Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Cymbeline
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
Act I. Scene III.
A Room in CYMBELINE’S Palace.
  Imo.  I would thou grew’st unto the shores of the haven,
And question’dst every sail: if he should write,
And I not have it, ’twere a paper lost,        5
As offer’d mercy is. What was the last
That he spake to thee?
  Pis.        It was his queen, his queen!
  Imo.  Then wav’d his handkerchief?
  Pis.        And kiss’d it, madam.        10
  Imo.  Senseless linen, happier therein than I!
And that was all?
  Pis.        No, madam; for so long
As he could make me with this eye or ear
Distinguish him from others, he did keep        15
The deck, with glove, or hat, or handkerchief,
Still waving, as the fits and stirs of ’s mind
Could best express how slow his soul sail’d on,
How swift his ship.
  Imo.        Thou shouldst have made him        20
As little as a crow, or less, ere left
To after-eye him.
  Pis.        Madam, so I did.
  Imo.  I would have broke mine eye-strings, crack’d them, but
To look upon him, till the diminution        25
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle,
Nay, follow’d him, till he had melted from
The smallness of a gnat to air, and then
Have turn’d mine eye, and wept. But, good Pisanio,
When shall we hear from him?        30
  Pis.        Be assur’d, madam,
With his next vantage.
  Imo.  I did not take my leave of him, but had
Most pretty things to say; ere I could tell him
How I would think on him at certain hours        35
Such thoughts and such, or I could make him swear
The shes of Italy should not betray
Mine interest and his honour, or have charg’d him,
At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
To encounter me with orisons, for then        40
I am in heaven for him; or ere I could
Give him that parting kiss which I had set
Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father,
And like the tyrannous breathing of the north
Shakes all our buds from growing.        45
Enter a Lady.
  Lady.        The queen, madam,
Desires your highness’ company.
  Imo.  Those things I bid you do, get them dispatch’d.
I will attend the queen.        50
  Pis.        Madam, I shall.  [Exeunt.

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