1615
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Penardo and Laissa. Caput. IX.

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


Advised that a new host is advancing towards them, Penardo praises his soldiers and encourages them to fight for glory. The Greeks are much outnumbered and the battle goes badly. Penardo slays a series of pagan chieftains, only to see his own forces dwindle; he apologizes to his father that "Of fourtein thousand which he brought away | Their was not tuentie left alyve that day" Sig H1v. Sigismund and the king of Thessaly withdraw, and Penardo wanders away, mournful and alone.



ARGUMENT.
The Aeneans full of fortitude
With valourous despyt
Encounters mightie Sigismund
And all his armie gryt
But they ar slaine, Penardos deids
Wins glorie and renoune
Old Grodan comes to his releif
And vanquish'd Sigismund.

When of bright heavne the orientall gate
Lyik glistring gold wyde oppin did appeir
Wheir Phoebus in his glorious coathe was sett
From wearie night both heavne and earth to cleir
His goldin loks about his shoulders lyes
That throwes their glistring beams throw gloomie skyes

And daunceing now one trembling Thetis bak
Penardos skoutts they doe returne on hast
And shew the Prince that they had sein the tract
Of more then fourscoir thousands at the least
With goldin arm's and sylver shynning sheilds
That martch'd within a league out ow'r the feilds,

This was great Sigismund ye hard of yore
Whom Brando did adverteis long ago
Who hard of these that fled the day before
Of all that past into the battells tuo
And hasting to revenge his subjects lost
Was come so near with this his mightie host.

Great is that woundrous vertue can resist
And boldlie feght gainst all extremitie
That for no fear of danger will desist
From honors deids, disdaining miserie
Nor for no force can ever' be forcd to yeild
Bott gainst all daunger proves a mightie sheild.

(This vertue rare) feare fortitude does claime
As due to her, that for no greif can groane
Her works ar constant and she feirs no shame
For reassone reuls her stayd opinione
She works by courage and true valour gyds her
She feirs no foe, nor from no hazard hyds her.

If fortitude have in our mynds no place
Nor rewll as sovering Quene ore all the rest
Owr works owr deides our actiones has no grace
She wyslie ponders both the warst and best
To lyfe she geves a lustre radiant
And croun's our deids with honors ornament.

For lo indeid the brave Thessalians
Wer cround with all the fructs of Fortitude
First in their mynds was great magnificence
Attemping things heighe excellent and goode
Nixt confidence in their most valiant hairts
Bred hope of goode event for their deserts.

And thridlie patience was their mightie guyde
In suffring for their countrey and their fame
And lastlie with perseverance did abyde
In their opinione fermelie fearing shame
Yea evrie one with other seemd to stryve
Who best should use these vertues four alyve.

Which pitie drawes from roode Barbarian hairts
The feircest Tyrants crewell mynd doeth wound
To sie them (whoes unmatchable deserts
Deservis with endles glory to by cround)
Feght in their owne defence half dround in blood
Not slaine but smotherd with hiuge multitude.

Their matcheles mightie Gen'rall was not last
That brave Penardo whom the world admeirs
Whom death nor danger could not make agast
In him true valorous Fortitude appeirs
Who Angel-lyk in voyce, in face, in speiche
Thus sweitlie, meiklie, homely did beseiche.

My Frends (quod He) of you I made a choice
Not for your valours proof so much of fame
Bot ev'n becaus I knew you to be those
That more account did mak of honors Name
Nor goods nor riches, worldly welth, nor gaine
Nor lyf, nor death, nor pleasure, nor of paine.

This Honor now which you so long have sought
Wheirof so cairfully yow mak account
So well, yow have atchyv'd tho deirlie bought
That to hir throne this last day yow did mount
Lo now this day she offers for to croune yow
And mak the world yea heav'ne it self renoun yow.

For Honors croune so precious is, that nought
Within the ten fold orbs of heav'ne, remains
Compaird to it the whiche has ay bein sought
And for it all the world has tane suche pains
From age to age from tyme to tyme we sie
All sues for Honour glorie dignitie.

