Pericles, Prince of Tyre
The hero of this epic tale is known by various names.
Gower calls him Appolonius in the story title, but shortens that to Appolinus in the story itself.
In Shakespeare's play, where Gower appears as chorus, the hero is known as Pericles.
This presentation follows Shakespeare's name choice since that is more familiar to modern readers.
All other names, and the story line, where it deviates from the play, are Gower's. And since Gower
never reveals the name of Pericles' queen, she is herein referred to as Thaisa, following Shakespeare,
Book 8 of Confessio Amantis
Modern English version
Gower's Middle English original is on the left. Brodie's
Modern English rendition is on the right.
The tale is divided into 30 episodes, each preceded by a brief summary.
16 of these episodes entail travel, for which maps of the Eastern Mediterranean
are provided to show the paths traversed between the starting and ending points.
Paths which are not direct indicate stormy weather, or in one case a drifting coffin.
Paths which are incomplete indicate some kind of an interruption at sea.
@Copyright 2012 by Richard Brodie
Episode #1: The queen of Tyre dies. King Antiochus commences an incestuous relationship with his beautiful young daughter. Word of her beauty spreads, and many princes come to win her hand.
The evil king, devises a riddle for them to solve, where an incorrect answer will cost the unfortunate suitor his head.
|Of a Cronique in daies gon,
The which is cleped Pantheon,
In loves cause I rede thus,
Hou that the grete Antiochus,
Of whom that Antioche tok
His ferste name, as seith the bok,
Was coupled to a noble queene,
And hadde a dowhter hem betwene:
Bot such fortune cam to honde,
That deth, which no king mai withstonde,
Bot every lif it mote obeie,
This worthi queene tok aweie.
The king, which made mochel mone,
Tho stod, as who seith, al him one
Withoute wif, bot natheles
His doghter, which was piereles
Of beaute, duelte aboute him stille.
Bot whanne a man hath welthe at wille,
The fleissh is frele and falleth ofte,
And that this maide tendre and softe,
Which in hire fadres chambres duelte,
Withinne a time wiste and felte:
For likinge and concupiscence
Withoute insihte of conscience
The fader so with lustes blente,
That he caste al his hole entente
His oghne doghter forto spille.
This king hath leisir at his wille
With strengthe, and whanne he time sih,
This yonge maiden he forlih:
And sche was tendre and full of drede,
Sche couthe noght hir Maidenhede
Defende, and thus sche hath forlore
The flour which she hath longe bore.
It helpeth noght althogh sche wepe,
For thei that scholde hir bodi kepe
Of wommen were absent as thanne;
And thus this maiden goth to manne,
The wylde fader thus devoureth
His oghne fleissh, which non socoureth,
And that was cause of mochel care.
Bot after this unkinde fare
Out of the chambre goth the king,
And sche lay stille, and of this thing,
Withinne hirself such sorghe made,
Ther was no wiht that mihte hir glade,
For feere of thilke horrible vice.
With that cam inne the Norrice
Which fro childhode hire hadde kept,
And axeth if sche hadde slept,
And why hire chiere was unglad.
Bot sche, which hath ben overlad
Of that sche myhte noght be wreke,
For schame couthe unethes speke;
And natheles mercy sche preide
With wepende yhe and thus sche seide:
"Helas, mi Soster, waileway,
That evere I sih this ilke day!
Thing which mi bodi ferst begat
Into this world, onliche that
Mi worldes worschipe hath bereft."
With that sche swouneth now and eft,
And evere wissheth after deth,
So that welnyh hire lacketh breth.
That other, which hire wordes herde,
In confortinge of hire ansuerde,
To lette hire fadres fol desir
Sche wiste no recoverir:
Whan thing is do, ther is no bote,
So suffren thei that suffre mote;
Ther was non other which it wiste.
Thus hath this king al that him liste
Of his likinge and his plesance,
And laste in such continuance,
And such delit he tok therinne,
Him thoghte that it was no Sinne;
And sche dorste him nothing withseie.
Bot fame, which goth every weie,
To sondry regnes al aboute
The grete beaute telleth oute
Of such a maide of hih parage:
So that for love of mariage
The worthi Princes come and sende,
As thei the whiche al honour wende,
And knewe nothing hou it stod.
The fader, whanne he understod,
That thei his dowhter thus besoghte,
With al his wit he caste and thoghte
Hou that he myhte finde a lette;
And such a Statut thanne he sette,
And in this wise his lawe he taxeth,
That what man that his doghter axeth,
Bot if he couthe his question
Assoile upon suggestion
Of certein thinges that befelle,
The whiche he wolde unto him telle,
He scholde in certein lese his hed.
And thus ther weren manye ded,
Here hevedes stondende on the gate,
Till ate laste longe and late,
For lacke of ansuere in the wise,
The remenant that weren wise
Eschuieden to make assay.
|A chronicle of days long gone,
From Godfrey's pen, The Pantheon
A tale of love relates to us
Of how the great Antiochus,
Whose name from Antioch he took
To be his own, so says the book,
Unto a noble queen was wed
With whom a baby girl was bred.
But by a luckless turn of fate
Death came, which kings may not abate,
But every person must obey,
And took his worthy queen away.
The king did mourn, for he was left
Alone, of his dear wife bereft.
However his young daughter fair,
Whose beauty was without compare,
Dwelt with him in the castle still.
But when a man has wealth at will,
The flesh is frail and prone to lust;
This maiden soft and full of trust,
Within her father's chambers dwelt;
In time he feelings for her felt.
Filled with concupiscent desire
His sense of conscience did retire.
This father was with lust so blind
That he bethought with all his mind
That his own daughter he would spoil.
This king had leisure free from toil;
With strength he, when the time was right,
Did with this maiden spend the night.
So young, she thought: "How could this be?"
She could not her virginity
Defend. She had to sacrifice
The flower of her youth to vice.
It did not help for her to weep,
For all the women who should keep
Her body safe were absent then;
And thus this maiden learned of men.
The father his own flesh devoured,
Who alone in sorrow cowered,
And this weighed upon her mind.
But after this deed most unkind,
Out of the chamber went the king,
And she lay still, and of this thing,
Within herself she was so sad,
There was no one to make her glad,
So feared was this most awful sin.
Her babysitter did come in
Who had her from her childhood kept,
And asked of her if she had slept,
And why so solemnly she mused.
But she which had just been abused
And vengeance could not hope to wreak,
Was shamed so she could barely speak.;
For mercy nonetheless she prayed
As tear filled eyes her grief betrayed:
"Alas, my sister, never may
I have to live through such a day!
He that my body did beget
Has given cause to make me fret;
My worldly honor now is gone."
With that she moaned all night till dawn,
As she wished constantly for death,
So that she almost lost her breath.
Her lady, which did hear her cry,
To comfort answered: "Let it lie.
Your father's foolish wish to thwart
May not succeed - so play it smart.
The deed once done, there is no cure.
Those suff'ring simply must endure."
Of this there's no one else who knew.
The king could always have her do
His biding for his pleasure's fare;
So long to do this he did dare,
And took so much delight therein,
That he did think it was no sin;
And she dared not from him to hide.
But fame, which travels far and wide,
To sundry regions round about
The great attractiveness did tout
Of such a maid of breeding high;
In marriage for her hand to try
Do worthy princes come, for they
Think all is honorable; nay,
Of how it was, they had no clue.
The king, her father, when he knew
They had his daughter's hand in mind,
Since he was of the cunning kind,
A clever hindrance he did frame,
A law to trap whoever came,
A statute which required of such
As for his daughter asked, this much:
That if a certain riddle he
The right solution failed to see
When certain things were hinted at
Which would be told, be certain that
He to his head should say: "Good-bye!"
And in this way did many die;
Their heads adorned the castle gate,
Till at long last none came to mate,
For lack of answer which the prize
Would win, the remnant that were wise
Eschewed the riddle to assay.
Episode #2: Pericles the prince of Tyre resolves to go and try his luck. The king does not expect to get the correct answer to his riddle, since he designed it to be such that the obvious correct answer would be perceived as to dangerous to give. Previous suitors either deliberately gave a wrong answer, and thus lost their heads, or simply declined to give an answer, and thus lost the chance to win the girl. But Pericles boldy gives the correct answer. The king, without saying that the answer is wrong, is disappointed that someone had the courage to answer correctly, and makes an indirect threat by telling Pericles that he has 30 days, though not being specific about what Pericles was suppose to do by that time, or what might happen to him .
|Til it befell upon a day
Appolinus the Prince of Tyr,
Which hath to love a gret desir,
As he which in his hihe mod
Was likende of his hote blod,
A yong, a freissh, a lusti knyht,
As he lai musende on a nyht
Of the tidinges whiche he herde,
He thoghte assaie hou that it ferde.
He was with worthi compainie
Arraied, and with good navie
To schipe he goth, the wynd him dryveth,
And seileth, til that he arryveth:
Sauf in the port of Antioche
He londeth, and goth to aproche
The kinges Court and his presence.
Of every naturel science,
Which eny clerk him couthe teche,
He couthe ynowh, and in his speche
Of wordes he was eloquent;
And whanne he sih the king present,
He preith he moste his dowhter have.
The king ayein began to crave,
And tolde him the condicion,
Hou ferst unto his question
He mote ansuere and faile noght,
Or with his heved it schal be boght:
And he him axeth what it was.
The king declareth him the cas
With sturne lok and sturdi chiere,
To him and seide in this manere:
"With felonie I am upbore,
I ete and have it noght forbore
Mi modres fleissh, whos housebonde
Mi fader forto seche I fonde,
Which is the Sone ek of my wif.
Hierof I am inquisitif;
And who that can mi tale save,
Al quyt he schal my doghter have;
Of his ansuere and if he faile,
He schal be ded withoute faile.
Forthi my Sone," quod the king,
"Be wel avised of this thing,
Which hath thi lif in jeupartie."
Appolinus for his partie,
Whan he this question hath herd,
Unto the king he hath ansuerd
And hath rehersed on and on
The pointz, and seide therupon:
"The question which thou hast spoke,
If thou wolt that it be unloke,
It toucheth al the privete
Betwen thin oghne child and thee,
And stant al hol upon you tuo."
The king was wonder sory tho,
And thoghte, if that he seide it oute,
Than were he schamed al aboute.
With slihe wordes and with felle
He seith, "Mi Sone, I schal thee telle,
Though that thou be of litel wit,
It is no gret merveile as yit,
Thin age mai it noght suffise:
Bot loke wel thou noght despise
Thin oghne lif, for of my grace
Of thretty daies fulle a space
I grante thee, to ben avised."
And thus with leve and time assised
|Until it happened one fine day
That Pericles, the Prince of Tyre,
Who had for love a great desire,
Since he was in an active state,
Hot-blooded, looking for a mate,
A young, and lusty knight, one day,
Musing as on his bed he lay
Upon the tidings he'd been told,
Thought that to try it he'd be bold.
And so with worthy comrades and
Surrounded with a navy grand.
A ship he boards, the wind him drives;
Away he sails, till he arrives.
Safe in the port of Antioch
He lands, and straightway goes, to talk,
Unto the presence of the king.
Of science and of every thing
Which any cleric could him teach
He well did know, and, in his speech,
For eloquence he had great fame;
And when unto the king he came,
He prayed to have his daughter's hand.
The jealous king did then demand,
According to his law of lust,
That he unto his question must
Correctly answer, failing not,
Or with his head it shall be bought:
So for the riddle he did ask.
The king declared beneath a mask
Of visage that was stern and grim,
And in this manner said to him:
"With felony I have grown up,
And I have not declined to sup
Upon my mother's flesh, whose man,
My father, overstepped the ban.
And so to see if you will live,
Hereof I am inquisitive,
He who can solve my little tale,
Shall have my daughter without fail.
But should his answer wrong be found,
He shall end up beneath the ground.
Therefore my son," so said the king,
"Be well advised about this thing,
Which has thy life in danger placed."
And so this prince no time did waste;
When he this question hard did hear,
The king he answers with no fear:
All points he covers, missing none,
Till with the story he is done:
“If you this question that you pose
Do really want me to expose,
It touches things, most privately,
With thine own daughter, and with thee,
And sends all hell upon you two.”
The king regretted that he knew,
And worried that if it got out
It would disgrace him all about.
With words both sly and angry too
He says: “My son, I say to you,
Though you are young and ill-advised,
Be careful, and don’t be surprised
If tender years do not suffice;
But look ye well to my advice;
To spare thee it doth please my grace
To give thee thirty days of space.
My warning you’d be well to heed.”
This time established, he was freed.
Episode #3: Fearing that he will be punished for treason, Pericles retruns to Tyre long enough to load a fleet of ships with wheat and sail off without delay before assassins could be sent. The people of Tyre lament the loss of their beloved leader.
|This yonge Prince forth he wente,
And understod wel what it mente,
Withinne his herte as he was lered,
That forto maken him afered
The king his time hath so deslaied.
Wherof he dradde and was esmaied,
Of treson that he deie scholde,
For he the king his sothe tolde;
And sodeinly the nyhtes tyde,
That more wolde he noght abide,
Al prively his barge he hente
And hom ayein to Tyr he wente:
And in his oghne wit he seide
For drede, if he the king bewreide,
He knew so wel the kinges herte,
That deth ne scholde he noght asterte,
The king him wolde so poursuie.
Bot he, that wolde his deth eschuie,
And knew al this tofor the hond,
Forsake he thoghte his oghne lond,
That there wolde he noght abyde;
For wel he knew that on som syde
This tirant of his felonie
Be som manere of tricherie
To grieve his bodi wol noght leve.
Forthi withoute take leve,
Als priveliche as evere he myhte,
He goth him to the See be nyhte
In Schipes that be whete laden:
Here takel redy tho thei maden
And hale up Seil and forth thei fare.
Bot forto tellen of the care
That thei of Tyr begonne tho,
Whan that thei wiste he was ago,
It is a Pite forto hiere.
They losten lust, they losten chiere,
Thei toke upon hem such penaunce,
Ther was no song, ther was no daunce,
Bot every merthe and melodie
To hem was thanne a maladie;
For unlust of that aventure
Ther was noman which tok tonsure,
In doelful clothes thei hem clothe,
The bathes and the Stwes bothe
Thei schetten in be every weie;
There was no lif which leste pleie
Ne take of eny joie kepe,
Bot for here liege lord to wepe;
And every wyht seide as he couthe,
"Helas, the lusti flour of youthe,
Our Prince, oure heved, our governour,
Thurgh whom we stoden in honour,
Withoute the comun assent
Thus sodeinliche is fro ous went!"
Such was the clamour of hem alle.
|This youthful prince, as forth he went
Did understand well what was meant;
That which he’d learned, within his mind
Made him to doubt the king was kind
To give him time so much delayed;
In dread he was, and most dismayed
That he for treason might well die,
Since to the king he would not lie.
He, when the night’s tide did avail,
Decides that it was time to sail.
So for his crew he quickly sent
And home again to Tyre he went.
He dreaded what it might portend
If he that monarch did offend;
He knew full well the great king’s will:
Assassins he would send to kill,
For he would see his life destroyed,
But he, that would his death avoid,
Thought he had best precaution take;
That his own land he should forsake;
He must no longer there abide,
For he knew well that on some side
This tyrant, guilty of one crime,
Aggrieved, might well another time
Some kind of treachery employ.
