1615
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Penardo and Laissa. Caput. XV.

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, resting on the banks of the river Teissa (which makes a border between Hungary and Transylvania), observes ten knights bearing seven ladies captive. He frees the ladies, and Vodina of Hungary falls in love with him. At this juncture they are attacked by the giant Argalantes (riding upon a camel), who is also defeated by Penardo. One of the ladies explains that Vodina and her lover Prince Dorio were on a hunting party when they were attacked by Argalantes, who had long sought Vodina in marriage. Vodina is offering amorous persuasions when Dorio appears and falls to blows with Penardo. But at Vodina's request Dorio offers pretended friendship to the rescuer, and the party proceeds to Buda, where Penardo (under the assumed name of "Pelympus") is entertained by the king.



ARGUMENT.
The Murderers mis their fals intent
Alone Penardo flies
He on the banks of Theissa fair
The Heyre of Hung'ry seis
By Argalantes reft away
He kills him brings her thence
He foyls Lord Doreo in her sight
Shea's amrous of the Prince.

Great harme ensue by over great desyre
O vaine desyre rediculous and ill
That birnes the mynd and setts the hairt on fyre
From the proceids wode furious fraintik uil
A groundles deip of ill if ill abusde
Diverse inconstant infinit confusde

Unnaturall desyres heighe heavens offend
And appetits immoderat and vaine
As birning lust but limits bounde or end
A sink of sin a gulfe a sea a maine
Which drawes the soule from heavnlie contemplatione
And beastlie brutishe maks her operatione.

Yea who soere or what soere they be
Suffring them selfs with lust for to be led
They ar no more them selfs, no more ar frie
Nor from no travell paine and labor fred,
For their desyre a thousand wayes they use
Nor for it thousand torments will refuse.

Their bodie not refusing thousand pains
So they obtain their pleasure their desyre
Into their mynd a thousand hells remains
In quenshing (thought unquenshable) their fyre
And their desyre their fyre incressing still
Turns furie seiks for death if want of will.

Suche furie in Philena fals abyds
Who birnes in fyre of sensuall delight
Wanting her will and her desyre provyds
In furie for to murder this her Knight
Not love of him but lust in her remaind
And therfore crewell death becaus restraind.

For presentlie no sooner was he gone
When sextein Knights arryv'd in armour cled
And throw that secreit passage goes anone
With cleir sharpe swords about the Prince his bed
The which if mightie Jove had not forsein
Their had he died their had he murdred beine.

But he whom heavn's preservd for better hape
Did restles on his longsum journey wend
Till Tytan thryce in Thetis watrie lap
Had dyv'd and thryce his spherick course did end
When he upone the banks of Teissa fair
Lay doune and ends his wearie jorney their.

This Teissa is a fair and pleasant floode
Which Hungaries east bordour rins a longe
Neir to that montanes sevine heighe hoarie rude
Which Transylvania fortefie right strong
Heir rests the Prince all night and feids his mynd
With conquest praise and glorie brought from Ind.

And wheir he lay the river from a rock
Pour'd doune his pure cleir sylver streams in stoir
Which on the peble channell softlie brok
Throw hollow concaves of the crooked shoir
Whoes ghostlie roars maks all the craigs to ring
Whill tries birds winds with sweit reports does sing.

Whoes confort rare of musick sweit and fyne
Soung him a sleip till bright Aurora ryse
Whoes mantle bright reid whyt and cleir did shyne
And alter-turne and change in azure skyes
A suddan sound into his ears that rings
Awaks the Prince with shouts and murmerings.

He starts aloft and looking round about
He sies ten Knights come fro a forrest wyde
Who Captive led seavne Ladyes in a rout
Whom with away in greattest hast thay ryde
He drawes his sword and with his sheild he goes
To wine that prey be valour death and bloes.

One of the ten their passage to mak frie
Cums farr before and caught his mightie launce
The which he shuns with hand with fute with eye
And quicklie did his murdring blade advance
Which in the Knights hairt bloode he sheathd perforce
Then took his launce and quicklie man'd his horse.