For ev'ne the basest sort will not refuse
Paine travell danger yea nor death at length
For it; whill as the braver mynds do chuse
With hazards great to win that glorious strength
So did the Macedonian bold and stout
That victor went the solid glob throughout

Still carles he, still fearles did he venter
Perswadit still to win and never to lose
No thought of lose into his mynd could enter
Such was his courage gainst his fainting foes
By hazards, Fortun thus hir walth dispons
For hope bred Hap, and Honor both at'ons,

Who gainst great Darius Monarch of the east
Twyce fought and yet not thryce our number past
Four hundreth thousand Perseans at the last
Encounterd him yet wan he first and last
But you may say they wer the Greeks that wan
Ar we not Greeks as well as they wer than.

Yes we ar Greeks Honor for ws preservs
The croune he took such travell to obtaine
Tuyce was he proved wheir to his courage servs
Us also twyce, the thrid does yit remaine
The which she keips that we may win the croune,
With al his fame, his glorie, his renoune.

Then deirest freinds considder what we ar
And who we ar, of whom we ar discendit,
To win the croune we ventred have to far
If lyf in death, honor in shame be endit
This jemme, this croun, this garland yow should have
Shall those weak, feble, faint, from yow bereave.

No no but let us ayme at Honor ever
Base fear dar not assayle a mightie mynd
Let honest shame ws guide and let us never
Care for this lyfe once we must die by kynd
A noble hart has only to his lot
To fear for nothing bot dishonors blot

The happiest Prince that ov'r a Natione regnes
Is he whoes people standeth more in aw
Of filthie shame or of dishonors stings
Then of the streittest or severest law
Then let me have that happie Prince his station
And let you be that ever happie Natione.

Nether deir Bretherien do as I have sayde
Bot also as my deids shall after show
Before your eyes instructioune have I layde
And next myne owne example shall ye know
As He who by your valours must obtain
The greattest glorie that on erth remain,

Then galents show your selfs true Greeks in wear
And onlie ask wheir is your Enemis
True Greecians disdaine for to inqueir
What numbre or what multitude they be
For in their multitude their Hope remains
Bot truest valour victorie obtains.

With those his words his face did shyne so cleir
That conquest flow'd in streams from his fair eyes
And on his lovely forheid did appeir
Grace, valours, woorth, triumphant victorie
Yea from his looks (as from a Dyamont stone)
Come victorie that sparkled ganc't and shone,

And then this litle handfull did beginne.
Whith cheirfull shouts for batel new to call
So willing wer they honor for to win
That ev'ne the lam'd and deidly woundit all
From camp from tent from trinshes came to prove
If sicht of dedlie wounds reweinge could move

And such as might for battel did prepair,
Others that wanted legges and armes did crye
Revenge our blood whill as their wounds they tear
That their hote blood the armie might espy
Whoes harts whith angrie wo began to swell
All swearing to revenge or die withall

The gallant Prince Penardo did rejois
To sie their willing minds And thus he sayde
(Evne with a cheirfull and couragious voice)
Greeks ar not borne (quod he) to be affrayde
Thessalians can feir nothing at all
While their on earth except the Heavn's doun fall.

Ev'ne as the Lyone when he seis his foe
Dath raise his taill and beat him self so sore
Till kendling wruth his breist does over floe
And then his couragie hot begins to rore
At whoes dreid noyes all beasts with trembling fears
His pray with pawes he crushes rents and tears.

Ev'ne so Penardo in his princelie mynd
Wold neids accuse him self of dastard fear
Which so inflam'd his courage stout by kynd
The Lyons brave example he wold bear
He feghts, he stricks, he turns to ev'ry hand
He wounds, he kills who ewer did him whth stand.

And thus his back his glistring armour fair
He showes his souldiours and his foes his face.
Which was the harangue he could best prepair
Wheir by he sharps their courage whith such grace
That roaring trumpet's sounds whith dreidfull fear
And thunders furth death murther blood and wear.

