1615
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Penardo and Laissa. Caput. XIII.

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


Upon the rise of the sun Penardo examines the last tomb and is taken aback to discover that it is decorated with images depicting his recent adventures. There is an inscription: "All is in vaine all labour is for nought | Frome Mansayes charmeing spells can non defend" Sig. L3v. Seeing Laissa's lifeless image atop the tomb, Penardo curses himself and despairs of his quest. Failing to read the next inscription, he angrily destroys his magical sword and shield (which he had set previously aside when he conquered the salamander of Lust).

Coming upon the River Danube, Penardo is accosted by a damsel in a little barge, who implores his assistance in the rescue of her lady Philena, who immediately after her wedding day had fallen prey to a pair of Cretan giants. Her husband was slain, and she is destined to become a concubine unless rescued by a worthy knight: "The Prince and she both enters in the bairge | But heavn's preserve him from that deevlishe traine | Which falslie is devys'd for him at lairge | To worke his shame, his fall, his death, his paine" Sig. M1v.



ARGUMENT.
Upoune the sleiping Toumbe the Prince
His travells seis ingrapht
He seis Laissa their ye sword
He from the rock out rest
A spreit or feind of Hell he meitts
Upoune Danubius fair
That in the shap of Mayd him leids
To paine, wol greif, and cair.

No sonner goldin Phebus guilds the skyes
And shoots furth fyrie beam's throw emptie air
Wheas the Prince up from the grasse does ryse
And in his hairt a thousand thoughts repair
His courage fled he doubts, he fant's, he fears
Floods from his eyes send stream's of sylver tears,

Kynd was his hairt tho not resolv'd to love
Cairfull his mynd her lyfe for to preserve
Constant in kyndnes did he alwayes prove
Courtes and cairfull Ladies fan to serve
His hairt a throne for beauties excellence
If airt witheld not Natures influence.

At last to the desyred toumbe he came
Which seem'd not to be wrought with humane hands
So riche so rair so wounderfull the same
Which on four sylver shynning Pillers stands
Of beattin gold so pure fair, cleir, and bright
Whoes shynning seem'd to skorne fair Phebus light.

And round about him self he might behold
His travell's throw the birning cave, it shew
No painting colours beautified the gold
Bot Emiralds, Pearls, Rubies, Saphirs blew
Which lyvelie shoes each purtrat and eache pairt
So comelie nature helped courious airte.

Their was the purtrat of the Sulphure flamme
In birning Charbunkles and manye a ostone
Whoes glanceing light agains the Sune furthe cam
Lyk sparklying fyre that flam'd that brint that shone
Ther where the Gyant feld him to the ground
And caried him through all the cave a sound.

A crimsone blush a pourple dy our spred
His lovely face and made him hing his eyes
Shame, raige, revenge, wraith, furie, anger bred
He loths him self he freats he froun's, he fry's
He thinks these purtrats in despight wer shorne
To show him self unto him self in skorne.

But looking farther of he did espy
There wheir the Gyaunt threwe him to the ground
And how he role agane with majestie
Giving at once his foe his fatall wound.
Eache purtrat their to pleas his eye contends
And seem'd for former faults to mak amends

There all the rest of this his longsum wark
Wer fynly graph'd in pretious stones and gold
The which frome point to point he did remark
And their his woundrous valour might behold
Bot lynes effrayed his hairt, his eyes, his ears
He feirs to reid yet reids and reids with tear's.

All is in vaine all labour is for nought
Frome Mansayes charmeing spells can non defend
In vaine her lyfe in vaine releif thou sought
In ending of her pain her lyfe did end
Thow casd her pain and crewell death did send
This is the fruct of all thy travels past
Thow wrought her death her death to the shall send.

Greif, sorow, cair wo shame, disgrace at last
Set is thy Sune with clouds of shame or'e cast
Spent is thy lamp of glorie praise and fame
Thy honor fades dishonor buddeth fast
And blossoms beirs of wo, disgrace, and shame
Thy glories doone praise dead and fame outworre
Go then of heavne, of earth, of hell, the skorne

Evne as when fearfull dreams in slumbring sleip
Wold mack a man to shout, to cal, to cry
Whil fear and horrour ov'r his senses creip
Yet speiechles, sightles, mightles does he ly
So now it seem'd the Prince was in a traunce
And greatlie troubled in his countenance.

