Since Cleopatra died
I have liv’d in such dishonor that the gods
Detest my baseness. I, that with my sword
Quarter’d the world, and o’er green Neptune’s back
With ships made cities, condemn myself to lack
The courage of a woman—less noble mind
Than she which by her death our Caesar tells,
“I am conqueror of myself.” Thou art sworn, Eros,
That when the exigent should come, which now
Is come indeed, when I should see behind me
Th’ inevitable prosecution of
Disgrace and horror, that on my command
Thou then wouldst kill me. Do’t, the time is come.
Thou strik’st not me, ’tis Caesar thou defeat’st.
Put color in thy cheek, Eros—
Wouldst thou be window’d in great Rome, and see
Thy master thus with pleach’d arms, bending down
His corrigible neck, his face subdu’d
To penetrative shame, whilst the wheel’d seat
Of fortunate Caesar, drawn before him, branded
His baseness that ensued?
Come then; for with a wound I must be cur’d.
Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn
Most useful for thy country. Do’t at once,
Or thy precedent services are all
But accidents unpurpos’d. Draw, and come.