Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Hardin Aasand
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-367-0

    Copyright Hardin Aasand. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Hardin Aasand
    Peer Reviewed

    The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Winters Tale.
    Pol. Shepherdesse,
    1885(A faire one are you:) well you fit our ages
    With flowres of Winter.
    Perd. Sir, the yeare growing ancient,
    Not yet on summers death, nor on the birth
    Of trembling winter, the fayrest flowres o'th season
    1890Are our Carnations, and streak'd Gilly-vors,
    (Which some call Natures bastards) of that kind
    Our rusticke Gardens barren, and I care not
    To get slips of them.
    Pol. Wherefore (gentle Maiden)
    1895Do you neglect them.
    Perd. For I haue heard it said,
    There is an Art, which in their pidenesse shares
    With great creating-Nature.
    Pol. Say there be:
    1900Yet Nature is made better by no meane,
    But Nature makes that Meane: so ouer that Art,
    (Which you say addes to Nature) is an Art
    That Nature makes: you see (sweet Maid) we marry
    A gentler Sien, to the wildest Stocke,
    1905And make conceyue a barke of baser kinde
    By bud of Nobler race. This is an Art
    Which do's mend Nature: change it rather, but
    The Art it selfe, is Nature.
    Perd. So it is.
    1910Pol. Then make you Garden rich in Gilly' vors,
    And do not call them bastards.
    Perd. Ile not put
    The Dible in earth, to set one slip of them:
    No more then were I painted, I would wish
    1915This youth should say 'twer well: and onely therefore
    Desire to breed by me. Here's flowres for you:
    Hot Lauender, Mints, Sauory, Mariorum,
    The Mary-gold, that goes to bed with' Sun,
    And with him rises, weeping: These are flowres
    1920Of middle summer, and I thinke they are giuen
    To men of middle age. Y'are very welcome.
    Cam. I should leaue grasing, were I of your flocke,
    And onely liue by gazing.
    Perd. Out alas:
    1925You'ld be so leane, that blasts of Ianuary
    Would blow you through and through. Now (my fairst
    I would I had some Flowres o'th Spring, that might
    Become your time of day: and yours, and yours,
    That weare vpon your Virgin-branches yet
    1930Your Maiden-heads growing: O Proserpina,
    For the Flowres now, that (frighted) thou let'st fall
    From Dysses Waggon: Daffadils,
    That come before the Swallow dares, and take
    The windes of March with beauty: Violets (dim,
    1935But sweeter then the lids of Iuno's eyes,
    Or Cytherea's breath) pale Prime-roses,
    That dye vnmarried, ere they can behold
    Bright Phoebus in his strength (a Maladie
    Most incident to Maids:) bold Oxlips, and
    1940The Crowne Imperiall: Lillies of all kinds,
    (The Flowre-de-Luce being one.) O, these I lacke,
    To make you Garlands of) and my sweet friend,
    To strew him o're, and ore.
    Flo. What? like a Coarse?
    1945Perd. No, like a banke, for Loue to lye, and play on:
    Not like a Coarse: or if: not to be buried,
    But quicke, and in mine armes. Come, take your flours,
    Me thinkes I play as I haue seene them do
    In Whitson-Pastorals: Sure this Robe of mine
    1950Do's change my disposition:
    Flo. What you do,
    Still betters what is done. When you speake (Sweet)
    I'ld haue you do it euer: When you sing,
    I'ld haue you buy, and sell so: so giue Almes,
    1955Pray so: and for the ord'ring your Affayres,
    To sing them too. When you do dance, I wish you
    A waue o'th Sea, that you might euer do
    Nothing but that: moue still, still so:
    And owne no other Function. Each your doing,
    1960(So singular, in each particular)
    Crownes what you are doing, in the present deeds,
    That all your Actes, are Queenes.
    Perd. O Doricles,
    Your praises are too large: but that your youth
    1965And the true blood which peepes fairely through't,
    Do plainly giue you out an vnstain'd Shepherd
    With wisedome, I might feare (my Doricles)
    You woo'd me the false way.
    Flo. I thinke you haue
    1970As little skill to feare, as I haue purpose
    To put you to't. But come, our dance I pray,
    Your hand (my Perdita:) so Turtles paire
    That neuer meane to part.
    Perd. Ile sweare for 'em.
    1975Pol. This is the prettiest Low-borne Lasse, that euer
    Ran on the greene-sord: Nothing she do's, or seemes
    But smackes of something greater then her selfe,
    Too Noble for this place.
    Cam. He tels her something
    1980That makes her blood looke on't: Good sooth she is
    The Queene of Curds and Creame.
    Clo. Come on: strike vp.
    Dorcas. Mopsa must be your Mistris: marry Garlick
    to mend her kissing with.
    1985Mop. Now in good time.
    Clo. Not a word, a word, we stand vpon our manners,
    Come, strike vp.
    Heere a Daunce of Shepheards and
    1990Pol. Pray good Shepheard, what faire Swaine is this,
    Which dances with your daughter?
    Shep. They call him Doricles, and boasts himselfe
    To haue a worthy Feeding; but I haue it
    Vpon his owne report, and I beleeue it:
    1995He lookes like sooth: he sayes he loues my daughter,
    I thinke so too; for neuer gaz'd the Moone
    Vpon the water, as hee'l stand and reade
    As 'twere my daughters eyes: and to be plaine,
    I thinke there is not halfe a kisse to choose
    2000Who loues another best.
    Pol. She dances featly.
    Shep. So she do's any thing, though I report it
    That should be silent: If yong Doricles
    Do light vpon her, she shall bring him that
    2005Which he not dreames of.
    Enter Seruant.
    Ser. O Master: if you did but heare the Pedler at the
    doore, you would neuer dance againe after a Tabor and
    Pipe: no, the Bag-pipe could not moue you: hee singes
    seuerall Tunes, faster then you'l tell money: hee vtters
    2010them as he had eaten ballads, and all mens eares grew to
    his Tunes.
    Clo. He could neuer come better: hee shall come in:
    I loue a ballad but euen too well, if it be dolefull matter
    merrily set downe: or a very pleasant thing indeede, and
    2015sung lamentably.