1615
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Penardo and Laissa. Caput. XVII.

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


The stranger knight reveals his identity to Penardo: "I am that mayde whome thow redeem'd from death | From paine from hell from everlasting wo | From Mansays mightie charms his craft his wraith | Ev'ne I that same Laissa whome thow fred | First from the flamme last from the sleipping bed" Sig. Q3. He swears his devotion to Laissa, who had previously fallen in love with him while lying enchanted in the tomb which Penardo had suspected was hers.

Laissa then relates her adventures. After being informed by Mansay that Penardo would return after many trials, she had lived as a shepherdess until being carried off by Evandone Prince of Ephyre. Resisting his advances, she eventually stabbed him with his own knife. The people, who hated the tyrant, awarded her the crown, but she set off in search of Penardo. Mansay had given her arms and directions to Buda, telling her that she was of noble birth, but destined to be unhappy in what she most loved.

Dawn breaks, and the lovers are surprised by a beautiful woman riding in an elegant coach; her groom (who is the enchanter Arebo in disguise) begs assistance from Penardo, who then abandons Laissa, who at the end of the poem is left to wander alone.



ARGUMENT.
The stranger Prince Penardo knoes
Of whom he does rejoy's
Who tellis him many woundrous thing's
At last they heir a noyes
The Queene of Macedon they sie
Led by them as they thought
Fals Arebo beguyls the Prince
Whome long the stranger sought.

When Budans could not thus attaine revenge
Of that disgrace and shame was to them wrought
With noyes confus'd sad shout's and murmur strainge
The slaine and murdred bodies home they brought
And to this day Penardo's thought so wyld
That with yat name they still yair weeping chyld.

Whill they in wofull murning pas the night
Penardo in the forrest did remaine
With his true freind his unaquainted Knight
That for him tooke more then a freindlie paine
No wounds they hade but wearyed whill they lay
Hard by the sounding streame and longd for day,

The Prince sayd thus synce heavn's ar pleasd with thise
That I must live who lookt for nought but death
Most woorthie Knight think not I doe amise
To kno of whoes brave mynd I hold my breath
And unto whome my indevores and al
My lyfe my thought my service should be thrall.

Or if the heavn's hath sent yow to my aide
Since none but heavns my innocence heth knowne
Vodinas death was falslie on me layde
Which Jove this day has of his mercie showne
Nor my request becaus too lait yow shune it
Long since if tyme hade serv'd wold I have doone it.

Then quod the other, Prince Penardo kno
I am that mayde whome thow redeem'd from death
From paine from hell from everlasting wo
From Mansays mightie charms his craft his wraith
Ev'ne I that same Laissa whome thow fred
First from the flamme last from the sleipping bed.

Her words at once bred wounder and delight
Yet in his hairt ther could no credit fynde
Till of she tooke her cask of sylver whyte
Then bleiz'st her eyes her, looks lyik lightning shyn'd
Her shining haire about her face doune flies
Through which bright vale lyke starres appeare her eies,

As when the Sune throw yealow glase doeth shyne
On alabastre toumbs pure cleir and whyt
With small and prettie goldin streams devyne
Seem's trembling on the stone to tak delyte
Of that whyt object deckt with cristall rocks
On her fair face so shynd her goldin lock's.

Altho the nyght was dark he might behold
Her eyes lyk glanceing comets blaizing farre
Or dyamonts in whyt enameld gold
Penardo thow whoes hairt from dreidfull warre
Could not be thrald to womanizing love
How thinks thow now this passion for to prove

Wheiron now thinks thow wheiron does thow gaize
The same is she whoes lovelie self thow saw
Within the sleipping toumbe and could not raise
Nor from enchaunted sleep her senses draw
Whoes bright Idea wanders throw thy mynd
Yet can no resting place for love out fynd.

When thoughts assurde him she the same must be
Oft tymes he thanks the heavn's for her releef
Has heavn'e fate so sune smyld agane quod he
And ar thow now suffeis'd with my mischeefe
Heighe Jove his sacred helpe and aide up steirs
When daunger most most harme most wrack appeirs.

