Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Tom Bishop
Not Peer Reviewed

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Modern)

1045Enter 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.
1059.1[Dumb Show]
1060Enter 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.