1615
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Penardo and Laissa. Caput. VIII.

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


Penardo is described in his new armor in a passage imitated from Spenser's famous description of Arthur in Faerie Queene 1.7.32: "Upone his downie cronne their stoode upright | A bunsh of plumes discolored diverslie | Spangled with spangs of gold and pearle whoes light | Daizled the sight of the beholders eye" Sig. E7v. He makes a bold speech, and his forces are described. The two armies join in a fierce encounter and Penardo slays Phelaston. The Datians are then reinforced by the Servians, led by Brando. The two commanders meet and Penardo is again victorious.



ARGUMENT.
Achaians fall fair Pallas doeth
Forsie long tyme before
And that Penardo should them raise
Unto their former gloir
The Aeneans tuo batales wine
And by the Prince alaine
The Transylvanian and the Servian
Disput; both ar slaine,

When as the Greciane gote this armour Io
Joves brain borne girl did gif him this command
That of this thing no creatur should know
Till he returnd unto his native land
Wheir to her name he should ane Altar rear
And secreitlie inclose this armour rheir.

The which he did with duetifull regaird
According to heighe Pallas her command
For loe that sacred altar up he raird
Their under layd the armour which they fand
Wheir it had lyine so many hundreyht yeirs
Un-found unmark'd unknowne as it appeirs.

Sum sayes that bright warlyk Pallas did forsie
Evne then, the ruine of Achaias croune
And that fair Lissa cause theirof should be
Trogh hir great bewtie of so hye renoune
Thus she provyds, forseis, prevents their fall
By means unsought, or unrequeird at all.

This brought Penardo out of Thessaly
From torment this fair virgine to releass
So faites ordaind such was his desteny
So heavns decreed her torment thus should ceass
O mightie Jove blesd be thy sacred name
That so prevents, forseis, remeids, our shame.

When they had brought this armour to the Prence
They fitted him so weell on everie part
As if they had bene made for that pretence
Who thus acouter'd with a loftie harte
Lyik Mars him self his countenance he bar
That thundred furth blood, victorie, and war.

This armour was with red vermilione rosd
And spangled thick with starrs of Indian gold
Whose cornert points with diamonds imbosd
And sylver branches that the starrs uphold
He goes they glance they shyne while as he sturd
Of all has praisd, regairdst, lovd, admyrd.

His hautie helmet guildet all with gold
Whoes shynning brightnes trembling terror bred
Ow'r all his creist an Eggle did unfold
His goldim winges which proudlie overspred
The shynning helme and with his tallones wyde
He seemd to tear the metall in his pryde.

Upone his downie cronne their stoode upright
A bunsh of plumes discolored diverslie
Spangled with spangs of gold and pearle whoes light
Daizled the sight of the beholders eye
Their shaddowes in the Eggls eyes did glance
That seemd right glad of this their dalliance.

So does a tall and loftie Cedar show
That growes on top of mightie Parnass montane
The myldest blast that Zephyrus can blow
Maks all his leaves to tremble on the fontane
Or Cynthia lyk in silent night that shawes
Her beam's to daunce and glance one Thetis wawes:

Of burnisht steill his glanceing sheild it shone
The true presage of his ensewing dayes
Wheir sat a lady on a crimsone throne
A knight lay prostrat at her feitt who sayes
Ah Fates your fearce Decree I surelie prove
That keeps her hart from all the darts of love.

His mortall blad did semlie hing with hold
Within a sylver sheath wrought curiouslie
The hiltes wer of the fynnest burnisht gold
Which pearle and saphyre stones did beautefie
No metall nor enchantment could resist
This murthring blade when ever his owner list.

And armed thus he red upon a steid
Whoes pryd with pransing beatts the groneing ground
And champing on his foamme bitt with dreid
Wold seim with trampling noye the aer to wound.
By loftie volts and ravets showing still
How glade he was t' obey his masters will,

Who manag'd him so weell at wisht contents
With turns and curbits heir and their removes
And when he slakt the rayns his loftie sprents
Wold skairslie tipp the trembling earth with hoves
And glad of such a Maister matchles rare
With swift impetuos speid wold peirce the aer.

