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Soe when in
age I thought to live in

peace,
Both care and griefe began then to increase :
Amongst my sonnes I had one daughter bright, 35
Which joy'd, and pleased best my aged sight:

My deare Lavinia was betrothed than
To Cesars sonne, a young and noble man :
Who in a hunting by the emperours wife,
And ber two sonnes, bereaved was of life.

40

He being slaine, was cast in cruel wise,
Into a darksome den from light of skies :
The cruell moore did come that way as then
With

my three sonnes, who fell into the den.

The moore then fetcht the emperour with speed, 45
For to accuse them of that murderous deed;
And when my sonnes within the den were found,
In wrongfull prison they were cast and bound.

But nowe, behold! what wounded most my mind,
The empresses two sonnes of savage kind 50
My daughter ravished without remorse,
And took away her honour, quite perforce.

When they had tasted of soe sweete a flowre, Fearing this sweete should shortly turn to sowre, They cutt her tongue, whereby she could not tell How that dishonoure unto her befell.

56

VOL. I.

M

Then both her hands they basely cutt off quite,
Whereby their wickednesse she could not write ;
Nor with her needle on her sampler sowe
The bloudye workers of her direfull woe. 60

My brother Marcus found her in the wood, Staining the grassie ground with purple bloud, That trickled from her stumpes, and bloudlesse

armes : Noe tongue at all she had to tell her harmes.

65

But when I sawe her in that woefull case,
With teares of bloud I wet mine aged face :
For
my

Lavinia I lamented more
Then for my two and twenty sonnes before.

When as I sawe she could not write nor speake, With grief mine aged heart began to breake; 70 We spred an heape of sand upon the ground, Whereby those bloudy tyrants out we found.

For with a staffe, without the helpe of hand,
She writt these wordes upon the plat of sand:
“ The lustfull sonnes of the proud emperèsse
Are doers of this hateful wickednèsse.”

75

I tore the milk-white hairs from off mine head,
I curst the houre wherein I first was bred,
I wisht this hand, that fought for countrie's fame,
In cradle rockt, had first been stroken lame. 80
The moore delighting still in villainy
Did say, to sett my sonnes from prison free
I should unto the king my right hand give,
And then my three imprisoned sonnes should live.

The moore I caus’d to strike it off with speede, 85
Whereat I grieved not to see it bleed,
But for my sonnes would willingly impart,
And for their ransome send my bleeding heart.

But as my life did linger thus in paine,
They sent to me my bootlesse hand againe, 90
And therewithal the heades of my three sonnes,
Which filld my dying heart with fresher moanes.

Then past reliefe I upp and downe did goe,
And with my teares writ in the dust my woe:
I shot my arrowes * towards heaven hie,
And for revenge to hell often did crye.

95

The empresse then, thinking that I was mad,
Like Furies she and both her sonnes were clad,
(She nam'd Revenge, and Rape and Murder they)
To undermine and heare what I would say. 100

* If the ballad was written before the play, I should suppose this to be only a metaphorical expression, taken from that in the Psalms, They shoot out their arrows, even bitter words.” Ps. lxiv. 3.

I fed their foolish veines* a certaine space,
Untill

my

friendes did find a secret place, Where both her sonnes unto a post were bound, And just revenge in cruell sort was found.

I cut their throates, my daughter held the pan 105
Betwixt her stumpes, wherein the bloud it ran:
And then I ground their bones to powder small,
And made a paste for pyes streight therewithall.

Then with their fleshe I made two mighty pyes,
And at a banquet served in stately wise : 110
Before the empresse set this loathsome meat ;
So of her sonnes own flesh she well did eat.

Myselfe bereav'd my daughter then of life,
The empresse then I slewe with bloudy knife,
And stabb'd the emperour immediatelie,
And then myself : even soe did Titus die.

115

Then this revenge against the moore was found,
Alive they sett him halfe into the ground,
Whereas he stood untill such time he stary’d.
And soe God send all murderers may be serv'd. 120

* i.e. encouraged them in their foolish humours, or fancies.

XIV.

Take those Lips Away.

The first stanza of this little sonnet, which an eminent critic* justly admires for its extreme sweetness, is found in Shakspeare's Measure for Measure, act. iv. sc. 1. Both the stanzas are preserved in Beaum. and Fletcher's Bloody Brother, act v. sc. 2. Sewel and Gildon have printed it among Shakspeare's smaller poems, but they have done the same by twenty other pieces that were never writ by him; their book being a wretched heap of inaccuracies and mistakes. It is not found in Jaggard's old edition of Shakspeare's Passionate Pilgrime,t &c.

TAKE, oh take those lips away,

That so sweetlye were forsworne;
And those eyes, the breake of day,

Lights, that do misleade the morne :
But my kisses bring againe,
Seales of love, but seal'd in vaine.

5

Hide, oh hide those hills of snowe,

Which thy frozen bosom beares,
On whose tops the pinkes that growe,

Are of those that April wears :
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.

10

* Dr. Warb, in his Shakspeare.

+ Mr. Malone, in his improved edit. of Shakspeare's Sonnets, &c. hath substituted this instead of Marlow's Madrigal, printed above; for which he hath assigned reasons, which the reader may see in his vol. x. p. 340.

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