Verse > Edmund Spenser > Complete Poetical Works
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599).  The Complete Poetical Works.  1908.
The Faerie Queene
Book IV. The Legend of Cambel and Triamond
Canto IV
        Satyrane makes a turneyment
  For love of Florimell:
Britomart winnes the prize from all,
  And Artegall doth quell.

IT often fals, (as here it earst befell)
That mortall foes doe turne to faithfull frends,
And friends profest are chaungd to foemen fell:
The cause of both, of both their minds depends,
And th’ end of both, likewise of both their ends:        5
For enmitie, that of no ill proceeds,
But of occasion, with th’ occasion ends;
And friendship, which a faint affection breeds
Without regard of good, dyes like ill grounded seeds.
That well (me seemes) appeares by that of late
Twixt Cambell and Sir Triamond befell,
As els by this, that now a new debate
Stird up twixt Blandamour and Paridell,
The which by course befals me here to tell:
Who having those two other knights espide,        15
Marching afore, as ye remember well,
Sent forth their squire to have them both descride,
And eke those masked ladies riding them beside.
Who backe returning, told as he had seene,
That they were doughtie knights of dreaded name,        20
And those two ladies their two loves unseene;
And therefore wisht them without blot or blame
To let them passe at will, for dread of shame.
But Blandamour, full of vainglorious spright,
And rather stird by his discordfull dame,        25
Upon them gladly would have prov’d his might,
But that he yet was sore of his late lucklesse fight.
Yet, nigh approching, he them fowle bespake,
Disgracing them, him selfe thereby to grace,
As was his wont, so weening way to make        30
To ladies love, where so he came in place,
And with lewd termes their lovers to deface.
Whose sharpe provokement them incenst so sore,
That both were bent t’ avenge his usage base,
And gan their shields addresse them selves afore:        35
For evill deedes may better then bad words be bore.
But faire Cambina with perswasions myld
Did mitigate the fiercenesse of their mode,
That for the present they were reconcyld,
And gan to treate of deeds of armes abrode,        40
And strange adventures, all the way they rode:
Amongst the which they told, as then befell,
Of that great turney which was blazed brode,
For that rich girdle of faire Florimell,
The prize of her which did in beautie most excell.        45
To which folke-mote they all with one consent,
Sith each of them his ladie had him by,
Whose beautie each of them thought excellent,
Agreed to travell, and their fortunes try.
So as they passed forth, they did espy        50
One in bright armes, with ready speare in rest,
That toward them his course seem’d to apply;
Gainst whom Sir Paridell himselfe addrest,
Him weening, ere he nigh approcht, to have represt.
Which th’ other seeing, gan his course relent,
And vaunted speare eftsoones to disadvaunce,
As if he naught but peace and pleasure ment,
Now falne into their fellowship by chance;
Whereat they shewed curteous countenaunce.
So as he rode with them accompanide,        60
His roving eie did on the lady glaunce
Which Blandamour had riding by his side:
Whom sure he weend that he some wher tofore had eide.
It was to weete that snowy Florimell,
Which Ferrau late from Braggadochio wonne;        65
Whom he now seeing, her remembred well,
How, having reft her from the witches sonne,
He soone her lost: wherefore he now begunne
To challenge her anew, as his owne prize,
Whom formerly he had in battell wonne,        70
And proffer made by force her to reprize:
Which scornefull offer Blandamour gan soone despize;
And said: ‘Sir knight, sith ye this lady clame,
Whom he that hath were loth to lose so light,
(For so to lose a lady were great shame,)        75
Yee shall her winne, as I have done, in fight:
And lo! shee shall be placed here in sight,
Together with this hag beside her set,
That who so winnes her may her have by right:
But he shall have the hag that is ybet,        80
And with her alwaies ride, till he another get.’
That offer pleased all the company,
So Florimell with Ate forth was brought,
At which they all gan laugh full merrily:
But Braggadochio said, he never thought        85
For such an hag, that seemed worse then nought,
His person to emperill so in fight:
But if to match that lady they had sought
Another like, that were like faire and bright,
His life he then would spend to justifie his right.        90
At which his vaine excuse they all gan smile,
As scorning his unmanly cowardize:
And Florimell him fowly gan revile,
That for her sake refus’d to enterprize
The battell, offred in so knightly wize:        95
And Ate eke provokt him privily
With love of her, and shame of such mesprize.
But naught he car’d for friend or enemy,
For in base mind nor friendship dwels nor enmity.
