Spenser - Continuation of the Squire's Tale

Edmund Spenser (1552?-1599), The Faerie Queene


Continuation of Chaucer's Squire's Tale

Spenser's language is deliberately archaic; most of the difficult words are glossed. Many of the others are in the glossary to The Riverside Chaucer. See the OED for any remaining difficulties.













































































The Faerie Queene
Book IV, Canto II

[The adventure of courageous Cambell and stout Triamond]

Whylome, as antique stories tellen us,
Those two were foes the fellonest on ground,
And battell made the dreddest daungerous
That ever shrilling trumpet did resound;
Though now their acts be no where to be found,
As that renowmed poet them compyled
With warlike numbers and heroicke sound,
Dan Chaucer, well of English undefiled,
On Fames eternall beadroll worthie to be fyled.

But wicked Time, that all good thoughts doth waste,
And workes of noblest wits to nought outweare,
That famous moniment hath quite defaste,
And robd the world of threasure endlesse deare,
The which mote have enriched all us heare.
O cursed Eld, the canker-worme of writs!
How may these rimes, so rude as doth appeare,
Hope to endure, sith workes of heavenly wits
Are quite devourd, and brought to nought by little bits!

Then pardon, O most sacred happie Spirit,
That I thy labours lost may thus revive,
And steale from thee the meede of thy due merit,
That none durst ever whilest thou wast alive,
And, being dead, in vaine yet many strive:
Ne dare I like; but, through infusion sweete.
Of thine owne spirit which doth in me survive,
I follow here the footing of thy feete,
That with thy meaning so I may the rather meete.

Cambelloes sister was fayre Canacee,
That was the learnedst ladie in her dayes,
Well seene in everie science that mote bee,
And every secret worke of natures wayes;
In wittie riddles, and in wise soothsayes
In power of herbes, and tunes of beasts and birds;
And, that augmented all her other prayse,
She modest was in all her deedes and words,
And wondrous chast of life, yet lov'd of knights and lords.

Full many lords and many knights her loved,
Yet she to none of them her liking lent,
Ne ever was with fond affection moved,
But rul'd her thoughts with goodly governement,
For dread of blame and honours blemishment;
And eke unto her lookes a law she made,
That none of them once out of order went.
But like to warie centonels well stayd,
Still watcht on every side, of secret foes affrayd.

So much the more as she refusd to love,
So much the more she loved was and sought,
That oftentimes unquiet strife did move
Amongst her lovers, and great quarrels wrought;
That oft for her in bloudie armes they fought.
Which whenas Cambell, that was stout and wise,
Perceiv'd would breede great mischiefs, he bethought
How to prevent the perill that mote rise,
And turne both him and her to honour in this wise.

One day, when all that troupe of warlike wooers
Assembled were, to weet whose she should bee,
All mightie men and dreadfull derring-dooers,
(The harder it to make them well agree,)
Amongst them all this end he did decree;
That, of them all which love to her did make,
They by consent should chose the stoutest three
That with himselfe should combat for her sake,
And of them all the victour should his sister take.

Bold was the chalenge, as himselfe was bold,
And courage full of haughtie hardiment,
Approved oft in perils manifold,
Which he atchiev'd to his great ornament:
But yet his sisters skill unto him lent
Most confidence and hope of happie speed,
Conceived by a Ring which she him sent,
That, mongst the manie vertues which we reed,
Had power to staunch al wounds that mortally did bleed.

Well was that Rings great vertue knowen to all;
That dread thereof, and his redoubted might,
Did all that youthly rout so much appall,
That none of them durst undertake the fight:
More wise they weend to make of love delight,
Then life to hazard for faire ladies looke
And yet uncertaine by such outward sight,
Though for her sake they all that perill tooke,
Whether she would them love, or in her liking brooke.

Amongst those knights there were three brethren bold,
Three bolder brethren never were yborne,
Borne of one mother in one happie mold,
Borne at one burden in one happie morne;
Thrise happie mother, and thrise happie morne,
That bore three such, three such not to be fond!
Her name was Agapé, whose children werne I
All three as one; the first hight Priamond,
The second Dyamond, the youngest Triamond.

