Shakescleare Translation

Pericles Translation Act 5, Chorus

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Marina thus the brothel 'scapes, and chances Into an honest house, our story says. She sings like one immortal, and she dances As goddess-like to her admired lays; Deep clerks she dumbs; and with her needle composes Nature's own shape, of bud, bird, branch, or berry, That even her art sisters the natural roses; Her inkle, silk, twin with the rubied cherry: That pupils lacks she none of noble race, Who pour their bounty on her; and her gain She gives the cursed bawd. Here we her place; And to her father turn our thoughts again, Where we left him, on the sea. We there him lost; Whence, driven before the winds, he is arrived Here where his daughter dwells; and on this coast Suppose him now at anchor. The city strived God Neptune's annual feast to keep: from whence Lysimachus our Tyrian ship espies, His banners sable, trimm'd with rich expense; And to him in his barge with fervor hies. In your supposing once more put your sight Of heavy Pericles; think this his bark: Where what is done in action, more, if might, Shall be discover'd; please you, sit and hark.


So Marina escapes the brothel and, according to our story, finds some decent work. She sings beautifully, dances to her songs like a goddess, amazes scholars with her wisdom, and can sew anything (a bud, a bird, a branch, or a berry) perfectly realistically. Her embroidered roses are twins to those that grow in the earth; the cherries she sews with silk and inkle look just like the real thing. She teaches children of the local nobility and, when their parents pay her, she's forced to give her earnings to the Bawd, that awful woman. We'll leave Marina here and go back to her father at sea. We lost him there, but now the winds have driven him here, where his daughter is; he just docked. From the middle of a festival celebrating Neptune, Lysimachus sees the ship approach with fancy black sails, and rows out in his own boat to check it out. Think back to poor Pericles and imagine this is his ship. You'll like what happens next; sit and listen.