But Cambell thus did shut up all in jest:
‘Brave knights and ladies, certes ye doe wrong
To stirre up strife, when most us needeth rest,
That we may us reserve both fresh and strong
Against the turneiment, which is not long,
When who so list to fight may fight his fill:        105
Till then your challenges ye may prolong;
And then it shall be tried, if ye will,
Whether shall have the hag, or hold the lady still.’
They all agreed; so, turning all to game
And pleasaunt bord, they past forth on their way,        110
And all that while, where so they rode or came,
That masked mock-knight was their sport and play.
Till that at length, upon th’ appointed day,
Unto the place of turneyment they came;
Where they before them found in fresh aray        115
Manie a brave knight and manie a daintie dame
Assembled, for to get the honour of that game.
There this faire crewe arriving did divide
Them selves asunder: Blandamour with those
Of his on th’ one; the rest on th’ other side.        120
But boastfull Braggadocchio rather chose,
For glorie vaine, their fellowship to lose,
That men on him the more might gaze alone.
The rest them selves in troupes did else dispose,
Like as it seemed best to every one;        125
The knights in couples marcht, with ladies linckt attone.
Then first of all forth came Sir Satyrane,
Bearing that precious relicke in an arke
Of gold, that bad eyes might it not prophane:
Which drawing softly forth out of the darke,        130
He open shewd, that all men it mote marke.
A gorgeous girdle, curiously embost
With pearle and precious stone, worth many a marke;
Yet did the workmanship farre passe the cost:
It was the same which lately Florimel had lost.        135
That same aloft he hong in open vew,
To be the prize of beautie and of might;
The which eftsoones discovered, to it drew
The eyes of all, allur’d with close delight,
And hearts quite robbed with so glorious sight,        140
That all men threw out vowes and wishes vaine.
Thrise happie ladie, and thrise happie knight,
Them seemd, that could so goodly riches gaine,
So worthie of the perill, worthy of the paine.
Then tooke the bold Sir Satyrane in hand
An huge great speare, such as he wont to wield,
And vauncing forth from all the other band
Of knights, addrest his maiden-headed shield,
Shewing him selfe all ready for the field.
Gainst whom there singled from the other side        150
A Painim knight, that well in armes was skild,
And had in many a battell oft bene tride,
Hight Bruncheval the bold, who fiersly forth did ride.
So furiously they both together met,
That neither could the others force sustaine:        155
As two fierce buls, that strive the rule to get
Of all the heard, meete with so hideous maine,
That both, rebutted, tumble on the plaine;
So these two champions to the ground were feld,
Where in a maze they both did long remaine,        160
And in their hands their idle troncheons held,
Which neither able were to wag, or once to weld.
Which when the noble Ferramont espide,
He pricked forth in ayd of Satyran;
And him against Sir Blandamour did ride        165
With all the strength and stifnesse that he can.
But the more strong and stiffely that he ran,
So much more sorely to the ground he fell,
That on an heape were tumbled horse and man.
Unto whose rescue forth rode Paridell;        170
But him likewise with that same speare he eke did quell.
Which Braggadocchio seeing, had no will
To hasten greatly to his parties ayd,
Albee his turne were next; but stood there still,
As one that seemed doubtfull or dismayd.        175
But Triamond, halfe wroth to see him staid,
Sternly stept forth, and raught away his speare,
With which so sore he Ferramont assaid,
That horse and man to ground he quite did beare,
That neither could in hast themselves againe upreare.        180
Which to avenge, Sir Devon him did dight,
But with no better fortune then the rest,
For him likewise he quickly downe did smight;
And after him Sir Douglas him addrest,
And after him Sir Paliumord forth prest,        185
But none of them against his strokes could stand;
But all the more, the more his praise increst:
For either they were left uppon the land,
Or went away sore wounded of his haplesse hand.
And now by this, Sir Satyrane abraid
Out of the swowne, in which too long he lay;
And looking round about, like one dismaid,
When as he saw the mercilesse affray
Which doughty Triamond had wrought that day
Unto the noble Knights of Maidenhead,        195
His mighty heart did almost rend in tway
For very gall, that rather wholly dead
Himselfe he wisht have beene, then in so bad a stead.
Eftsoones he gan to gather up around
His weapons, which lay scattered all abrode,        200
And as it fell, his steed he ready found.
On whom remounting, fiercely forth he rode,
Like sparke of fire that from the andvile glode,
There where he saw the valiant Triamond
Chasing, and laying on them heavy lode,        205
That none his force were able to withstond,
So dreadfull were his strokes, so deadly was his hond.
With that, at him his beamlike speare he aimed,
And thereto all his power and might applide:
The wicked steele for mischiefe first ordained,        210
And having now misfortune got for guide,
Staid not till it arrived in his side,
And therein made a very griesly wound,
That streames of bloud his armour all bedide.
