Henry VIII

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Original text
THE EPILOGVE.
Tis ten to one, this Play can neuer please
All that are heere: Some come to take their ease,
And sleepe an Act or two; but those we feare
W'haue frighted with our Trumpets: so 'tis cleare,
They'l say tis naught. Others to heare the City
Abus'd extreamly, and to cry that's witty,
Which wee haue not done neither; that I feare
All the expected good w'are like to heare.
For this Play at this time, is onely in
The mercifull construction of good women,
For such a one we shew'd 'em: If they smile,
And say twill doe; I know within a while,
All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap,
If they hold, when their Ladies bid 'em clap.
Modern text
THE EPILOGUE
'Tis ten to one this play can never please
All that are here. Some come to take their ease,
And sleep an act or two; but those, we fear,
We've frighted with our trumpets; so, 'tis clear,
They'll say 'tis naught. Others to hear the city
Abused extremely, and to cry ‘ That's witty!’ –
Which we have not done neither; that, I fear,
All the expected good we're like to hear
For this play at this time is only in
The merciful construction of good women,
For such a one we showed 'em. If they smile,
And say 'twill do, I know within a while
All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap
If they hold when their ladies bid 'em clap.
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL