1615
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Penardo and Laissa. Caput. III.

The First booke of the famous Historye of Penardo and Laissa other ways callid the Warres, of Love and Ambitione. Doone in Heroik Verse, by Patrik Gordon.

Patrick Gordon


Alecto ascends, and sends a flattering vision to Phedro's son Phelarnon; he is commanded to make a journey: "For know Parnassus mightie mont retains | That which should raise thy glorie to the skyes | So fates decreis and so the Heavens ordains | Heighe Jove the wills from sluggish rest to ryes" Sig. B7v. As Phelarnon approaches Hippocrene amid thunder and smoke, he is hailed by the mysterious voice of the enchanter Mansay: "Death the abyds upone, Parnassus montane | If thow approache too neir the sacred fontane" Sig. C. Rather than fly, he wanders into an adjacent grove (with the traditional catalogue of trees) where he spies a half-naked damsel. It is his sister. As Phelarnon considers ravishing her, Laissa awakes and the brightness of her eye compels him to back away.



ARGUMENT.
Alecto moves Achaias Prince
Fair Helicon to vew
Butt Mansay of the flamming rock
Forbids his jornay new
When unto Helicon he cam
Laissa he espyes
Whom he for Sister does not know
And wold with love surpryse.

Melpomene now gone, the furie streight
Directs her course up to the light of day
Devysing what way best to frame this slight
And so bethinks her on a strainge essay
A slight, a falsed, and a curs'd revenge
A creweltie, a plague, that seemeth strainge

And thus it was the for said Phedro had
A laufull Sone Phelarnon cald by name
Whos prais and mereits was so lairgly spred
His father joyid of such a Galants fame
Alecto him from rests hey tour broght doune
To search for honour and to find renoune.

When lazie night with sable wings ov'r-spread
The cristall sphers, and dim'd the azure Light
Sleip buried men in rest from labor fred
In Sleip Phelarnon sies ane Angell bright
To him appeir and his walk braine tormented
With vision strange at last those words presented

Fair Prince as Nature has ordaind the strong
Of goode proportioune with a verteous mynd
Yea of thy Martiall self must be the song
Of after living Poets as we fynd
Nature in the those gifts has no wayes showne
To burie them unto the world unknowne

Who so wold win renoune he thus proceids
Up to the throne or Theatre of glorie
The first rewarde of heigh and noble deids
Must be to act the deid (Whos endles storie)
shall be reveiv'd with never dyng Fame
In Tyms steill books to etermize thy name

Yea verteous woorth but glorie can not be
Glorie on Vertue waits wheir ere she goes
(Evne as thy shadow followes still on thee)
And all Her deids to endles Fame she showes
Thus his desyre, his mynd, his will, and all
She fram'd to worke his wrak, his death his fall

Lastlie with flattrie thus the feind essayes
Brave Youth begot of royall race and birth
How spends thou so into obscure thy dayes;
This stains thy valour and thy woundrous woorth
Go then to Parnass mont extoll thy name
With vertue, wounder, valour, glorie fame

For know Parnassus mightie mont retains
That which should raise thy glorie to the skyes
So fates decreis and so the Heavens ordains
Heighe Jove the wills from sluggish rest to ryes
This said to shaples aershe takes her flight
But left his hart impoyson'd with her slight

For whill she spak his spreit she did in spyre
With hote desyre of honor glorie fame
He wa'k't, he Blush't, his eyes did flamm with fyre
Whill strengthe and courage stroave with slouth and shame
Her stronge and venom'd word's suche vertue had
They Hope, desyre, strength, courage, valour bred.

And by this tyme fair Phoebus ishewing out
Did beautifie with brightnes of his beams
Fair Leucotheas foreheid round about
Rysing above the wavie Oceane stream's
Athon, and Phlegon trampling clouds that powrs
Melted by fyre breath in silver showr's.

Getting a tincture to the Spiders wheb's
Waveing above dame Floras fragrant poses
Upon sweit smelling birkes and tender shrob's
Greine leaves and prickles of vermiliane roses
Whill Aeoll breaths, their prettie tops declyning
They daunce, they glance, they smyl on Phoebus shyning

Not only heir alone fair Phoebus shaw's
One Neptuns glassie glistring back he playes
Upon whoes restles never ceassing waves
He combs his crispe irradiant heir whoes rayes
Wold seeme to set the hiest heavns on fyre
Whill in our Hemispere is his empyre.