And so with no Good-bye’s, ahoy,
As secretly as e’er he might,
He launches out to sea by night.
In ships all loaded down with wheat:
Their tackle ready, now the fleet
Does haul up sail, and forth they go.
But oh, to tell of all the woe
That they of Tyre did suffer through
When that he'd gone from them they knew!
It is a pity them to hear.
They lost all lustfulness, all cheer;
All of their faces were so long;
There was no dance, there was no song;
But ev’ry mirth and melody
To them was then a malady;
For that adventure none did care;
There was no man who cut his hair;
In doleful clothes they all were dressed,
As one and all their grief confessed;
They shut themselves in everywhere;
No playful life could any bear;
No joyfulness could any keep,
But for their lord and liege they weep.
All said with countenances dour:
“Alas, that lusty, youthful flower,
Our prince, our governor, our head,
Who us in honor ever led,
Without the general assent,
So suddenly away he went!”
Such was the clamor of them all.
Episode #4: Meanwhile Antiochus commissions his counselor, Thaliart, to go to Tyre and try to poison Pericles. On arriving he sees the people mourning and learns that Pericles has already fled. Returning to Antioch he tells the king, who decides not to try any longer.
|Bot se we now what is befalle
Upon the ferste tale plein,
And torne we therto ayein.
Antiochus the grete Sire,
Which full of rancour and of ire
His herte berth, so as ye herde,
Of that this Prince of Tyr ansuerde,
He hadde a feloun bacheler,
Which was his prive consailer,
And Taliart be name he hihte:
The king a strong puison him dihte
Withinne a buiste and gold therto,
In alle haste and bad him go
Strawht unto Tyr, and for no cost
Ne spare he, til he hadde lost
The Prince which he wolde spille.
And whan the king hath seid his wille,
This Taliart in a Galeie
With alle haste he tok his weie:
The wynd was good, he saileth blyve,
Til he tok lond upon the ryve
Of Tyr, and forth with al anon
Into the Burgh he gan to gon,
And tok his In and bod a throwe.
Bot for he wolde noght be knowe,
Desguised thanne he goth him oute;
He sih the wepinge al aboute,
And axeth what the cause was,
And thei him tolden al the cas,
How sodeinli the Prince is go.
And whan he sih that it was so,
And that his labour was in vein,
Anon he torneth hom ayein,
And to the king, whan he cam nyh,
He tolde of that he herde and syh,
Hou that the Prince of Tyr is fled,
So was he come ayein unsped.
The king was sori for a while,
Bot whan he sih that with no wyle
He myhte achieve his crualte,
He stinte his wraththe and let him be.
|But let us see what did befall
Those in the tale we first did tell,
On which we now return to dwell.
Antiochus, the ruling sire,
Was full of rancor and of ire.
His heart did burn down deep inside
From what this prince of Tyre replied.
He had a wicked bachelor
Who was his private counselor,
And Thaliart, they called this knave.
The king strong poison to him gave
Within a box, along with gold;
To go with all haste, he was told,
Straight unto Tyre, no cost to spare
Until he reached that city, where
He would be able to destroy
That prince who did the king annoy.
So in a galley Thaliart,
Without delaying, did depart.
A wind most favorable bore
His vessel, till upon the shore
Of Tyre he landed, then he went
Unto the city, there to rent
A room in which his time to bide,
To keep from being known, and hide.
Then in disguise he does go out
And sees the weeping all about.
He asked why all seemed so forlorn,
And he was told: the people mourn,
For suddenly their prince did go.
And when he saw that it was so,
And that his labor was in vain,
He back to home returned again;
There to the king, when he came near,
He told what he did see and hear:
How that the Prince of Tyre had fled,
So he returned without him dead.
The king was upset for a while,
But when he saw that with no wile
Could he achieve his cruelty,
He ceased his wrath and let him be.
Episode #5: Pericles sails to Tarsus where he is received by Strangulio, a rich merchant, and his wife Dionise. The city was still reeling from a recent famine, and Pericles generously gives them all the grain he brought. They erect a statue in his honor. His stay is cut short by his friend Helicanus, who arrives to warn him that Antiochus is still intent on having him killed. So he decides to set sail once more for an even more remote country.
|Bot over this now forto telle
Of aventures that befelle
Unto this Prince of whom I tolde,
He hath his rihte cours forth holde
Be Ston and nedle, til he cam
To Tharse, and there his lond he nam.
A Burgeis riche of gold and fee
Was thilke time in that cite,
Which cleped was Strangulio,
His wif was Dionise also:
This yonge Prince, as seith the bok,
With hem his herbergage tok;
And it befell that Cite so
Before time and thanne also,
Thurgh strong famyne which hem ladde
Was non that eny whete hadde.
Appolinus, whan that he herde
The meschief, hou the cite ferde,
Al freliche of his oghne yifte
His whete, among hem forto schifte,
The which be Schipe he hadde broght,
He yaf, and tok of hem riht noght.
Bot sithen ferst this world began,
Was nevere yit to such a man
Mor joie mad than thei him made:
For thei were alle of him so glade,
That thei for evere in remembrance
Made a figure in resemblance
Of him, and in the comun place
Thei sette him up, so that his face
Mihte every maner man beholde,
So as the cite was beholde;
It was of latoun overgilt:
Thus hath he noght his yifte spilt.
Upon a time with his route
This lord to pleie goth him oute,
And in his weie of Tyr he mette
A man, the which on knees him grette,
And Hellican be name he hihte,
Which preide his lord to have insihte
Upon himself, and seide him thus,
Hou that the grete Antiochus
Awaiteth if he mihte him spille.
That other thoghte and hield him stille,
And thonked him of his warnynge,
And bad him telle no tidinge,
Whan he to Tyr cam hom ayein,
That he in Tharse him hadde sein.
Fortune hath evere be muable
And mai no while stonde stable:
For now it hiheth, now it loweth,
Now stant upriht, now overthroweth,
Now full of blisse and now of bale,
As in the tellinge of mi tale
Hierafterward a man mai liere,
Which is gret routhe forto hiere.
This lord, which wolde don his beste,
Withinne himself hath litel reste,
And thoghte he wolde his place change
And seche a contre more strange.
|Enough of this, and now to tell
Of the adventures that befell
This prince of whom I spoke to you:
He did his course hold, right and true
By compass, with those he commands,
To Tarsus, and that's where he lands.
A merchant rich in fees and gold
From all the merchandise he sold,
Strangulio, in his estate
There dwelt with Dionise, his mate.
And this young prince, so says the book,
With him and her, his lodging took.
That city, sometime in the past,
A famine had, which still did last;
And it was so severe that they
Had neither wheat, nor corn, nor whey.
And so when Pericles had learned
How badly had their fortunes turned,
He took his wheat and, since he cared,
Of his own gift he freely shared,
Which with him in his ships he brought;
He gave, and of them took he naught.
Oh never, since the world began
Did ever come to such a man
More joy than they caused him to feel:
They all rejoiced and in their zeal,
So they would never him forget,
A statue of him they did set
Out in the city’s central square,
So every person passing there
Could look upon his honored face,
So very thankful was this place.
With shiny copper it was faced,
And thus his gift he did not waste.
This lord went out one pleasant day
With his compatriots to play,
And in his way a man he sees
Who fell to greet him on his knees,
And prayed his lord might listen well
To certain things which he would tell.
Said this man, Helicanus, thus:
How that the great Antiochus
Did lie in wait his blood to spill.
He thought a while remaining still;
Then for this warning he did state
That he was grateful. “Don’t relate,”
He asked, “When you to Tyre go home,
That you in Tarsus saw me roam.”
But fortune never stays the same;
E’er mutable be wealth and fame.
What it will be we cannot know;
Sometimes it’s high, and sometimes low,
Now full of bliss, now full of bale,
As you'll see when I tell my tale
A man may act with great deceit,
A course with great distress replete.
This lord, who tried to do his best,
Within himself had little rest,
And thought that he his place would change,
And find another land more strange.
Episode #6: Pericles sets sail once again, with a single ship. A great storm arises blowing them far to the west. Upon seeing the coast of Rhodes they think they might make it safely to land. But the ship breaks up on a rock and all perish except Pericles who rides a board safely to shore, where a kind fisherman finds him, gives him some clothes, and helps him find the way to a settlement which is part of the Pentapolis.
|Of Tharsiens his leve anon
He tok, and is to Schipe gon:
His cours he nam with Seil updrawe,
Where as fortune doth the lawe,
And scheweth, as I schal reherse,
How sche was to this lord diverse,
The which upon the See sche ferketh.
The wynd aros, the weder derketh,
It blew and made such tempeste,
Non ancher mai the schip areste,
Which hath tobroken al his gere;
The Schipmen stode in such a feere,
Was non that myhte himself bestere,
Bot evere awaite upon the lere,
Whan that thei scholde drenche at ones.
Ther was ynowh withinne wones
Of wepinge and of sorghe tho;
This yonge king makth mochel wo
So forto se the Schip travaile:
Bot al that myhte him noght availe;
The mast tobrak, the Seil torof,
The Schip upon the wawes drof,
Til that thei sihe a londes cooste.
Tho made avou the leste and moste,
Be so thei myhten come alonde;
Bot he which hath the See on honde,
Neptunus, wolde noght acorde,
Bot altobroke cable and corde,
Er thei to londe myhte aproche,
The Schip toclef upon a roche,
And al goth doun into the depe.
Bot he that alle thing mai kepe
Unto this lord was merciable,
And broghte him sauf upon a table,
Which to the lond him hath upbore;
The remenant was al forlore,
Wherof he made mochel mone.
Thus was this yonge lord him one,
Al naked in a povere plit:
His colour, which whilom was whyt,
Was thanne of water fade and pale,
And ek he was so sore acale
That he wiste of himself no bote,
It halp him nothing forto mote
To gete ayein that he hath lore.
Bot sche which hath his deth forbore,
Fortune, thogh sche wol noght yelpe,
Al sodeinly hath sent him helpe,
Whanne him thoghte alle grace aweie;
Ther cam a Fisshere in the weie,
And sih a man ther naked stonde,
And whan that he hath understonde
The cause, he hath of him gret routhe,
And onliche of his povere trouthe
Of suche clothes as he hadde
With gret Pite this lord he cladde.
And he him thonketh as he scholde,
And seith him that it schal be yolde,
If evere he gete his stat ayein,
And preide that he wolde him sein
If nyh were eny toun for him.
He seide, "Yee, Pentapolim,
Wher bothe king and queene duellen."
Whanne he this tale herde tellen,
He gladeth him and gan beseche
That he the weie him wolde teche:
And he him taghte; and forth he wente
And preide god with good entente
To sende him joie after his sorwe.
|Of Tarsus he took leave, anon,
And to his waiting ship is gone.
His course he took, with updrawn sail;
At Fortune’s mercy blows the gale;
And shows, as I shall now rehearse,
How she was to this lord diverse,
As on the sea she made him go.
In weather dark the wind did blow,
A tempest strong arose with rain;
No anchor could the ship restrain.
So busted up was all its gear
That all the sailors stood in fear.
All paralyzed they were, aghast
They trembling stood beneath the mast.
And waited for the time when down
The ship would go, and they would drown.
Those in the hold confined did weep
To think of dying in the deep.
Distressed to see the ship’s travail,
The young king cried, to no avail;
The mast broke up, the sails were lost,
The ship upon the waves was tossed,
Until they saw a coast nearby.
A prayer they made, both low and high,
That they might live this land to reach;
But Neptune, rising near the beach,
Would not their wish accommodate:
All cables snapped, it was their fate
That they would never reach a dock.
The ship broke up upon a rock,
And all went to a wat’ry grave.
But He, that everything may save,
Was merciful unto this lord,
And brought him safe upon a board,
Which bore him up, unto the land,
While the remainder of his band
Were lost, which made him weep and moan.
Thus was this young lord all alone
And naked, in a sorry plight;
His color, usually white,
The water faded pale in tone,
For he was chilled clear to the bone.
He knew no cure for all his pain;
Complaining helped not to regain
What he'd already lost. But she,
Called Fortune, who can fickle be,
Although it seemed that she delayed,
All suddenly did send him aid,
Just when he thought all grace was gone;
A fisher unto him was drawn:
He neared, and there came into view
A naked man, and when he knew
The reason, he compassion feels,
And his pure goodness he reveals,
For of such clothing as he had,
With pity great, this lord he clad.
The prince said: “Thanks for saving me.
For you a nice reward there’ll be,
If I’m restored. But now I pray
That you might help me find my way,
By pointing out a town nearby”
“Pentapolis,” he did reply,
Where there dwell both a king and queen.”
When he did contemplate this scene,
He cheered up and desired to know
Of him, if he the way would show.
He said: “Why sure.” Then off they went.
He prayed to God with good intent:
“May joy my sorrow chase away.”
Episode #7: Pericles arrives in the town where king Simonides is hosting athletic games where all participants are required to be naked. Pericles jumps right in and the king, seeing he displayed the most skill, and impressed by his good looks, provides him clothing and invites him to a feast. He is depressed by how the occasion reminded him of the royal life he has lost.
|It was noght passed yit Midmorwe,
Whan thiderward his weie he nam,
Wher sone upon the Non he cam.
He eet such as he myhte gete,
And forth anon, whan he hadde ete,
He goth to se the toun aboute,
And cam ther as he fond a route
Of yonge lusti men withalle;
And as it scholde tho befalle,
That day was set of such assisse,
That thei scholde in the londes guise,
As he herde of the poeple seie,
Here comun game thanne pleie;
And crid was that thei scholden come
Unto the gamen alle and some
Of hem that ben delivere and wyhte,
To do such maistrie as thei myhte.
Thei made hem naked as thei scholde,
For so that ilke game wolde,
As it was tho custume and us,
Amonges hem was no refus:
The flour of al the toun was there
And of the court also ther were,
And that was in a large place
Riht evene afore the kinges face,
Which Artestrathes thanne hihte.
The pley was pleid riht in his sihte,
And who most worthi was of dede
Receive he scholde a certein mede
And in the cite bere a pris.
Appolinus, which war and wys
Of every game couthe an ende,
He thoghte assaie, hou so it wende,
And fell among hem into game:
And there he wan him such a name,
So as the king himself acompteth
That he alle othre men surmonteth,
And bar the pris above hem alle.
The king bad that into his halle
At Souper time he schal be broght;
And he cam thanne and lefte it noght,
Withoute compaignie al one:
Was non so semlich of persone,
Of visage and of limes bothe,
If that he hadde what to clothe.
At Soupertime natheles
The king amiddes al the pres
Let clepe him up among hem alle,
And bad his Mareschall of halle
To setten him in such degre
That he upon him myhte se.
The king was sone set and served,
And he, which hath his pris deserved
After the kinges oghne word,
Was mad beginne a Middel bord,
That bothe king and queene him sihe.
He sat and caste aboute his yhe
And sih the lordes in astat,
And with himself wax in debat
Thenkende what he hadde lore,
And such a sorwe he tok therfore,
That he sat evere stille and thoghte,
As he which of no mete roghte.
|It was not yet the next mid-day,
When he the path ahead surveys;
And he beneath the burning rays
Of noonday sun at length arrived;
With food and drink he felt revived.
