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With whom as they thus rode accompanide, Yet he to her did dayly service more,
And dayly more deceived was thereby;
Yet Paridell him envied therefore,
But Atè soone discovering his desire,
Now with remembrance of those sprightfull speaches, After each beautie that appeard in sight,
Now with opinion of his owne more worth, Beheld; eftsoones it prickt bis wanton mind Now with recounting of like former breaches With sting of lust that reasons eye did blind, Made in their friendship, as that hag him teaches : That to sir Paridell these words he sent ;
And ever, when liis passion is allayd, “Sir Knight, why ride ye dumpish thus behind, She it revives, and new occasion reaches : Since so good fortune doth to you present
That, on a time as they together way'd, So fayre a spoyle, to make you ioyous meriment?" He made him open chalenge, and thus boldly sayd; But Paridell, that had too late a tryall
“ Too boastfull Blandamour! too long I beare Of the bad issue of his counsell vaine,
The open wrongs thou doest me day by day; List rot to hearke, but made this fayre denyall ; Well know'st thou, when we friendship first did " Last turne was mine, well proved to my paine ; The covenant was, that every spoyleor pray (sweare, This now be yours; God send you better gaine !” Should equally be shard betwixt us tway: Whose scoffed words he taking balfe in scorne, Where is my part then of this ladie bright, Fiercely forth prickt his steed as in disdaine Whom to thyselfe thou takest quite away? Against that knight, ere he him well could torne; Render therefore therein to me my right, By meanes whereof he hath him lightly overborne. Or answere for thy wrong as shall fall out in fight." Who, with the sudden stroke astonisht sore,
Exceeding wrath thereat was Blandamour, Upon the ground awhile in slomber lay;
And gan this bitter answere to him make; The wbiles his love away the other bore,
“ Too foolish Paridell! that fayrest Moure And, shewing her, did Paridell upbray;
Wouldst gather faine, and yet no paines wouldst “ Lo! sluggish knight, the victors happie pray!
But not so easie will I her forsake; (take: So fortune friends the bold.” Whom Paridell
This hand her wonne, this hand shall her defend." Seeing so faire indeede, as he did say,
With that they gan their shivering speares to shake, His bart with secret envie gan to swell,
And deadly points at eithers breast to bend, And inly grudge at him that he had sped so well. Forgetfull each to have bene ever others frend. Nathlesse proud man himselfe the other deemed,
Their firie steedes with so untamed forse Having so peerlesse paragon ygot:
Did beare them both to fell avenges end, For sure the fayrest Florimell him seemed
That both their speares with pitilesse remorse To him was fallen for his happie lot,
Through shield and mayle and haberieon did wend, Whose like alive on Earth he weened not:
And in their flesh a griesly passage rend, Therefore he her did court, did serve, did wove,
That with the furie of their owne affret With humblest suit that he imagine mot
Each other horse and man to ground did send ; And all things did devise, and all things dooe, [too. The perilous present stownd in which their lives
Where, lying still awhile, both did forget That might her love prepare, and liking win there
were set. She, in regard thereof, him recompenst
As when two warlike brigandines at sea, With golden words and goodly countenance, With murdrous weapons arm'd to cruell fight, And such fond favours sparingly dispenst :
Do meete together on the watry lea, Sometimes him blessing with a light eyeglance, They stemme ech other with so fell despight, And coy lookes tempring with loose dalliance; That with the shocke of their owne heedlesse might Sometimes estranging him in sterner wise;
Their wooden ribs are shaken nigh asonder; That, having cast him in a foolish trance,
They which from shore behold the dreadfull sight He seemed brought to bed in Paradise,
Of flashing fire, and heare the ordnance thonder, And prov'd himselfe most foole in what he seem'd Do greatly stand amaz'd at such unwonted wonder. most wise.
At length they both upstarted in amaze, So great a mistresse of her art she was,
As men awaked rashly out of dreme, And perfectly practiz'd ju womans craft,
And round about theinselves a while did gaze; That though therein himselfe he thought to pas, Till seeing her, that Florimell did seme, And by his false allurements wylie draft
In doubt to whom she victorie should deeme, Had thousand women of their love beraft,
Therewith their dolled sprights they edgd anew, Yet now he was surpriz'd: for that false spright, And, drawing both their swords with rage extreme, Which that same witch bad in this forme engraft, Like two mad mastiffes each on other flew, Was so expert in every subtile slight,
And shields did share, and mailes did rash, and That it could overreach the wisest earthly wight.
