Digital Renaissance Editions

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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Emp. What are they that fly hither (to our bosome)
    But such as hang the wing, such as want nea sts;
    Such as haue no sound feathers; birds so poore,
    1340They scarce are worth the killing: with the Larke
    (The morning's fawlkner) so they may mount hie,
    Care not how base and low their ri sings be?
    What are they but leane hungry Crowes that tyre
    Vpon the mangled quarters of a Realme?
    1345And on the house-tops of Nobilitie
    (If there they can but sit) like fatall Rauens,
    Or Skrich-Owles croake their fals and hoarsely bode,
    Nothing but scaffolds and vnhallowed graues?
    1. King. Fitter for vs: yet sit they here like doues.
    1350 Emp. True: like corrupted Churchmē they are doues,
    That haue eate carrion: home weele therefore send
    These bu sie-working Spiders to the wals
    Of their owne countrey, when their venemous bags
    (Which they shall stuffe with scandales, libels, treasons)
    1355Are full and vpon bur sting: let them there
    Weaue in their politicke loomes nets to catch flies;
    To vs they are but Pothecary drugs,
    Which we will take as Phy sicall pils, not food:
    Vse them as lancets to let others bloud,
    1360That haue foule bodies, care not whom you wound,
    Nor what parts you cut off, to keepe this sound.
    Omn. Here come they.
    Campeius, Parydell, and †Lupus.
    Emp. Welcome: rise, and rise vp high
    1365In honours and our fauour: you haue thru st
    Your armes into our cofers, haue you not?
    All 3. Yes sacred Empre s s e.
    Camp. And into our owne,
    Haue rayned downe showers of gold.
    1370 Emp. You shall deserue it:
    You see what Ocean can repleni sh you,
    Be you but duteous tributarie streames:
    But is your temper right? are not the edges
    Of your sharpe spirits rebated? are you ours?
    1375Doe not your hearts sinke downe yet? will you on?
    All 3. Stood