So after he consumed his lunch
He toured the town and found a bunch
Of young, athletic, lusty guys;
And shortly he did realize
That this day was a special one
When they, as in this land is done,
Should, as he heard the people say,
Come all unto the games to play.
So it was cried that they should come
Unto the commons all, where some
Who were more nimble and more sprite
Could show such mastery as they might.
They could with clothes not be attired,
For so that kind of game required;
By custom they all clothes must lose
And none amongst them may refuse.
The cream of all the town was there:
All of the court, and ladies fair;
Held in a place that was quite large,
Before the king, who was in charge,
And Simonides was his name.
In front of him they played the game.
Upon him who most skill did show
A nice reward they did bestow,
Who through he city bore his prize.
Now Pericles, who's very wise,
Of any game the goal could learn;
So when to try, it came his turn
He boldly went and jumped right in,
And for himself a name did win;
So that the king saw fairly fast
That all the others he surpassed;
He took the prize above them all.
The king bade that into his hall,
At suppertime he should be brought,
And that he should neglect it not,
Without companions, only him:
For no one was of face and limb
So pleasant. That he not be bare
Some clothes were found for him to wear.
At suppertime the king midst those
Who had assembled there arose,
Saluting him above them all,
And bade the Marshall of the hall
To set him up in such a place
That all might gaze upon his face.
The king sat down and soon was served,
And he, that had his prize deserved,
According to the king’s decree,
Began his meal where all could see,
Including both the king and queen.
He cast his eyes upon this scene
Of lords in regal robes bedecked.
Within himself he did reflect:
He thought of all that he had lost;
With sorrow did he count the cost.
He thought of how he had been spared;
In stillness; for no food he cared.
Episode #8: King Simonides has his daughter try to cheer Pericles. She plays a song on her harp, and then he borrows it and plays an even more moving piece. The princes reflects on his great skill which along with other indications, causes her to conclude that he must be of nobility.
|The king behield his hevynesse,
And of his grete gentillesse
His doghter, which was fair and good
And ate bord before him stod,
As it was thilke time usage,
He bad to gon on his message
And fonde forto make him glad.
And sche dede as hire fader bad,
And goth to him the softe pas
And axeth whenne and what he was,
And preith he scholde his thoghtes leve.
He seith, "Ma Dame, be your leve
Mi name is hote Appolinus,
And of mi richesse it is thus,
Upon the See I have it lore.
The contre wher as I was bore,
Wher that my lond is and mi rente,
I lefte at Tyr, whan that I wente:
The worschipe of this worldes aghte,
Unto the god ther I betaghte."
And thus togedre as thei tuo speeke,
The teres runne be his cheeke.
The king, which therof tok good kepe,
Hath gret Pite to sen him wepe,
And for his doghter sende ayein,
And preide hir faire and gan to sein
That sche no lengere wolde drecche,
Bot that sche wolde anon forth fecche
Hire harpe and don al that sche can
To glade with that sory man.
And sche to don hir fader heste
Hir harpe fette, and in the feste
Upon a Chaier which thei fette
Hirself next to this man sche sette:
With harpe bothe and ek with mouthe
To him sche dede al that sche couthe
To make him chiere, and evere he siketh,
And sche him axeth hou him liketh.
"Ma dame, certes wel," he seide,
"Bot if ye the mesure pleide
Which, if you list, I schal you liere,
It were a glad thing forto hiere."
"Ha, lieve sire," tho quod sche,
"Now tak the harpe and let me se
Of what mesure that ye mene."
Tho preith the king, tho preith the queene,
Forth with the lordes alle arewe,
That he som merthe wolde schewe;
He takth the Harpe and in his wise
He tempreth, and of such assise
Singende he harpeth forth withal,
That as a vois celestial
Hem thoghte it souneth in here Ere,
As thogh that he an Angel were.
Thei gladen of his melodie,
Bot most of alle the compainie
The kinges doghter, which it herde,
And thoghte ek hou that he ansuerde,
Whan that he was of hire opposed,
Withinne hir herte hath wel supposed
That he is of gret gentilesse.
Hise dedes ben therof witnesse
Forth with the wisdom of his lore;
It nedeth noght to seche more,
He myhte noght have such manere,
Of gentil blod bot if he were.
|The king his heaviness did see,
And also his nobility.
His daughter, who was fair and good,
Before him at the table stood;
As on occasions like this one
The custom was, he bade her run
An errand, that his guest might have
Some cheer that might his sorrow salve.
And so she went, and him did ask
That he his mystery might unmask;
And prayed he should his thoughts reveal.
He said: “For you I will unseal
My thoughts, for Pericles I am.
As to my worldly fortune, Ma’m,
I’ve lost it underneath the sea.
The land of my nativity,
Where my estate I left.” he said,
“The city Tyre, from which I fled.
Of worshipping of worldly stuff,
Unto that god, I’d had enough.”
And as he thus unto her speaks
The tears run down on both his cheeks.
The king, who both eyes on them kept,
Took pity, seeing that he wept.
He called his daughter to his side
And then her to persuade, he tried,
That she no longer would delay,
But go and fetch her harp to play,
And so to try as best she can
To gladden this unhappy man.
So at her father's beck and call
She fetched her harp, and in the hall,
Upon a chair they did provide,
This sad young prince she sat beside.
She tried as hard as she could try
To sing and make his spirits high
And cheer him up so he’d not pine.
“Did you enjoy the song of mine?"
She asked. “Oh yes, I did," he said.
But if you’d play a tune instead,
Which I could show you, if I may,
It would all sorrow chase away.”
“I’d like that very much;” said she,
“Now take the harp and let me see
Just what this tune is that you’d sing.”
Thus prayed the queen, thus prayed the king,
With all the lords that pitied him,
That he would soon not be so grim.
He takes the harp and in his way
He tunes it and begins to play;
And singing with a style so rare,
A dulcet voice did filled the air,
Which seemed celestial sound to be,
Like some angelic melody.
They to his singing raised a toast,
But liked his company the most.
And when the princess heard him sing,
And she did think of everything
That to her query he’d replied,
She was convinced down deep inside,
That he was of nobility:
From his deeds this was clear to see.
Beyond the wisdom of his lore
There was no need to search for more,
For he could only show the same
If he of noble lineage came.
Episode #9: The king has a bed prepared for him near his own chambers, and Pericles goes to retire. The Princes convinces her father to let her be instructed by their guest. Pericles is called back, arrangements are made, and everyone retires for the night. The next day she acquires a fine wardrobe for him and her tutoring begins. She learns well, and in the process falls in love. But she is not sure she is ready for marriage and so becomes depressed. The king sees this and wonders what it means.
|Whanne he hath harped al his
The kinges heste to fulfille,
Awey goth dissh, awey goth cuppe,
Doun goth the bord, the cloth was uppe,
Thei risen and gon out of halle.
The king his chamberlein let calle,
And bad that he be alle weie
A chambre for this man pourveie,
Which nyh his oghne chambre be.
"It schal be do, mi lord," quod he.
Appolinus of whom I mene
Tho tok his leve of king and queene
And of the worthi Maide also,
Which preide unto hir fader tho,
That sche myhte of that yonge man
Of tho sciences whiche he can
His lore have; and in this wise
The king hir granteth his aprise,
So that himself therto assente.
Thus was acorded er thei wente,
That he with al that evere he may
This yonge faire freisshe May
Of that he couthe scholde enforme;
And full assented in this forme
Thei token leve as for that nyht.
And whanne it was amorwe lyht,
Unto this yonge man of Tyr
Of clothes and of good atir
With gold and Selver to despende
This worthi yonge lady sende:
And thus sche made him wel at ese,
And he with al that he can plese
Hire serveth wel and faire ayein.
He tawhte hir til sche was certein
Of Harpe, of Citole and of Rote,
With many a tun and many a note
Upon Musique, upon mesure,
And of hire Harpe the temprure
He tawhte hire ek, as he wel couthe.
Bot as men sein that frele is youthe,
With leisir and continuance
This Mayde fell upon a chance,
That love hath mad him a querele
Ayein hire youthe freissh and frele,
That malgre wher sche wole or noght,
Sche mot with al hire hertes thoght
To love and to his lawe obeie;
And that sche schal ful sore abeie.
For sche wot nevere what it is,
Bot evere among sche fieleth this:
Thenkende upon this man of Tyr,
Hire herte is hot as eny fyr,
And otherwhile it is acale;
Now is sche red, nou is sche pale
Riht after the condicion
Of hire ymaginacion;
Bot evere among hire thoghtes alle,
Sche thoghte, what so mai befalle,
Or that sche lawhe, or that sche wepe,
Sche wolde hire goode name kepe
For feere of wommanysshe schame.
Bot what in ernest and in game,
Sche stant for love in such a plit,
That sche hath lost al appetit
Of mete, of drinke, of nyhtes reste,
As sche that not what is the beste;
Bot forto thenken al hir fille
Sche hield hire ofte times stille
Withinne hir chambre, and goth noght oute:
The king was of hire lif in doute,
Which wiste nothing what it mente.
|When he had tuned the Muses’ lyre
To satisfy the king’s desire,
Away goes dish and serving cup;
The tables down, the cloth picked up,
All rose and went out from the hall.
The king his chamberlain did call,
And bade him to prepare a bed
Where this man might lay down his head,
Which should near his own chambers be.
“It shall be done, my lord,” said he.
So Pericles then left the king
And queen, no more this night to sing,
And also left the worthy maid,
She which unto her father prayed,
That she might learn, from that young man,
All of the sciences he can
Explain to her. The king could not
Refuse; she his permission got.
So for the prince once more he sent;
It was, before to bed they went,
Agreed that to this maiden fair,
And young, and fresh, beyond compare,
Of all his learning he would teach.
When this agreement they did reach,
All separated for the night.
The morning next, when it grew light,
For this young man who came from Tyre
That fair young lady did acquire -
And no expenses did she spare -
A wardrobe of fine clothes to wear.
And thus she made him well at ease,
And he, in order her to please,
To teach her, labored every day,
Until she with great skill could play
Upon the harp, citole, and rote,
With many a tune and many a note.
Of theory he did teach enough,
Until she really knew her stuff.
Her skill did almost equal his,
But youth impressionable is;
With lots of time upon her hands
This maiden in a quandary lands.
Untamed, footloose, and fancy free,
She on the one hand wants to be,
But on the other love, despite
Her wishes, says her heart is right
To love and to obey him now;
To his law ardently she’ll bow.
She never knew just what it was
That made her feel this way, because
To think upon this man of Tyre,
Her heart makes hot as any fire,
But otherwise that heat is gone;
Sometimes she’s red, and sometimes wan.
When she imagines love, she’s hot;
But when she doesn’t, she is not.
No matter what her thoughts may be,
She prizes her virginity;
For she may laugh, or she may weep,
But ever her good name she’ll keep;
Her good repute to lose she fears.
Sometimes in mirth, sometimes in tears,
In love she is in such a plight,
That she has lost all appetite
For food and drink, and sleeping too;
Not being sure of what to do,
She oft sits by herself and pines
Within the lonely, small confines
Of her own room, and goes not out:
The king was of her life in doubt,
But nothing knew of what it meant.
Episode #10: King Simonides encounters three princes' sons who each pleaded for his daughter's hand. He puts them off by saying she's sick, and asks them each to write her a note that she will respond to when she feels better. He delivers them to her, and asks her to write a response. They did not persuade her and fearing she would disappoint her father by speaking, she instead pens her response, explaining that if she can't have Pericles she wants no one else. He show the note to each suitor in turn, and they all leave disappointed. Then he shares the note with Pericles, who thanks him, after which both agree on a marriage. She finds out and rejoices, Pericles sends for the queen to get her blessing, which she gives, and a ceremony is planned. They begin their life together and conceive a child who is destined for great trials.
|Bot fell a time, as he out wente
To walke, of Princes Sones thre
Ther come and felle to his kne;
And ech of hem in sondri wise
Besoghte and profreth his servise,
So that he myhte his doghter have.
The king, which wolde his honour save,
Seith sche is siek, and of that speche
Tho was no time to beseche;
Bot ech of hem do make a bille
He bad, and wryte his oghne wille,
His name, his fader and his good;
And whan sche wiste hou that it stod,
And hadde here billes oversein,
Thei scholden have ansuere ayein.
Of this conseil thei weren glad,
And writen as the king hem bad,
And every man his oghne bok
Into the kinges hond betok,
And he it to his dowhter sende,
And preide hir forto make an ende
And wryte ayein hire oghne hond,
Riht as sche in hire herte fond.
The billes weren wel received,
Bot sche hath alle here loves weyved,
And thoghte tho was time and space
To put hire in hir fader grace,
And wrot ayein and thus sche saide:
"The schame which is in a Maide
With speche dar noght ben unloke,
Bot in writinge it mai be spoke;
So wryte I to you, fader, thus:
Bot if I have Appolinus,
Of al this world, what so betyde,
I wol non other man abide.
And certes if I of him faile,
I wot riht wel withoute faile
Ye schull for me be dowhterles."
This lettre cam, and ther was press
Tofore the king, ther as he stod;
And whan that he it understod,
He yaf hem ansuer by and by,
Bot that was do so prively,
That non of othres conseil wiste.
Thei toke her leve, and wher hem liste
Thei wente forth upon here weie.
The king ne wolde noght bewreie
The conseil for no maner hihe,
Bot soffreth til he time sihe:
And whan that he to chambre is come,
He hath unto his conseil nome
This man of Tyr, and let him se
The lettre and al the privete,
The which his dowhter to him sente:
And he his kne to grounde bente
And thonketh him and hire also,
And er thei wenten thanne atuo,
With good herte and with good corage
Of full Love and full mariage
The king and he ben hol acorded.
And after, whanne it was recorded
Unto the dowhter hou it stod,
The yifte of al this worldes good
Ne scholde have mad hir half so blythe:
And forth withal the king als swithe,
For he wol have hire good assent,
Hath for the queene hir moder sent.
The queene is come, and whan sche herde
Of this matiere hou that it ferde,
Sche syh debat, sche syh desese,
Bot if sche wolde hir dowhter plese,
And is therto assented full.
Which is a dede wonderfull,
For noman knew the sothe cas
Bot he himself, what man he was;
And natheles, so as hem thoghte,
Hise dedes to the sothe wroghte
That he was come of gentil blod:
Him lacketh noght bot worldes good,
And as therof is no despeir,
For sche schal ben hire fader heir,
And he was able to governe.
Thus wol thei noght the love werne
Of him and hire in none wise,
Bot ther acorded thei divise
The day and time of Mariage.
Wher love is lord of the corage,
Him thenketh longe er that he spede;
Bot ate laste unto the dede
The time is come, and in her wise
With gret offrende and sacrifise
Thei wedde and make a riche feste,
And every thing which was honeste
Withinnen house and ek withoute
It was so don, that al aboute
Of gret worschipe, of gret noblesse
Ther cride many a man largesse
Unto the lordes hihe and loude;
The knyhtes that ben yonge and proude,
Thei jouste ferst and after daunce.
