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About this text

  • Title: The Whore of Babylon (Quarto, 1607)
  • Editors: Frances E. Dolan, Anna Pruitt

  • Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Thomas Dekker
    Editors: Frances E. Dolan, Anna Pruitt
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Whore of Babylon (Quarto, 1607)

    The Whore of Babylon.
    Who speake and spend it well, cannot be poore:
    On many nations necks, a foot to set,
    If it be glorious, then may you be great.
    490 1. King. We are all pleasd, so please you be the bride,
    Of three, we care not which two be deni'd.
    2. King. For we are brethren, and those sacred brea sts
    From whence we draw our nouri shment, would runne
    Nectar to you (sweete as the food of life:)
    495Our aged mother twentie times an hower,
    Would breath her wholesome ki s s es on your cheeke,
    And from her own cup you should drinke that wine
    Which none but Princes ta st, to make you looke
    With cheerefull countenance.
    500 3. King. You haue a (a) sonne,
    (a) The Iri sh.
    Rebellious, wild, ingratefull, poore, and yet
    Apollo from's owne head cuts golden lockes,
    To haue them grow on his: his harp is his,
    The darts he shoots are his: the winged me s s enger
    505That runnes on all the errands of the gods,
    Teaches him swiftnes; hee'l out strip the windes:
    This child of yours is (by adoption)
    Our mothers now, her ble s sing he receiues;
    And tho (as men did in the golden Age)
    510He liue ith' open fields, hiding his head
    In dampi sh caues, and woods, (sometimes for feare,)
    Yet doe we succour him. This your lo st sheep,
    We home agen will bring, to your owne fold,
    Humbly to graze vpon your Faierie plaines,
    515Prouided, that you sow them with such seed,
    On which your whole land wholesomely may feed.
    Titan. We know you now: O what a deale of paines
    Would you (as others of this wing haue taken)
    To be in Faierie land calld Soueraignes?
    520Thankes for it: ra shly nothing mu st we doe:
    When kingdoms marrie, heauen it selfe stands by
    To giue the bride: Princes in tying such bands,
    Should vse a thousand heads, ten thousand hands:
    For that one Acte giues like an enginous wheele
    525Motion to all, sets all the state a going,