Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

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

    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: Hardin Aasand
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Winter's Tale (Modern)

    Enter Time, the Chorus.
    I, that please some, try all; both joy and terror
    Of good and bad, that makes and unfolds error,
    Now take upon me, in the name of Time,
    To use my wings. Impute it not a crime
    To me or my swift passage that I slide
    1585O'er sixteen years and leave the growth untried
    Of that wide gap, since it is in my power
    To o'erthrow law, and in one self-born hour
    To plant and o'erwhelm custom. Let me pass
    The same I am ere ancient'st order was
    1590Or what is now received. I witness to
    The times that brought them in. So shall I do
    To th' freshest things now reigning and make stale
    The glistering of this present, as my tale
    Now seems to it. Your patience this allowing,
    1595I turn my glass and give my scene such growing
    As you had slept between: Leontes leaving
    Th'effects of his fond jealousies, so grieving
    That he shuts up himself. Imagine me,
    Gentle spectators, that I now may be
    1600In fair Bohemia. And remember well,
    I mentioned a son o'th'king's, which Florizel
    I now name to you, and with speed so pace
    To speak of Perdita, now grown in grace
    Equal with wond'ring. What of her ensues
    1605I list not prophesy, but let Time's news
    Be known when 'tis brought forth. A shepherd's daughter
    And what to her adheres, which follows after,
    Is th'argument of Time; of this allow,
    If ever you have spent time worse, ere now.
    1610If never, yet that Time himself doth say
    He wishes earnestly you never may.