Thus drunk with sadnes and devoyde of joy
Amaizd he stoode bereft of speich and sence
Dounwarde he casts his looks with sad anoy
Greif sorow cair wold lyfe have chaiced thence
Oft did he wishe the solid earthe to ryve
And hyd his shame, by swallowing him alyve.

But waiking from this dreaming sleip at last
His loftie witts agane together flies
When as his roaling eyes by chaunce he cast
Above the toumbe the which he oppin seis
As Seaman in a raiging storme of wind
Ar glaid the land and wished shore to find.

So glaid he was hoping to find releefe
That sorow's past might have a happie end
Wheirfore to eas his cair, his paine, his greif,
Aloft unto the toumb his looks he send
Wheir hope with dreid, and dreid with hope made weir
He feird in joy, and joyde in mids of feir

For their Laissa fair he might behold
Nay not Laissa bot Penardo rather
For ev'ne the sharpest eye could not unfold
The meinest mark of difference tuixt ether
And thus not glade whill her he oftin light's
But ev'ne him self to sie him self delight's

As that fond boy that gaizd into the wel
Wheirin he sies the shaddow of his face
And being deip inamoured of him sell
Oft looks and oft the image wold embrace
So in her face as in a glas or well
He lov'd the only image of him sell

She sat upone a bensh of glanceing gold
And lein'd her lovelie face upon her hand
Bright look'd her eyes wheir love and fancie rold
But lo no spunk of aer nor breath he fand
Yet was her colour lyvelie fair and cleir
A sylver tinctour in her cheeks appeir.

He cald her oft and nam'd her by her name
First soft, then lowd, then whispred in her eare
But yet no show of heiring made the Dame
Nor anie signe of lyfe could once appeer
Wheirfore sad sorow sheltred all his joy
And horried paine his pleasour did distroy.

And ean this be (quod he) and art thow dead?
And has the worlde her cheifest glorie lost
Could not my pains thy dearest lyfe remead
Oh no, no pains, of noght but shame I bost
O shame, O fame, shame brings eternall foyle
Shame shall my fame disgrace, my glorie spoyle.

Oh could my lyfe, thy lyfe (deir lyfe) redeeme
Soone should it by discharged from this breist
Or wold the heavns so much my soule esteeme
That heir it might dislodge and their might rest
Or that but sinne my luck les lyfe might smairt
I to thy ghost wold sacrafeize my hairt.

Oh but the faits denyes I sould have pairt
Of thy sweit joyes, and heavns denyes my bliss
That their fearce wraith may mak me more to smairt
For this my fault, my injurie, my mis
Curs'd by the spreitt that me deceaved twyce
With visions dreams, temptatioune, fantasyes.

Curs'd be the tyme I put this armour on
Curs'd be the toung that me their to intys'd
Curs'd be the hands that fram'd the same alone
Curs'd be the witt that armour first devys'd
Curs'd be the spreitts the feinds the furies fell
That built this house of shame, of death, of hell.

And with the word his birning eyes did roll
And shoot furth fearfull flamms and sparkling fyre
Dispight raige furie madnes did controle
Witt, reasone, shamefast modesties desyre
Wyldlie he lookd, he staird, he gaizd about
Raige hade his witt, and reason quyt put out.

Then of his helme and armour did he teir
Which in his furious raige he threw away
Quod he I am not woorthie airm's to beir
If this be all my conquest all my prey
Of simple mayds the blameles lyfe to tack
Heavne, earth yea hell it self, abhors the fact

Let brightest heavnes a sable hew unfold
Let grasse and hearbes be withert wheir I goe
Let Sunne and Moone in duskie clouds be rold
Loathing to shyne shameing my faults to shoe
Which sould be wrapt in black eternall night
In hell in paine in horrour and despight.

