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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    T'ecclipse your brightnes: heauen tooke your part,
    And her surpriz'd; A jurie of bright starres,
    Haue her vnworthy found to shine agen:
    Your Fairies therefore on their knees intreat,
    1885Shee may be puld out from the firmament,
    Where shee was plac'd to glitter.
    Titan. Mu st we then,
    Strike those whom we haue lou'd? albeit the children,
    Whom we haue nouri sht at our princely brea st,
    1890Set daggers to it, we could be content
    To chide, not beat them, (might we vse our will,)
    Our hand was made to saue, but not to kill.
    Flor. You mu st not (cause hee's noble) spare his blood.
    Titan. We should not, for hee's noble that is good.
    1895 Fid. The fall of one, like multitudes on yee,
    Makes all the re st, (of footing) be more nyce:
    But if by ventring on that gla s sie floore
    Too farre, he sinks, and yet rise with no more harme,
    Ten thousand to like danger it doth arme:
    1900All mercy in a Prince, makes vile the state,
    All ju stice makes euen cowards desperate.
    Titan. In neither of these seas, spread we our sayles,
    But are the impartiall beame between both scales;
    Yet if we needs mu st bow, we would incline
    1905To that where mercy lies, that scale's diuine:
    But so to saue were our owne brea st to wound,
    Nay (which is more) our peoples: for their good,
    We mu st the Surgeon play, and let out blood.
    Euery Peeres birth stickes a new starre in heauen,
    1910But falling by Luciferan insolence,
    With him a Con stellation drops from thence.
    Giue me his Axe --- how soon the blow is giuen? writes
    Witne s s e: so little we in blood delight,
    That doing this worke, we wi sh we could not write.
    1915Let's walke my Lords. Florimel? Flor. Madame. Titan. Stay:
    Not one arm'd man among st vs? you might now
    Be all old-beaten souldiers: truth I thanke ye;
    If I were now a jewel worth the stealing,
    Two theeues might bind you all. Omn. With much adoe.