helmes did hew,
So furiously each other did assayle,
Thereat sir Blandamour, with countenance sterne As if their soules they would attonce have rent All full of wrath, thus fiercely him bespake; Out of their brests, that streames of bloud did rayle “ Aread, thou squire, that I the man may learne, Adowne, as if their springs of life were sprot; That dare fro me thinke Florimell to take !" That all the ground with purple bloud was sprent, “ Not one," quoth he, “ but many doe partake And all their armours staynd with bloudie gore; Herein; as thus : it lately so befell, Yet scarcely once to breath would they relent, That Satyran a girdle did uptake So mortall was their malice and so sore
Well knowne to appertaine to Florimell, Become, offayned friendship which they vow'd afore. Which for her sake he wore, as him beseemed well. And that which is for ladies most befitting,
But, whenas she herselfe was lost and gone, To stint all strife, and foster friendly peace, Full many knights, that loved her like deare, Was from those dames so farre and so unfitting, Thereat did greatly grudge, that he alone As that, instead of praying them surcease,
That lost faire ladies ornament should weare, They did much more their cruelty encrease; And gan therefore close spight to him to beare; Bidding them fight for honour of their love, Which he to shun, and stop vile envies sting, And rather die then ladies cause release: [move, Hath lately caus'd to be proclaim'd each where With which vaine termes so much they did them A solemne feast, with publike turneying, [bring : That both resolv'd the last extremities to prove. To which all knights with them their ladies are to There they, I weene, would fight untill this day, “ And of them all she, that is fayrest found, Had not a squire, even he the Squire of Dames, Shall have that golden girdle for reward ; By great adventure travelled that way ;
And of those knights, who is most stout on ground, Who seeing both bent to so bloudy games,
Shall to that fairest ladie be prefard. And both of old well knowing by their names, Since therefore she herselfe is now your ward, Drew nigh, to weete the cause of their debate: To you that ornament of hers pertaines, And first laide on those ladies thousand blames, Against all those that chalenge it, to gard, That did not seeke t'appease their deadly hate, And save her honour with your ventrous paines ; But gazed on their harmes, not pittying their estate: That shall you win more glory tban ye here find
gaines." And then those knights he humbly did beseech To stay their hands, till he awhile bad spoken: When they the reason of his words had hard, Who lookt a little up at that his speech,
They gan abate the rancour of their rage, Yet would not let their battell so be broken, And with their honours and their loves regard Both greedie fiers on other to be wroken.
The furious flames of malice to asswage. Yet he to them so earnestly did call,
Tho each to other did his faith engage, And them coniur'd by some well knowen token, Like faithfull friends thenceforth to ioyne in one That they at last their wrothfull hands let fall, [all. With all their force, and battell strong to wage Content to heare him speake, and glad to rest with Gainst all those knights, as their professed fone,
That chaleng'd ought in Florimell, save they alone. First he desir'd their cause of strife to see : They said, it was for love of Florimell.
So, well accorded, forth they rode together “ Ah! gentle knights,” quoth he,“ how may that in friendly sort, that lasted but a while; And she so farre astray, as none can tell ?” [bee, And of all old dislikes they made faire weather: “ Fond sqnire,” full angry then sayd Paridell, Yet all was forg'd and spred with golden foyle, “ Seest not the ladie there before thy face?” That under it hidde hate and hollow guyle. He looked backe, and, her avising well,
Ne certes can that friendship long endure, Weend, as he said, by that her outward grace However gay and goodly be the style, That fayrest Florimell was present there in place. That doth ill cause or evill end enure :
For vertue is the band that bindeth harts most sure. Glad man was he to see that joyous sight, For pone alive but ioy'd in Florimell,
Thus as they marched all in close disguise And, lowly to her lowting thus bebigbt;
Of fayned love, they chaunst to overtake “ Fayrest of faire, that fairenesse doest excell, Two knights, that lincked rode in lovely wise, This happie day I have to greete you well, As if they secret counsels did partake; In which you safe I see, whom thousand late And each not farre behinde him bad his make, Misdoubted lost through mischiefe that befell; To weete, two ladies of most goodly hew, Long may you live in health and happie state!” That twixt themselves did gentle purpose make, She title answer'd him, but lightly did aggrate.
