Don Pedro Claudio, some of their officers, members of Leonato’s household, and a musician, approached the mausoleum with torches. ‘Is this Leonato’s tomb?’ said Claudio.
‘It is, my lord,’ one of Leonato’s servants said.
Claudio was carrying a wreath and he went forward and lay it at the entrance. Then he stepped back and took a scroll from one of the officers, unrolled it, and read it.
‘Done to death by slanderous tongues
Was the Hero who here lies:
Death, in payment of her wrongs.
Gives her fame which never dies.
So the life that died with shame
Lives in death with glorious fame.
Lie you there upon the tomb.
Praising her when I am dumb.
Now music play and sing your solemn hymn.’
The musician strummed a short introduction on his lute then sang, while the others stood at solemn attention.
‘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,
He finished and Claudio made his concluding statement: ‘Now, good night to your remains. I’ll perform this rite every year.’
‘Good night, gentlemen,’ said Don Pedro. ‘Put your torches out. The wolves have gone to sleep, and look, daylight is beginning to dapple the eastern sky with grey spots. Thanks to all of you and leave us now. Farewell.’
‘Good morning, gentlemen,’ said Claudio, ‘and all on your separate ways.’
‘Come, let’s go and change and go to Leonato’s,’ said Don Pedro.
‘And may the god of love give us a better outcome this time,’ said Claudio.