By this the Ladies and the Knights drew neir
And swor their fellow should not die for nought
One moir they send the passage for to cleir
Whose king for revenge a vengeance bought
The Prince evne with his fellowes lance apairt
Pearst throw his breist his bodie and his hairt,

The rest with raige with furie and despight
The Ladeis daintie hands and feitt hade bund
And taine them fro their horse for feir of flight
And left them sadlie weeping on the ground
And in their furie mad for their revenge
All with the Prence began a battell strainge.

The Prence who saw the ladyes weep and murne
His ire and wraith was chang'd to pitie myld
But pitie unrevengd to raige did turne
Thus lyke a lyone angrie fearce and wyld
His flamming sword he tos'd till they all shoke
Yet fanting striks and tremble whil they stroke.

The Prince rush throw them with his brand heigh borne
Death by his syde at each bloe one to catche
As sythe cutts doune the graine the grasse the corne
So cut befoir him fall they evrye wratche
Eache bloe a wound eatch wound brought death with paine
Himself untiutch'd unharm'd unhurt remaine.

Evne as a montane craige or mightie rock
Whom raiging seas or blustring winds assayle
Gainst seas winds stormes and lightning thunder broke
Still unremov'd abyds and never faill
So sted fastlye the Prince with stoode their strengthe
And hurt feld slew or chac'd them all at lengthe.

Not one now left his furie to withstand
His bloodie brand he dights and sheaths it then
The ladyes he would louse bound fute and hand
Tormented sore with sorow greif and payne
And she that Mistres seemd of al to be
Her lows'd the Prence from bands and set her frie.

Mistres she was indeid of all the rest
For comelines for beautie and for grace
For verteous mynd unstaind pure cleine and chaist
Meik modest myld and sprung of princelie race
The feild of love did modest vertue plow
And rypt the fructe unpuld as yet that grow.

Her modest blushe her Sune shyne beauties ray
Her fyrie sparkling light cleir bright and shynning
Their goldin beams springs furth in wantone playe
Streams on the Prence his face whoes eyes refynning
Hade recollect' her spredding beams in one
And throwes them back and burns her hairt anone

So bright Apollo spreds his beam's o're al
And sweitlie warms and conforts evrye floure
But in a litle birning glas recal
His rayes he shows his might his strength his powre
For that to which before he comfort brought
He birnes he skortches and consumes to nought.

The Prince admeird the beautie of her face
She stoode she staird she woundert and she gaiz'd
Still from his eyes come lightninge furthe a pace
Which brint her hairt dismayd and much amaiz'd
For love of evrye glance and evrye looke
New weapins forg'd when with her hairt he strooke.

Thus stoode the dame now pale now reid now wane
Which weell bewrayde the passiones of her hairt
Till floods of tears from her fair eyes doune ranne
Sighes from her swelling breist unsolds her smairt
Then love for mend's did change to cristall ball's
The sylver globs which from her eyes doune fall's,

And them he throwes at Prince Penardos eyes
Their with to hit to wound, or worke his smairt
But all to weak his chyldishe airme he seis
To harme the man that hade a Mars his hairt
Wheirfore he sweir in furie raige and ire
To fet eyes hairt and all into a fyre.

Ane arrow from his quaver furth he drew
The which by chance did bear a leaddin head
Wheirof he nothing in his furie knew
Till in the Princes hairt he fixt the lead
Then Cupid blusht and sighdt and grond full sore
Who never knew that he was blind before.

Ane uther shaft with goldin head he taks
Wheirwith he wold undo his work ere long
But all in vaine his travell now he maks
For that the uthers poysione was too strong
Yet mollefied the force and did him move
To pitie her becaus he could not love.

Then weiping throw the aer young Cupid flies
To show unto his mother his mischance
The dame who now hade cleird hir wattrie eyes
With modest blushe and smyling countenance
Gave thanks unto the Prence for his releefe
When lo appeird more harme and more mischeefe.

