The paper focuses on the poem “Penelopea or the innocence of the strangely wonderful maiden sev’n times tortured. Previously by Jerome the saint, now by Jan Achacy Kmita described” (Penelopea abo niewinność dziwnie cudownej niewiasty siedm razy ciętej. Przedtym przez Hieronima świętego, a teraz przez Jana Achacego Kmitę opisana) by Jan Achacy Kmita (ca. 1560 – ca. 1628). The 1610 text is a poetic paraphrase of “Letter 1” by St. Jerome of Stridon. This paper presents the methods of Kmita’s translation and situates “Penelopea” in relation to “Susanna” by Jan Kochanowski. The translator has particularly accentuated the drama of the plot (characterised by the presence of numerous expressivisms), locating the macabre episodes in a small-town scenery. Both “Susanna” and “Penelopea” can be described as poetic exempla, however Kmita’s epyllion is devoid of topics of providence and divine justice, unlike Kochanowski’s text. Kmita focuses on the epic hic et nunc, the symptoms of wonder, marvel, and cruelty, and draws from them a parenetic conclusion of persistance in suffering.