Spencer's The Faerie Queene

Book IV Canto IV

Satyrane makes a Turneyment
For loue 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.
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 als by this, that now a new debate
Stird vp twixt Scudamour and Paridell,
The which by course befals me here to tell:
Who hauing those two other Knights espide,
Marching afore, as ye remember well,
Sent forth their Squire to haue 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;
And those two Ladies, their two loues vnseene;
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,
Vpon them gladly would haue 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
To Ladies loue, where so he came in place,
And with lewd termes their louers to deface.
Whose sharpe prouokement them incenst so sore,
That both were bent t'auenge his vsage base,
And gan their shields addresse them selues afore:
For euill 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,
And strange aduentures, 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.

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 trauell, and their fortunes try.
So as they passed forth, they did espy
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 haue represt.

Which th'other seeing, gan his course relent,
And vaunted speare eftsoones to disaduaunce,
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,
His rouing eie did on the Lady glaunce,
Which Blandamour had riding by his side:
Who˜ sure he weend, that he some wher tofore had eide.

It was to weete that snowy Florimell,
Which Ferrau late from Braggadochio wonne,
Whom he now seeing, her remembred well,
How hauing 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,
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)
Yee shall her winne, as I haue 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 haue by right:
But he shall haue the Hag that is ybet,
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 neuer thought
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 iustifie his right.

At which his vaine excuse they all gan smile,
As scorning his vnmanly cowardize:
And Florimell him fowly gan reuile,
That for her sake refus'd to enterprize
The battell, offred in so knightly wize.
And Ate eke prouokt him priuily,
With loue 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 vp all in iest,
Braue Knights and Ladies, certes ye doe wrong
To stirre vp strife, when most vs needeth rest,
That we may vs reserue both fresh and strong,
Against the Turneiment which is not long.
When who so list to fight, may fight his fill,
Till then your challenges ye may prolong;
And then it shall be tried, if ye will,
Whether shall haue the Hag, or hold the Lady still.

They all agreed: so turning all to game,
And pleasaunt bord, they past forth on their way,
And all that while, where so they rode or came,
That masked Mock-knight was their sport and play.
Till that at length vpon th'appointed day,
Vnto the place of turneyment they came;
Where they before them found in fresh aray
Manie a braue knight, and manie a daintie dame
Assembled, for to get the honour of that game.

There this faire crewe arriuing, did diuide
Them selues asunder: Blandamour with those
Of his, on th'one; the rest on th'other side.
But boastfull Braggadocchio rather chose,
For glorie vaine their fellowship to lose,
That men on him the more might gaze alone.
The rest them selues in troupes did else dispose,
Like as it seemed best to euery one;
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,
He open shewd, that all men it mote marke.
A gorgeous girdle, curiously embost
With pearle & precious stone, worth many a marke;
Yet did the workmanship farre passe the cost:
It was the same, which lately Florimel had lost.

That same aloft he hong in open vew,
To be the prize of beautie and of might;
The which eftsoones discouered, to it drew
The eyes of all, allur'd with close delight,
And hearts quite robbed with so glorious sight,
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
A Painim knight, that well in armes was skild,
And had in many a battell oft bene tride,
Hight Bruncheual the bold, who fiersly forth did ride.

So furiously they both together met,
That neither could the others force sustaine;
As two fierce Buls, that striue 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,
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
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.
Vnto whose rescue forth rode Paridell;
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.
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 themselues againe vpreare.

Which to auenge, Sir Deuon 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,
But none of them against his strokes could stand,
But all the more, the more his praise increst.
For either they were left vppon 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,
Vnto the noble Knights of Maidenhead,
His mighty heart did almost rend in tway,
For very gall, that rather wholly dead
Himselfe he wisht haue beene, then in so bad a stead.

Eftsoones he gan to gather vp around
His weapons, which lay scattered all abrode,
And as it fell, his steed he ready found.
On whom remounting, fiercely forth he rode,
Like sparke of fire that from the anduile glode.
There where he saw the valiant Triamond
Chasing, and laying on them heauy lode,
That none his force were able to withstond,
So dreadfull were his strokes, so deadly was his hond.

With that, at him his beam-like speare he aimed,
And thereto all his power and might applide:
The wicked steele for mischiefe first ordained,
And hauing now misfortune got for guide,
Staid not, till it arriued 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,
That scarse he him vpheld from falling in a sound.

Yet as he might, himselfe he soft withdrew
Out of the field, that none perceiu'd it plaine.
Then gan the part of Chalengers anew
To range the field, and victorlike to raine,
That none against them battell durst maintaine.
By that the gloomy euening on them fell,
That forced them from fighting to refraine,
And trumpets sound to cease did them compell.
So Satyrane that day was iudg'd to beare the bell.

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.
But mongst them all, was not Sir Triamond,
Vnable he new battell to darraine,
Through grieuaunce of his late receiued wound,
That doubly did him grieue, when so himselfe he found.