Thus from the toumb he goes furth throw the plaine
And wanders far and wounders at him sell
He seiks the flamming rok but all in vaine
That led him first unto that feild of hell
Their to gett out but none save Mansay knew
That fearfull cave, and his infernall crew.

This valley's walld about by Natures airt
With mightie craiges, steip rocks, and montanes hie
Except the cave their is no entring pairt
Which by that flamming fyre defend it bee
Their set by Mansayes art but now the Prence
The craigs, rocks, montans, climbs, and flieth thence,

While this brave youth torments his mightie mynd
With wo, dispair, cair, sorow, greif, and paine
A marble rock his roling eyes out fynd
Wheir in he sies a glaunceing sword remaine
The sword half in the rock, a sheild besyde
And underneth sum verses he espyid.

But in his furie he disdaind to reid
Which efter was the caus of all his greif
For from these verses did his health proceid
His hope, his hape, his joy, and his releif
Yet from the rock the sword and sheild he taks
The which, he cutts, he beats, he bowes, he breaks.

This was his sword and sheild which he did leave
Behind when Lechers birning forte he wane
No weapins now he cairs, nor none did crave
He goes he knowes not why, nor wheir, nor when
Nor stands, nor sits, nor rests in any place
Till Phoebus tuyce had sunck, tuyce showne his face.

At last he comes unto that rolling floode
Heght Danubie whoes tumbling billowes roir
His murmring streams in heaps yik montanes shood
To shoulder from his place the craggie shoir
Discharging surges throw the clifted rocks
With thundring noyes the fearfull crage he shoks.

Evne as that mightie yrone ingyne strong
His bellie being fild with sulphure broune
Casts furth a flamming smookie cloud along
With fyrie balls that touns and towr's throw doune
And fills the aer with noyes of roaring thunder
The heavns with lightning and the earth with wounder

Evne so this mightie flood with hiddeous swye
Of surges great beats doune his brokin shoirs
And ow'r the fertill land does swiftlie flie
His sounding streams throw humid aer that roirs
Heir stayd the Prince and heir he is forc'd to stand
Till he espyes upon the sylver strand,

A litle bairge that fleitted nigh the place
The which a Damosell alone did guyde
Bright was her colour lovelie was her face
But sorowfull her countenance he spyde
Leaving her barck she quikly to him drew
And sighing sayd those lynes which doeth insew.

Ah wofull miser wretched cre'ture I
Wo, Paine, and death, greif, sorow, cair, I find
Long have I gone long sought sum Knight to try
Yet nere the neirer to my journeyes end
Ah my poore Lady dies for paine and greif
Ow'rcum but caus and vanquisht but releif.

Altho the Prence was full of woe and cair
Yet for to heir of Ladies overthrow
Did his old paine the sorow he gott air
Reneue augment incress, and caus overflow
So does grein wounds their bleidding stensht and gone
The mynd once vexd, againe they ryve anone.

And thus he said fair Lady if you please
The caus of this your greif I pray you show
To greif (in trubled mynds) it is ane ease
The same t' unfold or pairtners for to know
Wrongs blaizd abroade will seeldom skaipe reproofe
On gaind sum hope sum confort sum releif.

Fair sir (quod she) my wrong, my hope, is done
Wrong past releif and hope is turnd dispair
And thogh of ayde my comfort al is gone
Yet ile unfold a verie world of cair
Tears stop'd her braith, such cunning could she frame
Now reid, now pale, her colore, went, and came.

Thus silent did the Lady stay a whyle
And sigh'd and grond at last from craftie mynd
She breath'd a souggred lye a craftie guyle
A fals deceat sprung of malicious kynd
Yet could she weell dissemble her fayned feirs
With bashfull blushe, with grones, with sighes, and tears

And thus begane, In Transalpina fair
Their regn'd a Prince that bold Euphrastes heght
Who went with Datians to that luckles warre
Of Greece their slaine by proud Thessaliane might
He left no Heyre his sceptour for to hald
But his fair wyfe the fair Philena cald

So young, so wyse, so verteous, and so fair
All Regiouns fild wer with her glorious fame
So excellent in all perfectiones rair
That Monarches, Kings and Prences, swed the dame
And wow'd, her, sought her, lovd her, yet still fynd
That none could prove or move, or match her mynd.