Stout Priamond, but not so strong to strike
Strong Diamond, but not so stout a knight;
But Triamond was stout and strong alike:
On horsebacke used Triamond to fight,
And Priamond on foote had more delight;
But horse and foote knew Diamond to wield:
With curtaxe used Diamond to smite,
And Triamond to handle speare and shield,
But speare and curtaxe both usd Priamond in field.

These three did love each other dearely well,
And with so firme affection were allyde,
As if but one soule in them all did dwell,
Which did her powre into three parts divyde;
Like three faire branches budding farre and wide,
That from one roote deriv'd their vitall sap:
And, like that roote that doth her life divide,
Their mother was; and had full blessed hap
These three so noble babes to bring forth at one clap.

Their mother was a Fay, and had the skill
Of secret things, and all the powres of nature,
Which she by art could use unto her will,
And to her service bind each living creature,
Through secret understanding of their feature.
Thereto she was right faire, whenso her face
She list discover, and of goodly stature;
But she, as Fayes are wont, in privie place
Did spend her dayes, and lov'd in forests wyld to space.

There on a day a noble youthly Knight,
Seeking adventures in the salvage wood,
Did by great fortune get of her the sight,
As she sate carelesse by a cristall flood,
Combing her golden lockes, as seemd her good;
And unawares upon her laying hold,
That strove in vaine him long to have withstood,
Oppressed her, and there (as it is told)
Got these three lovely babes, that prov'd three champions bold:

Which she with her long fostred in that wood,
Till that to ripenesse of mans state they grew:
Then, shewing forth signes of their fathers blood,
They loved armes, and knighthood did ensew,
Seeking adventures where they anie knew.
Which when their mother saw, she gan to dout
Their safetie; least by searching daungers new,
And rash provoking perils all about,
Their days mote be abridged through their corage stout.

Therefore desirous th' end of all their dayes
To know, and them t' enlarge with long extent,
By wondrous skill and many hidden wayes
To the Three Fatall Sisters house she went.
Farre under ground from tract of living went,
Downe in the bottome of the deepe abysse,
Where Demogorgon, in all darkriesse pent,
Farre from the view of gods and heavens blis
The hideous Chaos keepes, their dreadfull dwelling is.

There she them found all sitting round about
The direfull distaffe standing in the mid,
And with unwearied fingers drawing out
The lines of life, from living knowledge hid.
Sad Clotho held the rocke, the whiles the thrid
By griesly Lachesis was spun with paine,
That cruell Atropos eftsoones undid,
With cursed knife cutting the twist in twaine:
Most wretched men, whose dayes depend on thrids so vaine!

She, them saluting, there by them sate still
Beholding how the thrids of life they span:
And when at last she had beheld her fill,
Trembling in heart, and looking pale and wan,
Her cause of comming she to tell began.
To whom fierce Atropos: "Bold Fay, that durst
Come see the secret of the life of man,
Well worthie thou to be of love accurst,
And eke thy childrens thrids to be asunder burst!"

Whereat she, sore affrayd, yet her besought
To graunt her boone, and rigour to abate,
That she might see her childrens thrids forth brought,
And know the measure of their utmost date
To them ordained by eternall Fate:
Which Clotho graunting shewed her the same.
That when she saw, it did her much amate
To see their thrids so thin as spiders frame,
And eke so short, that seemd their ends out shortly came.

She then bigan them humbly to intreate
To draw them longer out and better twine,
That so their lives might be prolonged late:
But Lachesis thereat gan to repine.
And sayd: "Fond dame! that deemst of things divine
As of humáne, that they may altred bee,
And chaung'd at pleasure for those impes of thine:
Not so; for what the Fates do once decree,
Not all the gods can chaunge, nor love himself can free

"Then since," quoth she, "the terme of each mans life
For nought may lessened nor enlarged bee,
Graunt this; that when ye shred with fatall knife
His line, which is the eldest of the three,
Which is of them the shortest, as I see,
Eftsoones his life may passe into the next;
And, when the next shall likewise ended bee,
That both their lives may likewise be annext
Unto the third, that his may be so trebly wext.

They graunted it; and then that carefull Fay
Departed thence with full contented mynd;
And, comming home, in warlike fresh aray
Them found all three, according to their kynd
But unto them what destinie was assynd,
Or how their lives were eekt, she did not tell;
But evermore, when she fit time could fynd,
She warned them to tend their safeties well,
And love each other deare, whatever them befell.