Off was his helme, his amorous face and eyes
Lyke Hesper shynd amongst the lesser lights
His countenance still promest victories
Fair smyling, sweitt, and pleasant in their sights
A light but fyre a hart but fear or dreid
A lamp unqueinshd a mynd unconquered

Then love him self more sweit his countenance
Wheir grace lay hid in glanceing beauties lap
Still sending with each smyle, each look, each glance
A thousand amours that the senses rap
With all delight at last he breathed forthe
True valour vertue wonder glorie worthe,

Brave Bretherine and Campanions all in wear
Remember your Forefathers loftie feat's
Our sweit Thessalian soyle did only bear
Those mightie mynds that all the earth abaits
Our natione with our Jason left their soyle
To gaine the glorie of the goolden spoyle.

What braver spreits in Greece then hath bein ours
What greatter glorie then our countrey wan?
What manlie mynds and mightie Conquerour's
But we may claime ay since the world began
Yea if we look our lyns discents and bloods
Wei'll shame to flie from worlds of multituds.

But leave we honor, fame discent, and blood,
Remember onlie whom with all we deall
With Pag'anes, spoylars of the christian Good
The antient foes of Greece we must assayle
Nay foes I shame to call them not but Theves
On robrie theft, spoyle, prey, and pillage leeves.

Their Captane strong Phelaston strong I know
Tho cald so stout so strong so fearce in fight
Tho Persians, Syrans, and Arabiams too
He foyls yet hes not feltt the Graecian might
Those naked, bare, unarmmed fear maks fall
Bot hautie Greeks surpas them, him, and all

Great victorie by this brave feght shall come
The daunger nothing and the labour small
Some fearfull strengthles, hairtles, mightles, some
Before our face they fear, they flie, they fall
What neid we mor bat kill tak, stay, and chace?
Envy, stryf, discord, throw them flies a pace.

Whereat the armie gave a joyfull cry
And willinglie they rank them selfs the whyle
Their Captanes and commanders joyfullie
Did cheere them up with the reward of spoyle
Ther breists ar sweld with conquest courage wrath
The roaring trumpet's sounds blood, warr, and death.

The Prince his battells ordored in this sort
By Mandadorus was the unegaird led
To whom tuo thousand fotemen did rosurt
Of Aneans a thousand horse he had
Who looks lyk hungrie Lyons whill they go
That wrath warre blood and veangeace doeth foreshow

Phenabon prince of Thays the reirward had
Equall in nombre wepins arm's devyce
Belmondo duike of Toropeia led
The batall great that was as mony twyce
All those for warre wer borne in warre they floorisht
In travells great, great paine great danger nurisht

The Prince him self wold not in battell stand
But with tuo thousand mightie men of armes
Would geve supplie wheir any want he fand
And with fresh ayde would still revenge their harmes
Whille as he said Brave Brotherin let me sie.
That if they fle thei'r slaine, if feght they die.

Now by this tyme the Prince Phelaston had
His armie weel in battel ranck arayed
And with new hope their fanting harts he fed
That nothing now but courage in them stay it
His venegaird was fyve thousand at the least
Led by a migtie Pagane Alphorest.

Lagone the reirwaird led a Pagane good
Wheir was fyve thousand bold strong hardy stout
And with him self the greattest battel stood
Ten thousand strong but fear but care but doubt
Thus martching both they joune the trumpetts sounds
At whoes hudge noyes both heaven'e and earth redounds

Lyke to the blasts of boystrous Boreas
That hurl's with haistie wings from hiest heav'ne
With thundring joyes and threatning glorious
To shak the Earths fundatione fondlye dreven
Blasting the heavens' that back redounds his blowes
Beatting' the earth and billowing Seas that showes.

With swelling waves to soare in loftie skyes
Disdaining the governement he keip's
Thath causeth all their watrie empyr's ryes
From silent moveing in the lowest deip's
Raising hudge mont's one. Neptun's azure plaine
In foamie drops he throuws them doune againe.

And up agane through aerie waults from sea's
His bloustring blasts from North to South he sends
Crushing the clouds that fast before him flies
Togither dash't their broken ranks discends
In tearie drops as if they seem'd to weip
That he so great governament should keip,

Evne so these mightie men of armes did crushe
With furious strenght their weapones each on other
Hudge drops of bloode in stream's did alwayes gush
The streams in floods the fluds brought Seas together
That drops, and strem's and floods, and seas took pairt
To drinshe, to dashe, to droune, the Martial hart.

The rank's that stiflie stands agenst ther foes
Fall's doune in slap's waltring in bloodie stryn'ds
Wheron freshe ranks (still marching) bravely goes
Out ov'r the bellies of their deing freinds
Not yelding to their foes till ether syde
Does sacrafice their soulls to swelling pryde.

