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From The Rape Of Lucrece - Poem by William Shakespeare

Her lily hand her rosy cheek lies under,
Cozening the pillow of a lawful kiss;
Who, therefore angry, seems to part in sunder,
Swelling on either side to want his bliss;
Between whose hills her head entombed is;
Where like a virtuous monument she lies,
To be admired of lewd unhallowed eyes.

Without the bed her other fair hand was,
On the green coverlet, whose perfect white
Showed like an April daisy on the grass,
With pearly sweat resembling dew of night.
Her eyes, like marigolds, had sheathed their light,
And canopied in darkness sweetly lay
Till they might open to adorn the day.

Her hair like golden threads played with her breath
O modest wantons, wanton modesty!
Showing life's triumph in the map of death,
And death's dim look in life's mortality.
Each in her sleep themselves so beautify
As if between them twain there were no strife,
But that life lived in death, and death in life.

Her breasts like ivory globes circled with blue,
A pair of maiden worlds unconquerèd,
Save of their lord no bearing yoke they knew,
And him by oath they truly honourèd.
These worlds in Tarquin new ambition bred,
Who like a foul usurper went about
From this fair throne to heave the owner out.

What could he see but mightily he noted?
What did he note but strongly he desired?
What he beheld, on that he firmly doted,
And in his will his willful eye he tired.
With more than admiration he admired
Her azure veins, her alabaster skin,
Her coral lips, her snow-white dimpled chin.

As the grim lion fawneth o'er his prey
Sharp hunger by the conquest satisfied,
So o'er this sleeping soul doth Tarquin stay,
His rage of lust by gazing qualified;
Slacked, not suppressed; for, standing by her side,
His eye, which late this mutiny restrains,
Unto a greater uproar tempts his veins.

And they, like straggling slaves for pillage fighting,
Obdurate vassals fell exploits effecting.
In bloody death and ravishment delighting,
Nor children's tears nor mothers' groans respecting,
Swell in their pride, the onset still expecting.
Anon his beating heart, alarum striking,
Gives the hot charge and bids them do their liking.

His drumming heart cheers up his burning eye,
His eye commends the leading to his hand;
His hand, as proud of such a dignity,
Smoking with pride, marched on to make his stand
On her bare breast, the heart of all her land,
Whose ranks of blue veins, as his hand did scale,
Left their round turrets destitute and pale.

They, mustering to the quiet cabinet
Where their dear governess and lady lies,
Do tell her she is dreadfully beset
And fright her with confusion of their cries.
She, much amazed, breaks ope her locked-up eyes,
Who, peeping forth this tumult to behold,
Are by his flaming torch dimmed and controlled.

Imagine her as one in dead of night
From forth dull sleep by dreadful fancy waking,
That thinks she hath beheld some ghastly sprite,
Whose grim aspect sets every joint a-shaking.
What terror ‘tis! but she, in worser taking,
From sleep disturbèd, heedfully doth view
The sight which makes supposèd terror true.

Wrapped and confounded in a thousand fears,
Like to a new-killed bird she trembling lies.
She dares not look; yet, winking, there appears
Quick-shifting antics ugly in her eyes.
Such shadows are the weak brain's forgeries,
Who, angry that the eyes fly from their lights,
In darkness daunts them with more dreadful sights.

His hand, that yet remains upon her breast
(Rude ram, to batter such an ivory wall!)
May feel her heart (poor citizen) distressed,
Wounding itself to death, rise up and fall,
Beating her bulk, that his hand shakes withal.
This moves in him more rage and lesser pity,
To make the breach and enter this sweet city.