Their mettings terrible on both the sydes
Their salutatione was a warre-lyk noyes
Of snow whyt lances whill their mightie guyds
Hade dy't their whyt in blood lyk crimsone rose
Others in flinders flie to tear the skyes
Becaus on earth they mist their enterpryse.

Their nothing hard but clashing armour still
Crushing of staves and justling bodies loe
That sharpest swords resounding bloes did kill
Whose harsh and jarring musick mad a show
As beautified with greislines of wound's
With shouts, with cryes, with grones, with ghostlie sounds.

Their horses died bereth their Maisters deing
And some that in their lyfe their Maisters buir
In death wer borne by them their others flying
To seik some ryders that wold sit more sure
Their some with agoneising death that stryve
Tears up the earth entoumbs them selfs alyve

And yet no sword did pay to Plutos croune
Of Paganes soull's so large a tribut still
As did Penardos brand, who sending doune
Legions that emptie kingdome for to fill
His wrath his raige his anger cost theme deir
Death on his sword most uglie did appeir.

Those warlyk Aeneans of Thessaly
Wold merchants prove to sell their lyves and all
Yea sure the Paganes thought their merchandrie
So deir at all their vantage was bot small
For fyve to one they pay whill as they sie
A Squadron fresh appeir into their eye.

They seemd above fyve thousand to appeir
That all Achaians wer of courage braw
Who of the former victorie did heir
For which to render thanks them selfs they shaw
Andromodane led furthe those troups so long
Stout hardy bold adventerous and strong.

The Aeneans their rancks wer now bot thinne
Till this new force their courage did renew
And as they wer but new for to beginne
A freshe assault they gave wherein they shew
That they from brave Achilles wer discendit
Who was so much throughout the world commendit.

The Datians their ground begane to lose.
Whil Sigismund preventing when he saw
Sent Dinrmon that brother germane was
Unto that umqhile Prince Phelaston braw
And with him sent bands, legiones, squadrones stout
Encompassing syde, wing, flanck, front about

Now was their last destructioune drawing neere
Now their incompast in one every syde
Though terrour shew her self at first t' appeir
Deckd with the gold of shynning armours pryd
Yet now for bloode wrath yre and raige she shook
Dreidfull her face, and terrible her looke.

With earthe with dust with blood wer all imbrew
Ther brokin armour and their mangled fleshe
Which seemt a burthene to their soul's that rewit
Their purest Essence was defyld no less
Sum upwart mountes revenge in heav'ne to call
And others draw'ne by Pluto's guarde to Hell.

But neither could those daungers dreidfull be
Nor could they seeme as daungers to the mynd
Of brave Penardo whoes all conquering eye
Shew how his hart to furie was inclynd
They fall, they feir, they flie, wheir er'e he fought
Death on his sword, revenge into his thought

As thunders beats whith lightning from the sky
Heighe tours tall Cedars mightie Roks to ground
As fearce tempestuous wind with angrie swey
The rypned corne and graine to earth has bound
So wheir he goes to earth they tumbel all
Sum hurt, sum slaine, and sum for fear does fall

When Dinamon his valour did espy
Who knew that by his sword his brother dyit
He sought him through the battell couriouslie
Whoes deids might easily mak him espyit
That whith his sword had made so spatious roum
As he had knowne the combat was to cum

And thus they both approatching each to other
Hate in them both had steird desyre of tryall
They thus begane a combat both together
Wheir courage, witt, nor strength mak no denyall
With rage and furie eache one ather throwes
Yet by their witt and skill they deall their bloes.

And still the more they feght they more desyre
The more they smart the les they feill their paine
And quicklie now to know the victors hyre
They neids wold try their valour once againe
They stryve by might by skill by strength and proves
Wheir valour most abyds whom Fortune loves.

Penardo lookt about and did espy
About thrie hundred of his deirest Mates
Whoes mangled fleshe with purple painting dy
Had mask'd them up with horrors dreidfull feates
And that no more of all his syd wer left
The rest of lyfe (thogh not of honor) reft.