So did they surely during all their dayes,
And never discord did amongst them fall
Which much augmented all their other praise:
And, now, t'increase affection naturall,
In love of Canacee they joyned all:
Upon which ground this same great battell grew,
(Great matter growing of beginning small,)
The which, for length, I will not here pursew,
But rather will reserve it for a canto new.

The Faerie Queene
Book IV, Canto III

The Battell twixt three Brethren with
Cambell for Canacee:
Cambina with true friendships bond
Doth their long strife agree.

O, WHY doe wretched men so much desire
To draw their dayes unto the utmost date,
And doe not rather wish them soone expire;
Knowing the miserie of their estate,
And thousand perills which them still awate,
Tossing them like a boate amid the mayne,
That every houre they knocke at Deathës gate!
And he that happie seemes, and least in payne,
Yet is as nigh his end as he that most doth playne.

Therefore this Fay I hold but fond and vaine,
The which, in seeking for her children three
Long life, thereby did more prolong their paine:
Yet whilest they lived, none did ever see
More happie creatures then they seem'd to bee;
Nor more ennobled for their courtesies
That made them dearely lov'd of each degree;
Ne more renowmed for their chevalrie,
That made them dreaded much of all men farre and nie.

These three that hardie chalenge tooke in hand,
For Canacee with Cambell for to fight:
The day was set, that all might understand,
And pledges pawnd the same to keepe aright:
That day, (the dreddest day that living wight
Did ever see upon this world to shine,)
So soone as heavens window shewed light,
These warlike champions, all in armour shine,
Assembled were in field the chalenge to define.

The field with listes was all about enclos'd,
To barre the prease of people farre away;
And at th'one side sixe iudges were dispos'd,
To view and deeme the deedes of armes that day;
And on the other side in fresh aray
Fayre Canacee upon a stately stage
Was set, to see the fortune of that fray
And to be seene, as his most worthie wage
That could her purchase with his lives adventur'd gage.

Then entred Cambell first into the list,
With stately steps and fearelesse countenance,
As if the conquest his he surely wist.
Soone after did the Brethren three advance
In brave aray and goodly amenance,
With scutchins gilt and banners broad displayd;
And, marching thrise in warlike ordinance,
Thrise lowted lowly to the noble mayd;
The whiles shril trompets and loud clarions sweetly playd.

Which doen, the doughty chalenger came forth,
All arm'd to point, his chalenge to abet:
Gainst whom Sir Priamond, with equall worth
And equall armes, himselfe did forward set.
A trompet blew; they both together met
With dreadfull force and furious intent,
Carelesse of perill in their fiers affret,
As if that life to losse they had forelent,
And cared not to spare that should be shortly spent.

Right practicke was Sir Priamond in fight,
And throughly skild in use of shield and speare;
Ne lesse approved was Cambelloes might,
Ne lesse his skill in weapons did appeare
That hard it was to weene which harder were.
Full many mightie strokes on either side
Were sent, that seemed death in them to beare;
But they were both so watchfull and well eyde,
That they avoyded were, and vainely by did slyde.

Yet one, of many, was so strongly bent
By Priamond, that with unluckie glaunce
Through Cambels shoulder it unwarely went,
That forced him his shield to disadvaunce:
Much was he grieved with that gracelesse chaunce
Yet from the wound no drop of bloud there fell,
But wondrous paine that did the more enhaunce
His haughtie courage to avengement fell:
Smart daunts not mighty harts, but makes them more to swell.

With that, his poynant speare he fierce aventred
With doubled force, close underneath his shield,
That through the mayles into his thigh it entred,
And, there arresting readie way did yield
For bloud to gush forth on the grassie field;
That he for paine himselfe n'ot right upreare,
But to and fro in great amazement reel'd;
Like an old oke, whose pith and sap is seare,
At puffe of every storme doth stagger here and theare.

