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To sing a song of old was sung,
From ashes ancient Gower is come;
Assuming man's infirmities,
To glad your ear, and please your eyes.
It hath been sung at festivals,
On ember-eves, and holy-ales;
And lords and ladies of their lives
Have read it for restoratives :
'Purpose to make men glorious ;
Et quo antiquius , eo melius.
If you; born in these latter times,
When wit's more ripe, accept my rhymes,
And that to hear an old man sing,
May 1o your wishes pleasure bring,
I life would wish , and ibat I might
Waste it for you, like taper-light.
This city then, Autioch the great
Bnilt up for his chiefest seat;
The fairest in all Syria ;
(I tell you what mine authors say ;)
This Kiug unto him took a pheere,
Who died and left a female heir,
So buxom, blithe ,'and full of face,
As 'heaven had lent her all his grace;
With whom the father liking 74pok
And her to incest did provoke:
Bad father! to entice his own
To evil, should be done by none.
By, custom, what they did begin,
Was, with long use, account no sin.
The beauty of this sinful dame,
Made many Princes thither frame,
To seek her as a bed-fellow,
In marriage-pleasures play-fellow :
Wbich' to prevent, he made à law,
(To keep her still, and men in awe,)
That wboso ask'd her for his wife,
His riddle told not, lost his life:
So for her many a wight did die,
As yon grim looks do testify.
What now eusues, to the judgment of your eye
I give, my cause who best can justify. [Erit.
Antioch. A Room in the Palace.
Enter ANTIOCHUS, PERICLES,' and Attendants.
Ant. Young Prince of Tyre, you have at large
receiv'd The danger of the task you uödertake.
Per,' I have, Antiochus, and with a soul Einbolden'd. with the glory of her praise, Think death no hazard, in this enterprize. (Musick.
Ant. Bring in our daughter, clotbed like a bride, For the embracements even of Jove himself; . At whose conception, (till Lucina reign’d,) Nature this dowry gave, to glad her presence,
The senate house of planets all did sit, To knit in her iheir best perfections.
Enter the daughter of ANTIOCHUS.
Per. See, where she comes, apparell'd like the
Graces her 'subjects, and her thoughts the King
Of every virtue gives renown to men!
Her face, the book of praises, where is read
: Nothing but curious pleasures , as from thence
Sorrow were ever ras'd, and testy wrath
Could never be her mild companion.
Ye gods that made me man, add sway in love,
That have ipflam'd desire in my breast,
To taste the fruit of yon celestial tree,
Or die in the adventure, be' my helps,
As I am son and servant to your will,
To compass such a bonndless happiness!
Anti Prince Pericles,
Per. That would be son to great Antiochus.
Ant. Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,
With golden fruit, but dangerous to be touch'd;
For death-like dragons bere affright thee hard;
Her face, like heaven , enticeth sbee to view
A countless glory, which desert must gain :
And which , without desert, because thive eye
Presumes to reach, all thy whole heap must die.
Yon sometime famous Princes , like thyself,
Drawn by report, advent'rous by desire,
Tell thee with speechless tongues, and semblance
That, without covering, save yon field of stars,
They here stand martyrs , slain in Cupid's wars :
And with dead cheeks advise thee to desist,
For going on death's net, whom none' resist.
Per. Antiochus, I thank thee, who hath taught My frail mortality to know itself, And by. those fearful objects to prepares 11 This body, like to them, to what I must: For death remember'd, should be like a mirror, Who tells us,
life's but breath; to trust it, error. I'll make my will then ; and as sick men do, Who know the world, see heaven, but feeling woe, Gripe pot at earthly joys, as erst they did;. So i bequeath a happy peace to you, And all good men, as every Privce should do ; My riches to the earth froin whence they came; But my unspotted fire of love to you.
[To the daughter of ANTIOCHUS. Thus ready for the way of life or death, I wait the sharpest blow, Antiochus, Scorning advice.
Ant. Read the conclusion then; Which read and not expounded, 'tis decreed, As these before thee, thoy thyself shalt bleed. Daugh. In all, save that, may'st thou prove
prosperous ! In all, save that, I wish thee happiness!
Per. Like a bold champion, I assume the lists, Nor ‘ask advice of any other thought But faithfulaess and courage.
[He reads the Riddle.]
I am no viper, yet I feed
On mother's flesh, which did me breed:
I sought a husband, in which labour,
I found that kindness in a father.
He's father, son, and husband mild,
I mother, wife, and yet his child.
How they may be, and yet in two,
As you will live, resolve it your
Sharp physick is the last : but you powers!!
That give heaven countless eyes to view men's acts,
Why cloud they not their sights perpetually,
this be true, which makes me pale to read it? Fair glass of light, I lov'd you, and could still,
(Takes hold of the hand of the Princess. Were not this glorious casket stor'd with ill: But I must tell you,
now, my thoughts revolt;
For he's do mau on whom perfections wait,
That knowing sin within, will touch the gate.
You're a fair viol, and your sense the strings;
Who, finger'd to make man his lawful musick,
Would draw heaven down, and all the gods to
But, being play'd upon before your time,
Hell only danceth at so harsh a chime:
Good sooth, I care not for you. -
Ant. Prince Pericles, touch not, upon thy life,
For that's an article within our law,
As dangerous as the rest. Your time's expir’d;
Either expound now, or receive your sentence.
Per, Great King, few love to hear the 'sins they love to act; "Twould 'braid yourself too near for me to tell it. Who has a book of all that monarchs do,,