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And from the walls of strong besieged Troy

When their brave hope, bold Hector, march'd to field,
Stood many Trojan mothers, sharing joy

To see their youthful sons bright weapons wield;
And to their hope they such odd action yield,

That through their light joy seemed to appear
(Like bright things stain'd) a kind of heavy fear.

And from the strond of Dardan, where they fought,
To Simois' reedy banks the red blood ran,
Whose waves to imitate the battle sought
With swelling ridges; and their ranks began
To break upon the galled shore, and than
Retire again, till meeting greater ranks
They join, and shoot their foam at Simois' banks.


To this well-painted piece is Lucrece come,
To find a face where all distress is steld'.
Many she sees, where cares have carved some,
But none where all distress and dolour dwell'd,
Till she despairing Hecuba beheld,

Staring on Priam's wounds with her old eyes,
Which bleeding under Pyrrhus' proud foot lies.

In her the painter had anatomiz'd

Time's ruin, beauty's wreck, and grim care's reign :

and THAN] For the sake of the rhyme it is necessary here to preserve the old orthography of than, and on former pages (553 and 565) we have printed "wrack" and "hild," instead of wreck and held, for the same reason. Malone tells us that Shakespeare here availed himself of "the licence of changing the terminations of words in imitation of the Italian writers;" but the truth is, that "than " was formerly much the most common mode of spelling then, not merely "for the sake of the rhyme," as the Rev. Mr. Dyce observes ("Shakespeare's Poems," 1832, p. 122), but at all times, and under all circumstances. It is useless to quote evidence in support of a fact notorious to literary antiquaries. The A. S. form is thanne and thonne.


where all distress is STELD.] We print this word (of the use of which no other instance has been pointed out) precisely as it stands in the original edition of 1594. Malone remarks, that in Sonnet xxiv. Shakespeare uses steel'd (so there printed, although it rhymes with "held ") nearly in the same manner with reference to painting :

"Mine eye hath play'd the painter, and hath steel'd

Thy beauty's form in table of my heart."

We might suppose that "steel'd" in this place meant engraved as with steel; and such, by rather a bold licence on the part of the poet, may possibly be the case with the passage under consideration. To "stell" seems, however, to be a provincial word, meaning to fix permanently.

Her cheeks with chaps and wrinkles were disguis'd,

Of what she was no semblance did remain;

Her blue blood chang'd to black in every vein,

Wanting the spring that those shrunk pipes had fed,
Show'd life imprison'd in a body dead.

On this sad shadow Lucrece spends her eyes,
And shapes her sorrow to the beldam's woes,
Who nothing wants to answer her but cries,
And bitter words to ban her cruel foes:
The painter was no God to lend her those;
And therefore Lucrece swears he did her wrong,
To give her so much grief, and not a tongue.


Poor instrument, quoth she, without a sound,
I'll tune thy woes with my lamenting tongue,
And drop sweet balm in Priam's painted wound,
And rail on Pyrrhus that hath done him wrong,
And with my tears quench Troy, that burns so long,
And with my knife scratch out the angry eyes
Of all the Greeks that are thine enemies.

Show me the strumpet that began this stir,
That with my nails her beauty I may tear.
Thy heat of lust, fond Paris, did incur
This load of wrath that burning Troy doth bear:
Thine eye kindled the fire that burneth here;

And here, in Troy, for trespass of thine eye,
The sire, the son, the dame, and daughter die.

Why should the private pleasure of some one
Become the public plague of many mo'?
Let sin, alone committed, light alone
Upon his head that hath transgressed so;
Let guiltless souls be freed from guilty woe.
For one's offence why should so many fall,
To plague a private sin in general?

Lo! here weeps Hecuba, here Priam dies,

Here manly Hector faints, here Troilus swounds3;

of many Mo?] A form of more, often in use of old, particularly when, as here, the rhyme required it; but we sometimes meet with it in prose, or in blank verse, as if the writer preferred it in point of sound.


- here Troilus swOUNDS ;] i. e. Swoons, as we now pronounce and spell it:

Here friend by friend in bloody channel lies,
And friend to friend gives unadvised wounds,
And one man's lust these many lives confounds.
Had doting Priam check'd his son's desire,

Troy had been bright with fame, and not with fire.

Here feelingly she weeps Troy's painted woes;
For sorrow, like a heavy hanging bell,

Once set on ringing, with his own weight goes;
Then, little strength rings out the doleful knell :
So Lucrece, set a-work, sad tales doth tell

To pencil'd pensiveness and colour'd sorrow;

She lends them words, and she their looks doth borrow.

