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By this the boy that by her side lay kill'd,
Was melted like a vapour from her sight,
And in his blood, that on the ground lay spill'd,
A purple flower sprung up, chequer'd with white;

Resembling well his pale cheeks, and the blood

Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood. She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to smell, Comparing it to her Adonis' breath; And says, within her bosom it shall dwell, Since he himself is reft from her by death:

She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears

Green dropping sap, which she compares to tears. Poor flower (quoth she), this was thy father's guise, (Sweet issue of a more sweet-smelling sire) For every little grief to wet his eyes : To grow unto himself was his desire,

And so 'tis thine ; but know, it is as good

To wither in my breast, as in his blood. Here was thy father's bed, here in

my

breast; Thou art the next of blood, and 'tis thy right : Lo! in this hollow cradle take thy rest, My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night:

There shall not be one minute in an hour,

Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower. Thus weary of the world, away she hies, And yokes her silver doves; by whose swift aid Their mistress mounted, through the empty skies In her light chariot quickly is convey'd,

Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen Means to immure herself, and not be seen.

THE ARGUMENT.

Lrcius TARQUINIUS (for his excessive pride, surnamed Superbus), after he had caused his own father-in-law, Servius Tullius, to be cruelly murdered, and, contrary to the Roman laws and customs, not requiring or staying for the people's suffrages, had possessed himself of the kingdom; went, accompanied with his sons and other noblemen of Rome, to besiege Ardea. During which siege, the principal men of the army, meeting one evening at the tent of Sextus Tarquinius, the king's son, in their discourses after supper, every one commended the virtues of his own wife; among whom, Collatinus extolled the incomparable chastity of his wife Lucretia. In that pleasant humour they all posted to Rome ; and intending, by their secret and sudden arrival, to make trial of that which every one had before avouched, only Collatinus finds his wife (though it were late in the night) spinning amongst her maids: the other ladies were all found dancing and revelling, or in several disports. Whereupon the noblemen yielded Collatinus the victory, and his wife the fame. At that time Sextus Tarquinius, being inflamed with Lucrece's beauty, yet smothering his passions for the present, departed with the rest back to the camp; from whence he shortly after privily withdrew himself, and was (according to his state) royally entertained and lodged by Lucrece at Collatium. The same night, he treacherously stealeth into her chamber, violently ravished her, and early in the morning speedeth away. Lucrece, in this lamentable plight, hastily dispatcheth messengers, one to Rome for her father, another to the camp for Collatine. They came, the one accompanied with Junius Brutus, the other with Publius Valerius; and finding Lucrece attired in mourning habit, demanded the cause of her sorrow. She, first taking an oath of them for her revenge, revealed the actor, and whole manner of his dealing, and withal suddenly stabbed herself

. Which done, with one consent, they all vowed to root out the whole hated family of the Tarquins; and bearing the dead body to Rome, Brutus acquainted the people with the doer and manner of the vile deed, with a bitter invective against the tyranny of the king : wherewith the people were so moved, that with one consent, and a general acclamation, the Tarquins were all exiled, and the state government changed from kings to consuls.

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THE

RAPE OF LUCRECE.

From the besieged Ardea all in post,
Borne by the trustless wings of false desire,
Lust-breathed Tarquin leaves the Roman host,
And to Collatium bears the lightless fire,
Which, in pale embers hid, lurks to aspire,

And girdle with embracing flames the waist

Of Collatine's fair love, Lucrece the chaste.
Haply that name of chaste unhapp'ly set
This bateless edge on his keen appetite;
When Collatine unwisely did not let
To praise the clear unmatched red and white
Which triumph'd in that sky of his delight;

Where mortal stars, as bright as heaven's beauties,

With pure aspects did him peculiar duties.
For he the night before, in Tarquin's tent,
Unlock'd the treasure of his happy state;
What priceless wealth the heavens had him lent
In the possession of his beauteous mate ;
Reckoning his fortune at such high-proud rate,

That kings might be espoused to more fame,

But king nor peer to such a peerless dame.
O happiness enjoy'd but of a few!
And, if possess'd, as soon decay'd and done
As is the morning's silver-melting dew
Against the golden splendour of the sun !
An expir'd date, cancel'd ere well begun :

Honour and beauty, in the owner's arms,
Are weakly fortress'd from a world of harms.

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