Whom so dismayd when Cambell had espide,
Againe he drove at him with double might,
That nought mote stay the steele, till in his side
The mortall point most cruelly empight;
Where fast infixed, whilest he sought by slight
It forth to wrest, the staffe asunder brake,
And left the head behind: with which despight
He, all enrag'd, his shivering speare did shake,
And, charging him afresh, thus felly him bespake:

"Lo! faitour, there thy meede unto thee take,
The meede of thy mischalenge and abet:
Not for thine owne, but for thy Sisters sake,
Have I thus long thy life unto thee let:
But to forbeare doth not forgive the det."
The wicked weapon heard his wrathfull vow;
And, passing forth with furious affret,
Pierst through his bever quite into his brow,
That with the force it backward forced him to bow.

Therewith asunder in the midst it brast,
And in his hand nought but the troncheon left;
The other halfe behind yet sticking fast
Out of his head-peece Cambell fiercely reft,
And with such furie backe at him it heft,
That, making way unto his dearest life,
His weasand-pipe it through his gorget cleft:
Thence streames of purple bloud issuing rife
Let forth his wearie ghost, and made an end of strife.

His wearie ghost assoyld from fleshly band
Did not, as others wont, directly fly
Unto her rest in Plutoes griesly land;
Ne into ayre did vanish presently;
Ne chaunged was into a starre in sky;
But through traduction was eftsoones derived,
Like as his mother prayd the Destinie,
Into his other brethren that survived,
In whom he liv'd anew, of former life deprived.

Whom when on ground his brother next beheld,
Though sad and sorie for so heavy sight,
Yet leave unto his sorrow did not yeeld;
But rather stird to vengeance and despight,
Through secret feeling of his - generous spright,
Rusht fiercely forth, the battell to renew,
As in reversion of his brothers right;
And chalenging the Virgin as his dew.
His foe was soone addrest: the trompets freshly blew.

With that they both together fiercely met,
As if that each ment other to devoure;
And with their axes both so sorely bet,
That neither plate nor mayle, where as their powre
They felt, could once sustaine the hideous stowre,
But rived were, like rotten wood, asunder;
Whilest through their rifts the ruddie bloud did showre,
And fire did flash, like lightning after thunder,
That fild the lookers on attonce with ruth and wonder.

As when two tygers prickt with hungers rage
Have by good fortune found some beasts fresh spoyle,
On which they weene their famine to asswage,
And gaine a feastfull guerdon of their toyle;
Both falling out doe stirre up strifefull broyle,
And cruell batter twixt themselves doe make,
Whiles neither lets the other touch the soyle,
But either sdeignes with other to partake;
So cruelly these knights strove for that Ladies sake.

Full many strokes, that mortally were ment,
The whiles were enterchaunged twixt them two;
Yet they were all with so good wariment
Or warded, or avoyded and let goe,
That still the life stood fearelesse of her foe;
Till Diamond, disdaining long delay
Of doubtfull fortune wavering to and fro,
Resolv'd to end it one or other way;
And heav'd his murdrous axe at him with mighty sway.

The dreadfull stroke, in case it had arrived
Where it was ment, (so deadly it was ment,)
The soule had sure out of his bodie rived,
And stinted all the strife incontinent;
But Cambels fate that fortune did prevent:
For, seeing it at hand, he swarv'd asyde,
And so gave way unto his fell intent;
Who, missing of the marke which he had eyde,
Was with the force nigh feld whilst his right foot did slyde;

As when a vulture greedie of his pray,
Through hunger long that hart to him doth lend,
Strikes at an heron with all his bodies sway,
That from his force seemes nought may it defend.
The warie fowle, that spies him toward bend
His dreadfull souse, avoydes it, shunning light,
And maketh him his wing in vaine to spend:
That with the weight of his owne weeldlesse might
He falleth nigh to ground, and scarse recovereth flight.

Which faire adventure when Cambello spide,
Full lightly, ere himselfe he could recower
From daungers dread to ward his naked side,
He can let drive at him with all his power,
And with his axe him smote in evill hower,
That from his shoulders quite his head he reft:
The headlesse tronke, as heedlesse of that stower.
Stood still a while, and his fast footing kept;
Till, feeling life to fayle, it fell, and deadly slept.

They which that piteous spectacle beheld
Were much amaz'd the headlesse tronke to see
Stand up so long and weapon vaine to weld,
Unweeting of the Fates divine decree
For lifes succession in those brethren three.
For notwithstanding that one soule was reft,
Yet had the bodie not dismembred bee,
It would have lived, and revived eft;
But, finding no fit seat, the lifeless corse it left.