But suddenlie to darknes turn'd the day
From skyes heavne threatned earthe with roaring thunder
That man and beast and feinds in hell affray
Heavens fyre did seeme to tear the earthe a sunder
Which of this Monarches fall did warning make
Of death, of bloode, of ruine, and of wrake

Ah flattrie wyld and most pernicious
The mask of malice mover of mischeif
The Father old of lies most vitious
The Nurse of falshood, and the ground of greif
The fall of kingdomes, Princes and estates
The cause of murther, sinck, of all deceat's

The map or purtrat of Hypocresie
Usurping once the office of a freind
Thou beirs the name and voyce so cunninglie
As if the knott of freindship wer combin'd
In the, (while lyik a Slave thouw serves the will)
Yet fram's desyre to the desing's of ill.

Thus unto man a Slave thou seem's to be
And yet thou still obtains the masters hyre
Tho art Conquerour of womens chastitie
And ov'r their Sex thow beirs a proud empyre
The sharpe rebuk's of freinds ar better far
Nor suggred words of anie flatterer

As cunning Foullers drawes (with craftie flight)
The fouls into the traine for theme devysd
Or fishers that allures the fishe by sight
Of bait which pray has them to death entys'd
So flattrie leids a man to his owne fall
His shame, his wrack, his death disgrace, and all

As Syrens doe (with sweetest sounding songs)
Enchaunt the Sea-mans hart, his ears, his eis.
That them to heare ay more and more he longs
Thither direct'd his winged vessel flies.
Till shee is clift-upon the craggie shore
And then the monstre does the man devoure.

So Sycophants allures thy mynd and thence
In flamm's desyre when from their lip's does flow
Stream's rivers floods nay sea's of eloquence.
That drouns the Senses with a pleasant show
Of all delight yet proves deceat and pain
Which heir is shown'e by falce Alectos train:

Whoes fyre in flam'd the brave Phelarnon's mynd
That up he rose to vew Parnassus montane
And from his fathers court (insecreir kynd)
He stole unsein to sie the sacred fontaine
While by the way his hope, his hairt, his thought
For praise, woorth, valour, and renoune, they sought

While he drew neir the mount he stoode to wonder
The earthe begone to tremble quack and rapp
As if it would have rent and brust a sunder
With trembling noyes lyik to a thunder clapp
At last he on a fearfull flamme did look
Cum frome a cave enrold in clouds of smook,

He (whoes undanted spright nought could effray)
To know this strange adventure wold draw neir
Frome out the flamme he hard a voyce to say
Ah wofull Prince Phelarnon back reteir
Death the abyds upone, Parnassus montane
If thow approache too neir the sacred fontane

He stoode as one amaz'd to heir his name
So cald upon, by whome he could not know
At last as one awakned frome a dreame
He sayd what ghost so er'e thou be but show
Thy name, and why thou threattins me with death
Their of no sign's appeir, I live I breath.

The voice agane made answer to the Prince
My name is Mansay of the flamming rock
That in the bowel's of the earth far hence
(By magick spells) fore saw thy fatall chok
For this heavne threatning mont whoes streams falls doun
Conteins thy wrack and ruine of thy croune.

Wheir fore flie back and leave thy fond conceat
Mar not thy mynd with suche a frantick storie
Learne for to eternize thy endles deate
In anticque roll's of fame with Martiall glorie
Leave to the Muses their divorc'd empyre
Be not ov'r cum with loves alluring fyre

And thus fairweel new visions calls me hence
At those his words the Prince amazed stands
He neids wold now returne but no defence
Was left Alectos flattrie him commands
To go and sett all dastard fear apairt
It is not words but deids that kills the hairt

This was Laissas brother certanlie
Achaias king of children hade no more
For all men deem'd Laissa for to be
Dround by Kalander as ye harde before
Alecto (that foull feind the Prince,) has led
Of Lissa fair to be enamoured.

And so resolvd he mounted up so hye
That by this tyme the chariot of the Sune
Had neir hand reacht the top of all the skye
From whoes reflex all creaturs doeth shune
Them selfs; and so he sies a grove of tries
Whoes loftie tops did seeme to threat the skies.

Wheirto Phelarnon hastelie did goe
They promeist aide the heat for to with stand
Wheir Sommers blossomes made a seemlie show
So thick that heat nor cold no entraunce fand
Whose smell a swit ambrosiall odour throves
Furth throuw the plains the medowes and the groves.

