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Stone-still, astonished with this deadly deed,
Stood Collatine and all his lordly crew;
Till Lucrece’ father, that beholds her bleed,
Himself on her self-slaughtered body threw;
And from the purple fountain Brutus drew
The murderous knife, and as it left the place,
Her blood, in poor revenge, held it in chase ;
And bubbling from her breast, it doth divide
In two slow rivers, that the crimson blood
Circles her body in on every side,
Who like a late-sacked island vastly ? stood
Bare and unpeopled, in this fearful flood.
Some of her blood still pure and red remained,
And some looked black, and that false Tarquin
About the mourning and congealéd face
Of that black blood a watery rigolo goes,
Which seems to weep upon the tainted place :
And ever since, as pitying Lucrece’ woes,
Corrupted blood some watery token shows;
And blood untainted still doth red abide,
Blushing at that which is so putrefied.
“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 ?
Thou wast not to this end from me derived.
If children predecease progenitors,
We are their offspring, and they none of ours.
“ Poor broken glass, I often did behold
In thy sweet senzblance my old age new born ;
But now that fair, fresh mirror, dim and old,
Shows me a bareboned death by time outworn;
0, from thy cheek my image thou hast torn!
And shivered all the beauty of my glass,
That I no more can see what once I was.
“O Time, cease thou thy course, and last no longer,
If they surcease to be that should survive.
Shall rotten death make conquest of the stronger,
And leave the faltering, 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."
By this starts Collatine as from a dream,
And bids Lucretius give his sorrow place ;
And then in key-cold' Lucrece' bleeding stream
He falls and bathes the pale fear in his face,
And counterfeits to die with her a space;
Till manly shame bids him possess his breath,
And live, to be revengéd on her death.
The deep vexation of his inward soul
Hath served a dumb arrest upon his tongue ;
Who, mad that sorrow should his use control,
Or keep him from heart-easing words so long,
Begins to talk ; but through his lips do throng
i Key.cold. So in Richard III. Act 1. Sc. II.:
“ Poor key-cold figure of a holy king." See note on that passage ; which, however, we do not strictly adhere to, conceiving, upon some discussion of the matter with a friend, that key-cold simply means cold as a key.
Weak words, so thick come, in his poor heart's aid, That no man could distinguish what he said.
Yet sometime Tarquin was pronounced 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 bis, the other his,
Yet neither may possess the claim they lay.
The father says, "She 's mine.” “0, mine she is,”
Replies her husband : “ do not take away
My sorrow's interest ; let no mourner say
He weeps for her, for she was only mine,
And only must be wailed by Collatine.”
“0,” quoth Lucretius, “ I did give that life Which she too early and too late hath spilled.” “Woe, woe,” quoth Collatine, “ she was my wife, I owed her, and 'tis mine that she hath killed.” “My daughter” and “my wife” with clamours
filled The dispersed air, who, holding Lucrece life, Answered their cries, “my daughter” and “my
Brutus, who plucked the knife from Lucrece’ side,
Seeing such emulation in their woe,
Began to clothe bis wit in state and pride,
Burying in Lucrece' wound his folly's show.
He with the Romans was esteeméd so
As silly jeering idiots are with kings,
For sportive words, and uttering foolish things.
But now he throws that shallow habit by,
Wherein deep policy did him disguise ;
And armed his long-hid wits advisedly,
To check the tears in Collatinus'
eyes, “ Thou wrongéd 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
Is it revenge to give thyself a blow,
For his foul act by whom thy fair wife bleeds ?
Such childish humor 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
In such relenting 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 disgraced) By our strong arms from forth her fair streets
“Now, by the Capitol that we adore, And by this chaste blood so unjustly stained, By Heaven's fair sun that breeds the fat earth's store,
By all our country rights in Rome maintained,
And by chaste Lucrece soul that late complained ?
Her wrongs to us, and by this bloody knife,
We will revenge the death of this true wise."
This said, he struck his hand upon his breast,
And kissed the fatal knife to end his vow ;
And to his protestation urged the rest,
Who, wondering at him, did his words allow : ?
Then jointly to the ground their knees they bow;
And that deep vow which Brutus made before,
He doth again repeat, and that they swore.
When they had sworn to this advised doom,
They did conclude to bear dead Lucrece thence ;
To show her bleeding body thorough Rome,
And so to publish Tarquin's foul offence :
Which being done with speedy diligence,
The Romans plausibly did give consent
To Tarquin's everlasting banishment.
1 Complained was formerly used without a subjoined preposition. 2 Allow, approve. 3 Plausibly, with expressions of applause ; with acclamation. Plausively, applausively.