Much was he daunted with that direfull stound,        215
That scarse he him upheld from falling in a sound.
Yet as he might, himselfe he soft withdrew
Out of the field, that none perceiv’d it plaine.
Then gan the part of chalengers anew
To range the field, and victorlike to raine,        220
That none against them battell durst maintaine.
By that the gloomy evening on them fell,
That forced them from fighting to refraine,
And trumpets sound to cease did them compell.
So Satyrane that day was judg’d to beare the bell.        225
The morrow next the turney gan anew,
And with the first the hardy Satyrane
Appear’d in place, with all his noble crew:
On th’ other side full many a warlike swaine
Assembled were, that glorious prize to gaine.        230
But mongst them all was not Sir Triamond;
Unable he new battell to darraine,
Through grievaunce of his late received wound,
That doubly did him grieve, when so himselfe he found.
Which Cambell seeing, though he could not salve,
Ne done undoe, yet for to salve his name,
And purchase honour in his friends behalve,
This goodly counterfesaunce he did frame:
The shield and armes, well knowne to be the same
Which Triamond had worne, unwares to wight,        240
And to his friend unwist, for doubt of blame,
If he misdid, he on himselfe did dight,
That none could him discerne, and so went forth to fight.
There Satyrane lord of the field he found,
Triumphing in great joy and jolity;        245
Gainst whom none able was to stand on ground;
That much he gan his glorie to envy,
And cast t’ avenge his friends indignity.
A mightie speare eftsoones at him he bent;
Who, seeing him come on so furiously,        250
Met him mid-way with equall hardiment,
That forcibly to ground they both together went.
They up againe them selves can lightly reare,
And to their tryed swords them selves betake;
With which they wrought such wondrous marvels there,        255
That all the rest it did amazed make,
Ne any dar’d their perill to partake;
Now cuffing close, now chacing to and fro,
Now hurtling round advantage for to take:
As two wild boares together grapling go,        260
Chaufing and foming choler each against his fo.
So as they courst, and turneyd here and theare,
It chaunst Sir Satyrane his steed at last,
Whether through foundring, or through sodein feare,
To stumble, that his rider nigh he cast;        265
Which vauntage Cambell did pursue so fast,
That ere him selfe he had recovered well,
So sore he sowst him on the compast creast,
That forced him to leave his loftie sell,
And rudely tumbling downe under his horse feete fell.        270
Lightly Cambello leapt downe from his steed,
For to have rent his shield and armes away,
That whylome wont to be the victors meed;
When all unwares he felt an hideous sway
Of many swords, that lode on him did lay.        275
An hundred knights had him enclosed round,
To rescue Satyrane out of his pray;
All which at once huge strokes on him did pound,
In hope to take him prisoner, where he stood on ground.
He with their multitude was nought dismayd,
But with stout courage turnd upon them all,
And with his brondiron round about him layd;
Of which he dealt large almes, as did befall:
Like as a lion, that by chaunce doth fall
Into the hunters toile, doth rage and rore,        285
In royall heart disdaining to be thrall.
But all in vaine: for what might one do more?
They have him taken captive, though it grieve him sore.
Whereof when newes to Triamond was brought,
There as he lay, his wound he soone forgot,        290
And starting up, streight for his armour sought:
In vaine he sought; for there he found it not;
Cambello it away before had got:
Cambelloes armes therefore he on him threw,
And lightly issewd forth to take his lot.        295
There he in troupe found all that warlike crew,
Leading his friend away, full sorie to his vew.
Into the thickest of that knightly preasse
He thrust, and smote downe all that was betweene,
Caried with fervent zeale, ne did he ceasse,        300
Till that he came where he had Cambell seene,
Like captive thral two other knights atweene:
There he amongst them cruell havocke makes,
That they which lead him soone enforced beene
To let him loose, to save their proper stakes;        305
Who being freed, from one a weapon fiercely takes.
With that he drives at them with dreadfull might,
Both in remembrance of his friends late harme,
And in revengement of his owne despight;
So both together give a new allarme,        310
As if but now the battell wexed warme.
As when two greedy wolves doe breake by force
Into an heard, farre from the husband farme,
They spoile and ravine without all remorse;
So did these two through all the field their foes enforce.        315
Fiercely they followd on their bolde emprize,
Till trumpets sound did warne them all to rest;
Then all with one consent did yeeld the prize
To Triamond and Cambell as the best.
But Triamond to Cambell it relest,        320
And Cambell it to Triamond transferd;
Each labouring t’ advance the others gest,
And make his praise before his owne preferd:
So that the doome was to another day differd.
