Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
A mother’s tears in passion for her son.
And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
O think my son to be as dear to me.
Be candidatus, then, and put [the white robe] on /
And help to set a head on headless Rome.
Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter
His noble nephew here in virtue’s nest,
That died in honor and Lavinia’s cause.
Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous.
Traitor, if Rome have law or we have power,
Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape.
I’ll find a day to massacre them all
And raze their faction and their family,
The cruel father and his traitorous sons.
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
Revenge it as you love your mother’s life,
Or be you not henceforth called my children.
Ay, come, Semiramis, nay, barbarous Tamora,
For no name fits thy nature but thy own.
Remember, boys, I poured forth tears in vain
To save your brother from the sacrifice,
but fierce Andronicus would not relent.
Therefore away with her, and use her as you will;
The worse to her, the better loved of me.
O noble father, you lament in vain.
The Tribunes hear you not; no man is by,
And you recount your sorrows to a stone.
Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers?
My grief was at the height before thou cam’st,
And now like nilus it disdaineth bounds.
Sweet father, cease your tears, for at your grief
See how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.
“But”? How if that fly had a father and mother?
How would he hang his slender gilded wings
And buzz lamenting doings in the air!
Poor harmless fly,
That, with his pretty buzzing melody,
Came here to make us merry! And thou hast killed him.
And swear with me—as, with the woeful fere
And father of that chaste dishonored dame,
Lord Junius Brutus swore for Lucrece’ rape—
That we will prosecute by good advice
Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths,
And see their blood or die with this reproach.
Kinsmen, his sorrows are past remedy.
Join with the Goths, and with revengeful war
Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude,
And vengeance on the traitor Saturnine.
My lord the Emperor, resolve me this:
Was it well done of rash Virginius
To slay his daughter with his own right hand
Because she was enforced, stained, and deflowered?
Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee,
And with thy shame thy father’s sorrow die.
There’s meed for meed, death for a deadly deed.
O, let me teach you how to knit again
This scattered corn into one mutual sheaf,
These broken limbs again into one body.
Now judge what cause had Titus to revenge
These wrongs unspeakable, past patience,
Or more than any living man could bear.
Now have you heard the truth. What say you, Romans?
Have we done aught amiss?