1615
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Penardo and Laissa. Caput. XII.

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


With the taper in his hand, Penardo sees a door inscribed "Tak what thow finds within for the prepairde," and passing through finds a richly appointed apartment, with a bed, a suit of armor, and a splendid meal. Resisting a complicated temptation, he follows his instructions, laying aside his arms and passing through an iron door sees Phelarnon and Tropolance tormented by the salamander of Lust: "Into her tounge ar also stings infixt | Whoes poysone breideth sensuall delight | Which with a gluttonus desyre is mixt | Wallowing in pleasure, plungd in eternall night" Sig. K6v.

Penardo slays the beast with the dagger and sword he had before observed piercing the knights, and suddenly finds himself standing before the lake in which he is to quench the taper. That done, he reads the inscriptions written on the he two knights' tombs, and is about to examine a third (which he fears is Laissa's) when night falls.



ARGUMENT.
Penardo's tempted oft and yit
The tapre he obtains
He chaiseth burning lust to hell
And ends the Princes pains
He quensheth in the fearfull Lake
The Tapers light anone
He finds sum tombs and sies sum lyn's
Which wer ingraph'd theirone.

When hells great Grandame gan her self to ryse
For anger breathing furth dark clouds of smook
And chaist heavn's cheirfull lamp doun through the skyes
Then of his wyde impyre possessione took
Penardo hard a fearfull thundring sound
Lyk Neptune raiging gainst a stormie wind.

And lo a fearfull wind did now aryse
With dreidfull thunder, lightning flamms of fyre,
Ane earth-quak and a trembling in the skyes
That seem'd to shak the world's sure fixt empyre
From of his centre and his stedfast statioune
And with proud raige to raise his sure fundatione.

Wheir with of all this tryne incontinent
He seis not one in twinkling of ane ey
But of their feet he might decerne the prent
In the riche cloth that on the ground did ly
Wheirat Penardo much a mazed stoode
But nothting danted was his courage goode

And looking round about whill thus he stard
Ane other dure he saw wheiron he red
Tak what thow finds within for the prepairde
Thus in the brave Thessaliane was led
By courage and a fearce undanted mynd
Not feiring hell it self thairin to fynd.

The royaltie of this fair roune was suche
As seem'd the lyik on earth could not be found
The value of the hangings was so much
That from the syling to the paved ground
Did reache all richlie wrought with pearle and gold
Which Hercules great battels did unfold,

Ther hade he slaine the Gyaunt all alone
Who sumtyme rewl't fair Europs fairest yle,
Of whom it got the name of Albeon
And their was sev'ne mouth'd Hydra feirce e're whyle
Whom he by his al-conquering force had slaine
His shafts there, in the monstre did remaine.

Their in the Naemeane forrest he hade slaine
The Lyones fearce, the monstre of the Sea
He slew, and fair Exione did obtaine
There the Thessalian Centaurs vanqueist he
Theire Cerberus he bond and Captive led
And Proserpine frome Pluto's thraldome fred.

Theire did he kill Anhteon feirce and bold
And Nessus there, and Gereon proud of Spaine
And frome Hesperides renoun'd of old
Wheer did the goldin fleiced floks remaine
He theme frome Atlas daughters did dissever
And bonde Philotes as a slave for ever.

Theer his ruelf works bred terrour to the eye
And trembling fear unto the boldest hairt
There hade he throwne him headlong in the Sea
Who brought to him the strainge Emppyson'd shirt
There he in paine raige sorow, did lament
Tearing the venome that this flesh did rent.

And in the mids a piller stoode upright
Wheiron a rich and glorious armour lay
Their hung a sheild ingrapht whoes glancing light
The armes of Thessaly did furth display
Above the which a candle-stick of gold
Did hing which seem'd but one small-lamp to hold.

In this fair chamber stoode a glorious bed
Of beattin gold whoes fyrie sparkling flies
Frome pretious stones and diamonds which spred
Their pearsing beam is that dim'd the Prince his eies
The tapers light that in his hand he bure
Gave place to this more shyning cleir and pure.