Comments about From The Rape Of Lucrece by William Shakespeare

  • Gold Star - 45,087 Points Susan Williams (1/4/2016 6:41:00 PM)

    Lucrece draws on the story described in both Ovid's Fasti and Livy's history of Rome. In 509 BC, Sextus Tarquinius, son of Tarquin, the king of Rome, raped Lucretia (Lucrece) , wife of Collatinus, one of the king's aristocratic retainers. As a result, Lucrece committed suicide. Her body was paraded in the Roman Forum by the king's nephew. This incited a full-scale revolt against the Tarquins led by Lucius Junius Brutus, the banishment of the royal family, and the founding of the Roman republic.- - - Wikipedia.
    On this story, Shakespeare's tremendous imagination and magnificent literary abilities are unleashed. (Report) Reply

    19 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 117,015 Points Fabrizio Frosini (11/21/2015 2:37:00 AM)

    The Rape of Lucrece

    The Argument

    Lucius 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 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' 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 estate, 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.
    [shakespeare.mit.edu/] (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 7,297 Points Rajesh Thankappan (6/19/2015 11:30:00 AM)

    A tragic scene indeed. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

Poems About Rape

  1. 1. From The Rape Of Lucrece , William Shakespeare
  2. 2. The Rape Of Aurora , George Meredith
  3. 3. The Rape Of The Mist , Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  4. 4. Rape Poem , Marge Piercy
  5. 5. The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 1 , Alexander Pope
  6. 6. The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 2 , Alexander Pope
  7. 7. The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 3 , Alexander Pope
  8. 8. The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 4 , Alexander Pope
  9. 9. The Rape Of The Lock: Canto 5 , Alexander Pope
  10. 10. Rape , Patti Smith
  11. 11. The Phoenix Strangler , Chinedu Dike
  12. 12. Chaucer's Words To His Scrivener , Geoffrey Chaucer
  13. 13. ~ Mom By Default Rape ~ , MS. NIVEDITA BAGCHI SPC. UK.
  14. 14. ~ Cannibal Gives Walkover To Raper ~ [65.. , MS. NIVEDITA BAGCHI SPC. UK.
  15. 15. ~ Hey Perverted Delhiites Come On Rape M.. , MS. NIVEDITA BAGCHI SPC. UK.
  16. 16. ! I Will Rape Thee , Kyle Shield Hamp
  17. 17. Metamorphoses: Book The Fifth , Ovid
  18. 18. Depression , (De Va)
  19. 19. Rape , Andre Alvin Moore
  20. 20. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Of Locks.. , Mamta Agarwal
  21. 21. Ausonius Lib. Epig. , Richard Lovelace
  22. 22. I Am With Terrorism , Nizar Qabbani
  23. 23. Cry With Shame , hasmukh amathalal
  24. 24. Rape , Anonymous Daughter
  25. 25. A Bad Poem For The Ages , William Jackson
  26. 26. I'Ll Never Forget , Amy Louise Kerswell
  27. 27. Oithona , James Macpherson
  28. 28. ' ' ' ' Odds Of Sods Tankas , Dónall Dempsey
  29. 29. Oral Sex , Ramona Thompson
  30. 30. ' ' ' ' ' A Conception Of Tankas , Dónall Dempsey
  31. 31. Quiet Dream , Liza Sud
  32. 32. A Secret , Silence Dogood
  33. 33. A New Born To Arrive , hasmukh amathalal
  34. 34. December , Jennifer Rondeau
  35. 35. The Man & The Beast , ramesh rai
  36. 36. Cutting Curtains , Pamela Sinicrope
  37. 37. I Hate The Thought Of Hate Crimes , Joe Rosochacki
  38. 38. Horrified Tale , hasmukh amathalal
  39. 39. /// Humor ***** Judge The Suspect , Rommel Mark Dominguez Marchan
  40. 40. ...A Rape Is A Rape! , indira babbellapati
  41. 41. I'Ll Never Forget , Amy Kerswell
  42. 42. White Flag , Stefanie Fontker
  43. 43. A Battle Of Virtue , Stefanie Fontker
  44. 44. All That Is Gold , Stefanie Fontker
  45. 45. Rape, Rape And Rape-2 , Shashikant Nishant Sharma
  46. 46. (2.4) Rape For Hire , Karl Stuart Kline
  47. 47. When Womanhood Dies In The Necropolis Of.. , Shashikant Nishant Sharma
  48. 48. Promising New Year! ! ! ! , Tiku akp
  49. 49. War , DAVID GERARDINO
  50. 50. What Is Written On My Palm , Asif Andalib
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