It left; but that same soule, which therein dwelt,
Streight entring into Triamond, him fild
With double life and griefe; which when he felt,
As one whose inner parts had bene ythrild
With point of steele that close his hartbloud spild,
He lightly lept out of his place of rest,
And, rushing forth into the emptie field,
Against Cambello fiercely him addrest;
Who, him affronting, soone to fight was readie prest.

Well mote ye wonder how that noble knight,
After he had so often wounded beene,
Could stand on foot now to renew the fight:
But had ye then him forth advauncing seene,
Some newborne wight ye would him surely weene;
So fresh he seemed and so fierce in sight;
Like as a snake, whom wearie winters teene
Hath worne to nought, now feeling sommers might,
Casts off his ragged skin and freshly doth him dight.

All was, through vertue of the ring he wore;
The which not onely did not from him let
One drop of bloud to fall, but did restore
His weakned powers, and dulled spirits whet;
Through working of the stone therein yset.
Else how could one of equall might with most,
Against so many no lesse mightie met,
Once thinke to match three such on equall cost,
Three such as able were to match a puissant host?

Yet nought thereof was Triamond adredde,
Ne desperate of glorious victorie;
But sharpely him assayld, and sore bestedde
With heapes of strokes, which he at him let flie
As thicke as hayle forth poured from the skie:
He stroke, he soust, he foynd, he hewd, he lasht,
And did his yron brond so fast applie,
That from the same the fierie sparkles flasht,
As fast as water-sprinkles gainst a rocke are dasht.

Much was Cambello daunted with his blowes;
So thicke they fell, and forcibly were sent,
That he was forst from daunger of the throwes
Backe to retire, and somewhat to relent,
Till th'heat of his fierce furie he had spent:
Which when for want of breath gan to abate,
He then afresh with new encouragement
Did him assayle, and mightily amate,
As fast, as forward erst, now backward to retrate:

Like as the tide, that comes fro th'ocean mayne,
Flowes up the Shenan with contrarie forse,
And, overruling him in his owne rayne,
Drives backe the current of his kindly course,
And makes it seeme to have some other sourse;
But when the floud is spent, then backe againe,
His borrowed waters forst to re-disbourse,
He sends the sea his owne with double gaine,
And tribute eke withall, as to his soveraine.

Thus did the battell varie to and fro,
With diverse fortune doubtfull to be deemed:
Now this the better had, now had his fo;
Then he halfe vanquisht, then the other seemed;
Yet victors both themselves alwayes esteemed:
And all the while the disentrayled blood
Adowne their sides like litle rivers stremed,
That with the wasting of his vitall flood
Sir Triamond at last full faint and feeble stood.

But Cambell still more strong and greater grew,
Ne felt his blood to wast, ne powres emperisht,
Through that Rings vertue, that with vigour new,
Still when as he enfeebled was, him cherisht,
And all his wounds and all his bruses guarisht:
Like as a withered tree, through husbands toyle,
Is often seene full freshly to have florisht,
And fruitfull apples to have borne awhile,
As fresh as when it first was planted in the soyle.

Through which advantage, in his strength he rose
And smote the other with so wondrous might,
That through the seame which did his hauberk close
Into his throate and life it pierced quight,
That downe he fell as dead in all mens sight:
Yet dead he was not; yet he sure did die,
As all men do that lose the living spright:
So did one soule out of his bodie flie
Unto her native home from mortall miserie.

But nathëlesse whilst all the lookers-on
Him dead behight, as he to all appeard,
All unawares be started up anon,
As one that had out of a dreame bene reard,
And fresh assayld his foe; who halfe affeard
Of th' uncouth sight, as he some ghost had seene,
Stood still amaz'd, holding his idle sweard;
Till, having often by him stricken beene,
He forced was to strike and save himselfe from teene.

Yet from thenceforth more warily he fought,
As one in feare the Stygian gods t' offend,
Ne followd on so fast, but rather sought
Himselfe to save, and daunger to defend,
Then life and labour both in vaine to spend.
Which Triamond perceiving, weened sure
He gan to faint toward the battels end,
And that he should not long on foote endure;
A signe which did to him the victorie assure.