Evne now and not till now began his hart
To swell with sorow greif and kyndest love
Ah who wold now have sein his face convert
His eyes that wount with furious flamms to move
His browes wheir anger satt in majestie
His countenance wheir courage wont to lye.

All these wer banisht quytt, his cheirfull ey
Was dround with tears the flamms wer quyt put out
His countenance was sorowfull to sie
His browes had sadnes louring round a bout
His hart the seatt of his all conquering mynd
To sighes to greiffes to sorowes was inclynd.

But Dinamon that saw him so amaiz'd
Sayd knight my sword shall chainge the yet moir strainge
Wheir would thow flie thow hes but fondlie gaiz'd
My Brothers Ghost too long abyds revenge
Wheir fore he reuneitts his force againe
And said proud Knight yle make the prove with paine.

I send thy brother to the Stygiane laick
But to prepair the passage for thy ghoste
Thow stayes too long receave this for his sake
And with the worde the bloes redoubled most
That evrie bloe stroave to be formest still
To mak the Paganes soule run post to Hell.

Att last one bloe he gave whoes force was such
As reft not lyfe but sensles has him made
And as a lyone that disdains to tuitch
A man but weapins at his mercie layde
So scornes the Knight to spend his force in vaine
One foes that flies, or feirs, or faints for paine,

With wrath and hote desyre for to revenge
He thrusts him self in throw the ranck's and made
A longe broad way, one everie syde a rainge
Lyke to a wall of Paganes corps was layde
Such wounders their he wrought that one might say
He was the Paganes sepulchre that day,

Still preasing forwart at the last he saw
Ten Pagane Knights incompast round assayes
To kill tuo galant Knights whom he did know
Belmundo and Phenabon prince of Thais
Who stoode so stronglie to their owne defence
That other ten they had dispatched thence.

But then he sies Belmundo fall to ground
The Prince of Thayis so wearie was withall
That he drew neir unto his fatall wound
One him the bloes lyke lightning doune did fall
Their Urson was and Ursides his Sone
That o're Moldavia regn's and beirs the croune.

These tuo did Prince Phenabon greattest harme
Whose loftie courage still disdaind to yeild
Till breathles he, and strengthles was his arme
Bloodles him self but bloodie was the feild
Yet feghting stil he still doth scorne to flie
Not they but death obtaind the victorie.

Their Captains hart with pitie oversett
In him greif sorow rage and furie stay
With his fyne sword he maid a spatious gett
All these wer kild that did impashe his way
At last he came wheir Urson did most harme
Who felt the weyght of his all-conquering arme.

One blow did part his body from his heid
The which his Sone young Ursides espyd
With furious bloes he one Penardo layde
Railling and cursing all his Gods he cryd
Ah Ursone Ursone deir and with the word
In his hart bloode Penardo drinsht his sword,

The rest that saw the Prince was so offendit
Took them to flight and left him all alone
They thought it was sum God that had discendit
To punishe them for their presumptione
Such woundrous deids as this one Knight had wrought
Belong'd to none but to a God they thought.

To Sigismound they brought thir newes in hast
That Ursides and Urson both wer slaine
Evne by a God or els sum feind at least
For no such strength in mortalls could remaine
Euphrastes heiring of this valour strainge
Desyre did burne his breist with hote revenge.

Euphrastes was a mightie Pagane strong
He had Ursides sister to his wyfe
Who efter wrought Penardo mekle wrong
And wrapt him in mischeif and endles stryfe
But lett ws show Euphrastes his pretence
That called was of Transylvania Prence.

Who throw the battell has Penardo sought
Till in the bodie of the battell grytt
He saw them running heir and their he thought
Their ranckes wer brokin and disordred quyt
At last he saw and seing did admeir
One Knight that wounders wrought as did appeir,

Evne as a wolf amid the fleecie hearde
Some chace sum slay some tear crush ryve and tack
Or lyk a boare whoes face the ratches feard
(Finding the stolne advantage of his back)
Will preas to wound yet does but move to wrath
Who in his furie crusheth them to death.

