Messina. Inside a church.
(Claudio; Prince Don Pedro; Lord; Balthasar)
Before the tomb of Leonato’s family, Claudio reads out his epitaph for Hero, and vows to perform the rite once a year. With Don Pedro, he goes to prepare for the wedding in the morning. (33 lines)
Enter Claudio, Prince Don Pedro, and three or four with tapers, including Balthasar.
Is this the monument of Leonato?
It is, my lord.
Reading out of a scroll.
“Done to death by slanderous tongues
Was the Hero that here lies.
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,
Gives her fame which never dies.
So the life that died with shame
Lives in death with glorious fame.”
Hang thou there upon the tomb,
Hangs up the scroll.
Praising her when I am dumb.
Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.
Pardon, goddess of the night,
Those that slew thy virgin knight,
For the which, with songs of woe,
Round about her tomb they go.
Midnight, assist our moan,
Help us to sigh and groan,
Graves, yawn and yield your dead,
Till death be uttered,
Now, unto thy bones good night!
Yearly will I do this rite.
Good morrow, masters, put your torches out.
The wolves have preyed, and look, the gentle day,
Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about
Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey.
Thanks to you all, and leave us. Fare you well.
Good morrow, masters—each his several way.
Come let us hence, and put on other weeds,
And then to Leonato’s we will go.
And Hymen now with luckier issue speed’s
Than this for whom we rend’red up this woe.