Whereof full blith eftsoones his mightie hand
He heav'd on high, in mind with that same blow
To make an end of all that did withstand:
Which Cambell seeing come was nothing slow
Himselfe to save from that so deadly throw;
And at that instant reaching forth his sweard
Close underneath his shield, that scarce did show,
Stroke him, as he his hand to strike upreard,
In th' arm-pit full, that through both sides the wound appeard.

Yet still that direfull stroke kept on his way,
And, falling heavie on Cambelloes crest,
Strooke him so hugely that in swowne he lay,
And in his head an hideous wound imprest:
And sure, had it not happily found rest
Upon the brim of his brode plated shield,
It would have cleft his braine downe to his brest:
So both at once fell dead upon the field,
And each to other seemd the victorie to yield.

Which when as all the lookers-on beheld,
They weened sure the warre was at an end;
And iudges rose; and marshals of the field
Broke up the listes, their armes away to rend;
And Canacee gan wayle her dearest frend.
All suddenly they both upstarted light,
The one out of the swownd which him did blend,
The other breathing now another spright;
And fiercely each assayling gan afresh to fight.

Long while they then continued in that wize,
As if but then the battell had begonne
Strokes, wounds, wards, weapons, all they did despise
Ne either car'd to ward, or perill shonne,
Desirous both to have the battell donne;
Ne either cared life to save or spill,
Ne which of them did winne, ne which were wonne;
So wearie both of fighting had their fill,
That life itselfe seemd loathsome, and long safetie ill.

Whilst thus the case in doubtfull ballance hong,
Unsure to whether side it would incline,
And all mens eyes and hearts, which there among
Stood gazing, filled were with rufull tine
And secret feare, to see their fatall fine,
All suddenly they heard a troublous noyes,
That seemd some perilous tumult to desine,
Confusd with womens cries and shouts of boyes,
Such as the troubled theaters oftimes annoyes.

Thereat the champions both stood still a space,
To weeten what that sudden clamour ment:
Lo! where they spyde with speedie whirling pace
One in charet of straunge furniment
Towards them driving like a storme out sent;
The charet decked was in wondrous wize
With gold and many a gorgeous ornament,
After the Persian monarks antique guize,
Such as the maker selfe could best by art devize.

And drawne it was (that wonder is to tell)
Of two grim lyons, taken from the wood,
In which their powre all others did excell,
Now made forget their former cruell mood,
T' obey their riders best, as seemed good:
And therein sate a Ladie passing faire
And bright, that seemed borne of angels brood
And, with her beauties bountie did compare,
Whether of them in her should have the greater share.

Thereto she learned was in magicke leare,
And all the artes that subtill wits discover,
Having therein bene trained many a yeare,
And well instructed by the Fay her mother,
That in the same she farre exceld all other:
Who, understanding by her mightie art
Of th' evill plight in which her dearest brother
Now stood, came forth in hast to take his part,
And pacifie the strife which causd so deadly smart.

And, as she passed through th' unruly preace
Of people thronging thicke her to behold,
Her angrie teame breaking their bonds of peace,
Great heapes of them, like sheepe in narrow fold,
For hast did over-runne in dust enrould;
That, thorough rude confusion of the rout,
Some fearing shriekt, some being harmed hould,
Some laught for sport, some did for wonder shout,
And some, that would seeme wise, their wonder turnd to dout.

In her right hand a rod of peace shee bore,
About the which two serpents weren wound,
Entrayled mutually in lovely lore,
And by the tailes together firmely bound,
And both were with one olive garland crownd;
(Like to the rod which Maias sonne doth wield,
Wherewith the hellish fiends he doth confound;)
And in her other hand a cup she hild,
The which was with Nepenthe to the brim upfild.

Nepenthe is a drinck of soverayne grace,
Devized by the gods for to asswage
Harts grief, and bitter gall away to chace
Which stirs up anguish and contentious rage:
Instead thereof sweet peace and quietage
It doth establish in the troubled mynd.
Few men, but such as sober are and sage,
Are by the gods to drinck thereof assynd;
But such as drinck, eternall happinesse do fynd.

Such famous men, such worthies of the earth,
As Jove will have advaunced to the skie,
And there made gods, though borne of mortall berth,
For their high merits and great dignitie,
Are wont, before they may to heaven flie,
To drincke hereof; whereby all cares forepast
Are washt away quite from their memorie:
So did those olde heroës hereof taste,
Before that they in blisse amongst the gods were plaste.

