Okay -- writing iambic pentameter is definitely slow stuff, especially when I'm trying to mostly keep my language pre-1600. (I'm cheating in some places, but trying to at least consistently avoid the words that make my ears twitch from anachronistic pain.) But I'll take slow progress. Herewith, the first draft of the Prologue from The Players:
Jack: Another town, for wand'ring feet to stop
And rest, upon these rounded lakeside stones.
The waters cool and pebbles aged unsharp
That callous toes may lose their highway heat.
A pond with not a breath of wind or wave, 5
Whose noonday sun illumes the city's twin
Alight the other shore. 'Tis Swanmere town,
that other burg, an Athens of today.
Her rulers wise, her people proud and rich
From tradesman's arms and merchant wagon gold. 10
Where songs entice the ears and plays the mind,
Commedia low and myst'ry high amuse
and teach, so work is filled with wit and mirth.
And bordered on this side is Swanmere's kin,
Hight Swinford Town -- a place where pigs once cross'd. 15
As Swanmere shares the spirit of Athena's
Favored town, so Swinford is the child
Of -- Nay, Sparta is too warlike.
And Anactorium too rich.
Olympus far too godly, Dephi's mists 20
A bit too wise. Delos too well-travelled,
And Ilium's great walls too large by far.
Its true forebear must be Aegina Isle.
So close to Athens' beauty 'cross the sea,
And not bereft of virtues of its own. 25
A people filled with pride, and bound to show
Themselves as worthy as the neighb'ring land.
And yet, one never hears of Athens as
"That land across the waves from Great Aegina."
For Pallas is a god of War, and War 30
Exists in more than merely sword and spear.
Athena gave her town victorious fame,
Aegina's strength and glory in her shade.
And so with Swinford: proud and steadfast core'd,
Yet lacking gleaming armor on the field. 35
But for my part, 'tis Swinford's gentle flame
That warms me best. The bonfire is no place
For one who has no wish for heat and light
That shows each face as if the sun were out,
So one may see a friend a mile off. 40
The smaller hearth can warm the numbed hands,
And spur converse with those at left and right,
Illuming not the guise of him whose wish
Is not to be well-known among the land.
And so I set my feet. My name, you ask? 45
Many have I had, in many towns.
The vagrant's privilege, to epithet
Himself to suit the place he sets his sack.
(He takes out a deck.)
The court shall grant my name today, and set
The vagabond the simple brand -- of Jack. 50