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Haply that name of chaste unhapp❜ly set
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 aspects did him peculiar duties.
For he the night before, in Tarquin's tent,
O happiness enjoy'd but of a few!
Beauty itself doth of itself persuade
Of that rich jewel he should keep unknown
Perchance his boast of Lucrece' sovereignty
Perchance that envy of so rich a thing,
His high-pitch'd thoughts, that meaner men should vaunt
That golden hap which their superiors want.
But some untimely thought did instigate
When at Collatium this false lord arrived,
When beauty boasted blushes, in despite
But beauty, in that white intituled,
From Venus' doves doth challenge that fair field: Then virtue claims from beauty beauty's red, Which virtue gave the golden age, to gild
Their silver cheeks, and call'd it then their shield; Teaching them thus to use it in the fight, When shame assail'd, the red should fence the white.
This heraldry in Lucrece' face was seen,
Proving from world's minority their right:
This silent war of lilies and of roses
Which Tarquin view'd in her fair face's field,
The coward captive vanquished doth yield
Now thinks he that her husband's shallow tongue
(The niggard prodigal that praised her so)
Enchanted Tarquin answers with surmise,
This earthly saint, adorèd by this devil,
Birds never limed no secret bushes fear :
So guiltless she securely gives good cheer
For that he colour'd with his high estate,
Save sometime too much wonder of his eye,
But poorly rich, so wanteth in his store
That, cloy'd with much, he pineth still for
But she, that never coped with stranger eyes, Could pick no meaning from their parling looks, Nor read the subtle-shining secrecies
Writ in the glassy margents of such books; She touch'd no unknown baits, nor fear'd no hooks;
Nor could she moralize his wanton sight
More than his eyes were open'd to the light.
He stories to her ears her husband's fame,
And decks with praises Collatine's high name,
With bruised arms and wreaths of victory; Her joy with heaved-up hand she doth express,
And, wordless, so greets heaven for his suc
Far from the purpose of his coming thither,
For then is Tarquin brought unto his bed,
With modest Lucrece, and wore out the night : Now leaden slumber with life's strength doth fight;
And every one to rest themselves betake,
Save thieves, and cares, and troubled minds, that wake.
As one of which doth Tarquin lie revolving
Though weak-built hopes persuade him to abstaining;
Despair to gain doth traffic oft for gaining; And when great treasure is the meed proposed,
Though death be adjunct, there's no death supposed.
Those that much covet are with gain so fond, That what they have not, that which they pos
They scatter and unloose it from their bond,
Is but to surfeit, and such griefs sustain,
The aim of all is but to nurse the life
With honour, wealth, and ease, in waning age;
Honour for wealth; and oft that wealth doth
The death of all, and all together lost.