For that a mightie Gyant they espyde
Come from the woode upone a Cameall strong
At whoes hudge fearfull sight the ladyes cry'd
O now begins our hell our death ow'r wrong
But she that was unbound with smyling cheir
Sayde thus unto them all, leave of your fear:

In this most brave and gallant Knight remains
Our hope, our confort, our releefe, our strengthe
Such vertue grace and valour he retains
That he must be our tour and sheild at lengthe
Love bred her courage that the taill hade tolde
What one so fear'd but love can mak them bolde.

Such was her love altho her love was new
Then leave her secound self she rather die
The Prince that saw the Gyant nerer drew
Sayd thus to her fair lady now I sie
I may not stay the rest for so unbind
Wheirfore that wark to yow must be assingde.

Go then quod she heavns the preserve from ill
So small a work as this may I performe
He hors'd and took a mightie launce him till
Then reddie he abyds the furious storme
The Gyant neir now dead seis evrye Knight
And cryd ah Gods do I behold this sight,

Trembling with wraith with anger raige and yre
He gnash'd his teith and shook his head a round
Out from his eyes flew flamms of sparkling fyre
And from his throat a hoarce confused sound
His braith within his throat his speeches toir
So bulls and lyones billow feght and roir.

Thus in his madnes furie wraith and haist
He coutcht his mast-lyke launce and furth did runne
The Prince that hade before his launce in raist
Lyik haist lyk wil hade lyk desyre to win
And thus lyke Pegasus grosse earth they spair
And flies lyke thunderbolts throw boxin aer,

The Gyaunt brak his launce first on the prince
Him self not steirt nor hurt nor mov'd at all
But gainst the Prince his armes wer no defence
Split was his hairt he doune to ground did fall
With such a noyes and such a thundring sound
As maks a mightie tour that falls to ground.

Be this the Ladyes of their bonds were fred
And saw this bloodie monsters fatall end
Terrour of him and horror of the dead
Made them to shrink and fearfull looks furth send
They stood amaizd dismay'd affraid they fanted
Their timorous hairts in their weak bosums panted.

When to the Dam's the Prince reteired back
Those Ladyes all fall's doune upone their kneis
First Jove then him they thank for this kynd act
With tears lyke pearle that streams from their fair eyes
They myldlie him be seeche request and pray
Of pitie mercie grace that he wold stay.

As he hade freed them from that Tyrann strong
To be their gairde their gyde and their defence
Against al hazard death mischefe and wrong
Till they wer saif at home and far from thence
He lighted doune nor stray'd till they had doone
But sweitlie meeklie myldlie answer'd soone.

First by the hand he raisd them from the ground
And then he sayde fair Ladyes leave to mourne
A gyde a guairde a servant have ye found
Till yow unto your homes may saif returne
They thank him praise him joyes in suche a guyde
Then tak their horse furthe on their way they ryde

And whill they traveld throw the forrest wyld
The Prince inquir'd how this mischance befell
When one of them bothe courtes grave and myld
With smylling countenance began to tell
Fair sire (quod she) first kno then what we be
Whom your great might and valour has made frie.

This Lady pointing to the Dame whom he
First lowsd from bands (but ty'd in bands of love)
Vadina heght sole Heyre of hungarie
Her Parents joy delight and pleasure prove
And thus your force th' Ungarian hope defend
On her we wait we serve and we attend.

Into this wood oft tym's she muche delights
To chace the loftie harte and simple hynde
On her awaits Lords Princes Erl's and Knights
That lovd her prais'd her servd her to her mynd
Amongst the rest that with the Princes came
Prince Dorio was a Prince of noble fame.

Betuixt tuo famous floods he holds the lands
Dravus the one Savas the uther heght
And Belgrad that on fair Danubius stand's
That mightie toune belongs to him of right
This galant Prince should wed Vodina fair
And regne with her as sole and only heyre.