The last day came, when all those knightes againe
Assembled were their deedes of armes to shew.
Full many deedes that day were shewed plaine:
But Satyrane, bove all the other crew,
His wondrous worth declared in all mens view;
For from the first he to the last endured,        330
And though some while Fortune from him withdrew,
Yet evermore his honour he recured,
And with unwearied powre his party still assured.
Ne was there knight that ever thought of armes,
But that his utmost prowesse there made knowen;        335
That by their many wounds, and carelesse harmes,
By shivered speares, and swords all under strowen,
By scattered shields was easie to be showen.
There might ye see loose steeds at randon ronne,
Whose luckelesse riders late were over-throwen,        340
And squiers make hast to helpe their lords fordonne:
But still the Knights of Maidenhead the better wonne.
Till that there entred on the other side
A straunger knight, from whence no man could reed,
In queynt disguise, full hard to be descride.        345
For all his armour was like salvage weed,
With woody mosse bedight, and all his steed
With oaken leaves attrapt, that seemed fit
For salvage wight, and thereto well agreed
His word, which on his ragged shield was writ,        350
Salvagesse sans finesse, shewing secret wit.
He, at his first incomming, charg’d his spere
At him that first appeared in his sight:
That was to weet the stout Sir Sangliere,
Who well was knowen to be a valiant knight,        355
Approved oft in many a perlous fight.
Him at the first encounter downe he smote,
And overbore beyond his crouper quight,
And after him another knight, that hote
Sir Brianor, so sore, that none him life behote.        360
Then, ere his hand he reard, he overthrew
Seven knights, one after other, as they came:
And when his speare was brust, his sword he drew,
The instrument of wrath, and with the same
Far’d like a lyon in his bloodie game,        365
Hewing and slashing shields and helmets bright,
And beating downe what ever nigh him came,
That every one gan shun his dreadfull sight,
No lesse then death it selfe, in daungerous affright.
Much wondred all men, what, or whence he came,
That did amongst the troupes so tyrannize;
And each of other gan inquire his name.
But when they could not learne it by no wize,
Most answerable to his wyld disguize
It seemed, him to terme the Salvage Knight.        375
But certes his right name was otherwize,
Though knowne to few that Arthegall he hight,
The doughtiest knight that liv’d that day, and most of might.
Thus was Sir Satyrane with all his band
By his sole manhood and atchievement stout        380
Dismayd, that none of them in field durst stand,
But beaten were, and chased all about
So he continued all that day throughout,
Till evening, that the sunne gan downward bend.
Then rushed forth out of the thickest rout        385
A stranger knight, that did his glorie shend:
So nought may be esteemed happie till the end.
He at his entrance charg’d his powerfull speare
At Artegall, in middest of his pryde,
And therewith smote him on his umbriere        390
So sore, that, tombling backe, he downe did slyde
Over his horses taile above a stryde:
Whence litle lust he had to rise againe.
Which Cambell seeing, much the same envyde,
And ran at him with all his might and maine;        395
But shortly was likewise seene lying on the plaine.
Whereat full inly wroth was Triamond,
And cast t’ avenge the shame doen to his freend:
But by his friend himselfe eke soone he fond,
In no lesse neede of helpe then him he weend.        400
All which when Blandamour from end to end
Beheld, he woxe therewith displeased sore,
And thought in mind it shortly to amend:
His speare he feutred, and at him it bore;
But with no better fortune then the rest afore.        405
Full many others at him likewise ran:
But all of them likewise dismounted were.
Ne certes wonder; for no powre of man
Could bide the force of that enchaunted speare,
The which this famous Britomart did beare;        410
With which she wondrous deeds of arms atchieved,
And overthrew what ever came her neare,
That all those stranger knights full sore agrieved,
And that late weaker band of chalengers relieved.
Like as in sommers day, when raging heat
Doth burne the earth, and boyled rivers drie,
That all brute beasts, forst to refraine fro meat,
Doe hunt for shade, where shrowded they may lie,
And missing it, faine from themselves to flie;
All travellers tormented are with paine:        420
A watry cloud doth overcast the skie,
And poureth forth a sudden shoure of raine,
That all the wretched world recomforteth againe.
So did the warlike Britomart restore
The prize to Knights of Maydenhead that day,        425
Which else was like to have bene lost, and bore
The prayse of prowesse from them all away.
Then shrilling trompets loudly gan to bray,
And bad them leave their labours and long toyle
To joyous feast and other gentle play,        430
Where beauties prize shold win that pretious spoyle:
Where I with sound of trompe will also rest a whyle.

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