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At this request, with noble disposition
Each present lord began to promise aid,
As bound in knighthood to her imposition,
Longing to hear the hatesul foe bewray'd;
But she that yet her fad task hath not faid,
The protestation stops. O speak, quoth she,-
How may this forced stain-te wip'dfrom me?
What is the quality of my offence,
Being constraint with dreadsul circumstance?
May my pure mind with the foul act dispense,
My low declined honour to advance?
May any terms acquit me from this chance?
The poifon'd fountain clears itself again,
And whynot I, from this compelled stain?
With this they all at once began to fay,
Her body's stain the mind untainted clears,
While with a joyless smile she turns away
The faoe, that map, which deep impression bears
Of hard misfortune carvedrin with tears.
No, no, quoth she, no dame hereaster 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 fays:
But more, than heji her poor tongue could not speak,
Till aster many-accents and delays,
Untimely breathings, sick and short assays,
She utters this, He, he, fair lord, 'tis he
That guides this hand to give this wound to me.
Even-here she sheathed in her harmless breast
A harmful knise, that thence her foul unsheathed3 .
That blow did bail it from the deep unrest"
Of that polluted prifon where it breathed;
Her contrite sighs unto the clouds bequeathed
Her winged sprite,.and thro' her wounds doth fly
Lise's lasting date from cancel'd destiny.
Stone-still, astonish'd with this deadly deed,.
Stood Colatine and all his lordly crew,
Till Lucrece' Father, that beholds her bleed,.
Himselr on her sdrflatighter'd body threw:.
And from the purple fountain Brutus drew
The murd'ious knise, and as it left the place,,
Her blood, in pure revenge, held it in chase.
And bubbling from her breast it doth divide
In two (luw livr-rs, that the crimson blood
Circles her body in on every side
"Who like a late fack'd ifland v.isily stood
Bare and unpeopled in this searsul flood.
Some of her blood still pure and red rempin'S,
And fome look'd black, and that false Tarquia
About the mourning and congealed face
Of that black blood, a watry rigol goes,
Which seems to weep upon the tainted place;
And ever since, as pitying Lucrece' woes,
Corrupted blood fome wat'ry token shows:
And blood untainted still doth red abide,
Blushing at that which is fo putrisy'd.
Daughter, dear daughter, old Lucretius cries,
That lise was mine, which thou hast here depriv'3 ;.
If in the child the father's image lies,.
Where shall I live, now Lucrece is unliv'd?
Thou wast not to this endfrom me deriv'd.
If children predecease progenitors,'
"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 }t
But now that fair fresh mirror, dim and cold,
Shews me a bare-bon'd death by time out-worm
O! from my cheeks my image thou hast torn!
And shiver'd all the beauty from 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 falt'ring seeble fouls 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.
By- this starts Colatine as from a dream,
And bids Lucretius give his sorrow place;
And then in clay cold Lucrece' bleeding stream'
He falls,- and bathes the pale sear in his face,
And counterseits to die with her a space:
Till manly shame bids him possess his breath,.
And live to be revenged on her death.
The deep vexation of his inward foul
Hath serv'xl a dumb arrest upon his tongue;
Who made that forrow should his use controu!,.
Or keep him from heart-easing words fo long,
He 'gins to talk; but thro' his lips do throng
Weak words, fo thick come in his poor heart's.aid,
TJiat no man could distinguish what he faid. -
Yet fometime Tarquin was pronounced plain*-.
BuLthro' his teeth, as if his name he tore :s,
This windy tempest, till it blow up rain,
Held back his forrow's tide to make it more.
At last it rains, and busy winds give o'er:
Then fon and father-weep with equal strise,
Who should weep most for daughter, or sor wife*
The one doth call her his, the other his i
Yet neither may possess the claim they lay.
The father fays, she's mine; O mine she is,.
Replies her husband; do not take away.
My forrow's interest, let no mourner fay,
He weeps for her, for she Was only mine,.
And only must be wail'd by Colatine.
G P quoth Lucretius, I did giv* that lise*
Which she too early and too late hath spill'd;
Wo! wo! quoth Colatine, she was my wise,
I. own'd her, and 'tis mine, that she hath kill'di-
Jkly daughter and my wise with clamours sill'd
The disperst air, . who holding-Lucrece lise,
Answer'd their cries, my; daughter and my wise.
Brutus, who pluci'd the knise from Lucrece' side,
Seeing such emulation in their woe,.
Began to clothe his wit in state and pride*
Burying in Lucrece' wound his follies show;
He with. the Remans was' esteemed fo,
As-silly jeering ideots are with kings,
For sportive words, and uttering foolish things.
But now he throws that shallow habit by,
Wbe:«in true policy did him disguise,.
Afid arm'd his long-hid wits advisedly*
To check the tears in Colatinus' eyes.
Thou wronged lord of Rome, quoth he, arise y-
Let my unfounded self, suppos'd a fool,
Now set-thy-long-experienc'd wit to school.
Why, Colatinej is woe the cure for woe?
Do wounds he)p wounds, or griePhelp grievous deeds?
Ts-it revenge to give thyself a blow -
For his foul-act, by whom-thy fair wife bleeds?
Such childish humour from weak minds proceeds s
Thy wretched wise mistook-the matter fo,
To flay herself, that should have flain herfoe.- -
Courageous Roman, do not steep thy heart
In such lamenting dew of lamentations;
But kneel with me, and help to bear thy part,'.
To rouse our Roman gods with invocations,
That they will suffer these abominations
(Since Rome herself in them doth stand disgrac'd) ) By our strong. arms from forth her fair streets ihas'd.
Nbw by the capitol that we adore! * ,
And by this chaste blood fo unjustly stain'dl
By heaven's fair sun, that breeds the fat earth's store 1?
By all our country rites in Rome maintain'd!
And by chaste Lucrece' foul,* that late complain'd
Her wrongs to- us, and by this bloody knise!?
We will revenge the death of this true wise*
This faid, he stroke his hand upon his breast, .
And kiss'd the fatal knise to end his vow:
And to his protestation urg'd the rest,
Who wond'rirg at him did his words allow:
Taen-joiiriy to the ground their knees they bow**,
E 6 *