And fair Madame quod he yours is my name
My lyfe my service and my all is yours
Yours be the praise the honor glorie fame
Yours be my deads my acts my happie hour's
Yours is my lyife by right me shall yow have
To be your knight your servant and your slave.

The varient stuf that alter change and turne
Wrought of discoloured silk soft subtile cleir
Heir lillie whyte their crimsone reid doeth burne
Now mingle both and now doth red appeir
So she that heirs him turn's and changes so
Heir reid their whyt and then all reid doeth sho.

Sweit wer the sounds that from his lips proceid
Which pearst her tender breist and gentle hairt
Wheiron her old-bred love and fansie feid
Renewes the flamme first in her mynd insert
For first she fell in love with him when as
Enchanted sitting in the toumbe she was.

And ever since in love hade she remaind
Far hade she gone far sought to find him out
Till providence of hyer pow'rs ordaind
She should of his sad death remove the doubt
For Cupid of his deads a chaine did framme
That captive led this fair and amorous damme.

Thus whill she gaisd long on his countenance
A modest smyle for answer he receav'd
Oft wold her eyes steil furth a secreit glance
If not for shame a kisse she would have crav'd
Eache pairt she vew'd she lovd she prais'd with smyling
Suche craft can lovers use them selfs beguylling.

From secreit pleasurs and from hid delight
From gaizing thus at lengthe the Prince awaks her
To pass away the long and wearie night
With courtes speiche and prayers fair he maks her
To tell her lyfe her inuirye her wrong
Her fore past labours and her travells long.

First then she rais'd her myld and modest eyes
And cleir'd her countenance with heavnely grace
A fyrie smyle sweit plesant glade furthe flies
That chac'd the clouds of cair and greifs apace
While beautie of her foreheid made a throne
And sat their to be gaiz'd and woundred on.

My Lord quoth she to show my wofull lyfe
Would tedious prove and never have ane end
For heavens and fortune seime to be at strife
Which should against mee most theire forces bend
Yet shaell yow kno the Muses crewell hairted
And what befell to me since yew departed.

My Parents freinds nor blood I do not kno
Nor of what house or lyne I am discendit
Nor of my wofull birth I can not sho
But skairslie well thrie lusters yit ar endit
Since swadled by the Heliconian fontane
The Muses fand me on that pleasant montane.

They brought me up within that holy mont
Taught me their holye reitts and sacred art
One day (a wofull day) as I was wount
When I hade chac'd the Stage ye Hynd ye Harte
In ther swit spring to bath I took delight
Which was my ground of wo greif cair despight.

The Muses for that caus I do not kno
But that was all the fault they did pretend
Left me bereft me and decreid my wo
And by their Pow're devyne did thither send
Two Knights my love to win to sue to pray
And Rivalls both each one did other stay.

Then Mansay did his charmes and spirits send
Enchaunting them and me as yow have seene
Which by your might and valour brought to end
And yow to lett when as he saw no meine
Me in the sleipping toumbe he did enchaunt
That saw yow knew yow tho my speech did want.

When from the rook yow took the sword and shield
Then from my paine and prisone you redem'd me
I cry'd I cald I sought you throu the field
But Mansay that some better then esteem'd me
Appeird to me and told me you ver gone
Which made me weet my cheekes and sigh and mone.

The Wizard then from murning me refrainde
And told me you should saif returne againe
For you paine cair and sorow was ordaind
Whair throw yon must to glorie great attaine
So heav'ns decreit and so you must obay
Thus sayd throw shaiples aer he went away.

His words renewd but somwhat easd my greif
Still on I went over craigs and montanes hoar
But hope but hap but help or but releif
The wraith of heavne, ne're satisfiet the more
And to augment my cair my wo my stryfe
I lived this base this poore this serveill lyfe

It was my channce when I had traveld long
In forrests wyde some sheipherds for to find
Whoes lyfe content secure from fortuns wrong
Would fite my cursd and haitfull dayes to end
Wheir long I served in poore and mein degrie
Refusde no paine whill paine refusde not me

But Fortun still invying my estait
And skorning this my blist tho poore content
Disdaning so I should eskape her hait
Not suffring death my shame wo greif prevent
Nor pitied she my wo my cair my greif
But pitied I should thus eshew mischeif.