Four mabre pillers did a table bear
Of yellow glanceing Topas fynlie drest
And of transparant cristall stoode a chear
As if it wold inveit the Prince to rest
Who wearied with his toylsum travell past
This profer'd rest accepted at the last.

And gaizing still upone this glorious wark
The table suddenlie wes over spred
By whome he knew not bot he might remark
With fruetefull Ceres danteis it wes clade
Their Bacchus plentie flowe'd till yis brave Prince
Was weill suffeiz'd then all removed thence.

And all this tyme the taper did abyde
Into his hand wherone he does devyse
How he might savelie lay the same asyde
And rest in the fair bed till Tytan ryse
When presentlie did in the table stand
Ane candle-stick presented to his hand

Which as ze hard did our the armour hing
Wheirof when he the warkmanship espy'd
He did perceave ingraven about the ring
Sum lyn's in azure blew thame selfs bewray'd
Whiche if obeyit it ends the ceasles stryfe
Of Lissa's paine and with her paine her lyfe.

Of me thow only mak a chois
Till thow with sleip thy self repose
I am devysd thy light to hold
Then but suspitione be thow bold.

This youth had goth no sleip tuo dayes ago
Wheir for to rest a great desyre he fand
Bot woundred who so weel his mynd did kno
Assaying if his light theirin wold stand
A suddane fear assaild his hawtie hairt
He trembled, and he quack'd in everye pairt.

And, as a merchant in a darksum night
Does travell in a forrest all alone
Wheir he before has sein a fearfull sight
Of robbing Theeves and murtherers, anone
Does feare and faint, and tremble yea and quak's
So he in evry joynt, and sineu shak's.

And wondred what this accident sould mein
When presentlie their come unto his thought
The deing Knight he in the cave had sein
Who told him all his travell was for nought
If once the tortche wer tint or gone; or lost
Lost wer her lyfe, lost all his paine and cost.

Then Night begane to hyde her loathed heid
Rendring her place unto her fo so fair
Whose messinger was cled in crimsone reid
Hurling his fyrie beam's throw glomie aer
Melting the clouds in liquid drops that fall
Moystninge the thristie pearched earth with all,

The royall Knight right joyfull of the day
That he might bring to end his tedious task
When to the piller whair the armour lay
Whene Titan did his shyning face unmask
He saw a goldin image which did hold
A table of black Jasp al wreit in gold.

And towards him the table poynting was
The which how soone his arme did rais aloft
The image let't it with his hand furth pas
Vewing the courious workmanship so oft
The lyn's he red which shaddowish all deceat
Mischeif, dath, discord, furie, wraith, debait.

Volcane this fair and goodly armour wrought
Whiche Venus to her Sone Aneas brought
Whoes vertue frome all tempting tounge defends
And Hope and courage to the hairt it sends
With vigoraus strenth it does the bodie seid
And vanquisheth the Enemie with dreid
Who wears the same shall victor still remaine
And still his hairts desyre he shall obtaine
Inchantment strong or ony secreit traine
Of subtile Foes shall alwayes prove in vaine
No humane strenthe can this enchantment end
Except the Trojanes armour him defend.

Sure quod the Prince this is a rair devyce
That no deceat nor dainger can assaill
True valour sould be compted bot a vyce
If this wer true the coward should prevaill
Then falset crueltie and all deceat
Should trueth, woorth, valour, vertue, all abait

Falset should banishe purest trueth to hell
And wicked wrong all right should overthraw
Folie should wisdome leid as slave to sell
And manly mynds of fazards stand in aw
Of humane kynd then to prevent the fall
This evill of evills I'le cut in peices smal.

He cutt's the armour which als soft as brasse
He finds and knew it was bot to entrape
Him in a snair (bot Fates ordaind his glasse
To rine his howres of lyfe in Fortuns lape)
For lo suche dev'lish strenth the armes retaind
As in the shirt of Hercules remaind.