The day is go, the nyhtes chaunce
Hath derked al the bryhte Sonne;
This lord, which hath his love wonne,
Is go to bedde with his wif,
Wher as thei ladde a lusti lif,
And that was after somdel sene,
For as thei pleiden hem betwene,
Thei gete a child betwen hem tuo,
To whom fell after mochel wo.
|It happened once, as out he went
To walk, three princes’ sons came nigh,
Fell on their knees, and each did try
And offer to of service be
To him, if only he’d agree
To let them have his daughter’s hand.
To save his honor in the land
He says: “She’s sick; the time’s not right
To speak, now you many only write;
So let a note by each be made,
Wherein you state your case," he bade,
"Your name, your parentage, and wealth,
And when she is in better health,
And has considered all your notes,
I shall advise you how she votes.”
This was the answer they desired,
So they wrote all the king required.
Each man his own petition penned,
Which he unto the king did send.
He to his daughter gave them all,
And prayed for her to make the call,
Then bade her a response to pen
On how she felt about these men.
These notices had no effect,
For all their loves she did reject.
She worried she was out of place,
And might fall from her father’s grace
If she had failed some hope of his:
“The shame which in a maiden is”
She wrote, “with speech I can’t unlock;
In writing only, not with talk;
So, father dear, my pen I’ll use:
If Pericles I have to lose,
Whatever else may be my fate,
None other will I tolerate.
If him I cannot have, I know
That I will not survive, and so
You will for me be daughterless.”
The letter came, a crowd did press
Around the king, her will to hear;
And when he understood her fear
He privately to every one
Delivered her response, so none
The other’s disposition knew.
They left, this disappointed crew,
And ventured forth upon their way.
The king would unto no one say
What confidence she had revealed
Unto him; nay, his lips were sealed,
Until he saw the time was right,
And did this man of Tyre invite
Unto his chamber, where he shared
The note wherein his daughter bared
Her secret feelings; Whereon he
Unto the ground did bend his knee,
And to him did convey how great
His thanks. Ere they did separate,
With heart sincere and good faith too,
On marriage with devotion true,
He and the king did both agree.
And when the daughter found out, she
Such joy did feel, there was no gift
Of this world’s riches that could lift
Her soul to such a joyful height:
So then, as swiftly as he might,
For her consent he’d gain, he went
And for the queen, her mother, sent.
The queen arrived, and when she heard
Of all the things that just occurred,
Had no objection, showed no stress,
But shared her daughter’s happiness,
And gave her blessing to this bond,
Since of her daughter she was fond.
For there was none but him who knew
Of his past, what was really true.
Still nearly everyone concedes,
The truth suggested by his deeds,
That he was of a noble birth;
He only lacked the goods of earth.
But of that there is no despair,
For she shall be her father’s heir.
He could cause kingdoms to endure,
Thus none could say to him or her
Your love cannot permitted be.
So on a plan they did agree:
Their marriage date and time were fixed.
When hearts are ruled by love unmixed,
There is no need to be fast paced
And marriage consummate in haste.
But soon it’s time to throw the rice;
With offerings and sacrifice
They wed, and make a banquet rich
And all things honorable which
Are in the house or outside, are
Prepared for nobles from afar
Who’ve come here their respects to pay,
And many a man cried out to say,
Unto the lords, a welcome loud.
So first the knights, both young and proud,
Do joust, and afterwards they dance,
For day is gone, and now night's chance,
Has darkened all the day's bright sun;
So now that he his love has won,
To bed this lord goes with his wife,
Where they enjoyed a lusty life.
And, it was evident one day
That, as between them they did play,
A baby they begat, who’d know
Much grief, and misery, and woe.
Episode #11: One day the king and queen host a party on the beach. While there a fancy ship approaches announcing it had come from Tyre searching the whole world for their lord, Pericles. Pericles announces himself, whereupon they relate that both Antiochus and his daughter have been killed by bolts of lightning. They plead for him to return since everyone longs for him to come back.
When word spreads throughout Pentapolis, the people are at first sad to lose him, while knowing that he must go.
|Now have I told of the spousailes.
Bot forto speke of the mervailes
Whiche afterward to hem befelle,
It is a wonder forto telle.
It fell adai thei riden oute,
The king and queene and al the route,
To pleien hem upon the stronde,
Wher as thei sen toward the londe
A Schip sailende of gret array.
To knowe what it mene may,
Til it be come thei abide;
Than sen thei stonde on every side,
Endlong the schipes bord to schewe,
Of Penonceals a riche rewe.
Thei axen when the ship is come:
Fro Tyr, anon ansuerde some,
And over this thei seiden more
The cause why thei comen fore
Was forto seche and forto finde
Appolinus, which was of kinde
Her liege lord: and he appiereth,
And of the tale which he hiereth
He was riht glad; for thei him tolde,
That for vengance, as god it wolde,
Antiochus, as men mai wite,
With thondre and lyhthnynge is forsmite;
His doghter hath the same chaunce,
So be thei bothe in o balance.
"Forthi, oure liege lord, we seie
In name of al the lond, and preie,
That left al other thing to done,
It like you to come sone
And se youre oghne liege men
With othre that ben of youre ken,
That live in longinge and desir
Til ye be come ayein to Tyr."
This tale after the king it hadde
Pentapolim al overspradde,
Ther was no joie forto seche;
For every man it hadde in speche
And seiden alle of on acord,
"A worthi king schal ben oure lord:
That thoghte ous ferst an hevinesse
Is schape ous now to gret gladnesse."
Thus goth the tidinge overal.
Bot nede he mot, that nede schal:
|I’ve told how they exchanged their rings,
But now to speak of wondrous things
That in their future them befell,
Which is most marvelous to tell.
Out from the palace they had gone,
The king and queen and all, to yon
Inviting sandy beach to play,
When by the sunlight’s morning ray,
A ship into the bay did sail.
They wondered at its great detail,
Till it arrives they all abide;
And then they saw on every side,
Along the edges a bright show
Of colored pennants in row.
They asked from whence the ship had hailed.
“From Tyre.” The answer came, “we sailed.”
“And what is more,” these sailors said,
“The reason we have here been led,
Is that we search throughout the earth
For Pericles, who by his birth
Our lord and liege is.” He appears,
And by the story which he hears
He was relieved, for him they told
God did his vengeance not withhold:
Antiochus, as was his luck,
Was by a bolt of lightning struck.
His daughter? The same fate for her:
The scales of justice evened were.
“Our liege and lord we speak, therefore,
And for our whole land we implore
That you all other things might drop:
Let coming home be at the top
Of your priorities; your own
Most loyal men and kin that moan,
All live in longing and desire
Till ye be home again to Tyre.”
This news first to the king’s ear goes,
But all Pentapolis soon knows.
Dejected were both old and young;
It was on everybody’s tongue,
And all did say, of one accord:
“A worthy king had been our lord;
That thought caused us to mourn at first,
But now with gloom we are not cursed!"
Such was the people’s high morale.
"But what he needs to do he shall."
Episode #12: Pericles boards the ship with his pregnant wife and her faithful nurse, Lichordia. Far out to sea a storm arose from the north blowing them off their course to Tyre. His wife goes in to labor and gives birth to a female child named Thaise after herself. But she appears to have died in the process - at least no one can detect any sign of life. Pericles is so distraught that he wishes his own life would end, rather than having to live without her.
|Appolinus his leve tok,
To god and al the lond betok
With al the poeple long and brod,
That he no lenger there abod.
The king and queene sorwe made,
Bot yit somdiel thei weren glade
Of such thing as thei herden tho:
And thus betwen the wel and wo
To schip he goth, his wif with childe,
The which was evere meke and mylde
And wolde noght departe him fro,
Such love was betwen hem tuo.
Lichorida for hire office
Was take, which was a Norrice,
To wende with this yonge wif,
To whom was schape a woful lif.
Withinne a time, as it betidde,
Whan thei were in the See amidde,
Out of the North they sihe a cloude;
The storm aros, the wyndes loude
Thei blewen many a dredful blast,
The welkne was al overcast,
The derke nyht the Sonne hath under,
Ther was a gret tempeste of thunder:
The Mone and ek the Sterres bothe
In blake cloudes thei hem clothe,
Wherof here brihte lok thei hyde.
This yonge ladi wepte and cride,
To whom no confort myhte availe;
Of childe sche began travaile,
Wher sche lay in a Caban clos:
Hire woful lord fro hire aros,
And that was longe er eny morwe,
So that in anguisse and in sorwe
Sche was delivered al be nyhte
And ded in every mannes syhte;
Bot natheles for al this wo
A maide child was bore tho.
Appolinus whan he this knew,
For sorwe a swoune he overthrew,
That noman wiste in him no lif.
And whanne he wok, he seide, "Ha, wif,
Mi lust, mi joie, my desir,
Mi welthe and my recoverir,
Why schal I live, and thou schalt dye?
Ha, thou fortune, I thee deffie,
Nou hast thou do to me thi werste.
Ha, herte, why ne wolt thou berste,
That forth with hire I myhte passe?
Mi peines weren wel the lasse."
In such wepinge and in such cry
His dede wif, which lay him by,
A thousend sithes he hire kiste;
Was nevere man that sih ne wiste
A sorwe unto his sorwe lich;
For evere among upon the lich
He fell swounende, as he that soghte
His oghne deth, which he besoghte
Unto the goddes alle above
With many a pitous word of love;
Bot suche wordes as tho were
Yit herde nevere mannes Ere,
Bot only thilke whiche he seide.
|So Pericles now leaves this land,
Commending into God’s just hand
All men and women, far and wide.
No longer would he there abide.
The king and queen were made to grieve.
Yet somehow they were glad he’d leave,
As they had heard the how’s and why’s.
And thus between their lows and highs
The ship he boards, his wife with child,
Who ever was both meek and mild,
Goes too; from him she’d never part,
So deep the love was in her heart.
Lichorida he took with them,
For as a nurse she was a gem,
To travel with his pregnant wife,
Whose fate would be a woeful life.
It happened then, quite suddenly,
When they were far out on the sea,
That from the north appears a cloud;
A storm arose, the winds were loud,
With many a cold and dreadful blast;
The heavens were all overcast.
It was like night, though ‘neath the sun;
It thundered like a roaring gun.
The moon and stars with all their light
Were clothed in clouds as black as night,
Which all their shining brightness hide.
So this young lady wept and cried;
All comfort did from her depart,
As into labor she did start,
Where in a cabin she did lay.
Her sad lord rose and went away.
This was long ere the next day’s dawn,
So that in anguish she upon
He bed travailed all night, then fell
And died, as near as all could tell.
But nonetheless of all this pain
A maid child came; ‘twas not in vain.
But Pericles, when this he knew,
For sorrow swooned, and fainted too.
In him could none see any life.
And when he woke, he said: “Ah, wife,
My lust, my joy, and my desire,
All that which my heart doth require,
Why shall I live, and thou shalt die?
Ah, fortune, thee shall I defy,
Now thou has done to me the worst.
Ah, heart, I pray that thou wouldst burst,
That I along with her might die;
Then would my pains far from me fly.”
Thus he did weep, and in dismay.
His dead wife, which did by him lay,
He gave a thousand kisses to;
There never was a man who knew
Such pain and sorrow as he felt;
And so next to her corpse he knelt,
And as beside her he did stay,
To end his own life he did pray
Unto all gods who dwell above,
With many piteous words of love.
Such words as he did utter here
Were never heard by any ear
Besides those who were there that day.
Episode #13: The ship's crew, believing it bad luck to give passage to the dead, persuades Pericles to authorize throwing the body overboard. He understands their fear and agrees, but only on certain conditions. They must build her a strong and airtight coffin that could float until it would ultimately be washed up on some shore. She is stitched with cloth of gold, and a large amount of gold is placed inside with a note for whoever finds it, that the king of Tyre requests she be given a fitting burial.
When the storm abates Pericles decides to change course so as to stop over in Tarsus.
|The Maister Schipman cam and
With othre suche as be therinne,
And sein that he mai nothing winne
Ayein the deth, bot thei him rede,
He be wel war and tak hiede,
The See be weie of his nature
Receive mai no creature
Withinne himself as forto holde,
The which is ded: forthi thei wolde,
As thei conseilen al aboute,
The dede body casten oute.
For betre it is, thei seiden alle,
That it of hire so befalle,
Than if thei scholden alle spille.
The king, which understod here wille
And knew here conseil that was trewe,
Began ayein his sorwe newe
With pitous herte, and thus to seie:
"It is al reson that ye preie.
I am," quod he, "bot on al one,
So wolde I noght for mi persone
Ther felle such adversite.
Bot whan it mai no betre be,
Doth thanne thus upon my word,
Let make a cofre strong of bord,
That it be ferm with led and pich."
Anon was mad a cofre sich,
Al redy broght unto his hond;
And whanne he sih and redy fond
This cofre mad and wel enclowed,
The dede bodi was besowed
In cloth of gold and leid therinne.
And for he wolde unto hire winne
Upon som cooste a Sepulture,
Under hire heved in aventure
Of gold he leide Sommes grete
And of jeueals a strong beyete
Forth with a lettre, and seide thus:
"I, king of Tyr Appollinus,
Do alle maner men to wite,
That hiere and se this lettre write,
That helpeles withoute red
Hier lith a kinges doghter ded:
And who that happeth hir to finde,
For charite tak in his mynde,
And do so that sche be begrave
With this tresor, which he schal have."
Thus whan the lettre was full spoke,
Thei haue anon the cofre stoke,
And bounden it with yren faste,
That it may with the wawes laste,
And stoppen it be such a weie,
That it schal be withinne dreie,
So that no water myhte it grieve.
And thus in hope and good believe
Of that the corps schal wel aryve,
Thei caste it over bord als blyve.
The Schip forth on the wawes wente;
The prince hath changed his entente,
And seith he wol noght come at Tyr
As thanne, bot al his desir
Is ferst to seilen unto Tharse.
The wyndy Storm began to skarse,
The Sonne arist, the weder cliereth,
The Schipman which behinde stiereth,
Whan that he sih the wyndes saghte,
Towardes Tharse his cours he straghte.
|The master shipmate came to say,
Along with all the rest therein:
“It is in vain you seek to win
A war with death.” Him they advise
That he should be aware and wise,
That on a ship it’s not allowed
To keep a body ‘neath a shroud;
For giving passage to the dead
Will lead to bad luck, it is said.
Their counsel was: “It’s apropos
The body overboard to throw.”
For it was better, all agreed,
That they with her should thus proceed
Than that all perish in the sea.
The king, who fathomed their decree,
And knew that their advice was sound,
Began again his grief profound;
And thus he said, all sad but wise:
“It's very true, what you advise.
I’m only one.” He said, “but you
Are many, and it would not do
For me to bring adversity.
But I would beg this much of thee,
That you might do as I direct:
A coffin make, without defect,
All reinforced with lead and pitch.”
Anon was made that coffin which,
When ready, was to him revealed.
He saw that it was firmly sealed
With nails, and too with tar was pitched,
And that her body was all stitched
In cloth of gold, and gently lain
Therein, and so that she might gain
A sepulcher upon some coast,
Beneath her head he placed a most
Enormous sum of precious gold,
And all the jewels that it would hold.
And in a note, thus, his desire:
“I Pericles, the king of Tyre,
In order to all men apprise,
Do send this missive to advise,
That resting on her final bed,
The daughter of a king lies dead;
May he that happens her to find
Be of a charitable mind,
And with this treasure her provide
Interment fitting for my bride.”