One day as I my shaggie flock furth dreave
From fold to grove to medewe and to plain
Evandone Prince of Ephyre did persave
Within whoes land thoes shipherds all remain
By chaunce from sporthe com and me esteem'd.
More beautifull then in effect I seem'd.

And thither oft in tyms he did resort
To thrall me chaste desire unto his will
But I still cloyde with cairs and vod of sport
Denyit his sute and preisd to shune his ill
But all in vaine my travell was for nought
Me gainst my will unto his court he brought.

Ane youth he was unmaried I confes
And on my head wold set his diadem
But I whoes hairt ane other did posses
This spak the dame unwarrs and bushd for shame
And thus she turnd her speeche, from whom all love
My cair my greif my sorrow did remove.

When he perceavd my resolutione strong
Unmovd nor vowes, nor prayers could prevaill
He neids would have by force dispight and wrong
What he could not obtain by love t' assaill
And long he mew'd me up frome dayes sweet lyght
In prisone dark in voes eternall night.

Nor could these wrongs his crueltie suffeize
Nor could he pitie puire unhappie me
But in the sight of all the Peoples eyes
He would bereave my spotles chastitie
Nor could words prayers sighs or tears him move
To leave so foull so vyld so filthie love.

His vitious mynd so odious had him made
That all his Lords and people him detested
Then would he have me bound upone a bed
When on my knees this one thing I requested
He would not suffer Rascalls bind or bow me
But his owne hands yat honor wold allow me.

Wheirto he yeelds and I resolve to die
Then cald I thryce on sweit Penardos Name
Thus twyce unwarrs her passion furth did flie
Twyce she her love bewrayd and tuyce thought shame
O love true love for speeks she or be mute
Her blushe looks smyls or word bewrayt her sute.

Yet love to hyde that had so oft burst out
Her eyes tuixt wraith and shame rold brint and shynd
At last this she excuse she casts about
Quod she Thyne ayde would their have pleasd my mynd
I wish'd the when the Tyrane did aspyre
To act his filthie foull and vyle desyre.

His dagger then I quicklie puld a pairt
And ere he could him self of me releef
I stobd his love but with his love his hart
Wheir with the people cry'd O sad mischeef
Some in a raige me scuriouslie assayld
But with the greatter pairt my pairt prevaild.

And thus begane a fearce and crewell feght
On at her syde wer kild hurt brusd or slaine
I pitied for my caus my deid my right
They murdred thus should masacred remane
Wheirfor with gentle speeche and pleasant words
I both appeasd their wraith and sheathd their swords.

When they bethought them on the Tyrans deids
His murders great when they to mynd did call
They prais'd heighe Jove from whom ther help proceids
To me they gave yair kingdome croun and all
Which long for to enjoy I could not stay
Whom angrie fates and fortune cald away.

I vowd yat rest my bodie should not find
Till I my countrey freinds and parents kno
A governour their left I me behind
Then forward on my journey did I go
Long traveld I and mony dangers past
Till in this forest I arryvd at last.

Wheir whill I lay my weary lims to rest
Beneth the umbrege of a spredding Beeche
A virgine Nymphish lyk attyrt and drest
Presents to me this armour with this speeche
Aryse Laissa now the tyme drawes neir
Wherein thou must a knight no mayde appeir.

Mansay the send this armour sword and shield
And thair with bids the go to Buda straight
Wheirby thy Fortune Heavns shall to ye yeeld
By cunning slight by force and dreidfull feght
Thou must that Knight from fire from death detaine
That the releevd from fyre from bloode from paine.

As for thy Parents this he letts ye kno
Thou art sole Heyre unto a mightie King
Which tym and fate and fortun shall ye sho
And end to all thy greif cair sorow bring
But kno thy hart's delight and greattest joy
Shall be the greattest caus of thy annoy.

This sayd the Nymphe throughe shaples aer does glyd
I fond my self well arm'd on every pairt
And forduart fast my spedie steps I hy'd
Me thought some fear assailt my pancing hairt
Some fear of fortune ill mishap mischeef
Wheirat I tremblit shouk and quakt for greif.

