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And blood untainted still doth red abide,
Daughter, dear daughter," old Lucretius cries, 'That life was mine, which thou hast here depriv'd.
"If in the child the father's image lies,
"Where shall I live, now Lucrece is unliv'd? "Thou wast not to this end from me deriv'd. "If children predecease progenitors, "We are their offspring, and they none of ours.
"Poor broken glass, I often did behold "In thy sweet semblance my old age newborn; "But now that fair fresh mirror, dim and old, "Shows me a barebon'd death by time outworn; O, from thy cheeks my image thou hast torn! "And shiver'd 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 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 revenged on her death.
The deep vexation of his inward soul
That no man could distinguish what he said.
Yet sometime Tarquin was pronounced plain,
Then son and father weep with equal strife,
The one doth call her his, the other his,
My sorrow's interest; let no mourner say
"O," quoth Lucretius, “ I did give that life, "Which she too early and too late 57 hath spill'd." " Woe, woe," quoth Collatine," she was my wife, "I ow'd her, and 'tis mine that she hath kill'd." My daughter and my wife with clamours fill'd The dispers'd air, who, holding Lucrece' life, Answer'd their cries, my daughter and my wife.
Brutus, who pluck'd the knife from Lucrece' side,
Began to clothe his wit in state and pride,
As silly jeering idiots are with kings,
But now he throws that shallow habit by, Wherein deep policy did him disguise; And arm'd his long-hid wits advisedly, To check the tears in Collatinus' eyes. "Thou wronged lord of Rome," quoth he," arise, "Let my unsounded self, suppos'd a fool, "Now set thy long-experienc'd 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? 57 late] i. e. recently.
"Such childish humour 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 disgrac'd)
[chas'd. By our strong arms from forth her fair streets
"Now, by the Capitol that we adore,
"And by this chaste blood so unjustly stain'd,
By heaven's fair sun, that breeds the fat earth's
"By all our country rights in Rome maintain'd,
And by chaste Lucrece' soul that late complain'd "Her wrongs to us, and by this bloody knife, "We will revenge the death of this true wife."
This said, he struck his hand upon his breast,
58 allow] i. e. approve.
When they had sworn to this advised doom,
plausibly] i. e. with acclamations.