This mightie Gyant whom yow haplie slew
The mightie Argolantes heght to name
Ore Misia he regn'd which they may rew
He when he hard of fair Vodinas fame
Send to the King and proudlie him command's
To geve his only daughter in his hands.

Whom after he had seene perhaps he wold
In mariage tak to be his laughfull wyfe
The King disdaind his pryde and sute so bold.
And him refus'd the which began this stryfe
The Gyant swor in pryd disdaine and skorne
Her wold he have altho the King had sworne.

Thus with ten Knights he in this kingdome came
And skornd with mo this kingdome to subdue
Who thought him self sufficient for the same
Such was his hope his pryde his valour trew
And knowing by his spyalls evry day
Of this our pastyme hunting sport and play.

On us he come before we was awar
When heat within our tents made us reteir
Our Knights still wandred throw the forrest farr
Sum heir sum their to bring us in the Deir
Except sum on the Princes that attend's
Whom in short space he brought unto their ends.

Then us poore soules he took unto his pray
We that could mak no more defence but murn'd
Us with his Knights before he send away
Whil with our Knights he faught that hade return'd
But much it feirs me al our Knights ar slaine
Heavn's grant that sweit Prince Dorio yet remaine.

And this is al fair Syre that I can shoe
Which but your ayde hade beene more tragicall
And if so pleas yow would the Princes kno
To whome her thanks should randred be for all
Since to your aid your valour strength and might
Our lyfes our selfs and al belongs of right.

Long mus'd the Prince and answer long delayde
For loath he was his name should their be knowne
At last their Princes fair Vodina sayde
Whom al this tyme sadd silence hade or'e blowne
On her new love her fansies new she fed
New thoughts new toyes devyses new that bred.

If I presume or should this muche be hold
With Maydens modestie for to dispence
Ev'ne to your courtasie of whome I hold
My lyfe I wil bequeath my roode offence
Whoes woundrous woorth stil Midas lyk is such
Pure gold to mak of drosse if yow bot toutch.

Then this my fault this boldnes then forbeir
Tho for not els yet since I am a Mayde
For thy blis'd name blisd natione to enquire
And that thryce happie soyle wheir yow west bred
Resolve me this which to thy woorth adds more
More to my bands more to thy fame thy gloire.

Not so Madame quod he theirs not in me
That merits from your lips to have a sound
Much les a praise yet if their onie be
Yow ar the sourse the roote the spring the ground
From whence that vertue spring bud bear or grow
Such force have words if from your lips they flow.

As for my name my natione soyle or bloode
In Thessalye neir Tempe's flowing fontanes
Upone the banks of fair Peneas floode
Their was I borne betuixt to famous montanes
That Ossa and Olympus heght and so
From then Pelympus I, no more, I kno

Thus whill he spak attentive was the Mayde
To his sweit braith and his sweet voices sound
That peirsd her breast her hairt and all affrayde
Eache word a dairt eache dairt a crewell wound
Eache wound by force a deidlie poysione framme
A seiknes a diseas a quenshles flamme.

And whill she thus to him heir speak delights
Amid the bushes thick they heir a noyce
Of horses trampling and of armed Knights
Whill trembling fear bereft the Ladyes joyes
But lo the Prince his sword and sheild provyds
And suddanelie wheir was, the sound he ryds:

Wheir as he seis thrie Knights in armour bright
And in his wraith inquyres what they wold have
From the those ladyes sayd the formest knight
First sayd the Prince you their goodwill must crave
Yes Yes sayd he but for thy fault thy wrong,
Death thou deserves death you shall have or long.

Who death so frilie geves and nothing wins
Perhaps mey serve himself before another
For charite ay at it self begins
This said the Prence no answer made the other
But eache began to thunder on the bloes
Valour alyk lyk strength lyk courage shoes.

