1615
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Penardo and Laissa. Caput. XI.

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


Pressing on, Penardo beholds the lady upon a flaming altar and is instantly set upon by a hideous monster covered in scales. He defeats the creature, and beholds a strange procession of mourners, in which are two pierced and bleeding knights; their blood, collected in a brass vessel by two aged hags, is used to boil the lady. Penardo finds some lines attributing these affairs to Mansay's art, and instructions for freeing the lady: "The tapre from the birning Altar take | And drinsh it in the fearfull thundring lake | But first from birning lust search some releiff. | For These tuo Princes wrapt in all mischeiff"Sig I5v.

In an adjacent cavern Penardo (preserved by his chastity and enchanted armor) discovers the Queen of Love surrounded by throngs of antiquity's most famous lovers. Among them are Phelarnon, his breast pierced by a bloody dagger, and Tropolance, pierced by a bloody sword. Night begins to fall.



ARGUMENT.
The birning Alters Keeper, of
His lyfe Penardo spoyls
He seis the daylie funerall
In blood the Virgine boylls
He that by love could not be win
The Tapre does obtaine
About the Quene of love he seis
All thois yat Love had slaine.

O now yow Muses matchles and devyne
Help by your sacred skill my gros defects
Mak sharpe my wit and pregnant my ingyne
That by your freindly ayde in all respects
My pen suplied may boldly breath his name
Inrold above the star's by endles fame.

Whoes mynd the feat of royall vertues birth
And who all goodnes knew; but knew no ill
Admeird of all the world for his rare woorth
Which causd Envy for raige her self to kill
Evne he without all fear or cair did enter
And throw this cave lyk greisslie hell did venter.

At last a thirling light he did espy
Which from a dure did glanceing furth appeir
Wheirto when as the galant Prince drew nye
He saw a flamme most pure most bright most cleir
Upon ane alter burne and in the same
Brint, skoarch'd, tormented, lay a virgine Dame.

Whill on this piteous spectacle he gaiz'd
From out a corner dark he might perceave
A monstre hudge that maid him much amaiz'd
Whoes greatnes seem'd to fill that emptie cave
He breathd furthe clouds of smook which dim'd the flamme
And darkned all the place about the same

So thundring tempests dims the goldin Sunne
And darkins all the cristall heavns so hy
The reiking clouds lyik smook doun moltin runne
By force of fyre that thonderis throw the sky
At last such roars he thunders in his ear
It seemd the cave, shook, trembled, quaik'd for fear.

This monstre fearslie did assaill the Prince
Who nimble, quick, sharp, readie, light, avoyding
His mightie bloes, so brave was his defence
Oft him he harm'd, him self unharm'd abyding
So that the monstre roird for greif and paine
Furth casting Floods, of poysond goir amaine.

Thus eache perseving other to the death
With strength with raige with furie hait and ire
That neither geve the other leave to breath
The monstre still threw furth bright flamms of fyre
Who's skaills bore furth the Prince his furious dint
Lyk tempred Steill, hard diamond, or flint,

Wheir for a stranger kynd of feght he chuses
Quyting his sword he draw's a dagger fyne
His skill his slight his might, and strength he uses
To ridd this devlishe monstre out of pyne
Who lifting up his armed creist with ire
Smook frome his mouth his eyes furth sparkling fyre.

Did fearcelie forewart to the Prince furth pace
Infolds inrolls in lincks with gaipping jawes
But he with foresight, waying, well the case
His skaillie gorge in his stronge arme he thrawes
And through his burninge ey with fatall knyfe
Brought furthe his brains and with his brains his lyfe.

Glade was he to be ridd of such a foe
Yet pitie, cair and sorow, chac'd delight
To sie so fair a Mayde tormented so
His eyes with chyld of tears his hairt stil sigh't
Taeirs from his eys spring's rivers floods furth sent
Sighes from his hairt lyk blustring winds upwent.

When neirer to the alter he was come,
Of sorow he might heir the saddest sound,
There grevous grone, wer intermix'd with some
Weak breathing words, that did sad death resound
The words wer sweet and pitiefull to heir
The accent soft the voce was sharpe and cleir

Those wer the wofull words he pitied most
Ah Pluto Pluto end this sacrifice
Hell Hell dovore my souls tormented ghost
Ah crewell Heav'ns that gloir's to tyraneize
Ah paine paine paine let endles paine remove
Curs death, curs hel, curs earth, curs heavns above.

Whill thus she spak Penardo hard a noyes,
And suddenlie appeir'd a greatter light,
A hundreth torches borne by litle boyes
All clade in murning weid a wofull sight.
Softlie the prince convayes him self a syde
To sie of these events what wold betyde

After these torches wer tuo horses led
Whose Tiapers wer of purple silk and gold
Such curious work so rich imbrodered
Was admirable fair for to behold
For greffon lyk thay pareing seem'd to flie
With goldin plumed wings right curiously.

