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THE LEGEND OF CAMBEL AND TRIAMOND, OR OF
The Battell twixt three Brethren with
Cambell for Canacee:
Çambina 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 courtesie,
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 worthy wage
That could her purchase with his live's 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
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
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: [to swe Smart daunts not mighty harts, but makes them mo
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 behinde: 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;
Bụt 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.