Uomindfull both of that discordfull crew,
The which with speedie pace did after them pursew. Then, turning to those knights, he gan anew; “ And you, sir Blandamour, and Paridel,
Who, as they now approched nigh at hand, That for this ladie present in your vew
Deeming them doughtie as they did appeare, Have rays'd this cruell warre and outrage fell, They sent that squire afore, to understand Certes, me seemes, bene not advised well; What mote they be: who, viewing them more neare, But rather ought in friendship for her sake Returned readie newes, that those same weare To ioyne your force, their forces to repell
Two of the prowest knights in Faery lond; That seeke perforce her from yon both to take, And those two ladies their two lovers deare; And of your gotten spoyle their owne triúmph to Couragious Cambell, and stout Triamond, make."
With Canacee and Cambine linckt in lovely bond.
Whylome, as antique stories tellen us,
Bold was the chalenge, as himselfe was bold,
Which he atchiev'd to his great ornament :
Most confidence and hope of happie speed,
That, mongst the manie vertues which we reed, On Fames eternall beadroil worthie to be fyled. Had power to staunch al wounds that mortally did
bleed. But wicked Time, that all good thoughts doth waste, And workes of noblest wits to nought outweare, Well was that rings great vertue knowen to all ; That famous moniment hath quite defaste, That dread thereof, and his redoubted might, And robd the world of threasure endlesse deare, Did all that youthly rout so much appall, The which mote have enriched all us heare. That pone of them durst undertake the fight: O cursed eld, the canker-worme of writs !
More wise they weend to make of love delight How may these rimes, so rude as doth appeare, Then life to hazard for faire ladies looke; Hope to endure, sith workes of heavenly wits [bits! And yet uncertaine by such outward sight, Are quite devourd, and brought to nought by little Though for her sake they all that perill tooke,
Whether she would them love, or in her liking brooke. Then pardon, O most sacred happie rit, That I thy labours lost may thus revive,
Amongst those knights there were three brethren And steale from thee the meede of thy due merit, Three bolder brethren never were yborne, [bold, That none durst ever whilest thou wast alive, Borne of one mother in one happie mold, And, being dead, in vaine yet many strive: Borne at one burden in one bappie morne ; Ne dare I like; but, through infusion sweete Thrise happie mother, and thrise happie morne, Of thine owne spirit which doth in me survive, That bore three such, three such not to be fond ! I follow here the footing of thy feete,
Her name was Agapè, whose children werne That with thy meaning so I may the rather meete. All three as one; the first hight Priamond,
The second Dyamond, the youngest Triamond. Cambelloes sister was fayre Canacee, That was the learnedst ladie in her dayes,
Stout Priamond, but not so strong to strike; Well seene in everie science that mote bee, Strong Diamond, but not so stout a knight; And every secret worke of Nature's wayes; But Triamond was stout and strong alike: In wittie riddles; and in wise soothsayes;
On horsebacke used Triamond to fight, In power of herbes; and tunes of beasts and burds; And Priamond on foote had more delight ; And, that augmented all her other prayse, But horse and foote knew Diamond to wield: She modest was in all her deedes and words, With curtaxe used Diamond to smite, And wondrous chast of life, yet lov'd of knights and And Triamond to handle speare and shield, lords.
But speare and curtaxe both usd Priamond in field. Full many lords and many knights her loved, These three did love each other dearely well, Yet she to none of them her liking lent,
And with so firme affection were allyde, Ne ever was with fondraffection moved,
As if but one soule in them all did dwell, But ruld her thoughts with goodly governement, Which did her powre into three parts divyde; For dread of blame and honours blemishment; Like three faire branches budding farre and wide, And eke unto her lookes a law she made,
That from one roote deriv'd their vitall sap : That none of them once out of order went,
And, like that roote that doth her life divide, But, like to warie centonels well stayd,
Their mother was; and had full blessed hap Still wateht on every side, of secret foes afrayd. These three so noble babes to bring forth at one clap. So much the more as she refusd to love,
Their mother was a Fay, and had the skill So much the more she loved was and sought, Of secret things, and all the powres of Nature, That oftentimes unquiet strife did move
Which she by art could use unto her will, Amongst her lovers, and great quarrels wrought; And to her service bind each living creature, That oft for her in bloudie armes they fought. Through secret understanding of their feature. Which whenas Cambell, that was stout and wise, Thereto she was right faire, whenso her face Perceiv'd would breede great mischiefe, be be- She list discover, and of goodly stature; How to prevent the perill that mote rise, (thought But she, as Fayes are wont, in privie place (space. And turne both him and her to honour in this wise. Did spend her dayes, and lov'd in forests wyld to One day, when all that troupe of warlike wooers There on a day a noble youthly knight, Assembled were, to weet whose she should bee, Seeking adventures in the salvage wood, All mightie men and dreadfull derring dovers, Did by great fortune get of her the sight, (The harder it to make them well agree)
As she sate carelesse by a cristall flood Amongst them all this end he did decree;
Combing her golden lockes, as seemd her good; That, of them all which love to her did make, And unawares upon her laying hold, They by consent should chose the stoutest three That strove in vaine him long to have withstood, That with himselfe should combat for her sake, Oppressed her, and there (as it is told) (pions bold: And of them all the victour should his sister take. Got these three lovely babes, that pror'd three chamWhich she with her long fostred in that wood, They graunted it; and then that carefull Fay Till that to ripenesse of mans state they grew : Departed thence with full contented mynd; Then, shewing forth signes of their fathers blood, And, comming home, in warlike fresh aray They loved armes, and knighthood did ensew, Them found all three according to their kynd; Seeking adventures where they anie knew.