Which Cambell seeing, though he could not salue,
Ne done vndoe, yet for to salue his name,
And purchase honour in his friends behalue,
This goodly counterfesaunce he did frame.
The shield and armes well knowne to be the same,
Which Triamond had worne, vnwares to wight,
And to his friend vnwist, 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 ioy and iolity;
Gainst whom none able was to stand on ground;
That much he gan his glorie to enuy,
And cast t'auenge his friends indignity.
A mightie speare eftsoones at him he bent;
Who seeing him come on so furiously,
Met him mid-way with equall hardiment,
That forcibly to ground they both together went.

They vp againe them selues can lightly reare,
And to their tryed swords them selues betake;
With which they wrought such wondrous maruels there,
That all the rest it did amazed make,
Ne any dar'd their perill to partake;
Now cuffling close, now chacing to and fro,
Now hurtling round aduantage for to take:
As two wild Boares together grapling go,
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;
Which vauntage Cambell did pursue so fast,
That ere him selfe he had recouered well,
So sore he sowst him on the compast creast,
That forced him to leaue his loftie sell,
And rudely tumbling downe vnder his horse feete fell.

Lightly Cambello leapt downe from his steed,
For to haue rent his shield and armes away,
That whylome wont to be the victors meed;
When all vnwares he felt an hideous sway
Of many swords, that lode on him did lay.
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 vpon 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,
In royall heart disdaining to be thrall.
But all in vaine: for what might one do more?
They haue him taken captiue, though it grieue him sore.

Whereof when newes to Triamond was brought,
There as he lay, his wound he soone forgot,
And starting vp, 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.
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 feruent zeale, ne did he ceasse,
Till that he came, where he had Cambell seene,
Like captive thral two other Knights atweene,
There he amongst them cruell hauocke makes;
That they which lead him, soone enforced beene
To let him loose, to saue their proper stakes;
Who being freed, from one a weapon fiercely takes.

With that he driues at them with dreadfull might,
Both in remembrance of his friends late harme,
And in reuengement of his owne despight,
So both together giue a new allarme,
As if but now the battell wexed warme.
As when two greedy Wolues doe breake by force
Into an heard, farre from the husband farme,
They spoile and rauine without all remorse,
So did these two through all the field their foes enforce.

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,
And Cambell it to Triamond transferd;
Each labouring t'aduance 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 boue all the other crew,
His wondrous worth declared in all mens view.
For from the first he to the last endured,
And though some while Fortune from him withdrew,
Yet euermore his honour he recured,
And with vnwearied powre his party still assured.

Ne was there Knight that euer thought of armes,
But that his vtmost prowesse there made knowen,
That by their many wounds, and carelesse harmes,
By shiuered speares, and swords all vnder strowen,
By scattered shields was easie to be showen.
There might ye see loose steeds at randon ronne,
Whose luckelesse riders late were ouerthrowen;
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 quyent disguise, full hard to be descride.
For all his armour was like saluage weed,
With woody mosse bedight, and all his steed
With oaken leaues attrapt, that seemed fit
For saluage wight, and thereto well agreed
His word, which on his ragged shield was writ,
Saluagesse 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,
Approued oft in many a perlous fight.
Him at the first encounter downe he smote,
And ouerbore beyond his crouper quight,
And after him another Knight, that hote
Sir Brianor, so sore, that none him life behote.

Then ere his hand he reard, he ouerthrew
Seuen 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,
Hewing, and slashing shields, and helmets bright,
And beating downe, what euer nigh him came,
That euery 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 saluage knight.
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 atchieuement stout
Dismayd, that none of them in field durst stand,
But beaten were, and chased all about.
So he continued all that day throughout,
Till euening, that the Sunne gan downward bend.
Then rushed forth out of the thickest rout
A stranger knight, that did his glorie shend:
So nought may be esteemed happie till the end.

He at his entrance charg'd his powrefull speare
At Artegall, in middest of his pryde,
And therewith smote him on his Vmbriere
So sore, that tombling backe, he downe did slyde
Ouer his horses taile aboue a stryde:
Whence litle lust he had to rise againe.
Which Cambell seeing, much the same enuyde,
And ran at him with all his might and maine;
But shortly was likewise seene lying on the plaine.

Whereat full inly wroth was Triamond,
And cast t'auenge 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.
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.

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;
With which she wondrous deeds of arms atchieued,
And ouerthrew, what euer came her neare,
That all those stranger knights full sore agrieued,
And that late weaker band of chalengers relieued.

Like as in sommers day when raging heat
Doth burne the earth, and boyled riuers drie,
That all brute beasts forst to refraine fro meat,
Doe hunt for shade, where shrowded they may lie,
And missing it, faine from themselues to flie;
All trauellers tormented are with paine:
A watry cloud doth ouercast 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,
Which else was like to haue bene lost, and bore
The prayse of prowesse from them all away.
Then shrilling trompets loudly gan to bray,
And bad them leaue their labours and long toyle,
To ioyous feast and other gentle play;
Where beauties prize shold win that pretious spoyle:
Where I with sound of trompe will also rest a whyle.

On to Canto V

Back to Canto III

Back to Book IV Index