Evne so this Knight with furious rage does tear
All whom he fand his noble brand dispatcht
Such heaps wer slaine that all the rest did fear
And now th' advantage of his back they watcht
He stricks he wards he taks he turn's he payes
Behind, before, and round about him layes.

Euphrastes much admeird his val'rours deids
And knew him for Ursides cause of deathe
Wheirfore he forward unto him proceids
And said leave of Sir Knight and turne thy wrath
Gainst him who better can abyde thy strength
And for thy deids shall chasties thee at length.

Indeid Euphrastes was a gallant Knight
Who nere before encountred with a foe
But these whom still he vanquest in the fight
With foyle, shame, death, and everlesting woe
Now breathd he wrath, warre, vengeance, furth lyke smook
But brave Penardo from a Pagane took

A stronge and mightie launce, into his hand
Wheir with so fearce enconter did he mak
That nether sheild nor armour could with stand
Till the steill head appeird behind his bak
Now fell he to the ground alreddie ded
Whoes name to all the east great terrour bred.

The Paganes feir'd and woundred much to sie
That Prince in whom their greattest hope did ly
By this one Knight so overthrowne to be
Wheirfore in great dispaire and rage they cry
Ah Gods injust how long will yow delay
With lightning from the heavn's this Knight to slay.

Thus running on him mad with furie, beats
In every part and thought with bloes to end him
But he who litle feard of all their threats
With such a woundrous valour did defend him
That they assaill in vaine and mak a choise
In seiking of his lyfe their owne to iose.

The tribute of his wrath them deirlie cost
For all the ground their bodies deid did fill
So that it seemd in all this mightie host
Their wer not men anew for him to kill
At last he came wheir Sigismund a bad
Wheir threttie thowsand Knights on horsebak rad.

And their one blow he did not spend in vaine
At everie stroak he send a soule to Hell
And still their places being fild againe
He servd them all alyk with deing baill
When as by Sigismund he was espyde
Who send a Squadrone fresh to quell his pryde.

And then with long sharpe launces all these bands
Bore him and horse and all unto the ground
Yea surelie he had ov'r-schapd their hands
But that this purest remainder him found
Tho hurt and deidlie wounded still they feght
Led by that Prince that Mandadorus heght.

Whoes woundrous feits I did too long forget
Four valiant Pagans slew he hand to hand
At last with Sigismund him self he mett
Who of his mightie prowes suirlie fand
He bett him to the ground with might and maine
With strength woorth valour victorie disdaine,

But when he seis the Prince he nelds wold act
The laistest pairt of this sad tragoedie
His mangled band still following on his tract
Wheir as the Prince defends him valiantlie
Oft bet to ground yet still in feght proceids
Strange was his valour, wonderfull his deids.

Thus while he fought expecting nocht but death
This band wold die and by their death releivie him
Showing such valour in their deing wrath
They flie they fall they die that first drew neir him
And Mandador from his owne horse did light
Horsing the Prince with valour strength and might.

While this small handfull held them altogether
They red unto them selfs a spatious roume
But still fresh bands of men resorting thither
Left them their armour for their bravest toumbe
Yet fame their Trophees eterneiz'd with joye
Which tyme nor death nor hell could not destroy.

But Mandodorus that one foote did rest
Who to his Prince had lent his horse before
Whas with the multitude so sore opprest
That he to deathe his tribut does restor
Thryce happie he who bought whith deaths expence
From death his Lord his leadder and his Prince.

By this a mightie armie drawing neir
Their speedie pace presaigd a sharpe revenge
Whille as the Datians harts begane to feir
Els wearied with their battell past so strange
Recuilling back with feir fall flight and death
But they persue with rage blood murther wrath.

This was king Grodane and his mightie host
Who raizing, Phocis walls was come to ayde
His sone but seing all his armie lost
Amaiz'd he gaiz'd astonisht wheir he red
The act incredible the murther strainge
Wheir valour stroave with Fortun chance and chainge.

