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A Bundle of Ballads by Henry Morley

Part 2 out of 4

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"That I will never forsake;"
And there even, before the King,
In the earth he drove a stake,
And bound thereto his eldest son,
And bade him stand still thereat,
And turn-ed the child's face him fro,
Because he should not start.

An apple upon his head he set,
And then his bow he bent,
Six score paces they were out met,
And thither Cloudeslie went;
There he drew out a fair broad arrow;
His bow was great and long;
He set that arrow in his bow,
That was both stiff and strong.

He prayed the people that was there,
That they would still stand:
For he that shooteth for such a wag-er
Hath need of a steady hand.
Much people prayed for Cloudeslie,
That his life saved might be;
And when he made him ready to shoot,
There was many a weeping ee.

Thus Cloudeslie cleft the apple in two,
As many a man might see.
"Now God forbid," then said the King,
"That ever thou shoot at me!
I give thee eighteen pence a day,
And my bow shalt thou bear,
And over all the north countree
I make thee chief rid-er."--

"And I give thee seventeen pence a day," said the Queen,
"By God and by my fay,
Come fetch thy payment when thou wilt,
No man shall say thee nay.
William, I make thee a gentleman
Of clothing and of fee,
And thy two brethren yeomen of my chamber:
For they are seemly to see;

"Your son, for he is tender of age,
Of my wine-cellar shall he be,
And when he cometh to man's estate,
Better preferred shall he be.
And, William, bring me your wife," said the Queen,
"Me longeth her sore to see;
She shall be my chief gentlewoman,
To govern my nursery."

The yeomen thanked them full courteously,
And said: "To some bishop we'll wend,
Of all the sins that we have done
To be assoiled at his hand."
So forth be gone these good yeomen,
As fast as they might hie;
And after came and dwelt with the King,
And died good men all three.

Thus ended the lives of these good yeomen,
God send them eternal bliss;
And all that with a hand-bow shooteth,
That of heaven they may never miss!

BINNORIE.

There were two sisters sat in a bour;
Binnorie, O Binnorie!
There came a knight to be their wooer
By the bonny mill-dams of Binnorie.

He courted the eldest with glove and ring,
But he lo'ed the youngest aboon a' thing.

He courted the eldest with brooch and knife,
But he lo'ed the youngest aboon his life.

The eldest she was vex-ed sair,
And sore envi-ed her sister fair.

Upon a morning fair and clear
She cried upon her sister dear:

"O, sister, come to yon river strand,
And see our father's ships come to land."

She's ta'en her by the lily hand,
And led her down to the river strand.

And as they walk-ed by the linn,
The eldest dang the youngest in.

"O, sister, sister, reach your hand,
And ye'll be heir to a' my land!"--

"Foul fa' the hand that I wad take
To twin me o' my warld's make!"--

"O, sister, reach me but your glove,
And sweet William shall be your love!"--

"Sink on, nor hope for hand or glove,
And sweet William shall be my love:

"Your cherry cheeks and your yellow hair
Garr'd me gang maiden evermair."

She clasped her hands about a broom root,
But her cruel sister she loosed them out.

Sometimes she sunk, and sometimes she swam,
Until she came to the miller's dam.

The miller's daughter was baking bread,
She went for water as she had need.

"O father, father, draw your dam!
There's either a maid or a milk-white swan!"

The miller hasted and drew his dam,
And there he found a drowned wom-an.

You couldna see her yellow hair
For gowd and pearls that were sae rare;

You couldna see her middle sma',
Her gowden girdle was sae bra'.

A famous harper passing by,
The sweet pale face he chanced to spy;

And when he looked that ladye on,
He sighed and made a heavy moan.

He made a harp of her breast-bone,
Whose sounds would melt a heart of stone;

He's ta'en three locks of her yellow hair,
And wi' them strung his harp sae fair.

He brought it to her father's hall,
And there was the court assembled all.

He laid this harp upon a stone,
And straight it began to play alone:

"Oh, yonder sits my father, the king,
And yonder sits my mother, the queen,

And yonder stands my brother, Hugh,
And yonder my William, sweet and true."

But the last tune that the harp played then
Binnorie! O Binnorie!
Was, "Wae to my sister, false Ellen,
By the bonny mill-dams of Binnorie!"

KING COPHETUA AND THE BEGGAR-MAID.

I read that once in Africa
A princely wight did reign,
Who had to name Cophetua,
As poets they did feign:
From nature's laws he did decline,
For sure he was not of my mind,
He car-ed not for women-kind,
But did them all disdain.
But mark what happened on a day:
As he out of his window lay,
He saw a beggar all in gray,
The which did cause his pain.

The blinded boy, that shoots so trim,
From heaven down did hie;
He drew a dart and shot at him,
In place where he did lie:
Which soon did pierce him to the quick,
And when he felt the arrow prick,
Which in his tender heart did stick,
He looked as he would die.
"What sudden chance is this," quoth he,
"That I to love must subject be,
Which never thereto would agree,
But still did it defy?"

Then from the window he did come,
And laid him on his bed,
A thousand heaps of care did run
Within his troubled head:
For now he means to crave her love,
And now he seeks which way to prove
How he his fancy might remove,
And not this beggar wed.
But Cupid had him so in snare,
That this poor beggar must prepare
A salve to cure him of his care,
Or else he would be dead.

And, as he musing thus did lie,
He thought for to devise
How he might have her company,
That so did 'maze his eyes.
"In thee," quoth he, "doth rest my life;
For surely thou shalt be my wife,
Or else this hand with bloody knife
The gods shall sure suffice!"
Then from his bed he soon arose,
And to his palace gate he goes;
Full little then this beggar knows
When she the king espies.

"The gods preserve your majesty!"
The beggars all gan cry:
"Vouchsafe to give your charity
Our children's food to buy!"
The king to them his purse did cast,
And they to part it made great haste;
This silly woman was the last
That after them did hie.
The king he called her back again,
And unto her he gave his chain;
And said, "With us thou shalt remain
Till such time as we die:

"For thou," quoth he, "shalt be my wife,
And honoured for my queen;
With thee I mean to lead my life,
As shortly shall he seen:
Our wedding shall appointed be,
And every thing in its degree;
Come on," quoth he, "and follow me,
Thou shalt go shift thee clean.
What is thy name, fair maid?" quoth he.
"Zenelophon, O king," quoth she:
With that she made a low courts-ey,
A trim one as I ween.

Thus hand in hand along they walk
Unto the king's pal-ace:
The king with courteous comely talk
This beggar doth embrace:
The beggar blusheth scarlet red,
And straight again as pale as lead,
But not a word at all she said,
She was in such amaze.
At last she spake with trembling voice
And said, "O king, I do rejoice
That you will take me for your choice,
And my degree's so base."

And when the wedding day was come,
The king commanded straight
The noblemen both all and some
Upon the queen to wait.
And she behaved herself that day,
As if she had never walked the way;
She had forgot her gown of gray,
Which she did wear of late.
The proverb old is come to pass,
The priest, when he begins his mass,
Forgets that ever clerk he was;
He knoweth not his estate.

Here you may read, Cophetua,
Though long time fancy-fed,
Compell-ed by the blinded boy
The beggar for to wed:
He that did lovers' looks disdain,
To do the same was glad and fain,
Or else he would himself have slain,
In story as we read.
Disdain no whit, O lady dear,
But pity now thy servant here,
Lest that it hap to thee this year,
As to that king it did.

And thus they led a quiet life
During their princely reign;
And in a tomb were buried both,
As writers showeth plain.
The lords they took it grievously,
The ladies took it heavily,
The commons cri-ed piteously,
Their death to them was pain.
Their fame did sound so passingly,
That it did pierce the starry sky,
And throughout all the world did fly
To every prince's realm.

TAKE THY OLD CLOAK ABOUT THEE.

This winter's weather it waxeth cold,
And frost doth freeze on every hill,
And Boreas blows his blasts so bold,
That all our cattle are like to spill;
Bell my wife, who loves no strife,
She said unto me quietly,
"Rise up, and save cow Crumbock's life;
Man, put thine old cloak about thee."

He.
"O Bell, why dost thou flyte and scorn?
Thou ken'st my cloak is very thin:
It is so bare and overworn
A crick he thereon cannot renn:
Then I'll no longer borrow nor lend,
For once I'll new apparelled be,
To-morrow I'll to town and spend,
For I'll have a new cloak about me."

She.
"Cow Crumbock is a very good cow,
She ha' been always true to the pail,
She's helped us to butter and cheese, I trow,
And other things she will not fail:
I wad be loth to see her pine,
Good husband, counsel take of me,
It is not for us to go so fine;
Man, take thine old cloak about thee."

He.
"My cloak it was a very good cloak,
It hath been always true to the wear,
But now it is not worth a groat;
I have had it four and forty year:
Sometime it was of cloth in grain,
'Tis now but a sigh-clout, as you may see,
It will neither hold out wind nor rain;
And I'll have a new cloak about me."

She.
"It is four and forty years ago
Since the one of us the other did ken,
And we have had betwixt us two
Of children either nine or ten;
We have brought them up to women and men;
In the fear of God I trow they be;
And why wilt thou thyself misken?
Man, take thine old cloak about thee."

He.
"O Bell my wife, why dost thou flout?
Now is now, and then was then:
Seek now all the world throughout,
Thou ken'st not clowns from gentlemen.
They are clad in black, green, yellow, or gray,
So far above their own degree:
Once in my life I'll do as they,
For I'll have a new cloak about me."

She.
"King Stephen was a worthy peer,
His breeches cost him but a crown,
He held them sixpence all too dear;
Therefore he called the tailor lown.
He was a wight of high renown,
And thou's but of a low degree:
It's pride that puts this country down;
Man, take thine old cloak about thee."

He.
Bell my wife she loves not strife,
Yet she will lead me if she can;
And oft, to live a quiet life,
I am forced to yield, though I'm good-man;
It's not for a man with a woman to threap,
Unless he first gave o'er the plea:
As we began we now will leave,
And I'll take mine old cloak about me.

WILLOW, WILLOW, WILLOW.

A poor soul sat sighing under a sycamore tree;
"O willow, willow, willow!"
With his hand on his bosom, his head on his knee:
"O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and."

He sighed in his singing, and after each groan,
"Come willow, willow, willow!
I am dead to all pleasure, my true-love is gone;
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"My love she is turned; untrue she doth prove:
O willow, willow, willow!
She renders me nothing but hate for my love.
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"O pity me," cried he, "ye lovers, each one;
O willow, willow, willow!
Her heart's hard as marble; she rues not my moan.
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and."

The cold streams ran by him, his eyes wept apace;
"O willow, willow, willow!"
The salt tears fell from him, which drown-ed his face:
"O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and."

The mute birds sat by him, made tame by his moans:
"O willow, willow, willow!"
The salt tears fell from him, which softened the stones.
"O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"Let nobody blame me, her scorns I do prove;
O willow, willow, willow!
She was born to be fair; I, to die for her love.
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"O that beauty should harbour a heart that's so hard!
Sing willow, willow, willow!
My true love rejecting without all regard.
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"Let love no more boast him in palace or bower;
O willow, willow, willow!
For women are trothless, and fleet in an hour.
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"But what helps complaining? In vain I complain:
O willow, willow, willow!
I must patiently suffer her scorn and disdain.
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"Come, all you forsaken, and sit down by me,
O willow, willow, willow!
He that plains of his false love, mine's falser than she.
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"The willow wreath wear I, since my love did fleet;
O willow, willow, willow!
A garland for lovers forsaken most meet.
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and."

PART THE SECOND.

"Low laid by my sorrow, begot by disdain;
O willow, willow, willow!
Against her too cruel, still still I complain,
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and!

"O love too injurious, to wound my poor heart!
O willow, willow, willow!
To suffer the triumph, and joy in my smart:
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"O willow, willow, willow! the willow garl-and,
O willow, willow, willow!
A sign of her falseness before me doth stand:
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"As here it doth bid to despair and to die,
O willow, willow, willow!
So hang it, friends, o'er me in grave where I lie:
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"In grave where I rest me, hang this to the view,
O willow, willow, willow!
Of all that do know her, to blaze her untrue.
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"With these words engraven, as epitaph meet,
O willow, willow, willow!
'Here lies one drank poison for potion most sweet,'
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"Though she thus unkindly hath scorn-ed my love,
O willow, willow, willow!
And carelessly smiles at the sorrows I prove;
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"I cannot against her unkindly exclaim,
O willow, willow, willow!
'Cause once well I loved her, and honoured her name:
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"The name of her sounded so sweet in mine ear,
O willow, willow, willow!
It raised my heart lightly, the name of my dear;
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"As then 'twas my comfort, it now is my grief;
O willow, willow, willow!
It now brings me anguish; then brought me relief.
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and.

"Farewell, fair false-hearted: plaints end with my breath!
O willow, willow, willow!
Thou dost loathe me, I love thee, though cause of my death.
O willow, willow, willow!
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing, O the green willow shall be my garl-and."

THE LITTLE WEE MAN.

As I gaed out to tak the air
Between Midmar and bonny Craigha',
There I met a little wee man,
The less o' him I never saw.

His legs were but a finger lang,
And thick and nimble was his knee;
Between his brows there was a span,
Between his shoulders ell-es three.

He lifted a stane sax feet in height,
He lifted it up till his right knee,
And fifty yards and mair I'm sure,
I wite he made the stane to flee.

"O, little wee man, but ye hae power!
And O, where may your dwelling be?"--
"I dwell beneath yon bonny bower.
O, will ye gae wi' me and see?"--

Sae on we lap, and awa' we rade
Till we come to yon little ha',
The kipples were o' the gude red gowd,
The roof was o' the proseyla.

There were pipers playing in every neuk,
And ladies dancing, jimp and sma';
And aye the owre-turn o' their tune
Was, "Our wee wee man has been long awa!"

Out gat the lights, on cam the mist
Ladies nor mannie mair could see,
I turned about, and ga'e a look
Just at the foot o' Benachie.

THE SPANISH LADY'S LOVE.
AFTER THE TAKING OF CADIZ.

Will you hear a Spanish lady,
How she wooed an Englishman?
Garments gay and rich as may be
Decked with jewels she had on.
Of a comely countenance and grace was she,
And by birth and parentage of high degree.

As his prisoner there he kept her,
In his hands her life did lie;
Cupid's bands did tie them faster
By the liking of an eye.
In his courteous company was all her joy,
To favour him in anything she was not coy.

But at last there came commandment
For to set the ladies free,
With their jewels still adorn-ed,
None to do them injury.
Then said this lady mild, "Full woe is me;
O let me still sustain this kind captivity!

"Gallant captain, show some pity
To a lady in distress;
Leave me not within this city,
For to die in heaviness:
Thou hast set this present day my body free,
But my heart in prison still remains with thee."

"How should'st thou, fair lady, love me,
Whom thou know'st thy country's foe?
Thy fair words make me suspect thee:
Serpents lie where flowers grow."--
"All the harm I wish to thee, most courteous knight:
God grant the same upon my head may fully light.

"Blessed be the time and season,
That ye came on Spanish ground;
If our foes ye may be term-ed,
Gentle foes we have you found:
With our city ye have won our hearts each one;
Then to your country bear away that is your own."--

"Rest you still, most gallant lady;
Rest you still, and weep no more;
Of fair lovers there is plenty,
Spain doth yield a wondrous store."--
"Spaniards fraught with jealousy we often find,
But Englishmen through all the world are counted kind.

"Leave me not unto a Spaniard,
You alone enjoy my heart;
I am lovely, young, and tender,
Love is likewise my desert:
Still to serve thee day and night my mind is prest;
The wife of every Englishman is counted blest."--

"It would be a shame, fair lady,
For to bear a woman hence;
English soldiers never carry
Any such without offence."--
"I'll quickly change myself, if it be so,
And like a page I'll follow thee, where'er thou go."--

"I have neither gold nor silver
To maintain thee in this case,
And to travel is great charges,
As you know in every place."--
"My chains and jewels every one shall be thy own,
And eke five hundred pounds in gold that lies unknown."

"On the seas are many dangers;
Many storms do there arise,
Which will be to ladies dreadful,
And force tears from watery eyes."--
"Well in troth I shall endure extremity,
For I could find in heart to lose my life for thee."--

"Courteous lady, leave this fancy;
Here comes all that breeds the strife.
I in England have already
A sweet woman to my wife:
I will not falsify my vow for gold nor gain,
Nor yet for all the fairest dames that live in Spain."

"O how happy is that woman,
That enjoys so true a friend!
Many happy days God send her!
Of my suit I make an end:
On my knees I pardon crave for my offence,
Which did from love and true affection first commence.

"Commend me to thy lovely lady.
Bear to her this chain of gold,
And these bracelets for a token;
Grieving that I was so bold:
All my jewels in like sort take thou with thee,
For they are fitting for thy wife, but not for me.

"I will spend my days in prayer;
Love and all her laws defy;
In a nunnery will I shroud me
Far from any compan-y:
But ere my prayers have an end, be sure of this,
To pray for thee and for thy love I will not miss.

"Thus farewell, most gallant captain!
Farewell, too, my heart's content!
Count not Spanish ladies wanton,
Though to thee my love was bent:
Joy and true prosperity go still with thee!"
"The like fall ever to thy share, most fair lad-ie!"

EDWARD, EDWARD.

"Why does your brand sae drop wi' bluid,
Edward, Edward?
Why does your brand sae drop wi' bluid,
And why sae sad gang ye, O?"--
"O, I ha'e kill-ed my hawk sae guid,
Mither, mither!
O, I ha'e kill-ed my hawk sae guid,
And I had nae mair but he, O."--
"Your hawkis bluid was never sae reid,
Edward, Edward:
Your hawkis bluid was never sae reid,
My dear son, I tell thee, O."--

"O, I ha'e kill-ed my reid-roan steed,
Mither, mither!
O, I ha'e kill-ed my reid-roan steed
That erst was so fair and free, O."--
"Your steed was auld, and ye ha'e got mair,
Edward, Edward:
Your steed was auld, and ye ha'e got mair,
Some other dule ye dree, O."--
"O, I ha'e kill-ed my father dear,
Mither, mither!
O, I ha'e kill-ed my father dear,
Alas, and wae is me, O!"--

"And whatten pen-ance will ye dree for that,
Edward, Edward?
And whatten pen-ance will ye dree for that?
My dear son, now tell me, O!"--
"I'll set my feet in yonder boat,
Mither, mither
I'll set my feet in yonder boat,
And I'll fare over the sea, O."--
"And what'll ye do wi' your towers and your ha',
Edward, Edward?
And what'll ye do wi' your towers and your ha',
That were so fair to see, O?"--

"I'll let them stand till they down fa',
Mither, mither:
I'll let them stand till they down fa',
For here never mair maun I be, O!"--
"And what'll ye leave to your bairns and your wife,
Edward, Edward?
And what'll ye leave to your bairns and your wife,
When ye gang over the sea, O?"--
"The warldis room, let them beg through life,
Mither, mither:
The warldis room, let them beg through life,
For they never mair will I see, O!"

"And what'll ye leave to your ain mother dear,
Edward, Edward?
And what'll ye leave to your ain mother dear?
My dear son, now tell me, O."--
"The curse of hell fra me sall ye bear,
Mither, mither!
The curse of hell fra me sall ye bear,--
Sic counsels ye gave to me, O."

ROBIN HOOD.

Lithe and listen, gentlemen,
That be of freeborn blood;
I shall you tell of a good yeom-an,
His name was Robin Hood.
Robin was a proud outlaw,
Whil-es he walked on ground,
So curteyse an outlawe as he was one
Was never none yfound.
Robin stood in Barnysdale,
And leaned him to a tree,
And by h-im stood Little John,
A good yeom-an was he;
And also did good Scath-elock,
And Much the miller's son;
There was no inch of his bod-y,
But it was worth a groom.

Then bespake him Little John
All unto Robin Hood,
"Master, if ye would dine betime,
It would do you much good."

Then bespak-e good Rob-in,
"To dine I have no lust,
Till I have some bold bar-on,
Or some unketh gest,
That may pay for the best;
Or some knight or some squy-ere
That dwelleth here by west."

A good mann-er then had Robin
In land where that he were,
Every day ere he would dine
Three masses would he hear:
The one in the worship of the Father,
The other of the Holy Ghost,
The third was of our dear Lady,
That he loved of all other most.

Robin loved our dear Lad-y,
For dout of deadly sin;
Would he never do company harm
That any woman was in.

"Master," then said Little John,
"An we our board shall spread,
Tell us whither we shall gon,
And what life we shall lead;
Where we shall take, where we shall leave,
Where we shall bide behind,
Where we shall rob, where we shall reve,
Where we shall beat and bind."

"Thereof no force," then said Rob-in,
"We shall do well enow;
But look ye do no housbonde harm
That tilleth with his plow;
No more ye shall no good yeoman,
That walk'th by green wood shaw,
Ne no knight, ne no squy-er,
That would be a good fel-aw.
These bishops, and these archbishops,
Ye shall them beat and bind;
The high sheriff of Nottingham,
Him hold in your mind."

"This word shall be holde," said Little John,
"And this lesson shall we lere;
It is ferr-e days, God send us a geste,
That we were at our dinere!"

"Take thy good bow in thy hand," said Robin,
"Let Much wend-e with thee,
And so shall William Scath-elock,
And no man abide with me:
And walk up to the Sa-yl-es,
And so to Watling Street,
And wait after some unketh gest,
Up-chance ye mowe them meet.
Be he earl or any bar-on,
Abb-ot or any knight,
Bring him to lodge to me,
His dinner shall be dight."

They went unto the Sa-yl-es,
These yeomen all three,
They look-ed east, they look-ed west,
They might-e no man see.
But as they looked in Barnisdale,
By a dern-e street,
Then came th-ere a knight rid-ing,
Full soon they gan him meet.
All drear-y was his semblaunce,
And little was his pride,
His one foot in the stirrup stood,
That other waved beside.
His hood hanging over his eyen two,
He rode in simple array;
A sorrier man than he was one
Rode never in summer's day.

Little John was full curt-eyse,
And set him on his knee:
"Welcome be ye, gentle knight,
Welc-ome are ye to me,
Welcome be thou to green wood,
Hende knight and free;
My master hath abiden you fast-ing,
Sir, all these hour-es three."

"Who is your master?" said the knight.

John said, "Robin Hood."

"He is a good yeoman," said the knight,
"Of him I have heard much good.
I grant," he said, "with you to wend,
My brethren all in-fere;
My purpose was to have dined to-day
At Blyth or Doncastere."

Forth then went this gentle knight,
With a careful cheer,
The tears out of his eyen ran,
And fell down by his lere.
They brought him unto the lodge door,
When Robin gan him see,
Full curteysly he did off his hood,
And set him on his knee.

"Welc-ome, sir knight," then said Rob-in,
"Welc-ome thou art to me;
I have abiden you fasting, sir,
All these hour-es three."

Then answered the gentle knight,
With word-es fair and free,
"God thee sav-e, good Rob-in,
And all thy fair meyn-e."

They washed together and wip-ed both,
And set to their dinere;
Bread and wine they had enough,
And numbles of the deer;
Swans and pheasants they had full good,
And fowls of the rivere;
There fail-ed never so little a bird,
That ever was bred on brere.

"Do gladly, sir knight," said Rob-in.

"Gram-ercy, sir," said he,
"Such a dinner had I not
Of all these week-es three;
If I come again, Rob-in,
Here b-y this countr-e,
As good a dinner I shall thee make,
As thou hast made to me."

"Gramerc-y, knight," said Rob-in,
"My dinner when I have;
I was never so greedy, by dere-worthy God,
My dinner for to crave.
But pay ere ye wend," said Rob-in,
"Me thinketh it is good right;
It was never the manner, by dere-worthy God,
A yeoman to pay for a knight."

"I have nought in my coffers," said the knight,
"That I may proffer for shame."

"Little John, go look," said Robin,
"Ne let not for no blame.
Tell me truth," then said Rob-in,
"So God have part of thee."

"I have no more but ten shillings," said the knight,
"So God have part of me!"

"If thou have no more," said Rob-in,
"I will not one penn-y;
And if thou have need of any more,
More shall I lend thee.
Go now forth, Little John,
The truth tell thou me,
If there be no more but ten shillings
No penny of that I see."

Little John spread down his mantle
Full fair upon the ground,
And there he found in the knight's coff-er
But even half a pound.
Little John let it lie full still,
And went to his master full low.

"What tiding-e, John?" said Rob-in.

"Sir, the knight is true enow."

"Fill of the best wine," said Rob-in,
"The knight shall begin;
Much wonder thinketh me
Thy clothing is so thin.
Tell me one word," said Rob-in,
"And counsel shall it be;
I trow thou were made a knight of force,
Or else of yeomanry;
Or else thou hast been a sorry housband
And lived in stroke and strife;
An okerer, or lechour," said Rob-in,
"With wrong hast thou led thy life."

"I am none of them," said the knight,
"By him that mad-e me;
An hundred winter here before,
Mine aunsetters knights have be.
But oft it hath befal, Rob-in,
A man hath be disgrate;
But God that sitteth in heaven above
May amend his state.
Within two or three year, Robin," he said,
"My neighbours well it kend,
Four hundred pound of good mon-ey
Full well then might I spend.
Now have I no good," said the knight,
"But my children and my wife;
God hath shapen such an end,
Till he it may amend."

"In what manner," said Rob-in,
"Hast thou lore thy rich-esse?"