But unto them what destinie was assynd, Which when their mother saw, she gan to dout Or how their lives were eekt, she did not tell; Their safetie ; least by searching daungers new, But evermore, when she fit time could fynd, And rash provoking perils all about, [stout. She warned them to tend their safeties well, Their days mote be abridged through their corage And love each other deare, whatever them befell. Therefore desirous th' end of all their dayes So did they surely during all their dayes, To know, and them t' enlarge with long extent, And never discord did amongst them fall; By wondrous skill and many hidden wayes
Which much augmented all their other praise : To the three fatall Sisters house she went.
And now, t'increase affection naturall, Parre under ground from tract of living went, In love of Canacee they joyned all : Downe in the bottome of the deepe abysse,
Upon which ground this same great battell grew,
The battell twixt three brethren with
Cambell for Canacee: That cruell Atropos eftsoones undid,
Cambina with true friendships bond With cursed knife cutting the twist in twaine:
Doth their long strife agree. Most wretched men, whose dayes depend on thrids so vaine !
O! why doe wretched men so much desire
To draw their dayes unto the utmost date, She, them saluting there, by them sate still
And doe not rather wish them soone expire; Beholding how the thrids of life they span:
Knowing the miserie of their estate, And when at last she had beheld her fill,
And thousand perills which them still awate, Trembling in heart, and looking pale and wan,
Tossing them like a boate amid the mayne, Her cause of comming she to tell began.
That every houre they knocke at Deathës gate! To whom fierce Atropos; “ Bold Fay, that durst
And he that happie seemes and least in payne, Come see the secret of the life of man,
Yet is as nigh his end as he that most doth playne. Well worthie thou to be of love accurst, And eke thy childrens thrids to be asunder burst! Therefore this Fay I hold but fond and vaine, Whereat she sore affrayd yet her besought
The which, in seeking for her children three To graunt her boone, and rigour to abate,
Long life, thereby did more prolong their paine : That she might see her childrens thrids forth brought, Yet whilest they lived none did ever see And know the measure of their utmost date
More happie creatures then they seem'd to bee; To them ordained by eternall Fate:
Nor more ennobled for their courtesie, Which Clotho graunting shewed her the same.
That made them dearely lov'd of each degree; That when she saw, it did her much amate
Ne more renowmed for their chevalrie, To see their tbrids so thin, as spiders frame,
That made them dreaded much of all men farre and
nie. And eke so short, that seemd their ends out shortly
These three that hardie chalenge tooke in hand, She then began them humbly to intreate
For Canacee with Cambell for to fight; To draw thein longer out, and better twine,
The day was set, that all might understand, That so their lives might be prolonged late: And pledges pawnd the same to keepe aright: But Lachesis thereat gan to repine,
That day, (the dreddest day that living wight. And sayd; “ Fond dame! that deem'st of things Did ever see upon this world to shine) As of humáne, that they may altred bee, [divine So soone as Heavens window shewed light, And chaung dat pleasure for those impes of thine: These warlike champions, all in armour shinc, Not so; for what the Fates do once decree, [free!" Assembled were in field the chalenge to define. Not all the gods can chaunge, nor love himselfe can
The field with listes was all about enclos'd, “ Then since,” quoth she, “the terme of each mans To barre the prease of people farre away; For nought may lessened nor enlarged bee; [life And at th' one side sixe judges were dispos'd, Graunt this; that when ye shred with fatall knife To view and deeme the deedes of armes that day; His line, which is the eldest of the three,
And on the other side in fresh aray Which is of them the shortest, as I see,
Fayre Canacee upon a stately stage Eftsoones his life may passe into the next; Was set, to see the fortune of that fray And, when the next shall likewise ended bee, And to be seene, as his most worthy wage That both their lives may likewise be annext That could her purchase with his live's adventur'd Unto the third, that his may be so trebly wext."