Much more of price and of more gratious powre
Is this, then that same water of Ardenne,
The which Rinaldo drunck in happie howre,
Described by that famous Tuscane penne:
For that had might to change the hearts of men
Fro love to hate, a change of evill choise:
But this doth hatred make in love to brenne,
And heavy heart with comfort doth rejoyce.
Who would not to this vertue rather yeeld his voice!

At last arriving by the listës side,
Shee with her rod did softly smite the raile,
Which straight flew ope and gave her way to ride.
Eftsoones out of her coch she gan availe,
And pacing fairely forth did bid all haile
First to her brother whom she loved deare,
That so to see him made her heart to quaile;
And next to Cambell, whose sad ruefull cheare
Made her to change her hew, and hidden love t' appeare.

They lightly her requit, (for small delight
They had as then her long to entertaine,)
And eft them turned both againe'to fight:
Which when she saw, downe on the bloudy plaine
Herselfe she threw, and teares gan shed amaine
Amongst her teares immixing prayers meeke,
And with her prayers reasons, to restrain
From blouddy strife; and, blessed peace to seeke,
By all that unto them was deare did them beseeke.

But when as all might nought with them prevaile,
Shee smote them lightly with her powrefull wand:
Then suddenly, as if their hearts did faile,
Their wrathfull blades downe fell out of their hand,
And they, like men astonisht, still did stand.
Thus whilest their minds were doubtfully distraught,
And mighty spirites bound with mightier band,
Her golden cup to them for drinke she raught,
Whereof, full glad for thirst, ech drunk an harty draught:

Of which so soone as they once tasted had,
Wonder it is that sudden change to see
Instead of strokes, each other kissed glad,
And lovely haulst from feare of treason free, lovingly embraced
And plighted hands, for ever friends to be.
When all men saw this sudden change of things,
So mortall foes so friendly to agree,
For passing joy, which so great marvaile brings,
They all gan shout aloud, that all the heaven rings.

All which when gentle Canacee beheld,
In hast she from her lofty chaire descended,
To weet what sudden tidings was befeld:
Where when she saw that cruell war so ended,
And deadly foes so faithfully affrended,
In lovely wise she gan that lady greet,
Which had so great dismay so well amended;
And, entertaining her with curt'sies meet,
Profest to her true friendship and affection sweet.

Thus when they all accorded goodly were,
The trumpets sounded, and they all arose,
Thence to depart with glee and gladsome chere.
Those warlike champions both together chose
Homeward to march, themselves there to repose:
And wise Cambina, taking by her side
Faire Canacee as fresh as morning rose,
Unto her coch remounting, home did ride,
Admir'd of all the people and much glorifide.

Where making joyous feast theire daies they spent
In perfect love, devoide of hatefull strife,
Allide with bands of mutuall couplement;
For Triamond had Canacee to wife,
With whom he ledd a long and happie life;
And Cambel tooke Cambina to his fere
The which as life were each to other liefe.
So all alike did love, and loved were,
That since their days such lovers were not found elswere.

most cruel

list of names

seene = skilled

dooers of daring deeds

courage = heart

his = its

short, cutting sword


walk, roam


fear for

went = way, path

rocke = distaff


grow indignant

impes = children


kynd = nature

shine = bright

prease = press

wage = reward

carriage, demeanor
scutchins = shields

lowted = bowed


already abandoned

practised, skilfull

draw back, lower


n'ot = could not

fixed itself

faitour = villain


assoyld = freed


addrest = ready


ruth = pity


souse = swoop


adventure = opportunity

can = gan (did)

bee = been

close = secretly

teen = pain

on equal terms

bestedde = beset

swooped; thrust


amate = daunt

River Shannon

kindly = natural

let out from the entrails


behight = pronounced

pain, harm

blind, stupefy



furnishing, adornment

bountie = goodness

leare = lore, learning

press, crowd


entwined . . . loving fashion


i.e., Boiardo


availe = descend

cheare = look, air



made friends

fere = mate
liefe = dear

From Francis J. Child's edition of The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser, Boston, 1855; a few modifications have been made in Child's glosses.