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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    That we might ride heere as the Queene of heauen.
    And with a spurne from our controwling foote,
    2145That should like thunder shake th'etheriall floore,
    Of life and heauen them both ot once bereaue,
    That thither vp dare clime vithout our leaue.
    Com. You doe: you ride there now this is your Sphere,
    Earth is all one with heauen when you are heere.
    2150 3. King. Yet ther's a hell on earth or if not hell,
    Diuels there are or worse then Diuels, that roare onely at you.
    Emp. At vs? what, dare they roare?
    3. King. Your pardon, and ile tell it.
    Emp. Tell: We feare, no spots, the orbe we shine in is so cleere.
    2155 3. King. Thus then: the Faiery Adders hi s s e: they call you
    The super stitious Harlot: purple whore:
    The whore that rides on the rose-coloured bea st :
    The great whore, that on many waters sitteth,
    Which they call many Nations: whil st their Kings,
    2160Are slaues to sate your lu st, and that their bloud,
    (When with them you haue done) serues as a floud,
    For you to drinke or swimme in.
    Omn. O prophane!
    Emp. Goe on: the searching small wounds is no paine.
    2165 3. King. These cowards thus when your back's turnd (that strike)
    Follow their blowe and sweare, that where you claime,
    Supremacie monarchall ouer Kings,
    Tis but your tiranous pride, and not your due.
    Emp. But what your selues giue, what haue we from you?
    2170You say we are your mother, and if so,
    Mu st not sonnes kneele? they pay but what they owe.
    3. King. They say the robes of purple which you weare,
    Your scarlet veiles, and mantles are not giuen you
    As types of honour and regality,
    2175But dyed so deepe with bloud vpon them spilt,
    And that (all or'e) y'are with red murder gilt:
    The drinke euen in that golden cup, they sweare
    Is wine sophi sticated, that does runne
    Low on the lees of error, which in ta ste,