Then brunt with greif wo, sorow, wraith and ire
Reveinge from wo and pitie did redoune
Swelling above the bancks of his desyre
And send up floods of tears his eyes to droune
So brooks ore flowes their banks with late falne raine
The brook a river, river growes a maine

Revenge revenge, ah deir revenge ah care
Care stopt his breath with greif rage anger woe
This harang so did sharp their mynd's to wear
All cryd revenge revenge the trumpets blow
Their foes that flies they kill, chace, slay not tak
Till night her friends wrapt in her mantle black.

Yet still revenge and kill the armie calls
Blood blood kill kill revenge revenge we most
Whill tuentie thousand dead bofore them falls
The king that feird his only Sone was lost
Caus'd sound retreat and sadlie now he murns
When lo Penardo frome the chace returns,

And falling one his kneis before his Syre
He craves him pardone for this great mischeif
His willingnes for honor to aspyre
Had bene the caus of all their greattest greif.
Of fourtein thousand which he brought away
Their was not tuentie left alyve that day,

Wheirof the King was wofull when he hard
But glaid his onlie Sone deid live and lo
His joyfulnes his sorow quyt debard
He was desyrous all the trouth to know
Which when he heirs of all that does proceid
He thinkst a bloodie victorie indeid

He causd to searche the feild wheir as he found
Andromodane and Mandador the fair
Belmundo and Phenabon whom entoumbd
He causd to be in glorious sepulchair
Those lyns insert their fame to testifie
To aige to tyme to endles memorie.

THE EPITAPHE OF MANDADORUS.
Heir Mandadorus lyes
Of Meson unqhill Prince
That left his native soyle to feght
In Greciance defence
Of brave Achilles stok
He haid his Pedegrie
The cheifest of the Aeneans
That duelt in Thessaly
Of suche a mightie mynd
And suche a trustie faith
That willinglie he pay'd the ran
Soune of his Princes death.

THE EPITAPHE OF ANDROMADAN.
Heir lyes Andromadane
The brave Achaian loe
That payd his lyif for tribut of
His countrey to his foe.

THE EPITAPHE OF BELMUNDO
Heir lyes Belmundo fair
Whoes honorable Name
Is left in cronicles of Tyme
To eternize his Fame
A Greciane, true he was
And died in Greece defence
Of Thessaly and Aneane
Of Toropeya Prince
So famous for his woorth
And woorthie for his works
That Tyme and fame in memorie
And glorie him inbarks.

THE EPITAPHE OF PHENABON.
Heir does Phenabon ly
That thryce renouned Lord
Of Thay's that Paganes mightelie
Disdain't defy't abhorde
Who diet in the defence
Of Grece his native land
O happie He who deing did
His countreyes fall with stand
Then who soeu'r beholds
Those Tumbs in passing by
Learne to defend they Countreys weell
Or in defence to dy
Wheirby thow shalft attaine
To glorie and renoune
To honor fame and dignitie
To an celestiall croune.

This haveing done with cost and large expence
The King entoumb'd the Pagane Princes loe
The Servian and the Transilvanian Prince
Euphrates Urson Ursides also
And causd insert their praises due their one
Which tyme has rold in blak oblvione

But we'll returne to Sigismund agane
And of his new discomfeit armie shoe
Wheir surelye of ane hundreth thousand men
Wer skairslle fourtie thousand left and loe
These weried hurt, fled, feird, with feght so strange
Had left no hand, sword, hairt, for to revenge.

Wheir fore he hyes him home in greattest hast
Whill losse and shame was all the wealth he gain'd
Penardo now in sorow sadlie plac'd
Ev'ne for his freinds stil murning had remain'd
At last he stealls troughout the camp alone
In desert wyld for to bewaill and mone.

Now am I forc'd to leave the gratulatione
Wheir with the Achaians did commend the King
To show Penardo's haples constellatione
His angrie Starr's so mightelie did regne
But loe his mother died with in short space
Whiche made his father home returne his pace

Penardo goes throw manie diverse wayes
Till bright Apollo drensht his goldin hayre
In westerne stream's then doun him self he lay's
His wearie horse to pastur did repair
When to our hemisphere the sable night
From Erebus blak house hade tane her flight.

[sigs F7v-H3v]

[continue]