Yet that which harm'd the Prince Pinardo most
The uther tuo did also him assaill
But he whoes never-deing valour lost
No tyme, his deidlie blowes began to daill
Doune to the breist the one he cleift in tuo
And heidles left the uther at a bloe,

His first Apailler feirslie forward ryde
Tuo mightie bloes he gave him for his due
One cleift his sheild the uther pears'd his syde
And at the thrid his sword in pecees flew
Whome at on bloe the Prince hade brought to death
But saw him with out a sword and calm'd his wraith.

But hee that wants a sword did nimblie prease
To greip the Prince and bring him from his horse
Which he refuses not bot with a treace
Him in his mightie armes he strains by force
He beirs him to Vodina him presented
Who all this tyme the battel soir lamented.

Yet knew she not those other Knights at all
Love hade her eyes so fix't upone the Prince
The other Dams fled fear'd and fanting fall
But love stout hardy bold was her defence
And when the Prince presents to her the Knight
Ah stay quod she thy hand wraith ire and might.

He is my freind and come to find me out
And to releeve me from the Gyants thrall
Prince Doreo he heght strong hardie stout
Then my offence my wronge my fault and all
Quod he deserveth death ah haist I blame
Haist cause of murning death repentance shame.

Prince Doreo stil amaizd dum sensles stoode
Love and regaird stroave with disgrace wraith shame
Wraith bad revenge revenge the others bloode
Shame bad revenge disgrace, love sayd the same
Dismay'd, amaiz'd, he staird and gaiz'd about
At last Vodina thus recald him out.

Amaizment Dorio leave and leave to dreame
Thank now this Knight whoes valour courage strenthe
Preserv'd my lyfe my honor and my fame
The Gyaunt and his knights chastiz'd at length
Whome to disgrace to death to shame he send
Thus he began what non but he could end.

Love jealousie disdain hade kendled fyre
Of wraith to heir his Mistres praise his foe
Yet cunninglie he smuddert in his ire
Till tyme place fate and fortune favor sho
Then quicklie turning to the victor Knight
Thus sayde he syre I shame not by thy might.

To be ore cum, since fates hes the ordaind
Most happie and most fortunat of all
Nather do I accout my valour staind
Since Fortune the her Champione does call
Thryce happie thow and famous thryce for why
Thow art Vodinas freend hir Servand I.

Be these his laittest words the Prince weell knew
Love was the only passione of his mynd
Wheirat within him self he smyld yit shew
Great coutesie for these his prayses kynd
Nor did he love nor feard he Rivalls spoyle
Such proud ambitione in his breist did boyle.

Then fordward on their way they still proceed
Till they oretack the Ladyes that wer fled
Whom heir and their in bushes hid for dreid
They find half dead with fear and terror led
Yet all with fair Vodina ford wart pas
To Buda wheir the King her father was.

At last Apollo in the west discendit
And chang'd heavns goldin smyls to azure hew
When as their jorney with his course was endit
Budas heighe tours they look they sie they vew
Whoes glist'ring splendor fyrie lightnings throwes
Throughe glomie heavns so shynning Cynthia shoes.

Thus neir to fair Danubius they drew
Meane while swift fame hade tydinges borne of all
How that strainge Knight fearce Argalantes slew
And sav'd Vodinus shame disgrace and fall
Then from his kinglie throne her father raise
And come to geve him honor thanks and praise.

They past that famous flood whoes sylver streame
Disjoyns tuo cities staitlie riche and fair
Buda the one Pesth is the others name
That on his banks heavne-threatning tops uprair
Lift up from earth as if in skyes they stoode
To vew their glanceing beauties in the floode.

Arryv'd wheir as the King did them abyde
Vodina kneild before her royall Syre
And told him that brave Knight kneild by her syde
That sav'd her lyif his honour croune empyre
Them lifted up betuixt his armes the Roy
Both them he kist and both embracd for joy.

H'is led betuixt Vodina and the King
Unto their court proud staitlie riche and fair
Still praises new, new thanks new honors bring
Due for his woorthe and happie fortuns rair
And evrye day wer new triumphs devysd
That him to pleasur joy delight entysd.

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