Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Pericles, Prince of Tyre
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
 
Act IV. Prologue.
 
Enter GOWER.
Imagine Pericles arriv’d at Tyre,
Welcom’d and settled to his own desire.
His woeful queen we leave at Ephesus,
Unto Diana there a votaress.        5
Now to Marina bend your mind,
Whom our fast-growing scene must find
At Tarsus, and by Cleon train’d
In music, letters; who hath gain’d
Of education all the grace,        10
Which makes her both the heart and place
Of general wonder. But, alack!
That monster envy, oft the wrack
Of earned praise, Marina’s life
Seeks to take off by treason’s knife.        15
And in this kind hath our Cleon
One daughter, and a wench full grown,
Even ripe for marriage-rite; this maid
Hight Philoten, and it is said
For certain in our story, she        20
Would ever with Marina be:
Be ’t when she weav’d the sleided silk
With fingers, long, small, white as milk,
Or when she would with sharp neeld wound
The cambric, which she made more sound        25
By hurting it; when to the 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        30
This Philoten contends in skill
With absolute Marina: so
With the dove of Paphos might the crow
Vie feathers white. Marina gets
All praises, which are paid as debts,        35
And not as given. This so darks
In Philoten all graceful marks,
That Cleon’s wife, with envy rare,
A present murderer does prepare
For good Marina, that her daughter        40
Might 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        45
Prest for this blow. The unborn event
I do commend to your content:
Only I carry winged time
Post on the lame feet of my rime;
Which never could I so convey,        50
Unless your thoughts went on my way.
Dionyza doth appear,
With Leonine, a murderer.  [Exit.
 
 
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