Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE PICTURE OF LUCRETIA STABBING HERSELF, by PHILIP AYRES



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ON THE PICTURE OF LUCRETIA STABBING HERSELF, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Lucrece inflam'd with anger, grief and shame
Last Line: They made me slave, but thus myself I free.
Subject(s): Freedom; Suicide; Liberty


LUCRECE inflam'd with anger, grief and shame,
Despising life, yet careful of her fame,
Wounds her fair breast, tho' arm'd with Innocence
Could suffer Death, but could not the offence.

Her steel was sharp, her end with glory crown'd,
She sought revenge, and valu'd not the wound;
This so appeas'd her rage, that being dead,
She look'd like one reveng'd, not injured.

'Twas Beauty sinn'd, said she, then let it die,
That forc'd me to this last extremity;
Were't not for Beauty I had guiltless been
For it was that made lustful Tarquin sin.

So I to violence a prey was made,
No tears avail'd when virtue was betray'd.
Haughty he was, my Beauty proud as he,
They made me slave, but thus myself I free.





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