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"What is the quality of mine offence,
Being constrain'd with dreadful circumstance?
With this, they all at once began to say,
'No, no," quoth she, "no dame, hereafter living,
By my excuse shall claim excuse's giving."
Here, with a sigh, 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
Till after many accents and delays,
assays, She utters this: "He, he, fair lords, 'tis he, That guides this hand to give this wound to me!"
Even here she sheathed in her harmless breast
Life's lasting date from cancell'd destiny.
Stone-still, astonish'd with this deadly deed,
And bubbling from her breast, it doth divide
Who like a late-sack'd island vastly stood
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
"Daughter, dear daughter," old Lucretius cries, "That life was mine which thou hast here deprived.
If in the child the father's image lies,
Where shall I live now Lucrece is unlived?
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 old, Shows me a bareboned death by time outworn; O, from thy cheeks my image thou hast torn, And shiver'd all the beauty of my glass,
That I no more can see what once I was!
"O Time, cease thou thy course, and last nó longer,
If they surcease to be that should survive.
Shall rotten Death make conquest of the stronger,
By this starts Collatine as from a dream,
Till manly shame bids him possess his breath,
The deep vexation of his inward soul
That no man could distinguish what he said.
Yet sometime "Tarquin " was pronounce plain,
But through his teeth, as if the name he tore. This windy tempest, till it blow up rain,
Held back his sorrow's tide, to make it more; At last it rains, and busy winds give o'er :
Then son and father weep with equal strife, Who should weep most, for daughter or for wife.
The one doth call her his, the other his,
Replies her husband: "do not take away
"O," quoth Lucretius, "I did give that life Which she too early and too late hath spill'd! "Woe, woe," quoth Collatine, "she was my wife,
I owed her, and 'tis mine that she hath kill'd." 'My daughter!" and "my wife!" with clamours fill'd
The dispersed air, who, holding Lucrece' life, Answer'd their cries, "my daughter!" and "my wife!"
Brutus, who pluck'd the knife from Lucrece' side,
Began to clothe his wit in state and pride,
But now he throws that shallow habit by,
And arm'd his long-hid wits advisedly, To check the tears in Collatinus' eyes. "Thou wronged lord of Rome," quoth he, "arise;
Let my unsounded self, supposed a fool, Now set thy long-experienced wit to school.
"Why, Collatine, is woe the cure for woe? Do wounds help wounds, or grief help 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 slay herself, that should have slain her foe.
"Courageous Roman, do not steep thy heart
(Since Rome herself in them doth stand disgraced,)
By our strong arms from forth her fair streets chased.
66 Now, by the Capitol that we adore,
And by this chaste blood so unjustly stain'd,
By all our country rights 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!"