The Two Noble Kinsmen/Prologue
- New Playes, and Maydenheads, are neare akin,
- Much follow’d both, for both much mony gi'yn,
- If they stand sound, and well: And a good Play
- (Whose modest Sceanes blush on his marriage day,
- And shake to loose his honour) is like hir
- That after holy Tye and first nights stir
- Yet still is modestie, and still retaines
- More of the maid to sight, than Husband’s paines.
- We pray our Play may be so; For I am sure
- It has a noble Breeder, and a pure,
- A learned, and a Poet never went
- More famous yet twixt Po and silver Trent.
- Chaucer (of all admir’d) the Story gives,
- There constant to eternity it lives.
- If we let fall the Noblenesse of this,
- And the first sound this child heare, be a hisse,
- How will it shake the bones of that good man
- And make him cry from under ground, “O fan
- From me the witles chaffe of such a wrighter
- That blastes my Bayes, and my fam'd workes makes lighter
- Then Robin Hood!” This is the feare we bring;
- For to say Truth, it were an endlesse thing,
- And too ambitious, to aspire to him,
- Weake as we are, and almost breathlesse swim
- In this deepe water. Do but you hold out
- Your helping hands, and we shall take about,
- And something doe to save us: You shall heare
- Sceanes, though below his Art, may yet appeare
- Worth two houres travell. To his bones sweet sleepe:
- Content to you. If this play doe not keepe
- A little dull time from us, we perceave
- Our losses fall so thicke, we must needs leave.