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Monologues for Men


It was my dear, and he that wounded her

Hath hurt me more than had he kill’d me dead:

For now I stand as one upon a rock,

Environ’d with a wilderness of sea,

Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave,

Expecting ever when some envious surge

Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.

This way to death my wretched sons are gone,

Here stands my other son, a banish’d man,

And here my brother, weeping at my woes;

But that which gives my soul the greatest spurn

Is dear Lavinia, dearer than my soul.

Had I but seen thy picture in this plight,

It would have madded me; what shall I do

Now I behold thy lively body so?

Thou hast no hands to wipe away thy tears,

Nor tongue to tell me who hath mart’red thee.

Thy husband he is dead, and for his death

Thy brothers are condemn’d, and dead by this.

Look, Marcus! ah, son Lucius, look on her!

When I did name her brothers, then fresh tears

Stood on her cheeks, as doth the honey-dew

Upon a gath’red lily almost withered.

If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful,

Because the law hath ta’en revenge on them.

No, no, they would not do so foul a deed;

Witness the sorrow that their sister makes.

Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips,

Or make some sign how I may do thee ease.

Shall thy good uncle, and thy brother Lucius,

And thou, and I, sit round about some fountain,

Looking all downwards to behold our cheeks,

How they are stain’d like meadows yet not dry,

With miry slime left on them by a flood?

And in the fountain shall we gaze so long

Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearness,

And made a brine-pit with our bitter tears?

Or shall we cut away our hands like thine?

Or shall we bite our tongues, and in dumb shows

Pass the remainder of our hateful days?

What shall we do? Let us that have our tongues

Plot some device of further misery,

To make us wonder’d at in time to come.

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