These horse wer keept by lackayes tuo who had
Two sheilds which seem'd of sundrie Knights to hold,
And after them tuo Paiges richlie cled
Two mightie lances bore with heads of gold
Nixt after them four galant coursers drew
A crimsone cotche that seemd of bloodie hew.

Within this cotche tuo Kinghts wer sadlie plac'd
In glistring armoor that was fynelie fram'd
The armours shyning lustre was defac'd
With purple blude that from their bodies straimde
Sad was their mynds wheir sorow did remaine
Great wer their wounds but greatter far their paine.

The one still sigh'd and groin'de but spak no word
For in his breist a bloodlie dagger stoode
The other throughe his bodie had a sword
From whoes steill poynt ranne streams of crimson blood
Death ov'r them both long since hade spred her wings
Yet lyfe by airt, paine, greif and sorow brings.

Behind the alter stoode a brasen portch
Which oppind wyde for to receave this traine
Where enters all the boyes with everye tortch
The hors, and all the rest that did remayne,
But whill the cotche neir to the alter drew
The wofull dame her sorows did renew.

Ah Heavn's alace come come I glaidly goe
Let deith geve end to Hells tormenting flamme
Blood blood glut up both soule and body lo
Stop now my braith and suffocat the same
Let these tuo leive and then impose on me
Ten thousand deaths so I may once but die.

No sonner did she end her plaints when as
Tuo old and aiged Haggs come in their sights
Who bore ane huge great veshell made of bras
That keipt the blood of those tormented Knights
Long gaizd the Prince on thir hid misteries
Whill paine, on paine, and greif on greif he sies.

The virgine from the fyre began to move her
The veshell neir, she throw her in the same
While as the blood begane to boyle above her
And utherwhyls above the bloode she come
So bubling streams of brooks from hye that fall
Raise up the Pebls pure whyt cleir and small

They gone the Prince did with him self devyce
To spill the blood bot now he heirs a sound
It seem'd a heighe and bloistring wind did ryse
And looking wheir the veshell to have found
He saw a piller raited up whoes end
Reatch'd frome the ground almost unto the pend.

Then did he heare a murmur and a noyes
A duilfull murning and a wofull sound
So from a hollow pitt resounds a voyce
Of one that lyes tormented under ground
Or lyk the ghostlie and the dreidfull dine
That roaring bulls mak hollow Caves within.

The piller seem'd to be of marble stone
In forme of ane Pyrameid as it stood
Within the which the virgine was alone
Tormented still within the boyling blood
Penardo knew but help of humane hand
That it was fraimd his furie to with stand.

But neirer to the piller when he drew
Sum goldin letterd lyns he might espy
Whoes meining was as efter doeth ensue
Be not so bold this adventure to try
Least Faits who made the most admeird of all
Should mak the most in famous for thy fall

But cairles who had thus menac'd him so
Which servd but to affray a fanting hairt
Now round about the piller does he go
While as he finds sum other lyns insert
Wheirby he knew the former faing'd deny all
Was but to stay him from a farther tryall.

What ere thow be that proves to end the pains
Of this tormented Mayde that heir remains
And wold undoe the great and woundrous frame
Which Mansays arte has build it for the same
The tapre from the birning Altar take
And drinsh it in the fearfull thundring lake
But first from birning lust search some releiff.
For These tuo Princes wrapt in all mischeiff,

Not half so fast the Tyger swift furth goes
Throgh desert waves for to redeeme her brood
As does the Prence when these glad newes he knoes
Unto the altar wheir the tapre stoode
He hopes yet doubts sum ill might him be fall
To marr his hope, hap, will desyre, and all.

Cassandras armour was not now for noght
Els of that dame inamour'd hade he beine
For the effect of this enchantment wrought
On evrie one before that had her seine
And being once entangled by her love
Te tortche they could not steir, nor toutch, nor move

Yea surelie if his armours vertue strong
Had not resisted the enchantments force
Within the cave he should have stayd so long
While he had diet for love without remorce
Her beautie was of force, strength, pow're to move
Yea massacre a world of Hairts with love.

But he who in his armour does retaine
The rare and precious stone of chastitie
(Whoes vertue is the owner to restraine
From love, or lust, or Venus fantasie)
Could not be mov'd, to love, so none but he
Could end the fair Laissas miserie.

And entring now within the brazen portch
The which he thinks to be the only way
Evne with the light of this his lytle tortch
He saw some lynes ingraph'd (which made him stay)
Upon the brasen gate he did behold
Indented all with courious warks of gold.

If ought thow lose that thow has bravelye win
Thow deirlie shall repent thy comeing in.

Now he began to gaize upon the ground
And calling presentlie unto his mynd
The deing Knight whom he before had found
Within the Cave and of his counsall kynd
He knew it was the taper to defend
Or els her sorow should with death have end.

