« AnteriorContinuar »
Honour and beauty in the owner's arms,
Are weakly fortrest from a world of harms.
Beauty itself doth of itself perfuade
of men without an orator ;
What needed then apologies be made,
To set forth that which is so fingular?
Or why is Colatine the publisher
Of that rich jewel he should keep unknown
From thievith cares, because it is his own?
Perchance his boast of Lucrece' sov'reignty
Suggested this proud issue of a king;
For by our ears our hearts oft tainted be.
Perchance, that envy of so rich a thing
Braving compare, disdainfully did sting [vant
His high-pitcht thoughts, that meaner men should
The golden-hap, which their superiors want.
But some untimely thought did instigate
His all too timeless speed, if none of those.
His honour, his affairs, his friends, his state,
Neglected all, with swift intent he goes
To quench the coal, which in his liver glows.
O rash false heat wrapt in repentant cold !
Thy hasty spring still blasts, and ne'er grows old.
When at Colatium this falle lord arriv'd,
Well was he welcom'd by the Roman dame,
Within whose face beauty and virtue striv'd,
Which of thein both should underprop her fame.
When virtue brag’d, beauty would blush for shame;
When beauty boasted blufhes, in despight,
Virtue would stain that o'er with Glver white.
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
Her filver cheeks and call'd it then her shield,
Teaching them thus to use it in the fight,
When shame afrail'd, the red should fence the
This heraldry in Lucrece face was seen,
Argu'd by beauty's red and virtue's white;
Of either's colour was the other queen,
Proving from world's minority their right ;
Yet their ambition makes them still to fight :
The fou'reignty of either being so great,
That oft they interchange each other's seat.
This filent war of lilies and of rofes,
Which Tarquin view'd in her fair face's field,
In their pure ranks his traitor eye incloses,
Where, lest between them both it should be kill'd,
The coward captive vanquished doth yield
To those two armies, that would let him go,
Rather than triumph o'er so false a foe.
Now thinks he, that her husband's fhallow tongue,
The niggard prodigal, that prais'd her so,
In that high task hath done her beauty wrong,
Which far exceeds his barren skill to show.
Therefore that praise, which Colatine doth owe,
Inchanted Tarquin answers with surmise,
In filent wonder of still gazing eyes.
This earthly saint, adored by the devil,
Little fufpe&ed the false worshipper.
• For thoughts unstain'd do seldom dream of evil,
« Birds never lim'd, no secret bushes' fear :'
So guiltless the securely gives good chear.
And reverend welcome to her princely guest,
Whose inward ill no outward harm expreft.
For that he colour'd with his high estate,
Hiding base fin in pleats of majesty,
That nothing in him seem'd inordinate,
Save sometimes too much wonder of his eye:
Which having all, all could not satisfy;
But poorly rich so wanteth in his store,
That cloy'd with much, he pineth ftill for more.
But the that never cop'd with stranger-eyes,
Could pick no meaning from their parling looks,
Nor read the subtle shining secrelies
Writ in the glatły margents of such books,
She touch'd no unknown baits, nor fear'd no hooks;
Nor could she moralize his wanton Gght,
More, than his eyes were opend to the light.
He stories to her ears her husband's fame,
Won in the fields of fruitful Italy ;
And decks with praises Colatine's high name,
Made glorious by his manly chivalry,
With bruised arms and wreaths of victory. I
Her joy with heav'd up hand she doth express,
And wordless, fo greets heav'n for his success.
Far from the purpose of his coming thither,
He makes excuses for his being there ;
No cloudy show.of stormy blust'ring weather,
Doth yet in his fair welkin once appear,
Till sable night, fad source of dread and fear,
Upon the world dim darkness doth display,
And in her vaulty prison shuts the day.
For then is Tarquin brought unto his bed,
Intending weariness with heavy sprite;
For after fupper long he questioned
With modest Lucrece, and wore out the night.
Now leaden number with life's strength doth fight,
And everyone to rest themselves betake,
Save thieves, and cares, and troubled minds that
As one of which, doth Tarquin lie revolving
The fundry dangers of his will's obtaining,
Yet ever to obtain his will resolving,
Tho' weak-built hopes persuade him to abstaining ;
Despair to gain doth traffick oft for gaining :
And when great treasure is the meed propos’d,
Tho' death be adjunct, there's no death suppos'd.
Those that much covet are of gain so fond,
That oft they have not that which they possess-;
They scatter and unloose it from their bond,
And so by hoping more, they have but less-;
Or gaining more, the profit of excess
Is but to surfeit, and such grieís sustain,
That they prove bankrupt in this poor, rich, gain.
The aim of all, is but to-nurse the life
With honour, wealth and ease in waining age:
And in this aim there is such thwarting strife,
That one for all, or all for one we gage :
As life for honour, in fell battles rage,
Honour for 'wealth, and oft that wealth doth coft
The death of all, and altogether loft.
So that in venturing all, we leave to be
The things we are, for that which we expect :
And this ambitious foul infirmity,
In having much, torments us with defect
Of that we have : fo then we do neglect
The thing we have, and, all for want of wit,
Make something nothing, by augmenting it.
Such hazard now must doating Tarquin make,
Pawning his honour to obtain his lust :
And for himself, himself he must forsake ;
Then where is truth, if there be no self-trust?
When shall he think to find a stranger juft,
When he himself, himself confounds, betrays,
To Nandrous tongues the wretched hateful lays?
Now stole upon the time the dead of night,
When heavy fleep had clos'd up mortal eyes ;
No comfortable star did lend his light,
No noise but owls, and wolves death boding cries :
Now serves the season, that they may surprize
The filly lambs; pure thoughts are dead and still,
Whilst lust and murder wakes to stain and kill.
And now this luftful lord leapt from his bed,
Throwing his mantle rudely o’er his arm,
Is madly toft between defire and dread;
Th' one sweetly flatters, the other feareth harm :
But honest fear, bewitch'd with luft's foul charm,
Doth too too oft betake him to retire,
Beaten away by brainfick rude desire.
His fauchion on a flint he foftly smiteth,
That from the cold stone fparks of fire do fly,