William Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > Pericles, Prince of Tyre > Act III. Prologue.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

Study Guides
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Merchant of Venice
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Bard Facts
Globe Theatre

Act III. Prologue.

Act III.

Enter GOWER.

Now sleep yslaked hath the rout;
No din but snores the house about,
Made louder by the o'er-fed breast
Of this most pompous marriage-feast.
The cat, with eyne of burning coal,
Now couches fore the mouse's hole;
And crickets sing at the oven's mouth,
E'er the blither for their drouth.
Hymen hath brought the bride to bed,
Where, 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.

Enter, from one side, PERICLES and SIMON-
IDES, with Attendants; a Messenger meets them,
kneels, and gives PERICLES a letter: PERICLES
shows it to SIMONIDES; the Lords kneel to
PERICLES. Then enter THAISA with child, and
LYCHORIDA: SIMONIDES shows his daughter
the letter; she rejoices: she and PERICLES
take leave of her father, and all depart.
By many a dern and painful perch,
Of Pericles the careful search
By the four opposing coigns,
Which the world together joins,
Is 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 Inquire-
To the court of King Simonides
Are letters brought, the tenour 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:
The mutiny he there hastes t' oppress;
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,
Brought hither to Pentapolis,
Yravished the regions round,
And every one with claps can sound,
'Our heir-apparent is a king!
Who dream'd, who thought of such a thing?'
Brief, 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,
And so to sea. Their vessel shakes
On Neptune's billow; half the flood
Bath their keel cut: but Fortune's mood
Varies again; the grisled north
Disgorges such a tempest forth,
That, 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
Shall for itself itself per form.
I nill relate, action may
Conveniently the rest convey,
Which might not what by me is told.
In your imagination hold
This stage the ship, upon whose deck
The sea-tost Pericles appears to speak.
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards