Page images

That ye will make me Squire without delay,
That from henceforth in batteilous array
I may beare armes, and learne to use them right;
The rather, since that fortune hath this day
Given to me the spoile of this dead Knight,
These goodly gilden armes which I have won in fight."


All which when well Sir Calidore had heard,
Him much more now, then earst,' he gan admire
For the rare hope which in his yeares appear'd,
And thus replide; "Faire Chyld, the high desire
To love of armes, which in you doth aspire,
I may not certes 2 without blame denie;
But rather wish that some more noble hire

(Though none more noble then is Chevalrie) I had, you to reward with greater dignitie."


There him he causd to kneele, and made to sweare
Faith to his Knight, and truth to Ladies all,
And never to be recreant for feare

Of perill, or of ought that might befall:

So he him dubbed, and his Squire did call.

Full glad and ioyous then young Tristram grew;
Like as a flowre, whose silken leaves small

Long shut up in the bud from heavens vew,

At length breaks forth, and brode displayes his smyling hew.


Thus when they long had treated to and fro,

Then earst, than before.

2 Certes, certainly.

XXXIII. 4.- Squire.] There were three ranks, or degrees, in chivalry the page, the squire, and the knight.

XXXV. 5.- So he him dubbed.] Struck him with the flat part of his sword, which was the principal form in the creation of a knight, or squire. Dub is from the Saxon dubban, to strike.

[ocr errors]

And Calidore betooke him to depart,

Chyld Tristram prayd that he with him might goe
On his adventure, vowing not to start,

But wayt on him in every place and part:
Whereat Sir Calidore did much delight,
And greatly ioy'd at his so noble hart,

In hope he sure would prove a doughtie Knight:
Yet for the time this answere he to him behight1;


"Glad would I surely be, thou courteous Squire,
To have thy presence in my present quest,2
That mote thy kindled courage set on fire,
And flame forth honour in thy noble brest:
But I am bound by vow, which I profest
To my dread Soveraine, when I it assayd,
That in atchievement of her high behest
I should no creature ioyne unto mine ayde;
Forthy 3 I may not graunt that ye so greatly prayde.


"But since this Ladie is all desolate,


And needeth safegard now upon her way,
may doe well in this her needfull state
To succour her from daunger of dismay,
That thankfull guerdon may to you repay."
The noble Ympe, of such new service fayne,5
It gladly did accept, as he did say:

So taking courteous leave they parted twayne;
And Calidore forth passed to his former payne.6


But Tristram, then despoyling that dead Knight

1 Behight, addressed.

2 Quest, expedition.
3 Forthy, therefore.

4 Ympe, youth.
Fayne, glad.

• Payne, labor.

[ocr errors]

Of all those goodly implements of prayse,
Long fed his greedie eyes with the faire sight
Of the bright mettall shyning like sunne rayes;
Handling and turning them a thousand wayes:
And, after having them upon him dight,1
He tooke that Ladie, and her up did rayse
Upon the steed of her owne late dead Knight:
So with her marched forth, as she did him behight.2


There to their fortune leave we them awhile,
And turne we backe to good Sir Calidore;
Who, ere he thence had traveild many a mile,
Came to the place whereas ye heard afore
This Knight, whom Tristram slew, had wounded sore
Another Knight in his despiteous pryde;

There he that Knight found lying on the flore 3
With many wounds full perilous and wyde,

That all his garments and the grasse in vermeill dyde:


And there beside him sate upon the ground
His wofull Ladie, piteously complayning
With loud laments that most unluckie stound,4
And her sad selfe with carefull hand constrayning
To wype his wounds, and ease their bitter payning:
Which sorie sight when Calidore did vew,

With heavie eyne from teares uneath 5 refrayning,

1 Dight, put.

2 Behight, direct.
3 Flore, ground.

4 Stound, misfortune.
5 Uneath, hardly.

XXXIX. 2.-Implements of prayse.] instruments with which praise is won. instead of implements.

Arms, the implements or Some editions have ornaments

His mightie hart their mournefull case can rew,1 And for their better comfort to them nigher drew.


Then, speaking to the Ladie, thus he said;
"Ye dolefull Dame, let not your griefe empeach 2
To tell what cruell hand hath thus arayd
This Knight unarm'd with so unknightly breach
Of armes, that, if I yet him nigh may reach,
I may avenge him of so foule despight."
The Ladie, hearing him so courteous speach,
Gan reare her eyes as to the chearefull light,
And from her sory hart few heavie words forth sigh't:


In which she shew'd, how that discourteous Knight,
Whom Tristram slew, them in that shadow found
Ioying together in unblam'd delight;
And him unarm'd, as now he lay on ground,
Charg'd with his speare, and mortally did wound,
Withouten cause, but onely her to reave 3

From him, to whom she was for ever bound:
Yet, when she fled into that covert greave,

He, her not finding, both them thus nigh dead did leave.

When Calidore this ruefull storie had

Well understood, he gan of her demand,

What manner wight he was, and how yclad,

Which had this outrage wrought with wicked hand.
She then, like as she best could understand,

3 Reave, take.

4 Greave, grove.

XLII. 3.— Thus arayd.] Put into this condition.

1 Rew, pity.

2 Empeach, prevent.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Him thus describ'd, to be of stature large,
Clad all in gilden armes, with azure band
Quartred athwart, and bearing in his targe
A Ladie on rough waves row'd in a sommer barge.


Then gan Sir Calidore to ghesse streightway,
By many signes which she described had,

That this was he whom Tristram earst1 did slay,
And to her said; "Dame, be no longer sad;
For he, that hath your Knight so ill bestad,2
Is now himselfe in much more wretched plight;
These eyes him saw upon the cold earth sprad,
The meede of his desert for that despight,

Which to yourselfe he wrought and to your loved Knight.


"Therefore, faire Lady, lay aside this griefe,
Which ye have gathered to your gentle hart
For that displeasure; and thinke what reliefe
Were best devise for this your Lovers smart ;
And how ye may him hence, and to what part,
Convay to be recur'd." She thankt him deare,
Both for that newes he did to her impart,

And for the courteous care which he did beare
Both to her Love and to herselfe in that sad dreare.3


Yet could she not devise by any wit,

How thence she might convay him to some place;
For him to trouble she it thought unfit,

That was a straunger to her wretched case;

And him to beare, she thought it thing too base.

1 Earst, before.

2 Ill bestad, put into so ill a condition. 3 Dreare, affliction.

« PreviousContinue »