Then entred Cambell first into the list,
Therewith asunder in the midst it brast, With stately steps and fearelesse countenance, And in his hand nought but the troncheon left; As if the conquest his he surely wist.
The other halfe behind yet sticking fast Soone after did the brethren three advance Out of his head-peece Cambell fiercely reft, In brave aray and goodly amenance,
And with such furie backe at him it heft,
Did not, as others wont, directly Ay
Ne chaunged was into a starre in sky;
But through traduction was eftsoones derived, Carelesse of perill in their fiers affret,
Like as his mother pragd the Destinie, As if that life to losse they had forelent,
Into his other brethren that survived, And cared not to spare that should be sbortly spent. In whom he liv'd anew, of former life deprived. Right practicke was sir Priamond in fight, Whom when on ground his brother next beheld, And throughly skild in use of shield and speare ;
Though sad and sorrie for so heavy sight, Ne jesse approved was Cambelloes might, Yet lease unto his sorrow did not yeeld; Ne lesse his skill in weapons did appeare;
But rather stir'd to vengeance and despight, That hard it was to weene which harder were. Through secret feeling of his generous spright, Full many mightie strokes on either side
Rusht fiercely forth, the battell to renew, Were sent, that seemed death in them to beare; As in reversion of his brothers right; But they were both so watchfull and well eyde, And chalenging the virgin as his dew. That they avoyded were, and vainely by did slyde. His foe was soone addrest: the trompets freshly blew. Yet one, of many, was so strongly bent
With that they both together fiercely met, By Priamond, that with unluckie glaunce
As if that each ment other to devoure; Through Cambels shoulder it unwarely went, And with their axes both so sorely bet, That forced him his shield to disadvaunce: That nether plate por mayle, whereas their powre Much was be grieved with that gracelesse chaunce; They felt, could once sustaine the hideous stowre, Yet from the wound no drop of bloud there fell, But rived were, like rotten wood, asunder; (showre, But wondrous paine that did the more enhaupce Whilest through their rifts the ruddie bloud did His haughtie courage to avengement fell :
And fire did flash, like lightning after thunder, Smart daunts not mighty harts, but makes them That fild the lookers on attonce with ruth and wonmore to swell.
der. With that, his poynant speare he fierce aventred As when two tygers prickt with bangers rage With doubled force close underneath his shield, Have by good fortune found some beastsfresh spoyle, That through the mayles into his thigh it entred, On which they weene their famine to asswage, And, there arresting, readie way did yield
And gaine a feastfall guerdon of their toyle; For bloud to gush forth on the grassie field; Both falling out doe stirre up strifefull broyle, That he for paine himselfe n'ot right upreare, And cruell battell twixt themselves doe make, But to and fro in great amazemeut reel'd; Whiles neither lets the other touch the soyle, Like an old oke, whose pith and sap is seare, But either sdeigns with other to partake: At puffe of every storme doth stagger here and So cruelly those knights strove for that ladies sake. theare.
Full many strokes that mortally were ment, Whom so dismayd when Cambell had espide, The whiles were interchaunged twixt them two; Againe he drove at him with double might, Yet they were all with so good wariment That nought mote stay the steele, till in his side Or warded, or avoyded and let goe, The mortall point most cruelly empight; That still the life stood fearelesse of her foe; Where fast infixed, whilest he sought by slight Till Diamond, disdeigning long delay It forth to wrest, the staffe asunder brake,
Of doubtfull fortune wavering to and fro, And left the head behinde: with which despight Resolv'd to end it one or other way; (sway. He all enrag'd bis shivering speare did shake, And heav'd his murdrous axe at him with mighty And charging him afresh thus felly him bespake;
The dreadfull stroke, in case it had arrived “ Lo! faitour, there thy meede unto thee take, Where it was ment, (so deadly it was ment) The meede of thy mischalenge and abet:
The soule had sure out of his body rived, Not for thine owne, but for thy sisters sake, And stinted all the strife incontinent; Have I thus long thy life unto thee let:
But Cambels fate that fortune did prevent: But to forbeare doth not forgive the det.”
For, seeing it at hand, be swarv'd asyde, The wicked weapon heard bis wrathfull vow; And so gave way unto his fell intent; And, passing forth with furious affret,
Who, missing of the marke which he had eyde, Pierst through bis bever quite into his brow, Was with toe force nigh feld whilst his right foot did That with the force it backward forced him to bow.