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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    3. King. Heauen cannot suffer it.
    Empr. Heauen suffers it, and sees it, and giues ayme,
    Whil st euen our Empires heart is cleft in sunder:
    120That strumpet, that inchantre s s e, (who, in robes
    White as is innocence, and with an eye
    Able to tempt stearne murther to her bed)
    Calles her selfe Truth, has stolne faire Truths attire,
    Her crowne, her sweet songs, counterfets her voyce,
    125And by pre stigious tricks in sorcerie,
    Ha's raiz'd a base impo stor like Truths father:
    This subtile Curtizan sets vp againe,
    Whom we but late bani sht, to liue in caues,
    In rockes and desart mountaines.
    130 2. King. Feare her not, shee's but a shadow.
    Empr. O t'is a cunning Spider,
    And in her nets so wraps the Fairie Queene,
    That shee suckes euen her brea st: Sh'as writ a booke,
    Which shee calles holy Spels.
    135 3. King. Weele breake those spels.
    Empr. The poles of heauen mu st fir st in sunder breake,
    For from the Fairie shores this Witch hath driuen
    All such as are like these (our Sooth-Saiers)
    And cal'd false Seers home, that of things pa st,
    140Sing wonders, and diuine of things to come:
    Through whose bewitching tongues runne golden chaines,
    To which ten thousand eares so fa st are bound,
    As spirits are by spells; that all the Tones
    Of harmony, that Babylon can sound,
    145Are charmes to Adders, and no more regarded,
    Than are by him that's deafe, the sicke mans groanes
    Shee, they, Titania, and her Fairie Lords,
    Yea euen her va s s aile elues, in publike scorne
    Defame me, call me Whore of Babylon.
    150 Omn. O vnheard of prophanation!
    Empr. Giue out I am common: that for lu st, and hire
    I pro stitute this body: that to Kings
    I quaffe full bowles of strong enchanting wines,