Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition
Editor’s NoteEnter the Empress Tamora's sons Chiron and Demetrius with Lavinia, Editor’s Noteher hands cut off and her tongue cut out, and ravished1
demetrius So now go tell, an if thy tongue can speak,
2Who 'twas that cut thy tongue and ravished thee.Editor’s Note3
chiron Write down thy mind, bewray thy meaning so,
4An if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe.5
demetrius See how with signs and tokens she can scrawl.Editor’s Note6
chiron. Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy hands.7
demetrius She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash,
8And so let's leave her to her silent walks.Editor’s Note9
chiron An 'twere my cause, I should go hang myself.Editor’s Note10
demetrius If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord.Exeunt Chiron and Demetrius [Wind horns.] Enter Marcus from huntingEditor’s Note11
marcus [to Lavinia] Who is this—my niece that flies away so fast?
Editor’s Note12Cousin, a word. Where is your husband?
Editor’s Note13If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake me.
Link 14If I do wake, some planet strike me down
15That I may slumber an eternal sleep.
Editor’s Note16Speak, gentle niece. What stern ungentle hands
17Hath lopped and hewed and made thy body bare
18Of her two branches, those sweet ornaments
19Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in,
20And might not gain so great a happiness
Editor’s Note21As half thy love. Why dost not speak to me?
Editor’s Note22Alas, a crimson river of warm blood,
23Like to a bubbling fountain stirred with wind,
24Doth rise and fall between thy rosèd lips,
25Coming and going with thy honey breath.
Editor’s Note26But sure some Tereus hath deflowered thee
Editor’s Note27And, lest thou shouldst detect him, cut thy tongue.
28Ah, now thou turn'st away thy face for shame,
29And, notwithstanding all this loss of blood,
Editor’s Note30As from a conduit with three issuing spouts,
Editor’s Note31Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan's face
32Blushing to be encountered with a cloud.
33Shall I speak for thee? Shall I say 'tis so?
Editor’s Note34O that I knew thy heart, and knew the beast,
35That I might rail at him to ease my mind!
Editor’s Note36Sorrow concealèd, like an oven stopped,
38Fair Philomel, why she but lost her tongue
Editor’s Note39And in a tedious sampler sewed her mind.
Editor’s Note40But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee.
41A craftier Tereus, cousin, hast thou met,
42And he hath cut those pretty fingers off
43That could have better sewed than Philomel.
44O, had the monster seen those lily hands
45Tremble like aspen leaves upon a lute
46And make the silken strings delight to kiss them,
47He would not then have touched them for his life.
48Or had he heard the heavenly harmony
Link 49Which that sweet tongue hath made,
50He would have dropped his knife and fell asleep,
Editor’s Note51As Cerberus at the Thracian poet's feet.
52Come, let us go and make thy father blind,
53For such a sight will blind a father's eye.
54One hour's storm will drown the fragrant meads;
55What will whole months of tears thy father's eyes?
56Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee.
57O, could our mourning ease thy misery!Editor’s NoteExeunt [together]