Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Tom Bishop
Not Peer Reviewed

Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Modern)

1370Enter Gower.
Imagine Pericles arrived at Tyre,
Welcomed and settled to his own desire;
His woeful queen we leave at Ephesus,
Unto Diana there's a votaress.
1375Now to Marina bend your mind,
Whom our fast-growing scene must find
At Tharsus, and by Cleon trained
In music's letters, who hath gained
Of education all the grace,
1380Which makes her both the heart and place
Of general wonder. But, alack,
That monster envy, oft the wrack
Of earnèd praise, Marina's life
Seeks to take off by treason's knife,
1385And in this kind: our Cleon has
One daughter and a full-grown lass,
Even ripe for marriage-rite. This maid
Hight Philoten, and it is said
For certain in our story she
1390Would ever with Marina be.
Be't when they weaved the sleded silk,
With fingers long, small, white as milk,
Or when she would with sharp needle wound
The cambric, which she made more sound
1395By hurting it, or when to th'lute
She sung, and made the night-bird mute,
That still records with moan, or when
She would with rich and constant pen
Vail to her mistress Dian, still
1400This Philoten contends in skill
With absolute Marina; so
With dove of Paphos might the crow
Vie feathers white. Marina gets
All praises, which are paid as debts
1405And not as given. This so darks
In Philoten all graceful marks
That Cleon's wife with envy rare
A present murder does prepare
For good Marina, that her daughter
1410Might stand peerless by this slaughter.
The sooner her vile thoughts to stead,
Lychorida, our nurse, is dead,
And cursed Dionyza hath
The pregnant instrument of wrath
1415Prest for this blow. The unborn event
I do commend to your content.
Only, I carried wingèd time
Post on the lame feet of my rhyme,
Which never could I so convey,
1420Unless your thoughts went on my way.
Dionyza does appear,
With Leonine, a murderer.