And when inside was placed this note,
The lid was nailed; that it might float,
With iron it was tightly tied;
Through rough waves it would smoothly glide.
And it was sealed in such a way,
That it all dry inside would stay,
Of water free, where she was laid.
They cast it overboard, and prayed
That her dead body safely may
Arrive upon some shore one day.
The ship forth on the waves did go;
The prince his course did alter, though.
He said he would not come to Tyre
Just yet, for as was his desire,
He first would unto Tarsus to sail.
Diminished was the windy gale;
The sun came out, the weather cleared,
Behind the wheel the pilot steered,
And when he saw the winds abate,
His course to Tarsus he set straight.
Episode #14: Thaisa's coffin is tossed on the waves until eventually it comes to rest upon the shore near Ephesus. Cerymon, A renowned physician walking along the beach with his disciples notices the coffin. When they opened it they discovered the body along with the note and all the gold. Detecting a sign of life, he and his wife lit fires all around for warmth, applied balsamic oil to her joints and put a little known liquor into her mouth. When she revived they gave her a couple of days to become oriented before revealing everything they had discovered. She tells them that she suspects her husband and daughter had been drowned at sea. She lapses into anguish and request that they put her into some holy order where she could remain chaste for the rest of her life. They agree to give their own daughter for a companion, and when their training is complete, they are both dressed in black and consecrated as priestesses in a temple to the goddess Diane.
|Bot now to mi matiere ayein,
To telle as olde bokes sein,
This dede corps of which ye knowe
With wynd and water was forthrowe
Now hier, now ther, til ate laste
At Ephesim the See upcaste
The cofre and al that was therinne.
Of gret merveile now beginne
Mai hiere who that sitteth stille;
That god wol save mai noght spille.
Riht as the corps was throwe alonde,
Ther cam walkende upon the stronde
A worthi clerc, a Surgien,
And ek a gret Phisicien,
Of al that lond the wisest on,
Which hihte Maister Cerymon;
Ther were of his disciples some.
This Maister to the Cofre is come,
He peiseth ther was somwhat in,
And bad hem bere it to his In,
And goth himselve forth withal.
Al that schal falle, falle schal;
Thei comen hom and tarie noght;
This Cofre is into chambre broght,
Which that thei finde faste stoke,
Bot thei with craft it have unloke.
Thei loken in, where as thei founde
A bodi ded, which was bewounde
In cloth of gold, as I seide er,
The tresor ek thei founden ther
Forth with the lettre, which thei rede.
And tho thei token betre hiede;
Unsowed was the bodi sone,
And he, which knew what is to done,
This noble clerk, with alle haste
Began the veines forto taste,
And sih hire Age was of youthe,
And with the craftes whiche he couthe
He soghte and fond a signe of lif.
With that this worthi kinges wif
Honestely thei token oute,
And maden fyres al aboute;
Thei leide hire on a couche softe,
And with a scheete warmed ofte
Hire colde brest began to hete,
Hire herte also to flacke and bete.
This Maister hath hire every joignt
With certein oile and balsme enoignt,
And putte a liquour in hire mouth,
Which is to fewe clerkes couth,
So that sche coevereth ate laste;
And ferst hire yhen up sche caste,
And whan sche more of strengthe cawhte,
Hire Armes bothe forth sche strawhte,
Hield up hire hond and pitously
Sche spak and seide, "Ha, wher am I?
Where is my lord, what world is this?"
As sche that wot noght hou it is.
Bot Cerymon the worthi leche
Ansuerde anon upon hire speche
And seith, "Ma dame, yee ben hiere,
Where yee be sauf, as yee schal hiere
Hierafterward; forthi as nou
Mi conseil is, conforteth you:
For trusteth wel withoute faile,
Ther is nothing which schal you faile,
That oghte of reson to be do."
Thus passen thei a day or tuo;
Thei speke of noght as for an ende,
Til sche began somdiel amende,
And wiste hireselven what sche mente.
Tho forto knowe hire hol entente,
This Maister axeth al the cas,
Hou sche cam there and what sche was.
"Hou I cam hiere wot I noght,"
Quod sche, "bot wel I am bethoght
Of othre thinges al aboute":
Fro point to point and tolde him oute
Als ferforthli as sche it wiste.
And he hire tolde hou in a kiste
The See hire threw upon the lond,
And what tresor with hire he fond,
Which was al redy at hire wille,
As he that schop him to fulfille
With al his myht what thing he scholde.
Sche thonketh him that he so wolde,
And al hire herte sche discloseth,
And seith him wel that sche supposeth
Hire lord be dreint, hir child also;
So sih sche noght bot alle wo.
Wherof as to the world nomore
Ne wol sche torne, and preith therfore
That in som temple of the Cite,
To kepe and holde hir chastete,
Sche mihte among the wommen duelle.
Whan he this tale hir herde telle,
He was riht glad, and made hire knowen
That he a dowhter of his owen
Hath, which he wol unto hir yive
To serve, whil thei bothe live,
In stede of that which sche hath lost;
Al only at his oghne cost
Sche schal be rendred forth with hire.
She seith, "Grant mercy, lieve sire,
God quite it you, ther I ne may."
And thus thei drive forth the day,
Til time com that sche was hol;
And tho thei take her conseil hol,
To schape upon good ordinance
And make a worthi pourveance
Ayein the day whan thei be veiled.
And thus, whan that thei be conseiled,
In blake clothes thei hem clothe,
This lady and the dowhter bothe,
And yolde hem to religion.
The feste and the profession
After the reule of that degre
Was mad with gret solempnete,
Where as Diane is seintefied;
Thus stant this lady justefied
In ordre wher sche thenkth to duelle.
|But let’s turn first to other things
Of which my ancient writing sings:
This corpse, from which all life seemed lost,
By wind upon the waves was tossed
Now here, now there, until at last
At Ephesus the sea upcast
The coffin and what was therein.
A miracle did now begin;
Sit still, and contemplate this thought:
What God would save will perish not.
Just as the corpse this shore did reach,
A man came walking on the beach;
A scholar and a surgeon who
Was a renowned physician too,
The wisest man who walked upon
That land, named Master Cerymon;
Of his disciples some stood by
As to the coffin he came nigh.
Inside he sensed there was a load;
This heavy box to his abode
He bade them bear, then forth went he,
And what did happen we shall see;
They came straight home, and tarried not;
The coffin to his house they brought,
Which they did find securely shut,
But with their skill the seal they cut.
They looked inside, and there they found
A body dead, which was all wound
In gold cloth, as I said before,
The treasure also and, what’s more,
They found the letter, which they read.
And though loath to disturb the dead,
The body soon they did unsew,
And he, who what to do did know,
This noble scholar, wise and sage,
Began to try her pulse to gauge,
And seeing she was still a youth,
He, as a sort of doctor/sleuth,
Looked for and found a sign of life.
With that this worthy monarch’s wife
They very carefully took out,
And fires ignited all about;
A sofa, soft and plush, she graced,
With oft-warmed blankets on her placed;
Her breast, all cold, began to heat,
Her heart did palpitate and beat.
This master did her every joint
With smooth, balsamic oil anoint,
And put a liquor in her mouth,
Which few do know, from north to south,
Until at last she did revive,
And realized she was alive.
When movement she again commands,
She stretches forth both of her hands.
And raising them unto the sky
She spoke and said: “Oh, where am I?
Where is my lord?” Thus she inquired,
As she knew not what had transpired.
And so the surgeon Cerymon
An answer to her gave, anon,
And said: “Don’t worry so, my dear,
You’re safe now; in due time you’ll hear
The whys and wherefores, but for now
Take comfort; I do tell thee thou
Canst be assured that everything
You need, unto you we will bring,
If that is possible to do.”
And thus they passed a day or two;
Of how all would be clarified
They spoke not, till she did decide
That her own purposes she knew.
Then, so she’d have a better view,
She asked that he to her relate
Just who she was, and of her fate.
“How did I come here, and from where?”
She asked, “You see, I’m well aware
Of other matters hereabout”:
Which she unto him pointed out
As truthfully as she knew how.
So of the chest he told her now,
Thrown by the sea up on the ground,
And of the treasure that he found;
The gold with which she was bedecked,
That he had promised to protect
With all the power that he had.
That he would do this, she was glad;
Her whole heart she to him disclosed;
She said to him that she supposed
Her husband and her daughter drowned;
So she herself in anguish found.
Wherefore unto the world no more
Would she return, and prays therefore,
That in some shrine to chastity,
That she might men no longer see,
She might with only women stay.
And when he heard her talk this way,
He was delighted, and made known
That a fair daughter of his own
He would unto her gladly give
To serve her, while they both did live,
And fill the void, of what she’d lost;
All totally at his own cost
She shall for hire delivered be.
She said: “ May God grant unto thee
The recompense I never could.”
The days went by, till she felt good;
The time did come to say farewell;
And they had learned their lessons well,
To make appropriate attire
And all provisions they require
For that day when they would be veiled.
Their solemn rituals entailed
That this man’s daughter, and that she,
Both dressed in clothes of black should be,
That they religious vows might take,
And priestess a profession make,
In rites that are required to be
Conducted with solemnity,
For there Diane is sanctified;
That’s where this lady shall abide
And in a righteous order live.
Episode #15: Pericles resumes his journey, and is warmly welcomed in Tarsus. There he requests of Strangulio and Dionise that they look after his now motherless daughter Thaise, providing for her a good education, until she is old enough to marry. Pericles vows to refrain from shaving until that time arrives.
|Bot now ayeinward forto telle
In what plit that hire lord stod inne:
He seileth, til that he may winne
The havene of Tharse, as I seide er;
And whanne he was aryved ther,
And it was thurgh the Cite knowe,
Men myhte se withinne a throwe,
As who seith, al the toun at ones,
That come ayein him for the nones,
To yiven him the reverence,
So glad thei were of his presence:
And thogh he were in his corage
Desesed, yit with glad visage
He made hem chiere, and to his In,
Wher he whilom sojourned in,
He goth him straght and was resceived.
And whan the presse of poeple is weived,
He takth his hoste unto him tho,
And seith, "Mi frend Strangulio,
Lo, thus and thus it is befalle,
And thou thiself art on of alle,
Forth with thi wif, whiche I most triste.
Forthi, if it you bothe liste,
My doghter Thaise be youre leve
I thenke schal with you beleve
As for a time; and thus I preie,
That sche be kept be alle weie,
And whan sche hath of age more,
That sche be set to bokes lore.
And this avou to god I make,
That I schal nevere for hir sake
Mi berd for no likinge schave,
Til it befalle that I have
In covenable time of age
Beset hire unto mariage."
Thus thei acorde, and al is wel,
And forto resten him somdel,
As for a while he ther sojorneth,
| But an account now let us give
Concerning her poor husband’s plight:
He set sail, hoping that he might
In Tarsus harbor refuge claim;
And when unto that shore he came,
Throughout the city went the word;
As soon as all the people heard,
The whole town all at once came out,
And words of welcome all did shout,
To let him know he was revered,
And that to them he was endeared:
Though sadness did his heart encase,
Yet he put on a pleasant face
And made them cheer, then off he went
To that inn where he time oft spent;
There many pressed around at first,
But when the crowd was all dispersed,
With his host he some time does spend,
And says: “Strangulio, my friend,
Lo thus and such has been my lot,
But you of all are one I’ve got
Whom, with your wife, I most can trust.
To ask of you, therefore, I must,
If Thaise, my daughter, you both could
Allow to live, if that seems good,
With you a while, and thus I pray
That she be trained in every way,
And when she somewhat older grows,
May you her unto books expose.
And thus a vow to God I make,
That I shall never for her sake
My beard with any razor touch,
Until the time is seemly such
That being old enough to date,
She’s ready with a man to mate.”
Thus all is well, for they’re agreed;
Some rest, of which he is in need,
He takes, for soon he will sojourn;
Episode #16: Pericles sails home to Tyre where he is received with great rejoicing.
|And thanne he takth his leve and torneth
To Schipe, and goth him hom to Tyr,
Wher every man with gret desir
Awaiteth upon his comynge.
Bot whan the Schip com in seilinge,
And thei perceiven it is he,
Was nevere yit in no cite
Such joie mad as thei tho made;
His herte also began to glade
Of that he sih the poeple glad.
Lo, thus fortune his hap hath lad;
In sondri wise he was travailed,
Bot hou so evere he be assailed,
His latere ende schal be good.
| Then to his ship he does return,
And sets his course straight home to Tyre,
Where every man with great desire
Waits eagerly to see his mast.
So when his ship they see at last,
And they perceive that it is he,
Such happiness there was, and glee,
As never any city knew;
His heart was very happy too
To see them making such a fuss.
Lo, fortune hat determined thus:
Through many trials though he’d gone,
However he is set upon,
For him all things will turn out well.
Episode #17: Meanwhile back in Tarsus Thaise outshone Philotenne the daughter of Strangulio. This angered his wife Dionise so much that she ordered her slave Theophilus to take Thaise down to the sea and slay her on the sand. He complies, but when she realizes what he intends to do she cries and screams so loud that a ship nearby with a bunch of rowdy pirates notices. Theophilus runs away.
|And forto speke hou that it stod
Of Thaise his doghter, wher sche duelleth,
In Tharse, as the Cronique telleth,
Sche was wel kept, sche was wel loked,
Sche was wel tawht, sche was wel boked,
So wel sche spedde hir in hire youthe
That sche of every wisdom couthe,
That forto seche in every lond
So wys an other noman fond,
Ne so wel tawht at mannes yhe.
Bot wo worthe evere fals envie!
For it befell that time so,
A dowhter hath Strangulio,
The which was cleped Philotenne:
Bot fame, which wole evere renne,
Cam al day to hir moder Ere,
And seith, wher evere hir doghter were
With Thayse set in eny place,
The comun vois, the comun grace
Was al upon that other Maide,
And of hir doghter noman saide.
Who wroth but Dionise thanne?
Hire thoghte a thousend yer til whanne
Sche myhte ben of Thaise wreke
Of that sche herde folk so speke.
And fell that ilke same tyde,
That ded was trewe Lychoride,
Which hadde be servant to Thaise,
So that sche was the worse at aise,
For sche hath thanne no servise
Bot only thurgh this Dionise,
Which was hire dedlich Anemie
Thurgh pure treson and envie.
Sche, that of alle sorwe can,
Tho spak unto hire bondeman,
Which cleped was Theophilus,
And made him swere in conseil thus,
That he such time as sche him sette
Schal come Thaise forto fette,
And lede hire oute of alle sihte,
Wher as noman hire helpe myhte,
Upon the Stronde nyh the See,
And there he schal this maiden sle.
This cherles herte is in a traunce,
As he which drad him of vengance
Whan time comth an other day;
Bot yit dorste he noght seie nay,
Bot swor and seide he schal fulfille
Hire hestes at hire oghne wille.
The treson and the time is schape,
So fell it that this cherles knape
Hath lad this maiden ther he wolde
Upon the Stronde, and what sche scholde
Sche was adrad; and he out breide
A rusti swerd and to hir seide,
"Thou schalt be ded." "Helas!" quod sche,
"Why schal I so?" "Lo thus," quod he,
"Mi ladi Dionise hath bede,
Thou schalt be moerdred in this stede."
