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  • Title: Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Modern)
  • Editor: Tom Bishop

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Tom Bishop
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Modern)

    Enter Gower.
    [Gower] Now sleep yslackèd hath the rouse,
    No din but snores about the house,
    Made louder by the o'er-fed breast
    Of this most pompous marriage-feast:
    1050The cat with eyne of burning coal,
    Now couches from the mouse's hole;
    And crickets sing at the oven's mouth,
    Are the blither for their drouth.
    Hymen hath brought the bride to bed,
    1055Where, by the loss of maidenhead,
    A babe is moulded. Be attent,
    And time that is so briefly spent
    With your fine fancies quaintly eche:
    What's dumb in show, I'll plain with speech.
    [Dumb Show]
    Enter Pericles and Simonides at one door, with attendants. A messenger [entering from the other door,] meets them, kneels, and gives Pericles a letter. Pericles shows it Simonides; the Lords kneel to him. Then enter Thaisa, with child, with Lychorida, a nurse. The King shows her the letter; she rejoices. She and Pericles 1065take leave of her father, and depart [with Lychorida and messenger. Exeunt Simonides and attendants another way.]
    By many a dern and painful perch
    Of Pericles the careful search,
    By the four opposing coigns
    Which the world together joins,
    1070Is made with all due diligence
    That horse and sail and high expense
    Can stead the quest. At last from Tyre,
    Fame answering the most strange enquire,
    To th'court of King Simonides
    1075Are letters brought; the tenor these:
    Antiochus and his daughter dead,
    The men of Tyrus on the head
    Of Helicanus would set on
    The crown of Tyre, but he will none.
    1080The mutiny he there hastes t'appease,
    Says to 'em: if King Pericles
    Come not home in twice six moons,
    He, obedient to their dooms,
    Will take the crown. The sum of this,
    1085Brought hither to Pentapolis,
    Yravishèd the regions round,
    And every one with claps can sound:
    "Our heir apparent is a king!
    Who dreamt, who thought of such a thing?"
    1090Brief, he must hence depart to Tyre;
    His queen, with child, makes her desire --
    Which who shall cross? -- along to go.
    Omit we all their dole and woe.
    Lychorida, her nurse, she takes,
    1095And so to sea. Their vessel shakes
    On Neptune's billow. Half the flood
    Hath their keel cut, but Fortune, moved,
    Varies again; the grisled north
    Disgorges such a tempest forth
    1100That, as a duck for life that dives,
    So up and down the poor ship drives.
    The lady shrieks and, well-a-near,
    Does fall in travail with her fear,
    And what ensues in this fell storm
    1105Shall for itself itself perform.
    I nill relate, action may
    Conveniently the rest convey,
    Which might not what by me is told.
    In your imagination hold
    1110This stage the ship, upon whose deck
    The seas-tossed Pericles appears to speak.