« 上一頁繼續 »
From what is past, the help that thou thall lend me
Comes all too late, yet let the traitor die,
For sparing justice feeds iniquity.
To chase injustice with revengeful arms,
Knights by their oathis should right poor ladies' harms. At this request, with noble disposition, Each present lord began to promise aid, As bound in knighthood to her imposition, Longing to hear the hateful foe bewray'd : But she that yet her sad task hath not said,
The protestation stops. O speak, quoth she,
How may this forced stain be wip'd from me?
The poison’d fountain clears itself again,
And why not I, from this compelled stain ?
No, no, quoth she, no dame hereafter living,
By my excuse shall claim excuses giving. Here with a sigh, as if her heart would break, She throws forth Tarquin's name.
He, he, she says:
She utters this, He, he, fair lord, 'tis he
Even here she sheathed in her harmless breast
Her winged sprite, and thro' her wounds doth fly
Life's lasting date from cancell'd destiny.
The murd'rous knife, and as it left the place,
Her blood, in pure revenge, held it in chase.
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 black blood, a watery rigol goes, Which seems to weep upon the tainted place ; And ever since, as pitying Lucrece' woes, Corrupted blood some watry token shows :
And blood untainted still doth red abide,
Blushing at that which is so putrify'd.
If children predecease progenitors,
We are the offspring, and they none of ours.
3) i. e. like a wast?.
A rigol is a circle.
Vastum is the law term for waste ground. STEE..
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 haste no longer, If thou surcease to be, that should survive : Shall rotten death make conquest of the stronger, And leave the fault'ring feeble souls alive? The old bees die, the young possess their hive ;
Then live, sweet Lucrece, live again and see
Thy father die, and not thy father thee.
Till manly shame bids him possess his breath,
And live to be revenged on her death.
Weak words, so thick come in his poor heart's aid,
That no man could distinguish what he said.
Then son and father weep with equal strife,
Who should weep most for daughter, or for wife.
He weeps for her, for she was only inine,
O ! quoth Lucretius, I did give that life,
The disperst air, who holding Lucrece' life,
Answer'd their cries, my daughter and my wife.
As silly jeering ideots are with kings,
For sportive words, and uttering foolish things.
Let my unsounded self, suppos'd a fool,
Now set thy long experienc'd wit to school. Why, Colatine, 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.
(Since Rome herself in them doth stand disgrac'd)
By our strong arms from forth her fair streets chas'd. Now by the Capitol that we adore ! And by this chaste blood so 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.
And that deep vow which Brutus made before,
He doth again repeat, and that they swore.
The Romans plausibly did give consent
Tarquin and Lucrece-A book entitled The Ravishment of Lucrece, was entered on the Stationers' Register by Mr. Harrison, sen. May 11, 1594 ; and the poem was first printed in 4to in the same year. It was again published'in small octavo, in 1598, and 1607.