She throws her eyes about the painting, round,
And whom she finds forlorn she doth lament:
At last she sees a wretched image bound,
That piteous looks to Phrygian shepherds lent;
His face, though full of cares, yet show'd content.
Onward to Troy with the blunt swains he goes,
So mild, that patience seem'd to scorn his woes.

In him the painter labour'd with his skill
To hide deceit, and give the harmless show;
An humble gait, calm looks, eyes wailing still,
A brow unbent that seem'd to welcome woe;
Cheeks neither red nor pale, but mingled so

That blushing red no guilty instance gave,
Nor ashy pale the fear that false hearts have.

But, like a constant and confirmed devil,
He entertain❜d a show so seeming just,
And therein so ensconc'd his secret evil',
That jealousy itself could not mistrust,
False-creeping craft and perjury should thrust

Into so bright a day such black-fac'd storms,

Or blot with hell-born sin such saint-like forms.

we are here compelled by the rhyme to observe the old and exploded form, and the Rev. Mr. Dyce thinks it necessary to explain that "swounds" means swoons. "Shakespeare's Poems," 1832, p. 124.

- SO ENSCONC'D his secret evil,] So hid his secret evil, as in a sconce, or fortification. See "The Merry Wives of Windsor," A. iii. sc. 2, and "Hamlet,” A. iii. sc. 4, Vol. v. p. 553.

The well-skill'd workman this mild image drew
For perjur'd Sinon, whose enchanting story
The credulous old Priam after slew;

Whose words like wild-fire burnt the shining glory
Of rich-built Ilion, that the skies were sorry,
And little stars shot from their fixed places,
When their glass fell wherein they view'd their faces.

This picture she advisedly perused,

And chid the painter for his wondrous skill,
Saying, some shape in Sinon's was abused;
So fair a form lodg'd not a mind so ill:
And still on him she gaz'd; and gazing still,

Such signs of truth in his plain face she spied,
That she concludes the picture was belied.

It cannot be, quoth she, that so much guile— (She would have said) can lurk in such a look; But Tarquin's shape came in her mind the while, And from her tongue "can lurk" from "cannot" took; "It cannot be" she in that sense forsook,

And turn'd it thus: it cannot be, I find,

But such a face should bear a wicked mind:

For even as subtle Sinon here is painted,
So sober-sad, so weary, and so mild,
(As if with grief or travail he had fainted)
To me came Tarquin armed; too beguil❜d'
With outward honesty, but yet defil'd

With inward vice: as Priam him did cherish,
So did I Tarquin; so my Troy did perish.

Look, look! how listening Priam wets his eyes,
To see those borrow'd tears that Sinon sheds.
Priam, why art thou old, and yet not wise?
For every tear he falls a Trojan bleeds:

His eye drops fire, no water thence proceeds;

Those round clear pearls of his, that move thy pity,
Are balls of quenchless fire to burn thy city.

- TOO beguil'd] Modern editors read, "so beguil'd." The Rev. Mr. Dyce seems in general to have adopted Malone's text, without sufficient collation with the old editions.

Such devils steal effects from lightless hell,
For Sinon in his fire doth quake with cold,
And in that cold, hot-burning fire doth dwell;
These contraries such unity do hold,

Only to flatter fools, and make them bold:

So Priam's trust false Sinon's tears doth flatter, That he finds means to burn his Troy with water.

Here, all enrag'd, such passion her assails,
That patience is quite beaten from her breast;
She tears the senseless Sinon with her nails,
Comparing him to that unhappy guest
Whose deed hath made herself herself detest:
At last she smilingly with this gives o'er ;
Fool! fool! quoth she, his wounds will not be sore.

Thus ebbs and flows the current of her sorrow,
And time doth weary time with her complaining.
She looks for night, and then she longs for morrow,
And both she thinks too long with her remaining.
Short time seems long in sorrow's sharp sustaining:
Though woe be heavy, yet it seldom sleeps;

And they that watch see time how slow it creeps.

Which all this time hath overslipp'd her thought,
That she with painted images hath spent,
Being from the feeling of her own grief brought
By deep surmise of others' detriment;
Losing her woes in shows of discontent.

It easeth some, though none it ever cured,
To think their dolour others have endured.

But now the mindful messenger, come back,
Brings home his lord and other company,
Who finds his Lucrece clad in mourning black;
And round about her tear-distained eye
Blue circles stream'd, like rainbows in the sky:
These water-galls in her dim element
Foretel new storms to those already spent.

Which when her sad-beholding husband saw,
Amazedly in her sad face he stares :

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