William Shakespeare: Pericles, Act IV

Act IV

Prologue

Enter Gower

Gower

Imagine Pericles arrived at Tyre, Welcomed and settled to his own desire. His woeful queen we leave at Ephesus, Unto Diana there a votaress. 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, 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. 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 Would ever with Marina be: Be't when she weaved the sleided silk With fingers long, small, white as milk; Or when she would with sharp needle wound The cambric, which she made more sound By hurting it; or 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 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, 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 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 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 rhyme; Which never could I so convey, Unless your thoughts went on my way. Dionyza does appear, With Leonine, a murderer.

Exit