This Maiden tho for feere schryhte,
And for the love of god almyhte
Sche preith that for a litel stounde
Sche myhte knele upon the grounde,
Toward the hevene forto crave,
Hire wofull Soule if sche mai save:
And with this noise and with this cry,
Out of a barge faste by,
Which hidd was ther on Scomerfare,
Men sterten out and weren ware
Of this feloun,and he to go,
And sche began to crie tho,
"Ha, mercy, help for goddes sake!
| Now let us speak of what befell
His daughter Thaise, where she did stay,
In Tarsus, as old sources say.
She was well trained, she was well bred,
She was well into learning led.
So well, in fact, did she succeed
That in all things she took the lead.
In lands however far away
There is none wiser that one may
Discover, so well taught was she.
But where worth is, there envy be!
And now, as fate would have it, lo
A daughter had Strangulio;
Her name was Philotenne, who vied;
But fame, which travels far and wide,
Came to her mother’s ear all day;
And wheresoe’er her daughter may,
In any place, be seen with Thaise,
The common voice, the common praise
That other maiden all did take,
And of her daughter no man spake.
This angered Dionise to tears,
So that it seemed a thousand years
Till she on Thaise could vengeance take
For what she heard, that people spake.
Another at that same time cried,
For true Lichorida had died,
Who had been servant unto Thaise,
Which made much worse her grave malaise,
For now she had no other choice
But to hear Dionise’s voice,
Who was her deadly enemy.
Through envy, hate, and treachery.
She, feigning grief and great distress,
As being under some duress,
Unto her slave Theophilus
In confidence did counsel thus:
That on some designated day
He’d come and carry Thaise away,
And take her somewhere out of sight,
So that no man could see her plight,
Down by the sea upon the sand,
And slay her there with his own hand.
His heart is cheerless, he’s all dazed,
With retribution’s specter raised,
Which on him could come down some day;
And yet he dared not answer nay,
But swore and said he would fulfill
All things according to her will.
The day arrived when it was time
To carry out this heinous crime,
And so this churlish knave her led
Down to the shore, where she in dread
Watched on, and saw that he drew out
A rusty sword. Thus he did shout,
“Alas!” said she “Shall I be dead?
Why shall this be?” “Because,” he said,
“So Dionise commanded me,
In this place thou shalt murdered be.”
She screamed with fear, her life at stake,
And said, “For God Almighty’s sake,
A little time allow me, please.”
Unto the ground upon her knees
She cries to heav’n, "Let it be willed
To save my soul should I be killed."
This noise that screeched unto the sky,
Heard on a barge that was nearby,
A bunch of rowdy pirates there
Aroused, and soon they were aware
Of this Theophilus, who split.
But she her crying would not quit.
“For God’s sake, mercy have on me.”
Episode #18: The pirates take Thaise to sea with them, where a great storm arises blowing them here and there until the weather clears and they arrive safely at Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. The pirates offer to sell her to Leonin a brothel owner. Her charms are advertised and a dozen or so young men stop by, but seeing how sad she was none would do her any harm. Leonin then sends a trusted employee in to despoil her, but he cannot bring himself to do so.
|Into the barge thei hire take,
As thieves scholde, and forth thei wente.
Upon the See the wynd hem hente,
And malgre wher thei wolde or non,
Tofor the weder forth thei gon,
Ther halp no Seil, ther halp non Ore,
Forstormed and forblowen sore
In gret peril so forth thei dryve,
Til ate laste thei aryve
At Mitelene the Cite.
In havene sauf and whan thei be,
The Maister Schipman made him boun,
And goth him out into the toun,
And profreth Thaise forto selle.
On Leonin it herde telle,
Which Maister of the bordel was,
And bad him gon a redy pas
To fetten hire, and forth he wente,
And Thaise out of his barge he hente,
And to this bordeller hir solde.
And he, that be hire body wolde
Take avantage, let do crye,
That what man wolde his lecherie
Attempte upon hire maidenhede,
Lei doun the gold and he schal spede.
And thus whan he hath crid it oute
In syhte of al the poeple aboute,
He ladde hire to the bordel tho.
No wonder is thogh sche be wo:
Clos in a chambre be hireselve,
Ech after other ten or tuelve
Of yonge men to hire in wente;
Bot such a grace god hire sente,
That for the sorwe which sche made
Was non of hem which pouer hade
To don hire eny vileinie.
This Leonin let evere aspie,
And waiteth after gret beyete;
Bot al for noght, sche was forlete,
That mo men wolde ther noght come.
Whan he therof hath hiede nome,
And knew that sche was yit a maide,
Unto his oghne man he saide,
That he with strengthe ayein hire leve
Tho scholde hir maidenhod bereve.
This man goth in, bot so it ferde,
Whan he hire wofull pleintes herde
And he therof hath take kepe,
Him liste betre forto wepe
Than don oght elles to the game.
And thus sche kepte hirself fro schame,
| They took they her with them out to sea,
The thieves they were, and forth they sailed.
A great wind on the waves prevailed
Oblivious to their intent;
Before this weather forth they went,
All useless were there oars and sails,
Blown here and there by stormy gales
They’re driven forth in peril great,
Until the weather does abate,
And at the port of Mytilene
Their boat at harbor safe is seen.
Their leader does a plan concoct,
And disembarking when they’re docked,
He offers this fair Thaise to sell.
When Leonin of this heard tell,
Who a bordello owned, he sent
A messenger, who quickly went
To buy her. He who was in charge
Went, and Thaise brought out of his barge,
And sold her to this man who would
Exploit her body, if he could.
The cry went out that for a sum
A man whose lust drove him to come
And sample her virginity,
Would for some gold successful be.
And thus when he had cried this out
In sight of all the men about,
He led her to the brothel’s door.
No wonder worry on her wore:
For there, into her little den,
Came one by one a few young men;
At ten or twelve the number stood;
But unto her the Lord was good,
For since she was so very sad
There were none who the power had
To do her any villainy.
Some monetary gain to see
Leonin waited all in vain;
To violate her all disdain,
And no men unto her would go.
So when of this thing he did know,
That she was still a maiden pure,
His own man, of whom he was sure,
He told, “Do not let her escape
And take her, if needs be, by rape.”
The man went in to see this saint,
But when he heard her woeful plaint
He was so touched he could not keep
Himself from starting there to weep;
He could not play Leonin’s game,
And thus she kept herself from shame,
Episode #19: Thaise recommends to this man that he try asking Leonin to consider letting her raise money for him by offering her tutoring services to lords in the land wanting instruction for their daughters. Leonin sees merit in her plan and provides a room for her apart from his bordello. Her reputation grew and she attracted sufficient students to provide Leonin with enough income to let her continue living with dignity.
|And kneleth doun to therthe and
Unto this man, and thus sche seide:
"If so be that thi maister wolde
That I his gold encresce scholde,
It mai noght falle be this weie:
Bot soffre me to go mi weie
Out of this hous wher I am inne,
And I schal make him forto winne
In som place elles of the toun,
Be so it be religioun,
Wher that honeste wommen duelle.
And thus thou myht thi maister telle,
That whanne I have a chambre there,
Let him do crie ay wyde where,
What lord that hath his doghter diere,
And is in will that sche schal liere
Of such a Scole that is trewe,
I schal hire teche of thinges newe,
Which as non other womman can
In al this lond." And tho this man
Hire tale hath herd, he goth ayein,
And tolde unto his maister plein
That sche hath seid; and therupon,
Whan than he sih beyete non
At the bordel be cause of hire,
He bad his man to gon and spire
A place wher sche myhte abyde,
That he mai winne upon som side
Be that sche can: bot ate leste
Thus was sche sauf fro this tempeste.
He hath hire fro the bordel take,
Bot that was noght for goddes sake,
Bot for the lucre, as sche him tolde.
Now comen tho that comen wolde
Of wommen in her lusty youthe,
To hiere and se what thing sche couthe:
Sche can the wisdom of a clerk,
Sche can of every lusti werk
Which to a gentil womman longeth,
And some of hem sche underfongeth
To the Citole and to the Harpe,
And whom it liketh forto carpe
Proverbes and demandes slyhe,
An other such thei nevere syhe,
Which that science so wel tawhte:
Wherof sche grete yiftes cawhte,
That sche to Leonin hath wonne;
And thus hire name is so begonne
Of sondri thinges that sche techeth,
That al the lond unto hir secheth
Of yonge wommen forto liere.
| And kneeling down in her sweet way
Thus she unto this man did pray:
“If your employer wants to see
His gold increase because of me,
It may not happen in this way:
But suffer me to go, I pray,
Out of this house that I am in,
And I’ll make sure that he will win
In some place else, a lot of loot,
As long as it’s of good repute,
A place where honest women live.
This proposition to him give:
Let him for me a room provide,
And let him then cry far and wide,
To find a lord who’s great concern
Is that his daughter dear should learn.
Within a school where in her youth
I can instruct her in all truth,
As not another woman may
In all this land.” Without delay,
To tell his master back he ran
With word about the little plan
That she proposed, which sounded good,
For he perceived no profit would
For his bordello from her kind
Accrue. He bade his man to find
For her a place where she might stay,
That he may profit in some way.
Her learning thus the path did pave
Her from this sorry life to save.
From the bordello he did run,
He sent her, but this was not done
For God’s sake, but on money’s ground.
So women came from all around,
Young ladies in life’s lusty time,
That she might them with learning prime:
She taught the wisdom of the wise,
And skills most valued in men’s eyes,
Refinements in a woman sought,
And some of them she also taught
To play upon the harp, and when
They did request it of her then
Proverbs and riddles and much more
She’d tell, which they’d not heard before.
These sciences so well she taught
That many great rewards she got,
Which she to Leonin returned;
So great the name was she had earned
For all the subjects which she taught,
That after her the whole land sought
When girls required a teacher near.
Episode #20: Meanwhile in Tarsus Theophilus lies to Dionise, telling her that he killed Thaise and buried her in a secret grave. Dionise carries on pretending to mourn, saying that Thaise died in her sleep. Both she and Strangulio dress in black and conduct a fake funeral for all the people who wept for her. A statue was erected above the tomb of this beautiful fourteen year old princess. But as tales of her adventures spread the truth eventually got out.
|Nou lete we this maiden hiere,
And speke of Dionise ayein
And of Theophile the vilein,
Of whiche I spak of nou tofore.
Whan Thaise scholde have be forlore,
This false cherl to his lady
Whan he cam hom, al prively
He seith, "Ma Dame, slain I have
This maide Thaise, and is begrave
In prive place, as ye me biede.
Forthi, ma dame, taketh hiede
And kep conseil, hou so it stonde."
This fend, which this hath understonde,
Was glad, and weneth it be soth:
Now herkne, hierafter hou sche doth.
Sche wepth, sche sorweth, sche compleigneth,
And of sieknesse which sche feigneth
Sche seith that Taise sodeinly
Be nyhte is ded, "as sche and I
Togedre lyhen nyh my lord."
Sche was a womman of record,
And al is lieved that sche seith;
And forto yive a more feith,
Hire housebonde and ek sche bothe
In blake clothes thei hem clothe,
And made a gret enterrement;
And for the poeple schal be blent,
Of Thaise as for the remembrance,
After the real olde usance
A tumbe of latoun noble and riche
With an ymage unto hir liche
Liggende above therupon
Thei made and sette it up anon.
Hire Epitaffe of good assisse
Was write aboute, and in this wise
It spak: "O yee that this beholde,
Lo, hier lith sche, the which was holde
The faireste and the flour of alle,
Whos name Thaisis men calle.
The king of Tyr Appolinus
Hire fader was: now lith sche thus.
Fourtiene yer sche was of Age,
Whan deth hir tok to his viage."
Thus was this false treson hidd,
Which afterward was wyde kidd,
As be the tale a man schal hiere.
| Now let us leave this maiden here,
A look at Dionise to take
And too Theophilus that rake,
Of whom I spake to you before.
As Thaise he should have on the shore
Despatched, this liar to her said
When he returned, “Madam, she’s dead,
For I this maiden Thaise have slain,
And in a secret grave have lain
Her body, just as I was bade.
So let us heed the pact we’ve made,
And keep it just between us two.”
This fiend who ever was untrue,
Was glad this understanding they
Had reached; now she did act this way:
She wept, she grieved, and she complained,
And an affliction sore she feigned.
She said that Thaise died in the night
While they lay sleeping in the sight
Of her good lord with whom she slept.
All of those who esteemed her wept;
None thought that she would tell a lie;
But, just to make her story fly,
Her spouse in black was dressed with her
As they pretend her to inter;
And keep the people in the dark
By those remembrances that mark
The passing of a human soul.
And thus her virtue to extol,
A copper tomb they set in place,
A statue with her lovely face
With grace adorns the top of it,
Which on a royal place does sit,
With the inscription: “Here lies Thaise,
The daughter of a noble race.”
Her epitaph: “Here lies entombed
The fairest flower that ever bloomed,
Who with her beauteous visage blessed
This land, ere she was laid to rest.
It's Pericles who sired this lass;
Now from this world her soul doth pass;
At fourteen years of age she went
Upon a journey, heavenward sent.”
Thus this false treason was concealed,
Which later widely was revealed,
As tales of her adventures spread.
Episode #21: Back in Tyre Pericles convenes a parliament to relate his experiences in Pentapolis, and on his journey back home via Tarsus. Arrangements were made for ceremonies to commemorate the Rhodian princess whom he had married, and who had perished at sea.
|Bot forto clare mi matiere,
To Tyr I thenke torne ayein,
And telle as the Croniqes sein.
Whan that the king was comen hom,
And hath left in the salte fom
His wif, which he mai noght foryete,
For he som confort wolde gete,
He let somoune a parlement,
To which the lordes were asent;
And of the time he hath ben oute,
He seth the thinges al aboute,
And told hem ek hou he hath fare,
Whil he was out of londe fare;
And preide hem alle to abyde,
For he wolde at the same tyde
Do schape for his wyves mynde,
As he that wol noght ben unkinde.
Solempne was that ilke office,
And riche was the sacrifice,
The feste reali was holde:
And therto was he wel beholde;
For such a wif as he hadde on
In thilke daies was ther non.
| But let us now pick up the thread
In Tyre, of our poor prince’s pain,
Which ancient chronicles contain.
When Pericles arrived back home,
His wife left in the salty foam,
Who ever was upon his mind,
Attempting to some comfort find,
A parliament he did convene,
At which his lords would all be seen;
And of the time he had been gone
He told, of all that had gone on
When angry seas did seethe and boil,
And cast him up on foreign soil;
And then he tells them why they came:
To hear how he his dear wife’s name
Would honor, so that all will know
That he cared for and loved her so.
In ceremonies solemn they
Commemorated her that day.
That God would bless her soul, he knelt
To pray, as duty-bound he felt;
Because he, for a wife, had one
The likes of which on earth there’s none.
Episode #22: Pericles misses his daughter and sails to Tarsus in order to bring her back to Tyre. Upon being shown the place where she was supposely interred, he swears in a great rage of sorrow and anger.
|Whan this was do, thanne he him thoghte
Upon his doghter, and besoghte
Suche of his lordes as he wolde,
That thei with him to Tharse scholde,
To fette his doghter Taise there:
And thei anon al redy were,
To schip they gon and forth thei wente,
Til thei the havene of Tharse hente.