And sure too great mischeif should have betyde
If one him self this armour he receav'd
For first the tapre he must lay a syde
Wheir with Laissa's lyfe hade bene bereav'd
And also him with furie, raige, and wraith
Paine, sorow, cair, and greif had brought to death.

But Fortune smyld, her looks wer gratious
And suffred not frost, storme, haill, cold or raine
A flour so young, so fair, so pratious
With death, decay, or dolour, too be slaine
But ridd of this he searching fand anone
Ane irone doore with this inscriptione.

That dreidfull Dragone heir within does ly
That fosters still the fyre of Lechery
Wherin tuo Princes ar tormented still
And can not be remov'd frome thence, untill
A Knight shall come whoes chastetie is suche
And whoes good Fortune favours him so muche.

As can not be by aine meins entys'd
To fall into the snairs for him devys'd
He first must lay his sword and sheilld a syd
Then unto him the doore shall oppin wyd
Syne prove by strength the weapens for to win
That does the Princes wounds remane within
Wheirwith he must ow'r cum the dragon fearce
Then shall the torments of the Princes cease.

This develish dragone was ane feind of Hell
Bred first in floods of fyrie Phlegitone
In whom the fyre of birning lust did dwell
Which sho broght furth from darkest Acherone
And being bred of such infernall broode
She levi'd on fyre, in darknes was her foode,

This lustfull fyre throgh all the world she send
Wheirwith she hade infect the greattest pairt
Who lyk unto their mother does intend
In darknes for to quensh their burning smairt
There, help they find, but no releif at all
Till for their mother they have searchd in hell.

Whom Mansay by his airt had brought from thence
Unto this place these Princes to torment
Whose lustfull fyre had bred their owne offence
And first unto their ruine gave consent
But loath he was hes sword to lay a pairt
Which brought his foes to woe, to death, and smairt.

Yit seing no releefe he layes a syde
His sword and sheild and fearles fordwart goes
When presentlie the doore brust oppine wyde
And their (a fearfull sight) unto him shoes
A burning cave that throws owt flamms of fyre
Which from a dragones mouth did still retyre

Evne as the dreidfull Salamander lives
Amid the fyre while one the fyre she feids
The fyre her braith her lyfe her essence geves
But fyre she dies in fyre she leves and breids
Evne so this feind in smook and flamms so bright
Did burn and shyn and glance, and sparkle light.

In throgh these flamm's he saw these Princes lay'd
On burning beds of steill lyk furies fel
Wheir hell thay curst and heavne they did obbraid
With many fearfull cry and wofull yell
To sie such galant Princes so tormented
With tears into his eyes he thus lamented,

Ah harmeles Soulls so pynd curs'd be the tyme
That Mansayes crewell arte devysd such pains
His punishment is more then is your cryme
Ah how injustlie heir he yow detains
Your harme done to your self cryme your owne
To him no spight nor malice had yow showne.

Ah cursed by that Zoroastes old
That first devysd deip incantatioune
Of magick arte, whose spells oft being told
Brings up that foule infernall natione
The man whoes witt does search furth such one evill
Is foe to man and freind unto ye Devill.

Ah mightie Jove that does permit such wrongs
And does behold thy creaturs thus pynd
Revenge unto thy glorious self belongs
Mercie thow grantes to a repenting mynd
Ah for thy glories saik in mercie grant
Thow by my hand this feind infernall dant,

Nether could fear of terrour yeilding fyre
Nor world devoiring monstre him effray
Nor daunt his dauntles hairt that does aspyre
Throw daunger for to gaine great glories pray
This sayd, he swiftly to the monstre hyed
Feir terrour dreid and daunger he defyed.

The monstre now with flamming tounge drew neir
With deathe, or lustfull heat him to inflamme
But these her flamms did not on him appeir
Nor could he be molested be the same
She seith that her hoate consumeing fyre
Could not inflamme his spotles chaist desyre.