Whill thus I go tuix dreid wo hope and fear
I met by happie chance a Palmer old
Who did the mater all to me declair
And how yow slew stout Argalantes bold
And tho your name was chang'd yet weell I knew
Your deads your valour shew me it was yow

Then Argalantes Nephoy fain'd I me
To mak you frie non other mein I saw
And to revell to yow for yow I die
Then knew I weell yow all the treuth wold shaw
So should yow die I leive for to be sory
That Earths object was saift and lost her glory.

By this heavn's light Earths confort Darknesse foe
From our horisone Night did wairn to pas
And lyke transparent cristall gave to sho
The hemisphere or lyk bright azure glas
Or lyk a demi-sylver-globe it lyes
Upone the earthe earthe seem's to beir the skye.

No sooner days faire coach man did appeir
When as their talk was interrupt and stayit
A noyes of horse and chariots they did heir
And suddanly they roise as half affrayit
Whill as the sound drew neir they did espy
Some threttie Knights that gallopt softlie by,

And round about a coatche they seemd to ryde
That four whyt fair and galant coursers drew
In which a lady sat whoes beauties pryd
Seemd to contend with bright Apollos hew
Yet throw her beautie lookt furthe proud disdaine
That shew her mynd displeasure did containe.

Her crimsone cheek leand on her snow whyte hand
Her eyes Loves fyrie Comets seem'd with chyld
With tears which woe and anger did command.
And raind downe Tempest from her face so myld
On her fair breist lyk diamants whoes rainge
Fyr't by hir eyis in thousand colours cheange.

Or lyke the rory deaw in May that lyes
One snow white-lilies and on purple roses
So stands the Nectar drops stild from her eyes
Upone her rosie cheeks sweit beauties poses
She breath'd sweit balme whoes odore phisick prove
To purge grosse sense and sharpe dull witts for love.

And wartone Cupid dalieed in her lap
Snatching the cristall balls still as they fall
And at Penardo throwes him to intrap
Too weell that craftie Cupid knew with all
How to revenge Penardos former wrong
Whiche wofully he acted now ere long.

O thow Penardo brave Penardo thow
What doest thow think or wheiron dost you gaize
Heth love o're cum the, has one made the bow
Whoes hand o're airmyes gote the conquiring praise
But O what hairt so hard or strong to keepe
But yeeld's to love when beautie list to weepe.

And whill he stoode in this amaize he seis
A simple Groome upone a galant-horse
Who cryes and sighes and weeps with watrie eyes
And followes still the traine with great remorce
At him he wold enquire and run's a pace
Who in few words thus answred him alace.

Sire Knight if ere true pitie pears'd your hairt
Or if the vow of knight hoode you obey
Releeve my Dame and ease her wofull smairt
By cruell tyranes rest and brought away
Tak this my horse and stay my Ladyes flight
Thryce happie I if this succeid a right

The haples Prince no questione more wold crave
But taks the horse and after them he ryd's
The wicked Groome that did him so deceave
Was not a Groome but in that shape abyds
Fals Arebo so full of all disceat
That sought his deathe and fall of his estate

For when the Prince eskeap't Philenas traine
Wairn'd be the Angell when he fled by night
She wold have murdred him for his disdaine
But finding he hade sav'd him self by flight
With Arebo consults for her revenge
Who hade devys'd this traine fearce crewell strange.

This galant Lady whom the Prince had sein
Was faire Olinda whom the fates ordaind
Faire crewell chaste and of all hearts the Queene
Love bow'd to her but she all love disdaind
Ore Macedon she regn'd whoes shaip by airt
The wisard fraim'd to worke Penardos smairt.

Laissa oft requirde the Prince to stay
Till she with him the quarrel hade embrac'd,
But he impatient of all delay
Told herd he would returne agane in haist
Yit love made her unfit to follow fast
Till wandring farre she lost the way at last.

And wearied with her heavye armours weyght
Dround in displeasure sorowes greifs and harmes
She traveld till the dark and dreid full nyght
In folds the worlde within her lazie airmes
Then rest's she by a fonte, bevaills her state
Her luck, her chance, her fortune, and her fate.

[sigs Q2v-R]