They londe and faile of that thei seche
Be coverture and sleyhte of speche:
This false man Strangulio,
And Dionise his wif also,
That he the betre trowe myhte,
Thei ladden him to have a sihte
Wher that hir tombe was arraied.
The lasse yit he was mispaied,
And natheles, so as he dorste,
He curseth and seith al the worste
Unto fortune, as to the blinde,
Which can no seker weie finde;
For sche him neweth evere among,
And medleth sorwe with his song.
| When this was finished, then he thought
About his daughter, and besought
All of his lords with willing heart,
That out to Tarsus they would start,
To fetch his daughter back to Tyre.
Soon everything that they require
Is ready, and their course they set
To Tarsus harbor, Thaise to get.
They land, but find not what they seek
For with Strangulio they speak,
And with deception false replete,
And Dionise his wife’s deceit,
So he’d believe them, him they took
Unto that place, to have a look,
Wherein they said she was interred,
Whereat great sorrow in him stirred.
In rage he swore, in anger cursed,
And unto Fortune all the worst
He said; he railed, as to the blind,
Who for the lost no way can find;
For she is always changing things,
Infusing sorrow as he sings.
Episode #23: He finally accepts fate, thanks the deceiving king Strangulio, and sets out to return to Tyre. On top of everything he's been through, another storm arises blowing the ship off course. He leaves his cabin depressed and goes down into the hold where he refuses to come out. The ship happens to arrive at Mytilene just when a feast to Neptune is taking place on the beach. The city's mayor Athenagoras, upon hearing of the strange ship, arrives to learn more. He boards and is told by the noble looking crew that their lord is sequestered below and will not come up. He climbs down, calls out and gets no reply, and in the darkness can find no one.
|Bot sithe it mai no betre be,
He thonketh god and forth goth he
Seilende toward Tyr ayein.
Bot sodeinly the wynd and reyn
Begonne upon the See debate,
So that he soffre mot algate
The lawe which Neptune ordeigneth;
Wherof fulofte time he pleigneth,
And hield him wel the more esmaied
Of that he hath tofore assaied.
So that for pure sorwe and care,
Of that he seth his world so fare,
The reste he lefte of his Caban,
That for the conseil of noman
Ayein therinne he nolde come,
Bot hath benethe his place nome,
Wher he wepende al one lay,
Ther as he sih no lyht of day.
And thus tofor the wynd thei dryve,
Til longe and late thei aryve
With gret distresce, as it was sene,
Upon this toun of Mitelene,
Which was a noble cite tho.
And hapneth thilke time so,
The lordes bothe and the comune
The hihe festes of Neptune
Upon the stronde at the rivage,
As it was custumme and usage,
Sollempneliche thei besihe.
Whan thei this strange vessel syhe
Come in, and hath his Seil avaled,
The toun therof hath spoke and taled.
The lord which of the cite was,
Whos name is Athenagoras,
Was there, and seide he wolde se
What Schip it is, and who thei be
That ben therinne: and after sone,
Whan that he sih it was to done,
His barge was for him arraied,
And he goth forth and hath assaied.
He fond the Schip of gret Array,
Bot what thing it amonte may,
He seth thei maden hevy chiere,
Bot wel him thenkth be the manere
That thei be worthi men of blod,
And axeth of hem hou it stod;
And thei him tellen al the cas,
Hou that here lord fordrive was,
And what a sorwe that he made,
Of which ther mai noman him glade.
He preith that he here lord mai se,
Bot thei him tolde it mai noght be,
For he lith in so derk a place,
That ther may no wiht sen his face:
Bot for al that, thogh hem be loth,
He fond the ladre and doun he goth,
And to him spak, bot non ansuere
Ayein of him ne mihte he bere
For oght that he can don or sein;
And thus he goth him up ayein.
| And so accepting Fate’s decree,
He thanks the Lord, and out to sea
He goes, and back toward Tyre he turns.
But suddenly the ocean churns
With howling winds and pouring rains,
So that he suffers with the pains
That Neptune’s ordinance ordained;
Whereof he often times complained;
He was dismayed now all the more
Since he’d been through all this before.
So from unmitigated woe,
At seeing how his life did go,
He left his cabin all alone,
For no man’s counsel he’ll condone;
He would not come therein again;
Down in the hold away from men,
He weeps as on the floor he lays,
Where he sees not the sun's bright rays.
And thus they’re driven by the gales,
Until at last their tattered sails,
A sign of great distress, are seen
Upon the shores of Mytilene,
A Lesban island city fair.
At that time it so happened there,
The greatest lord down to the least,
For Neptune’s most important feast,
Upon the beach this time of year
Had come, as was the custom here,
To celebrate a solemn rite.
On seeing this strange, startling sight,
A ship whose sails were all blown down,
The news spread quickly through the town.
The mayor of this place who’s known
As Athenagoras, when shown
This thing, assured them he would go
And check out why the sails were low;
He’d like to know who were these men,
And what had brought them here. So then
His barge was brought to him so he
Could go and solve this mystery.
The ship he found in disarray,
But what this meant he could not say.
He came across a crew depressed;
The manner of these men suggest
That they of worthy blood were born.
He asked why they were so forlorn;
They told of hardships that had come
To make their lord to grief succumb;
Such aching sadness filled his cup,
His best friend could not cheer him up.
He asked if their lord might be seen,
But to oblige they weren’t too keen,
For he was in so dark a place,
There’s none who could make out his face.
Despite the fact they all did frown,
He found a ladder and went down,
And called out, but heard no reply
No matter how loud he did cry.
Since of this lord he caught no sight,
He climbed back up into the light.
Episode #24: The town's wise men agree that Thaise should be sent to try and cheer up the unhappy king. She arrives with a harp and when her music fails to charm him she persists, telling jokes to which he seems to respond. But then she gives him riddles to solve and he (perhaps remembering the riddle of Antiochus?) relapses into sullenness. Undaunted she tries touching him, at which he lashes out barel missing her. Not knowing who he is, she tells him that he would not be so surly if he knew her pedigree. He feels attracted to her and listens as she tells him who she is and what she has gone through. With joy he embraces her, and they both go up to his cabin, where he dons his royal attire and prepares to meet the mayor.
|Tho was ther spoke in many wise
Amonges hem that weren wise,
Now this, now that, bot ate laste
The wisdom of the toun this caste,
That yonge Taise were asent.
For if ther be amendement
To glade with this woful king,
Sche can so moche of every thing,
That sche schal gladen him anon.
A Messager for hire is gon,
And sche cam with hire Harpe on honde,
And seide hem that sche wolde fonde
Be alle weies that sche can,
To glade with this sory man.
Bot what he was sche wiste noght,
Bot al the Schip hire hath besoght
That sche hire wit on him despende,
In aunter if he myhte amende,
And sein it schal be wel aquit.
Whan sche hath understonden it,
Sche goth hir doun, ther as he lay,
Wher that sche harpeth many a lay
And lich an Angel sang withal;
Bot he nomore than the wal
Tok hiede of eny thing he herde.
And whan sche sih that he so ferde,
Sche falleth with him into wordes,
And telleth him of sondri bordes,
And axeth him demandes strange,
Wherof sche made his herte change,
And to hire speche his Ere he leide
And hath merveile of that sche seide.
For in proverbe and in probleme
Sche spak, and bad he scholde deme
In many soubtil question:
Bot he for no suggestioun
Which toward him sche couthe stere,
He wolde noght o word ansuere,
Bot as a madd man ate laste
His heved wepende awey he caste,
And half in wraththe he bad hire go.
Bot yit sche wolde noght do so,
And in the derke forth sche goth,
Til sche him toucheth, and he wroth,
And after hire with his hond
He smot: and thus whan sche him fond
Desesed, courtaisly sche saide,
"Avoi, mi lord, I am a Maide;
And if ye wiste what I am,
And out of what lignage I cam,
Ye wolde noght be so salvage."
With that he sobreth his corage
And put awey his hevy chiere.
Bot of hem tuo a man mai liere
What is to be so sibb of blod:
Non wiste of other hou it stod,
And yit the fader ate laste
His herte upon this maide caste,
That he hire loveth kindely,
And yit he wiste nevere why.
Bot al was knowe er that thei wente;
For god, which wot here hol entente,
Here hertes bothe anon descloseth.
This king unto this maide opposeth,
And axeth ferst what was hire name,
And wher sche lerned al this game,
And of what ken that sche was come.
And sche, that hath hise wordes nome,
Ansuerth and seith, "My name is Thaise,
That was som time wel at aise:
In Tharse I was forthdrawe and fed,
Ther lerned I, til I was sped,
Of that I can. Mi fader eke
I not wher that I scholde him seke;
He was a king, men tolde me:
Mi Moder dreint was in the See."
Fro point to point al sche him tolde,
That sche hath longe in herte holde,
And nevere dorste make hir mone
Bot only to this lord al one,
To whom hire herte can noght hele,
Torne it to wo, torne it to wele,
Torne it to good, torne it to harm.
And he tho toke hire in his arm,
Bot such a joie as he tho made
Was nevere sen; thus be thei glade,
That sory hadden be toforn.
Fro this day forth fortune hath sworn
To sette him upward on the whiel;
So goth the world, now wo, now wel:
This king hath founde newe grace,
So that out of his derke place
He goth him up into the liht,
And with him cam that swete wiht,
His doghter Thaise, and forth anon
Thei bothe into the Caban gon
Which was ordeigned for the king,
And ther he dede of al his thing,
And was arraied realy.
And out he cam al openly,
| Those of the town considered wise
Conjectured this or that surmise;
However they at last resolved,
The maiden Thaise should be involved.
If there were help for this malaise,
That could his heavy spirits raise,
Then she, with her expansive wit,
Might cause his misery to quit,
And cheer up this unhappy king.
They send for her, and she, to sing,
Arrives equipped with harp in hand,
To try, by entertaining and
With every skill that she possessed,
To charm this man who’s so distressed.
Just who he was she did not know,
But all the crew implored her so
To use her every charm on him,
That he might cease to feel so grim,
This would her well behoove, they said.
When she had all their meaning read,
She went down where this man did lay
And there she many a song did play,
And like an angel to him sang.
But all her music empty rang,
So he remained still wan and pale.
And when she saw her music fail,
She thought some words she might employ,
And see if jokes might bring him joy;
She makes some curious requests,
And he, responding to her jests,
Began to change; He lent an ear
And one could see a little cheer.
She many a riddle did provide;
She spake, and bade him to decide
On subtle questions that she posed:
But for no clues that she disclosed,
Which might for him have been a guide;
He spoke not, and began to slide,
Till he into a fit did fly;
Away he turned his weeping eye,
And half in anger her he spurned.
Yet to her efforts she returned,
And going where the light was faint,
She touched him, and with no constraint,
He lashed out, trying her to smack:
And in response to this attack
She courteously said, “Desist
My Lord, a maid you barely missed;
If my true nature you surveyed,
And saw my pedigree displayed,
I don’t think you would be so fierce.”
His heart her kindly words did pierce
And soothed his sour and surly mood.
From these two may a man conclude
How strong the bond of kinship is.
He did not know that she was his,
Yet in the end his heart was swayed
With kindly love for this young maid,
A love that he could not deny,
Though he knew not the reason why.
But God the truth would soon expose;
For He, who all their secrets knows,
Would both their hearts reveal anon.
The king shows interest, whereupon
He asked of her what was her name,
And whence all of her learning came
And of what parentage she sprang.
And when his voice so kindly rang,
She said to him, “As Thaise I’m known;
I was well off ere I was grown.
In Tarsus I was trained and taught,
Until I’d really learned a lot.
But where on earth to find my dad
I know not, and that makes me sad;
Men say that he was royalty,
But that my mom was drowned at sea.”
She told him many things he guessed
Were long inside her heart suppressed;
Things no one ever heard about,
But to this lord she poured them out,
From whom her heart can nothing hide.
Both joys and griefs she did confide,
And told of happiness and harms.
And then he took her in his arms.
Such joy was his, who’d been so sad!
And now these two were very glad,
Who had both just been so forlorn.
From this day forth hath Fortune sworn
To set him high up on her wheel;
She’d only to him aces deal:
This king found new grace for his soul,
So that out of his dismal hole
He rises up into the light,
Along with that sweet creature bright,
His daughter Thaise, and from below
They both up in the cabin go
Which was for royalty ordained,
And all his royal robes contained.
He dressed in regal garments there,
And came out in the open air,
Episode #25: Athenagoras invites them to come and see his city and be entertained at his castle. Being without a wife he takes an interest in Thaise, and arranges with Pericles to marry her.
|Wher Athenagoras he fond,
The which was lord of al the lond:
He preith the king to come and se
His castell bothe and his cite,
And thus thei gon forth alle in fiere,
This king, this lord, this maiden diere.
This lord tho made hem riche feste
With every thing which was honeste,
To plese with this worthi king,
Ther lacketh him no maner thing:
Bot yit for al his noble array
Wifles he was into that day,
As he that yit was of yong Age;
So fell ther into his corage
The lusti wo, the glade peine
Of love, which noman restreigne
Yit nevere myhte as nou tofore.
This lord thenkth al his world forlore,
Bot if the king wol don him grace;
He waiteth time, he waiteth place,
Him thoghte his herte wol tobreke,
Til he mai to this maide speke
And to hir fader ek also
For mariage: and it fell so,
That al was do riht as he thoghte,
His pourpos to an ende he broghte,
Sche weddeth him as for hire lord;
Thus be thei alle of on acord.
| Where Athenagoras he found,
The lord of all the land around.
“Please come and see,” he asked this pair,
“My castle and my city fair.”
Thus at the city gates appear
This king, this lord, this maiden dear;
This lord to honor well his guest,
Spares nothing, but brings on the best
Of entertainment and cuisine,
Well-suited for a king - or queen.
Though he of noble lineage came,
He had no wife to share his fame.
But age did not his passion quell,
So on his youthful heart there fell
The lusty woe, the happy pain
Of love, which no man can restrain,
More strongly than he’d ever felt.
His fragile joy away would melt
He thought, if this king showed not grace;
So for the proper time and place
He waits and feels his heart might burst.
For this maid’s love he so does thirst,
Her hand in marriage he would seek;
Unto her father he would speak.
All things turned out as he desired;
He took her hand, whom he admired.
They wedded, vowing ne’er to part,
And all were of one mind and heart.
Episode #26: After the wedding Pericles tells his new son about what happened in Tarsus, and that he wanted them all to go and seek revenge. They assemble a fleet and set sail. A little further on in the story Gower says that the winds had been "adverse" when they left. This allows us to conclude, though it is not made explicit, that they must have anchored the fleet overnight to wait for more favorable conditions, which explains why Pericles was able to sleep and have a vision before waking up the following day so close to where they had begun the journey.
|Whan al was do riht as thei wolde,
The king unto his Sone tolde
Of Tharse thilke traiterie,
And seide hou in his compaignie
His doghter and himselven eke
Schull go vengance forto seke.
The Schipes were redy sone,
And whan thei sihe it was to done,
Withoute lette of eny wente
With Seil updrawe forth thei wente
Towardes Tharse upon the tyde.