Straight did caste furth a dark blaek foggie smook
Which with the flamme made this a secound hell
Fixt on the Prince her burning eyes did look
Clapping her yrone wings and dreidfull taill
Infixed in this taill wer stings anew
The Prince the Knight the Champione to persue.

These stings if thay be fix'd the fleshe within
Does it infect with filthie lustfull fyre
Of venamous and poysonable sine
And appetites inquenshable desyre
Working throw all the vains, till boyling heat
Makes them the heavne yea God him self forgett.

Into her tounge ar also stings infixt
Whoes poysone breideth sensuall delight
Which with a gluttonus desyre is mixt
Wallowing in pleasure, plungd in eternall night
Of all forgetfullnes and idle slouth
And sklaveth man to pleas his daintie mouth.

For drounkinnes and gluttonnie alone
Drawes efter them a thousand filthie sines
Greif, anger, love, extremitie, anone
And birning lust throughe all the bodie rins
That memorie, and understanding quyt
Extinguisht ar with lecheryes delyt.

It maks a dulnes ow'r the mynd to creip
A monstre maks the bodie fatt with rest
And reassone thus it lulleth sound a sleep
Thus man does differ nothing from a beast
These bates in the begining sweitlie move
But in the end a Cocatrice thay prove.

This monstre these her stinges infecting heat
In mortall mynds, infixeth but releif
And howked once allurde with poyson'd baite
She drawes them heidlong unto all mischeif
At last to deathe and hells eternall paine
From which all hope of blis'd releiffs in vane.

None of these stings could in the Prince have place
With them she him assayls but all in vane
Wheirfore she fearcelie fordwart flies apace
Ayming with tearing pawes him to have slaine
And being now heigh rais'd above the ground
She beats him with her mightie force a sound.

And ayming for to crush him unto death
In her sharpe pawes she taks him gredilie
But he (who was not whollie void of breath)
Her by the gorget gripeth speedilie
And had th' enchanted tapre beine a syde
She new'r had gone from thence in hell t' abyde.

But yet altho he had no hand but one
Her greislie gorge so stronglie did he grip
That she was forc'd to ryis and with a grone
Her hold about his bodie to let slip
She roar'd she yeld she brayt she billow't lowd
So does the lyons, bulls, boars, coursers prowd.

This monsters mouthe lyk to a golfe appeirs
And their she thinks him quick for to entomb
A filthie smook she throwes before his eyes
Which forc'd him breathles for to leave that roume
And farther throw the flamms to seek for breath
She roaring still, still gaip'd still threatned death.

So Neptune in a raiging storme doeth rore
When Aeolus his bloystring face ov'r blowes
His rolling billowes fearclie beatts the shore
Gaipping his hollow greedie gulfs he showes
Wher in threts to swallow or to wrak
The Plowars of his yrie awfull back.

Before she could Penardo over reatche
He came unto the steillie burning bed
And from Phelarnons breist wheir was the breatche
The daggere pull's when with a weappine cled
The monstre seem'd more heavie sadd and low
Her force moir feble, wearie, fante, and slow.

Thus thinks he of this feght to mak ane end
And with the dagger to bereave her lyfe
Who with her oppine jawes does her defend
And theirin cacht the dagger which with stryfe
From him sho reft and brak in peeces small
And thus to him no weappine left at all.

Betwixt him and the sword her self she sett
Which Tropolance his bloodie breist containd
While as such fyre and sulphur furth she let
That all the hous into a fyre remaind
So she a birning Salamander seem'd
But nothing of hir fyre the Prince esteem'd.

And yet this kynd of feght was verie strange
That Hercules the lyk did never vew
When ay the Gyant Cacus (in revenge
Of Italies enormities) he slew
Nor when the Minyan force before him falls
Raising their mightie seige from Theban walls.

Nor when he slew the dragone fearce in fight
Yea none of his tuell labours might be match
To this for that he usd his strength and might
And with his weapeins did advantage watch
Tuo hands he haid, Penardo had but one
He weapins als our Champion had none.

