Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Tom Bishop
Not Peer Reviewed

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Quarto)

Pericles Prince of Tyre.
415Whose towers bore heads so high they kist the clowds,
And strangers nere beheld, but wondred at,
Whose men and dames so jetted and adorn'de,
Like one anothers glasse to trim them by,
Their tables were stor'de full to glad the sight,
420And not so much to feede on as delight,
All pouertie was scor'nde, and pride so great,
The name of helpe grewe odious to repeat.
Dion. O t'is too true.
Cle. But see what heauen can doe by this our change,
425These mouthes who but of late, earth, sea, and ayre,
Were all too little to content and please,
Although thy gaue their creatures in abundance,
As houses are defil'de for want of vse,
They are now staru'de for want of exercise,
430Those pallats who not yet too sauers younger,
Must haue inuentions to delight the tast,
Would now be glad of bread and beg for it,
Those mothers who to nouzell vp their babes,
Thought nought too curious, are readie now
435To eat those little darlings whom they lou'de,
So sharpe are hungers teeth, that man and wife,
Drawe lots who first shall die, to lengthen life.
Heere stands a Lord, and there a Ladie weeping:
Heere manie sincke, yet those which see them fall,
440Haue scarce strength left to giue them buryall.
Is not this true?
Dion. Our cheekes and hollow eyes doe witnesse it.
Cle. O let those Cities that of plenties cup,
And her prosperities so largely taste,
445With their superfluous riots heare these teares,
The miserie of Tharsus may be theirs.
Enter a Lord.
Lord. Wheres the Lord Gouernour?
Cle. Here, speake out thy sorrowes, which thee bringst