And by this tyme within a goodlie Hall
He entred was when vewing weel this sight,
The rare proportion was majesticall.
To evrie airt their was a galant light,
And glaid their of joy cheirt his countenance
So Phoebus flour spred's when her lord does glance.

Long stayd he nought when looking heir and their
One his left hand a doore he might espy
Within the which he saw a gall'ry fair
Wheir pleasur did invite a gaizing ey
While throgh this pleasant gall'ry he was walking
He thought he hard sum people softlie talking.

Whoes murmuring sound hade drawne him now in sight
Of a fair chamber that was richelie hung
Wheir sporting at their dalleing delight
Wer Knights and Ladyes lying all along
Upon the pavement wrought of cristall rock
Whose glances bright the Prince his sight did chock.

But his delight did him thair after lied
Unto ane other chamber much more fair
For their the cristall pavement all was spred
With crimsone velvet costlie, ritche, and rair,
And in the mids a piller stoode upright
Of gold that shynd, flam'd glac'd, with sparkling light

Adjoynd unto the piller rose a throne
Of beattin gold whoes lustre cleir unstaind
The beautifullest Queene did sit their one
That cristall heavne or solid earthe containd
And round about her stoode a comlie traine
Of kings, queins, lords, knights, dames that love had slaine.

Their was the Queene of Carthage, Dido fair
Who for Aeneas love hade lost her breath,
And for Antonius love with Vipers their
Sad Cleopatra sting'd her self to deathe,
Their Ariadne that her self hade slaine
For proud unthankfull Theseus disdaine.

Whoes lyfe decre'd to Minotaurus raige
She fred and from the Labyrinthe him gaind
Their was Media by whoes counsaill saige
Jason the goldin glorious fleice obtaind
Their Phillis who did many passiones prove
Chuseing sad death for sweet Demophoons love,

Their Julia the wyfe of great Pompey
Who died becaus she feird her husbands death
Their Porsia for Brutus love did stay,
Who with hote birning coalls hade choakd her braith
Their Pisca with her lover loud to be
Who threw them selfs both heidlongs in the Sea.

Their might Pandorus loveing dame be seine
That chus'd for to be buried quick in grave
Rather then be the Persean monarchs Queene
Becaus he did her lovers lyfe bereave
The Greciane dame fair Camma their did move
Who slew her self and him that slew her love.

These wemen with their lovers did injoy
A pleasant lyfe about this princelie Queene
And men that did for love them selfs distroy
Menon that hang'd him self might their by sein
For to the proud Assyriane King alone
His best belovd Semiramis head gone

And their Tiberius Gracchus did remaine
That fund tuo Serpents in his chamber floore
And knowing if the femell first wer slaine
His lyfe should longer nor his wyfes indure
The Male he slew so weell he lovde his wyfe
And made his deathe the ransone of her lyfe

And Marcus Lepidus did their abyde
That slew him self evne for his loves disdaine
And Platius Numidius by his syde
That for his deir loves death him self hade slaine
Their old Sylvanus that him self hade hangd
Becaus proud Nero wold his love have wrang'd.

Their Pollio grave and sad, a Germane borne
A famous Knight though Fortune wrought his fall
This was the Knight that in the Cave beforne
Had told the Prince what their should him befall
There many more that died without remorce
For Lissaes love by the enchauntments force,

All these and many thousand their remaines
Who to that court doe momently resort
The winged boy delights in all their pains
And of their greattest greif he maks a sport
But lo that glorious Queene bred all their joyes
Their love their fansie and their amorous toyes.

For to inthrall the hart that Queene weell knew
The soveraigne Maistres of that art she was
Her wantoune shyning looks and heavnelie hew
With sweitt allurements secreitlie wold pas
For still the glanceing of her wantone ey
Wold mak her trayne, sad, joyfull, live, or dy.

Her wantoune eyes bewrayd her inward mynd
Her countenance declaird her harts desyre
To burning lust she seem'd to be inclynde
Consumeing still with never quenshing fyre
Dissembling all with such a craftie mynd
That anie save Adonus wold by kynd.

Her modest blush wold divers tyms bewray
That which (it seem'd) she sham'd for to unfold
With amours queint her wanton eye wold play
And from her hairt in sport their message told
Her lowring looks or cheirfull smyls doth move
To laugh to weep, to smyll, to sighe furth love.

Amongs the rest Penardo might espy
Phelarnon brave and Tropolance the bold
Whom by their wofull looks he did discry
To be evne far agains their will with hold
Phelarnons breist bewrayit his ceasles pain
Wheirin a bloodie dagger did remain.

And Tropolance his wofull hart was rent
With bloodie sword, tormented still he goes
Yea these tuo princes onlie did lament
While as the rest did seeme for to rejoes
But now sad shaddowes of the dankish night
Begane to dryve away the cheir full light.

[sigs I2-I8v]

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