But now the brave Thessaliane nought amaizd
Maks him as he the dragone wold assaill
Who with her winges above the ground was rais'd
And to the feght him fearslie did appaill
With opned mouth she preasd on him to flye
Who lightlie leaps a syde and letts her bye.

Then pulls he out the bloodie weapine streght
From out the deidlie wound and their withall
Him self addresseth bravelie for the feght
Bott loe he sies the dreidfull dragone fall,
With roaring low'd the earth she rudelie tear
Doune tumbling into hell with greislie fear.

A mightie wind made this fair building quaik
So that the greatter pairt theirof doun fell
The earthe began to ryve and with a shak
The edefeice sank dounwards unto hell.
When lo he was upon a pleasant plaine
Wheir of that building did no marck remaine.

At last he spyes a fearfull laik in sight
Which restles rowlleth lyk a raiging Sea
Whoes billowes baits their bounding banks with might
That crubs them from destroying libertie
And whoes huge waves with restles noyes did swel
Though Aeolus nere breath'd theiron at all.

Wherby he knew it was the verie same
Wheir he to quenshe the tapre should returne
Which being done the strong enchanted flamme
Made all the laik with fear and dreid to burne
At last it raise and lyke a thunder-bolt
With fearfull noyes it pearc'd the azure volt.

When as lyk christal all the streame grew cleir
The which before a pitche colour hyd's
No wave no surge no billow did appeir
Bot softlie on the goldin channell slyds
The sylver streame with sweittest murnming sound's
Which wind's, rocks, caves, woods, montanes back redounds.

He wounder't much at all these strainge events
Amaiz'd he stoode and gaiz'd upon the grounde
When as thrie plesant toumb's to him present's
Them selfs, wherin he looks what might be founde
The toumbs of mabre richelye wrought with gold
Wher on these lynes ingraph'd he did behold.

I laughfull loved and yet
Unlaughfall was my love
I'm punisht justlie for my fault
And yet I faultles prove
I die becaus my cryme
Deserveth well to die.
And yit no act nor cryme at all
Committed was by me
First did I slay my foe
And then my foe slew me
And deid, my Syre I brought to wrack,
Such was my destanie
The Palace wheir I dwelt
Was fairest of remoune
By feftie thousand pillers borne
All which my death threw doune
But none can change decrie
Of Fates nor NON RAP HEL
If anie for my name enquire
The former lyne doeth tell.

This matchles Champioune was therat amaiz'd
The meining dark he skairslie could descrye
But that he knew this trophee now was rais'd
And that Phelarnon their intoumbd did lye
For NON RAP HEL he knew his name to be
And on the secound toumbe these lyns did sie.

Me to my crewell death
Ambitione surth did call
In my revenge my natioune wrought
A stranger natiouns fall
And with their fall their owne
Perpetuall infamie
Thus am I ground of all mischief
Ordaind by destanie
Ah curs'd unhappie love
Love was the caus of all
In spoyling of my Rivalls lyfe
I spoyld myne owne and all
Then who so ere shall look
On Tropolance his name
Remember love to be the cause
Of ruine, death, and, shame.

Penardo was right sorowfull to sie
Such galant Princes so bereft of lyfe
For that be thought that he had made them frie
But at what tyme he took the fatall knyfe
From each of them out of his bloodie breist
Then death from the enchantment them relest

Yet more desyre hade he the third to sie
Ane trembling feir through all his bodie goes
For that he feird Laissa dead to be
And then his longsum travell should he lose
But now in Thetis azure palace fair
With her to dally Phebus does repair.

Then lowring sad cum furthe the cheirles night
Over earth to spred her sable canopy
Whill as the staitlie birning lamps wer light
Shynning in Joves heighe palace presentlie
Twixt fear and hope doune lay the Prince unsein
Upoune the grasse, soft, fresh sweit, easie, grein.

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