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Griped in an armed hand; himself, behind,
Was left unseen, save to the eye of mind :
A hand, a foot, a face, a leg, a head,
Stood for the whole to be imaginèd.

And from the walls of strong-besieged Troy, When their brave hope, bold Hector, march'd to field,

Stood many Trojan mothers, sharing joy
To see their youthful sons bright weapons wield;
And to their hope they such odd action yield,
That through their light joy seemed to appear
(Like bright things stain'd) a kind of heavy fear.

And, from the strond of Dardan, where they fought,

To Simois' reedy banks, the red blood ran,
Whose waves to imitate the battle sought
With swelling ridges; and their ranks began
To break upon the galled shore, and than
Retire again, till, meeting greater ranks,
They join, and shoot their foam at Simois' banks.

To this well-painted piece is Lucrece come,
To find a face where all distress is stell'd.
Many she sees where cares have carvèd some,
But none where all distress and dolour dwell'd,
Till she despairing Hecuba beheld,

Staring on Priam's wounds with her old eyes,
Which bleeding under Pyrrhus' proud foot lies.

In her the painter had anatomized

Time's ruin, beauty's wreck, and grim care's reign;

Her cheeks with chaps and wrinkles were disguised;

Of what she was no semblance did remain :
Her blue-blood changed to black, in every vein,
Wanting the spring that those shrunk pipes
had fed,

Show'd life imprison'd in a body dead.

On this sad shadow Lucrece spends her eyes,
And shapes her sorrow to the beldame's woes
Who nothing wants to answer her but cries,
And bitter words to ban her cruel foes:
The painter was no god to lend her those;
And therefore Lucrece swears he did her

To give her so much grief, and not a tongue.

"Poor instrument," quoth she, "without a sound, I'll tune thy woes with my lamenting tongue : And drop sweet balm in Priam's painted wound, And rail on Pyrrhus that hath done him wrong; And with my tears quench Troy that burns so long;

And with my knife scratch out the angry eyes Of all the Greeks that are thine enemies.

"Show me the strumpet that began this stir,
That with my nails her beauty I may tear.
Thy heat of lust, fond Paris, did incur

This load of wrath that burning Troy doth bear;
Thy eye kindled the fire that burneth here;
And here in Troy, for trespass of thine eye,
The sire, the son, the dame, and daughter,

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Why should the private pleasure of some one Become the public plague of many mo? Let sin, alone committed, light alone

Upon his head that hath transgressed so.
Let guiltless souls be freed from guilty woe:
For one's offence why should so many fall,
To plague a private sin in general?

"Lo, here weeps Hecuba, here Priam dies, Here manly Hector faints, here Troilus swounds; Here friend by friend in bloody channel lies, And friend to friend gives unadvised wounds, And one man's lust these many lives confounds: Had doting Priam check'd his son's desire, Troy had been bright with fame, and not with fire."

Here feelingly she weeps Troy's painted woes : For sorrow, like a heavy-hanging bell,

Once set on ringing, with his own weight goes; Then little strength rings out the doleful knell : So Lucrece, set a-work, sad tales doth tell

To pencill'd pensiveness, and colour'd sorrow; She lends them words, and she their looks doth borrow.

She throws her eyes about the painting, round,
And whom she finds forlorn she doth lament:
At last she sees a wretched image bound,
That piteous looks to Phrygian shepherds lent;
His face, though full of cares, yet show'd con-


Onward to Troy with the blunt swains he goes, So mild, that Patience seem'd to scorn his


In him the painter labour'd with his skill
To hide deceit, and give the harmless show
An humble gait, calm looks, eyes wailing still,

A brow unbent, that seem'd to welcome woe; Cheeks neither red nor pale, but mingled so That blushing red no guilty instance gave, Nor ashy pale the fear that false hearts have.

But, like a constant and confirmed devil,
He entertain'd a show so seeming just,
And therein so ensconced his secret evil,
That jealousy itself could not mistrust
False-creeping craft and perjury should thrust
Into so bright a day such black-faced storms,
Or blot with hell-born sin such saint-like

The well-skill'd workman this mild image drew For perjured Sinon, whose enchanting story The credulous old Priam after slew ;

Whose words, like wild-fire, burnt the shining glory

Of rich-built Ilion, that the skies were sorry, And little stars shot from their fixed places, When their glass fell wherein they view'd their faces.

This picture she advisedly perused,

And chid the painter for his wondrous skill;
Saying, some shape in Sinon's was abused,
So fair a form lodged not a mind so ill;
And still on him she gazed, and gazing still,
Such signs of truth in his plain face she spied,
That she concludes the picture was belied.

"It cannot be," quoth she, "that so much guile"

(She would have said) "can lurk in such a look;" But Tarquin's shape came in her mind the while,

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"It cannot be," she in that sense forsook, And turn'd it thus: "It cannot be, I find, But such a face should bear a wicked mind:

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'For even as subtle Sinon here is painted, So sober-sad, so weary, and so mild,

(As if with grief or travail he had fainted,) To me came Tarquin armed; so beguiled With outward honesty, but yet defiled

With inward vice: as Priam him did cherish, So did I Tarquin; so my Troy did perish.

"Look, look, how listening Priam wets his eyes,

To see those borrow'd tears that Sinon sheds !
Priam, why art thou old, and yet not wise?
For every tear he falls a Trojan bleeds;
His eye drops fire, no water thence proceeds:
Those round clear pearls of his, that move thy

Are balls of quenchless fire to burn thy city.

"Such devils steal effects from lightless hell; For Sinon in his fire doth quake with cold, And in that cold hot-burning fire doth dwell; These contraries such unity do hold

Only to flatter fools, and make them bold:

So Priam's trust false Sinon's tears doth flatter, That he finds means to burn his Troy with water.

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Here, all enraged, such passion her assails, That patience is quite beaten from her breast. She tears the senseless Sinon with her nails,

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