Now whilst on evrie syd they fearslie fight
The wantguards met with mightie strength and boste
Wheir Alphorest the Pagane shew his might
Before his feit lay manie deing ghoste
Till Mandadorus saw such havok their
Wheir Alphorest did feght he did repair.

And Alpharest (that lyk a Lyoune bears
Him self) espyd the Prince of Meson by
To red him self of commone souldeours feirs
His bloes seem'd lightning thundert throw the sky.
And then he lent the Prince a mightie bloe
That almost from his horse he forcd him goe

But he acquyts him lighting on his hand
That hand and sword, and all, fell to the ground
And wheir his visar louse he lykewayes fand
He made him, their receave his fatall wound
The Pagans now began to fear and fant
When as their mightie leadder thus they want.

And by this tyme the greattest battel flies
Evne their wheir as the Transysvanian stoode
For that Penardo with his freshe supplies
Had brok in throw their rancks embrew'd whith blood
So that in generall all began to flie
Except Phelaston their would bravelie die

And sure that day his admirable might
If I sould pas untold I wer to blame
For that him self alone in single fight
Had slaine thrie knights of great and famous name
Lighosthon, Guelpho, Meldabreid, at lenth
By cruell death had felt his mighte strength

Nor those alone by his accursed hand
Depryv'd of lyfe of soule of breath did lye
But Oerard, Ormond, Groian, by his brand
Were slane all Knights of noble progenie
With many mo he in that fatall stryfe
Hurt, feld, or bruis'd, or then bereft of lyfe.

Penardo still that followed on the chaise
Belmondo and Phenabon he espy'd
Both by one Knight wer put to great distres
Ther armour all with crimsone blood was dy'd
In greattest hast if he had not come to theme
That Knight alone was lyke for to undo theme.

Yet woundring that such woundrous force could be
In one to foyle such fomous Knights as they
And piteing that other syde should die
He trusts him self betuein and bids them stay
And to Phelaston sayes heir ar no foes
Bot from his brand he answerd him whith bloes.

Then he commands those tuo to stande asyde
The furious Pagane feiresie he assaild
His thristie blade oft in his bloode he dyed
At everie stroak his armour he dismaild
With equall strengthe the Pagane countervaild him
Showing his woundrous valour no thing faild him.

The Pagane raisd his sanguin sword on hie
Discharging blowes upone his helmet strong
Whill fyrie starr's out of his eyes did flie
His mouth furth-casting streams of bloode along
Wheirfore he now whith wrath shame raige and woundre
Send bloes lyik lightning tempest, storme, and thunder.

Theirwith redoubled was the Pagans ire
Who said shall one poore knight my strenth recall
And so agane the Prince receavd his hyre
That tuyce he reild and reddie tuyce to fall
At last he blush't for shame and shook for wrath
Requyting shame whith foyle, disgrace with death.

This was the Transylvanian fearce and strong
Whom he had slaine, and forward then he past
And put him self among's the Pag'anes throng
Which scattred chac'd, and slaine to ground he cast
As sand before the northerne blast furth fleis
So fled those troup's, and fleing fall's, and deis,

Weriet with killing then they sound retrait
From sending Pagans soul's to Plutos ports
Wheir of a now I cease for to repait
Whill as to them more danger still resorts
For loe a greatter host they might descry
With standarts wafting in the aerie sky.

Amaz'd they stoode and knew not what it mein'd
At last the Prince undanted courage shew
By trumpets sound he causd them be conveind
And thus said he itt is not tyme to rew
Keip what your valour courage might and strenth
Has bravelie wone, and win you shall at lenthe.

Ranck then your self's while Courage you releeve
Let fear flie hence to mynds effeminat
These mynds to martiall glory doos atchyve
Whoes lyfes to hasards bold ar consecrat
Doe from your hands, your swords your harts, your eies
Strenth, valour, conquest victorie furth flies.

Then willinglie they call for battell new
Still thirsting after glorie to aspyre
Their bloodles face and trembling voices shew
That wrath within their breist had kendled fyre
The warre-lyk noyes of trumpets roaring breath
Steird horse to courage and the men to wrath.

And now began the feght more sharpe, and thin
Now their encounters crewell hand to hand
The Datians feghts to keip what they had win
The Grecians to releve their native land
Their victorie and courage mand the feild
Their come revenge to force those tuo to yeild,

Yet wer the Datians stout in daungers strong
Their bodies freshe not woundit bruisd nor bleeding
Their first assault was scarce and lasted long
Them selfs within the Gretians ground intruding
But Prince Penardo blamd their fainting harts
Whose brave example promeisd heighe deserts.

