing the dead body to Rome, Brutus acquainted the people with the doer and manner of the vile deed, with a bitter invective against the tyranny of the king: wherewith the people were so moved, that with one consent and a general acclamation, the Tarquins were all exiled, and the state government changed from kings to consuls.
From the besieg'd Ardea all in post,
Borne by the trustless wings of false desire,
Lust-breathed Tarquin leaves the Roman host,
And to Collatium bears the lightless fire,
Which, in pale embers hid, lurks to aspire,
And girdle with embracing flames the waist
Of Collatine's fair love, Lucrece the chaste.
Haply that name of chaste unhapp'ly set
This bateless edge on his keen appetite;
When Collatine unwisely did not let
To praise the clear unmatched red and white
Which triumph'd in that sky of his delight;
Where mortal stars, as bright as heaven's beauties,
With pure aspécts did him peculiar duties.
For he the night before, in Tarquin's tent,
Unlock'd the treasure of his happy state:
What priceless wealth the heavens had him lent
In the possession of his beauteous mate;
Reckoning his fortune at such high-proud rate,
That kings might be espoused to more fame,
But king nor peer to such a peerless dame.
O happiness enjoy'd but of a few!
And, if possess 'd, as soon decay'd and done
As is the morning's silver-melting dew
Against the golden splendour of the sun!
An expir'd date, cancel'd ere well begun:
Honour and beauty, in the owner's arms,
Are weakly fortress'd from a world of harms.