He much admeird those tries so straight and fyne
The Cedar Elme, and Oak, the Ciprus fair
The Esp, the Esh, the Popler, and the Pyne
The Lourell, Ew, the Raintrie, Willow rair
The Birk, the, Olyue, Sallow, and the Mirrhe
The Mazer, Beitche, the Birsell, and the Firre.

There was he led throuw Naturs woundrous store
Whill chirming birds did toune their chanting lay's
Unto a sylver brook that sweetlie rore
Whoes murmur on the trembling Pebles play's
Their roaring musick Echo back resounds
From hollow caves, heigh rock's, and whisling winds

And whil he travel'd throuw these path's unknowne
He suddanlie was ravish'd with delight
Of ane fair Ladie who to him was showne
All naked saife her smoak, and sleipping streght
Beautie wold neids triumphe and love should wonder
Love bred delight, and courious sight bred wonder

Her armes owr'croce her comely brest that hings
As if they wold defend it frome assault
Of frantick Love who with displayed wings
Above her in the are was finding falt
That Jove sutch sacred treasur would pas by
Whome Juno skarce could keip above the sky.

Her long small hands as lillis whitte did seeme
To joy for being amorous eache of other
Their soft embracements sweit they did esteeme
Whill as their fingers link't in pair's together
Her yvorie monts (to whose aspyring top's
Blew asure conducts drew sweit Nectar drop's)

Humbled them self unto her corall lipps
Who in their pretious purple painting dye
Tuo rainge of orientiall pearle eclipse
From wounding sight of peirsing mortall eye
What carles sleip neglect's by curious chance
In ordour lyes her beautie to advance.

Her muskie breath still mounting in the skie
Whose smook lyik sweit perfume infects the air
Her deip and hollow throat continually
Sends furth a dulce and dolfull sound of care
Wheir with sum skalding sighes wer interlynd
Whoes munting shew the sorow of her mynd.

Her daintie limbs wer shed with flourie knop's
Who loath to part from such a galant prey
Made leavie mantles of their loftie top's
To hyde her daintie skine from heat of day
And flourisht fairer then they did before
Provyding crouns and garlands for her glore.

Evn'e as the Lyzard through the flourie grase
Beholds a mans fair visage whill he sleip
Thither to haist she craull's with speedie pase
And of her brood her kendlinges, taks no keip,
She lyes she looks, she loves, and taks delight
To sie his face, and surfeit one the sight

So whill the Prince beheld the sleiping Mayde
The beautie of her lovely countenance
Delight, love, wounder, and amazement bred
He stoode he stear'd he gaiz'd at evry glance
He blush'd; to looke wheir touche (no looks) have part
Yet lookd, till looks in lust, hade droun'd his hart

Whill carles sleip thus naked had her left
Left was the Prince in wounder, love, delight.
Delight his hart out throuw his eyes had reft
Reft with each looke each thought each glace each sight
Sight wounder, love delight, amaizment breidinge
Hope, passione, heat, desyre one lust still feiding.

At last resolvid with silent noyes drew neir
To act this furious wofull tragedie
Not knowing that it was his Sister deir
Whom he wold now bereave of chastitie
But O he feird that heaven's revenging flame
Wold plague him if he wrong'd that Virgine Dame.

And now he back reteirs with silent pace
And shrouds him in a shaddow grove frome sight
Wheir he might still behold her lovlie face
Whill she awaking frome a trubled spright
With sobs, with sighes, with grones, with tears she sayes
Ah haven's too long your justest vengeance stayes.

But shameing' thus to sie her self so bare
She drawes her to her garmends neir hand bye
And being cled she seemed thryce so fair
That dimd the sight of any mortall eye
None might abyd her blazing starr's bright glance
Which back reverberats their radiance,

Not muche unlyk Apollos goldin light
You first his drousie eyes may weel espy
When he from watrie Thetis taks his flight
And first begins to mount the azure sky
But whane on tope of hiest heaven's he stands
No ey his ey, no looke his looke, with stands.

Ev'ne so whill she did sleip he might descry
The lovelines and lustre of her face
But being wakned now her cheirfull ey
Furth throwes his spangling reyes in every place
Whose peircing glance with flamming hote desyre
Threw lightnings furth, and set the skyes on fyre

The Prince Phelarnon byds no longer sight
But goes unto the fontane by and by
She that had never seine ane armed Knight
(Before that tyme) geve out a fearfull cry
And fled he praes'd with flattring praise to prove her
She knew no love, no flattrie then could move her.

[sigs B6v-C4]

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