Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Cymbeline (Modern)
  • Editor: Jennifer Forsyth
  • ISBN: 1-55058-300-X

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

    Cymbeline (Modern)

    Enter Imogen and Pisanio
    I would thou grewst unto the shores o'th' haven
    265And questionedst every sail. If he should write
    And I not have it, 'twere a paper lost
    As offered mercy is. What was the last
    That he spake to thee?
    It was his queen, his queen.
    Then waved his handkerchief?
    And kissed it, madam.
    Senseless linen, happier therein than I!
    And that was all?
    No, madam. For so long
    275As he could make me with this eye or ear
    Distinguish him from others, he did keep
    The deck, with glove or hat or handkerchief
    Still waving as the fits and stirs of's mind
    Could best express how slow his soul sailed on,
    280How swift his ship.
    Thou shouldst have made him
    As little as a crow or less ere left
    To after-eye him.
    Madam, so I did.
    I would have broke mine eyestrings, cracked them but
    To look upon him, till the diminution
    Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle,
    Nay, followed him till he had melted from
    The smallness of a gnat to air, and then
    290Have turned mine eye and wept. But good Pisanio,
    When shall we hear from him?
    Be assured, madam,
    With his next vantage.
    I did not take my leave of him but had
    295Most pretty things to say. Ere I could tell him
    How I would think on him at certain hours
    Such thoughts and such; or I could make him swear
    The shes of Italy should not betray
    Mine interest and his honor; or have charged him
    300At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
    T'encounter me with orisons, for then
    I am in heaven for him; or ere I could
    Give him that parting kiss which I had set
    Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father
    305And like the tyrannous breathing of the North
    Shakes all our buds from growing.
    Enter a Lady
    The Queen, madam,
    Desires Your Highness' company.
    [To Pisanio] Those things I bid you do, get them dispatched. --
    [To Lady] I will attend the Queen.
    Madam, I shall.
    Imogen and Lady exeunt together; Pisanio separately