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FROM the besieged Ardea all in post,
Borne by the trustless wings of false desire, Lust-breathed Tarquin leaves the Roman host, And to Collatium bears the lightless fire Which, in pale embers hid, lurks to aspire, And girdle with embracing flames the waist Of Collatine's fair love, Lucrece the chaste.
Haply that name of chaste unhapp❜ly set
To praise the clear unmatched red and white
Where mortal stars, as bright as heaven's beauties,
For he the night before, in Tarquin's tent,
O happiness enjoy'd but of a few!
Beauty itself doth of itself persuade
Of that rich jewel he should keep unknown
Perchance his boast of Lucrece' sovereignty
Braving compare, disdainfully did sting
His high-pitch'd thoughts, that meaner men should vaunt That golden hap which their superiors want.
a Done. The word is here used as in a previous passage of the Venus and
"Wasted, thaw'd, and done,
As mountain-snow melts with the mid-day sun."
But some untimely thought did instigate
When at Collatium this false lord arriv'd,
Virtue would stain that orb with silver white.
But beauty, in that white intituled,
From Venus' doves doth challenge that fair field:
Their silver cheeks, and call'd it then their shield;
Teaching them thus to use it in the fight,
When shame assail'd, the red should fence the white.
This heraldry in Lucrece' face was seen,
Argued by beauty's red, and virtue's white:
a Blasts is here used as a verb neuter. It is so used in the poem ascribed to Raleigh, entitled The Farewell:'
"Tell age it daily wasteth;
Tell honour how it alters;
Tell beauty that it blasteth."
Or. The line usually stands thus :
"Virtue would stain that o'er with silver white."
The original has ore. Malone has suggested, but he does not act upon tion, that "the word intended was perhaps or, i. e. gold, to which the poet compares the deep colour of a blush." We have no doubt whatever of the matter. The lines in the subsequent stanza complete the heraldic allusion:
“Then virtue claims from beauty beauty's red,
Which virtue gave the golden age, to gild
Their silver cheeks, and call'd it then their shield."
© Intituled—having a title to, or in.
Of either's colour was the other queen,
This silent war of lilies and of roses
Which Tarquin view'd in her fair face's field,
To those two armies that would let him go,
Now thinks he that her husband's shallow tongue
This earthly saint, adored by this devil,
So guiltless she securely gives good cheer
And reverend welcome to her princely guest, Whose inward ill no outward harm express'd:
For that he colour'd with his high estate,
But, poorly rich, so wanteth in his store,
a The object of praise which Collatine doth possess.