At last fame singes her beautie sounds her worthe
In th' ears of Antiochs brave Prince anone
The round, the sad and solide globe sought furthe
Apollo shynd not on a braver one
His might, his strength, his woorth, his val'rous deids
Alcmenas fearce unconquered Sone exceids.

Fame kendled so this Prince with hote desyre
Which to Philaenas love did him provock
That nather could he eeas, nor quenshe the fyre
Which death ordaind both love and lyfe to chock
But to our court he come ane errant Knight
And saw her fair, and seing loud the fight.

He servd her long and by his valour wrought
Deids of great wounder, woorthe eternall fame
And for his due rewaird of her he sought
Her love, her favour, maryage was his ayme
She no les brunt with loves consumeing fyre
Yeilds to his sute consents to his desyre.

At last that day, cursd day unhappie yeir
When loves unsein delight and beauties treasure
The fortres which all wemen holds most deir
She should have randred he receavd with pleasure
Evne that same day with strength, with might, and stryfe
She is caried thence and he bereft of lyfe.

By tuo strong gyants mightie fearce and bold
Which Maro fearce and Bramarano heght
That does ow'r Creitt their crewell scepter hold
Which they have won by murther, bloode, and feght
Her beautie fame unto their ears hade soundit
Wheir by proud Bramaranos hart was woundit.

This Bramarano sone to Maro is
Who hearing of Philenas wedding day
Come with his Syre and feftie Knights of his
While she (poore soule) was but ane easie prey
For all the court in pompe in joy in stait
Had nether sword shield armis nor feard deceat.

Thrie scoir and more into this wofull broyle
Wer slaine and their the Prince of Antioch fell
Whoes onlie valour long withstude this spoyle
Sevne airmed Knights he slew unarm'd him sell
On Bramaranos sword at last he smairted
O crewell death, O Tyrant crewell hairted.

This woefull murther wrought, they thence remove
Philaena fair, with travell paine and toyle
Nor could her car, her greif, her sorow, move
Their harts to pitie, nor their hands from spoyle
But Bramarano would have rapt the prey
Which eye should not behold, nor tongue bewray.

And yet withe tear's with murninge, and complaint
His hairt by Nature furious, fearce, and crewell
She mov'd on this conditione to relent
Tho love still brunt, and lust still fond the fewell
Where noghtbut beautie breideth loves desyre
Lust feids the flamme and booldith stil the fyre.

He was content if in tuo months she could
Find out a knight to vanquish him in fight
Unto her formar libertie she should
Be set and he should quyt discharge his right
Provyding if no Knight with stoode his stryfe
She should remaine his Concubine or wyfe

And now tuo tyms has swartishe Cynthia shynd
Tuyce show in her spherick face with borrowed light
And tuyce agane to horned shape declynd
Since I frome fair Philena took my flight
To find sum Knight, sum Champione, or sum Lord
That wold to hit his happie ayde afford.

Yet have I fund not one that hade regaird
To honor glorie fame or dignitie
Altho she geves her self for their rewaird
Who conquere shall so fearce ane Enemie
And now no more but full tuo weiks remains
Of the appointed tyme which he ordains.

Thus have yow hard the somme and heill effect
Of all my toyle, my travell, and my paine
Sure then quod he it seem's that yow neglect
To find a Knight or els no Knights remaine
Bot if the heav'ns so pleas or it be long
I shall abaitt his pryde, revenge her wrong.

Thanks sir quod she, your great good will I sie
But lo yow laick both armour sword and sheild
I was but knighted now of lait quod he
And swoor to wear none till I wan't in feild
Why then quod she if our revenge ensue
The heavn's has smyld and I have done my due.

The Prince and she both enters in the bairge
But heavn's preserve him from that deevlishe traine
Which falslie is devys'd for him at lairge
To worke his shame, his fall, his death, his paine
Who ov'r that great Danubius is gone
Acompaneid with fals deceat alone.

[sigs L2v-Mv]

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