And formast then he led them throw their foes
With deip impressiones in theis Squadrons great
His sword so broad a way had made for thoes
That followed him with hope, strength, raige, despy.
While now the Datians seemd to rander back
Their new rest ground a reall mends to mack,

But not content with this him self he thrust
With his brave guarde of Princes lords and Knights
Gainst the great bodie of the battell first
The which he shuik and breck with stragling flights
Transported so with courage might and strengthe
Furth throw his foes he leaves his guarde at lengthe.

Wheir he his overflowing valour showes
His sword that seemd his danger for to know
Such havock made among his fainting foes
That he was stronglie now intrinsht and soe
Deid corps wer forts whoes bloodie ditches shoes
Teir, terrour, dreid, and death to all his foes.

Brave Brando than the Serviane drawing neir
The great Commander of these mightie maits
Began his woundrous valour to admeir
He loud his deids though their effects he haits
This was the Serviance Disput whom before
Phelaston send his ayde for to implore.

Penardo slew and hurt and chac'd his foes
None lev'd but these who fled his angrie wrath
He lyke a wyld and hungrie Lyone goes
From place to place and with him dreidfull death
But seing then no foe gainstands his rage
He stayes and staying does his wrath asswage.

As winds gainstand by woods hills tours or walls
The buildings shaks and tries by roots uptears
Whil over the oppin plains he myldlie swalls
Evne so Penardos wrath he calmely beirs
When none his strength his will his raige assayld.
But Brando him at length to feght appeald.

And whill their eyes did draw them both in sight
Their mynds consents to combat not agreing
Wheirwith they now begine a famous fight
Whoes bravery was beheld with thousands deinge
Who raird their heids a loft their lyfes renew
In deaths despight that combat for to vew.

Their noyes how much inferiour to the rest
So much superiour they in skilfull fight
Their courage was by skill governed best
Their skill secundit by their strength and might
Their terrour pleasur showes, unto the eye
Wheir strength with skill and witt with wrath agrie.

Both valiant and both despysing death
Both confident not us'd to be ow'r come
Yet doubtfull bothe bothe forcd to draw their braith
Uniting all their strength they chang'd their roume
With leaps and turn's, their hands wer agill parts
Watchfull their eyes and resolute their Harts.

Eache stryveing still as Conquerour to be
Their bloes lyk thunder lights on evry syde
Brando (that nere before such force did sie)
Thus to be matcht for rage and swelling pryde
He thinks of this their fight to mak ane end
With all his force a furious bloe he send.

Which lighted on Penardos head so sore
That his remembrance left her batterd ludge
At which advantage he redoubling more
Had sensles leyd him with his bloes so hudge
The Prince with shame and paine enduring longe
His bloes so heavie great, sore fearce, and strong.

But then O then who would have sein his face
Shame in his cheiks revenge into his eyes
And now to win his honor lost apace
He waits till fitt advantage he espyes
Uniting raige, and skill, and strength in one
He lights upon his helmet which anone.

He clave; the murdring blade that dounewarde forc't
Maks passage for his soule whom he commands
To overrune Phelastons wearye Ghoste
And first to gett a kisse of Plutos hands
And tell him from Penardo that he will
With Paganes soules his darkest regions fill,

The Datians that saw their Campione fall
Began to mak their feitt their best defence
Penardo and his chosen traine with all
So stuft the chace that in their fleing hence
Tuelve thousand skars assuadged their furious hait
While sable darknes made them sound retrait.

This was beginning of Penardos praise
This tyme, his fame through all the earthe proceids
This day, his tropheis to the heavns did raise
This was the birth day of his valorous deids
That hard it was to judge in generall
Whither he was most loud, or feird of all.

But Night that for her nevoyes did lament
In sable black attyre bevayl'd their woe
Hanging her head sad, louring, discontent
That day their shame unto the world should show
To keip unknowne their fault, their flight, their feir.
She darknes breath'd throw heavne throw earth throw aer

And by this tyme the skoutts and watch was set
The Captanes brings their lord into his tent
Then evry man unto his rest was let
That efter paine sum pleasur might be lent
Thus being cairles of their farther stryfe,
This first night was the last night of their lyfe.

[sigs E7-F7]

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