Bot he that wot what schal betide,
The hihe god, which wolde him kepe,
Whan that this king was faste aslepe,
Be nyhtes time he hath him bede
To seile into an other stede:
To Ephesim he bad him drawe,
And as it was that time lawe,
He schal do there his sacrifise;
And ek he bad in alle wise
That in the temple amonges alle
His fortune, as it is befalle,
Touchende his doghter and his wif
He schal beknowe upon his lif.
The king of this Avisioun
Hath gret ymaginacioun,
What thing it signefie may;
| When all the wedding rites were done,
The king told unto his new son
Of Tarsus and its treachery,
And said that he desired that he
His daughter and himself should go
To seek revenge on them, and so
He orders ready all the fleet,
And seeing that all is complete -
Not down to any plan he’s pinned -
With sails unfurled into the wind
They sail toward Tarsus, wanting war.
But he who knows what is in store,
God, who him safe desires to keep,
When this king was all sound asleep,
With power all things to arrange
God bids that he his course should change:
To Ephesus God bade him drift,
Where it was time to give a gift
Unto the gods they worshipped there;
And God would tell all those at prayer
That they must listen to this king
As he would tell them everything
About his daughter and his wife,
He swore ‘twas true upon his life.
So from this vision he’d just seen
This king in wonder tried to glean
Just what it might have signified;
Episode #27: Pericles awakens and sees that the wind had turned. blowing towards the shore prophesied by his dream. He moors the ship and proceeds to the temple of Diane with offerings.
Word spreads and many people come to see the royal entourage. Inside the temple he brings his gifts and relates the story of all that has happened to him. His wife, being the priestess there, recognizes him, then runs to him and faints. She is revived and they embrace ecstatically. Everyone declares it to be a miracle, for which Cerymon is priased. Pericles invites hin to become his companion, and Cerymon agrees.
|And natheles, whan it was day,
He bad caste Ancher and abod;
And whil that he on Ancher rod,
The wynd, which was tofore strange,
Upon the point began to change,
And torneth thider as it scholde.
Tho knew he wel that god it wolde,
And bad the Maister make him yare,
Tofor the wynd for he wol fare
To Ephesim, and so he dede.
And whanne he cam unto the stede
Where as he scholde londe, he londeth
With al the haste he may, and fondeth
To schapen him be such a wise,
That he may be the morwe arise
And don after the mandement
Of him which hath him thider sent.
And in the wise that he thoghte,
Upon the morwe so he wroghte;
His doghter and his Sone he nom,
And forth unto the temple he com
With a gret route in compaignie,
Hise yiftes forto sacrifie.
The citezeins tho herden seie
Of such a king that cam to preie
Unto Diane the godesse,
And left al other besinesse,
Thei comen thider forto se
The king and the solempnete.
With worthi knyhtes environed
The king himself hath abandoned
Into the temple in good entente.
The dore is up, and he in wente,
Wher as with gret devocioun
Of holi contemplacioun
Withinne his herte he made his schrifte;
And after that a riche yifte
He offreth with gret reverence,
And there in open Audience
Of hem that stoden thanne aboute,
He tolde hem and declareth oute
His hap, such as him is befalle,
Ther was nothing foryete of alle.
His wif, as it was goddes grace,
Which was professed in the place,
As sche that was Abbesse there,
Unto his tale hath leid hire Ere:
Sche knew the vois and the visage,
For pure joie as in a rage
Sche strawhte unto him al at ones,
And fell aswoune upon the stones,
Wherof the temple flor was paved.
Sche was anon with water laved,
Til sche cam to hirself ayein,
And thanne sche began to sein:
"Ha, blessed be the hihe sonde,
That I mai se myn housebonde,
That whilom he and I were on!"
The king with that knew hire anon,
And tok hire in his Arm and kiste;
And al the toun thus sone it wiste.
Tho was ther joie manyfold,
For every man this tale hath told
As for miracle, and were glade,
Bot nevere man such joie made
As doth the king, which hath his wif.
And whan men herde hou that hir lif
Was saved, and be whom it was,
Thei wondren alle of such a cas:
Thurgh al the Lond aros the speche
Of Maister Cerymon the leche
And of the cure which he dede.
The king himself tho hath him bede,
And ek this queene forth with him,
That he the toun of Ephesim
Wol leve and go wher as thei be,
For nevere man of his degre
Hath do to hem so mochel good;
And he his profit understod,
And granteth with hem forto wende.
| When Sol’s first morning rays he spied,
With anchor raised he rides the waves,
Observing how the wind behaves.
Adversely had it blown before,
But now it turned, and towards the shore
His dream had prophesied, it blew;
Then that God willed it well he knew.
The captain of the ship he bade
To catch the wind with anchors weighed;
To Ephesus they sailed apace.
And when he came unto the place
Where he should land, he moored his ship
At once, and hasted to equip
Himself with all things needful so
That he at dawn could rise, and go
Accomplish the divine intent
Of Him who had him hither sent.
Exactly what he had conceived,
Upon the morrow he achieved.
He took his son and daughter fair,
And came unto the temple there.
A noble entourage he brings
To sacrifice his offerings.
Word traveled quickly on this day
Of such a king that came to pray
And pay his homage to Diane.
All dropped the their business as they ran,
And thither came to see the king
And witness this most solemn thing.
With worthy knights around arrayed
The king, with reverent mien displayed,
Rides to the temple to repose.
The door is raised and in he goes,
Where with devotion that befits
A man who unto God submits,
Confession in his heart he makes.
With him a costly gift he takes,
And offers it with reverence great,
Then he proceeds to perorate
To all of those who stood about;
He tells them and declares straight out
All that which to him had occurred,
He left out not a single word.
His wife, by Diane's grace, who there
Gave praise with litany and prayer,
For she served as the abbess here,
Unto his tale had lent her ear.
She knew the visage and the voice,
As in a rage she did rejoice;
She ran her long lost man to meet,
And swooned and fell down at this feet.
On stones that paved the temple floor.
They did upon her water pour,
Till to herself again she came,
Then in this wise she did exclaim:
"Ah, blest be that decree divine,
That I may see this husband, mine
Who erstwhile was at one with me!"
The king knew her at once, with glee
He took her in a rapt embrace,
Which soon was known throughout this place.
Here did abundant joy abound,
For all men spread this tale around.
A miracle it was declared,
But no man's joy could be compared
To this king who his wife regained.
And when to folks it was explained
How and by whom her life was saved,
About this miracle they raved.
Through all the land were voices raised;
As healer Cerymon was praised
As was this great physician's deed.
The king then summoned him to plead -
And with this did the queen agree -
That he agreeable would be
To go with them where e'er they will,
For ne'er a man of his great skill
Had done unto them so much good;
He saw the profit which he would
Derive and thus agreed to go.
Episode #28: Having concluded their business the fleet decides to stop at Tyre. There is a joyful welcoming as queen Thaisa and her daughter Thaise disembark. A great feast is held after which Pericles convenes a Parliament where he declares Athenagoras, lord of Mytilene, and his daughter Thaise to be the new rulers of Tyre
|And thus thei maden there an ende,
And token leve and gon to Schipe
With al the hole felaschipe.
This king, which nou hath his desir,
Seith he wol holde his cours to Tyr.
Thei hadden wynd at wille tho,
With topseilcole and forth they go,
And striken nevere, til thei come
To Tyr, where as thei havene nome,
And londen hem with mochel blisse.
Tho was ther many a mowth to kisse,
Echon welcometh other hom,
Bot whan the queen to londe com,
And Thaise hir doghter be hir side,
The joie which was thilke tyde
Ther mai no mannes tunge telle:
Thei seiden alle, "Hier comth the welle
Of alle wommannysshe grace."
The king hath take his real place,
The queene is into chambre go:
Ther was gret feste arraied tho;
Whan time was, thei gon to mete,
Alle olde sorwes ben foryete,
And gladen hem with joies newe:
The descoloured pale hewe
Is now become a rody cheke,
Ther was no merthe forto seke,
Bot every man hath that he wolde.
The king, as he wel couthe and scholde,
Makth to his poeple riht good chiere;
And after sone, as thou schalt hiere,
A parlement he hath sommoned,
Wher he his doghter hath coroned
Forth with the lord of Mitelene,
That on is king, that other queene:
And thus the fadres ordinance
This lond hath set in governance,
| Their business there was done, and so
They leave and to their ship repair
With all those who their journeys share.
This king, with his desires all met,
Says he his course to Tyre will set.
The wind at once began to blow,
Their sails unfurled and forth they go,
And lowered not, until they make
The port of Tyre, and haven take,
And disembark with major bliss.
There was there many a mouth to kiss,
Each welcomed home their loved ones, and
When Thasia set foot on the land,
With Thaise her daughter by her side,
There was of joy so great a tide
No tongue could find the words to tell:
They all did say, "Here comes the well
Of each and every womanly grace."
The king assumes his royal place,
The queen into her chamber goes:
A great feast was prepared for those
Who had returned, and as they dined,
All old cares were left far behind,
New joys and gladness now prevail.
Their hue, discolored once and pale,
Into a ruddy cheek now turns,
For other mirth nobody yearns,
Content are all with what they've got.
The king, as well he can and ought,
Makes all his people happy be;
Soon after, by his own decree,
A parliament he does command,
To meet and crown his daughter, and
Also the lord of Mytilene,
The one made king, the other queen.
And thus her father doth ordain
Who in the land should rule and reign,
Episode #29: Pericles readies a powerful fleet and proceeds to Tarsus where he is warmly greeted by the populace. After telling them what their evil king and queen had done, they agree to assist in administering retribution. They are siezed, drawn and hung, then burned and their ashes thrown to the wind.
|And seide thanne he wolde wende
To Tharse, forto make an ende
Of that his doghter was betraied.
Therof were alle men wel paied,
And seide hou it was forto done:
The Schipes weren redi sone,
And strong pouer with him he tok;
Up to the Sky he caste his lok,
And syh the wynd was covenable.
Thei hale up Ancher with the cable,
The Seil on hih, the Stiere in honde,
And seilen, til thei come alonde
At Tharse nyh to the cite;
And whan thei wisten it was he,
The toun hath don him reverence.
He telleth hem the violence,
Which the tretour Strangulio
And Dionise him hadde do
Touchende his dowhter, as yee herde;
And whan thei wiste hou that it ferde,
As he which pes and love soghte,
Unto the toun this he besoghte,
To don him riht in juggement.
Anon thei were bothe asent
With strengthe of men, and comen sone,
And as hem thoghte it was to done,
Atteint thei were be the lawe
And diemed forto honge and drawe,
And brent and with the wynd toblowe,
That al the world it myhte knowe:
And upon this condicion
The dom in execucion
Was put anon withoute faile.
And every man hath gret mervaile,
Which herde tellen of this chance,
And thonketh goddes pourveance,
Which doth mercy forth with justice.
Slain is the moerdrer and moerdrice
Thurgh verray trowthe of rihtwisnesse,
And thurgh mercy sauf is simplesse
Of hire whom mercy preserveth;
Thus hath he wel that wel deserveth.
| And then he said that soon he goes
To Tharse, to make an end to those
By whom his daughter was betrayed.
For this all men their glee displayed,
And guessed at how it might be done.
The ships were readied, every one,
A mighty power he did raise;
Up to the sky he cast his gaze,
And an auspicious wind he saw.
The anchor cable up they draw,
With sails unfurled, and wheel in hand,
He sails, until they come to land
Near Tharsus, city by the sea;
And when they knew that it was he,
The town with reverence him did greet.
The harm, to them he did repeat,
Which to him who sought love and peace,
Was done by wicked Dionise
And by Strangulio, the knave,
Regarding his fair daughter brave.
And when they knew what had gone down,
This he besought unto the town,
To help him see some justice done.
And they agreed with him, each one;
They raised a posse large and strong
To punish those who had done wrong,
Convicted were they by one tongue
And sentenced to be drawn and hung,
And burned, by wind their ashes blown,
That by the world their crimes be known.
This judgment could not be appealed
And so their awful doom was sealed,
And without fail was carried out.
And every man who heard about
This thing had cause to marvel at,
And thank God for His mercy that
With justice doth combine to bless.
The murderer and murderess
Are slain through righteousness and truth
To save the innocence in youth
Of her who mercy hath preserved
Thus each gets that which is deserved.
Episode #30: Word comes from Pentapolis that Simonides had died and that everyone there wants Pericles to come and reign in his stead. Although not stated explicitly, since he goes straight from Tarsus to Pentapolis without stopping in Tyre, Thaisa evidently accompanied him, for in Pentapolis they are both inaugurated, as king and queen.
|Whan al this thing is don and ended,
This king, which loved was and frended,
A lettre hath, which cam to him
Be Schipe fro Pentapolim,
Be which the lond hath to him write,
That he wolde understonde and wite
Hou in good mynde and in good pes
Ded is the king Artestrates,
Wherof thei alle of on acord
Him preiden, as here liege lord,
That he the lettre wel conceive
And come his regne to receive,
Which god hath yove him and fortune;
And thus besoghte the commune
Forth with the grete lordes alle.
This king sih how it was befalle,
Fro Tharse and in prosperite
He tok his leve of that Cite
And goth him into Schipe ayein:
The wynd was good, the See was plein,
Hem nedeth noght a Riff to slake,
Til thei Pentapolim have take.
The lond, which herde of that tidinge,
Was wonder glad of his cominge;
He resteth him a day or tuo
And tok his conseil to him tho,
And sette a time of Parlement,
Wher al the lond of on assent
Forth with his wif hath him corouned,
Wher alle goode him was fuisouned.
Lo, what it is to be wel grounded:
For he hath ferst his love founded
Honesteliche as forto wedde,
Honesteliche his love he spedde
And hadde children with his wif,
And as him liste he ladde his lif;
And in ensample his lif was write,
That alle lovers myhten wite
How ate laste it schal be sene
Of love what thei wolden mene.
For se now on that other side,
Antiochus with al his Pride,
Which sette his love unkindely,
His ende he hadde al sodeinly,
Set ayein kinde upon vengance,
And for his lust hath his penance.
| When all this business was behind
This king, heroic, good, and kind,
Hath a communiqué which from
Pentapolis to him had come,
By which he understood and knew
That Simonides to him true
And being of sound mind, in peace
Had from earth's cares obtained release,
Whereat of one accord they all
To him, their liege and lord, did call
That he would come to be their head
And reign in Simonides' stead,
As God has chosen him. As one
The commoners in unison
Spoke with the lords and all the great.
This king perceived the winds of fate,
And so to Tarsus said: "Adieu!"
And went with all his substance to
His ship and with his crew he sails:
Calm was the sea, there were no gales,
There was no need the wind to fight,
Until Pentapolis they sight.
And when they of his coming heard,
All in the land with joy were stirred.
He rests himself for several days
And then to counsel heed he pays,
And does a Parliament convene,
Whereat his wife is made a queen
And on his head a crown is placed;
And with abundance great he's graced.
This is in virtue to be grounded:
Feelings first on true love founded
Honorably lead to mating,
And with honor consummating,
They with children soon are blessed.
In his own way his life progressed,
As an example to portray
To lovers everywhere that they
Might know, if they do not ignore,
Of their love what could be in store.
For look now on the other side,
Antiochus, whose evil pride -
A love unnatural, unkind,
With vengeance always on his mind -
All suddenly his end did cause,
For violating nature's laws.