Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
Peer Reviewed

Cymbeline (Folio 1, 1623)

Scena Secunda.
Enter Imogen, in her Bed, and a Lady.
Imo. Who's there? My woman: Helene?
905La. Please you Madam.
Imo. What houre is it?
Lady. Almost midnight, Madam.
Imo. I haue read three houres then:
Mine eyes are weake,
910Fold downe the leafe where I haue left: to bed.
Take not away the Taper, leaue it burning:
And if thou canst awake by foure o'th'clock,
I prythee call me: Sleepe hath ceiz'd me wholly.
To your protection I commend me, Gods,
915From Fayries, and the Tempters of the night,
Guard me beseech yee.
Iachimo from the Trunke.
Iach. The Crickets sing, and mans ore-labor'd sense
Repaires it selfe by rest: Our Tarquine thus
920Did softly presse the Rushes, ere he waken'd
The Chastitie he wounded. Cytherea,
How brauely thou becom'st thy Bed; fresh Lilly,
And whiter then the Sheetes: that I might touch,
But kisse, one kisse. Rubies vnparagon'd,
925How deerely they doo't: 'Tis her breathing that
Perfumes the Chamber thus: the Flame o'th'Taper
Bowes toward her, and would vnder-peepe her lids.
To see th'inclosed Lights, now Canopied
Vnder these windowes, White and Azure lac'd
930With Blew of Heauens owne tinct. But my designe.
To note the Chamber, I will write all downe,
Such, and such pictures: There the window, such
Th'adornement of her Bed; the Arras, Figures,
Why such, and such: and the Contents o'th'Story.
935Ah, but some naturall notes about her Body,
Aboue ten thousand meaner Moueables
Would testifie, t'enrich mine Inuentorie.
O sleepe, thou Ape of death, lye dull vpon her,
And be her Sense but as a Monument,
940Thus in a Chappell lying. Come off, come off;
As slippery as the Gordian-knot was hard.
'Tis mine, and this will witnesse outwardly,
As strongly as the Conscience do's within:
To'th'madding of her Lord. On her left brest
945A mole Cinque-spotted: Like the Crimson drops
I'th'bottome of a Cowslippe. Heere's a Voucher,
Stronger then euer Law could make; this Secret
Will force him thinke I haue pick'd the lock, and t'ane
The treasure of her Honour. No more: to what end?
950Why should I write this downe, that's riueted,
Screw'd to my memorie. She hath bin reading late,
The Tale of Tereus, heere the leaffe's turn'd downe
Where Philomele gaue vp. I haue enough,
To'th'Truncke againe, and shut the spring of it.
955Swift, swift, you Dragons of the night, that dawning
May beare the Rauens eye: I lodge in feare,
Though this a heauenly Angell: hell is heere.
Clocke strikes
One, two, three: time, time.