"For my great folly," he said,
"And for my kind-enesse.
I had a son, for sooth, Rob-in,
That should have been my heir,
When he was twenty winter old,
In field would joust full fair;
He slew a knight of Lancashire,
And a squyer bold;
For to save him in his right
My goods beth set and sold;
My lands beth set to wed, Rob-in,
Until a certain day,
To a rich abbot here beside,
Of Saint Mar-y abbay."

"What is the summ-e?" said Rob-in,
"Truth then tell thou me."

"Sir," he said, "four hundred pound,
The abb-ot told it to me."

"Now, an thou lose thy land," said Robin,
"What shall fall of thee?"

"Hastily I will me busk," said the knight,
"Over the salt-e sea,
And see where Christ was quick and dead,
On the mount of Calvar-y.
Fare well, friend, and have good day,
It may no better be"--

Tears fell out of his eyen two,
He would have gone his way--
"Fare well, friends, and have good day,
I ne have more to pay."

"Where be thy friends?" said Rob-in.

"Sir, never one will me know;
While I was rich enow at home
Great boast then would they blow,
And now they run away from me,
As beast-es on a row;
They take no more heed of me
Than they me never saw."

For ruth-e then wept Little John,
Scathelocke and Much also.
"Fill of the best wine," said Rob-in,
"For here is a simple cheer.
Hast thou any friends," said Robin,
"Thy borowes that will be?"

"I have none," then said the knight,
"But him that died on a tree."

"Do way thy jap-es!" said Rob-in,
"Thereof will I right none;
Weenest thou I will have God to borowe?
Peter, Paul, or John?
Nay, by him that me made,
And shope both sun and moon,
Find a better borowe," said Robin,
"Or money gettest thou none."

"I have none other," said the knight,
"The sooth for to say,
But if it be our dear Lad-y,
She failed me ne'er ere this day."

"By dere-worthy God," then said Rob-in,
"To seek all England thorowe,
Yet found I never to my pay,
A much better borowe.
Come now forth, Little John,
And go to my treasur-y,
And bring me fo-ur hundred pound,
And look that it well told be."

Forth then went Little John,
And Scathelock went before,
He told out fo-ur hundred pound,
By eighteen-e score.

"Is this well told?" said Little Much.

John said, "What grieveth thee?
It is alms to help a gentle knight
That is fall in povert-y.
Master," then said Little John,
"His clothing is full thin,
Ye must give the knight a liver-ay,
To wrap his bod-y therein.
For ye have scarl-et and green, mast-er,
And many a rich array,
There is no merch-ant in merry Engl-and
So rich, I dare well say."

"Take him three yards of every colo-ur,
And look that well mete it be."

Little John took none other meas-ure
But his bow-e tree,
And of every handfull that he met
He leapt ouer foot-es three.

"What devilkyns draper," said Little Much,
"Thinkest thou to be?"

Scathelock stood full still and lough,
And said, "By God allmight,
John may give him the better meas-ure,
For it cost him but light."

"Master," then said Little John,
All unto Robin Hood,
"Ye must give that knight an horse,
To lead home all this good."

"Take him a gray cours-er," said Robin,
"And a saddle new;
He is our Lady's messengere,
God lend that he be true!"

"And a good palfr-ey," said Little Much,
"To maintain him in his right."

"And a pair of boots," said Scath-elock,
"For he is a gentle knight."

"What shalt thou give him, Little John?" said Robin.

"Sir, a paire of gilt spurs clene,
To pray for all this company:
God bringe him out of tene!"

"When shall my day be," said the knight,
"Sir, an your will be?"

"This day twelve month," said Rob-in,
"Under this green wood tree.
It were great sham-e," said Rob-in,
"A knight alone to ride,
Without squy-er, yeoman or page,
To walk-e by his side.
I shall thee lend Little Johan my man,
For he shall be thy knave;
In a yeoman's stead he may thee stand
If thou great need have."

THE SECONDE FYTTE.

Now is the knight went on his way,
This game he thought full good,
When he looked on Barnisdale,
He bless-ed Robin Hood;
And when he thought on Barnisdale
On Scathelock, Much, and John,
He blessed them for the best compan-y
That ever he in come.

Then spake that gentle knight,
To Little John gan he say,
"To-morrow I must to York town,
To Saint Mar-y abbay;
And to the abbot of that place
Four hundred pound I must pay:
And but I be there upon this night
My land is lost for aye."

The abbot said to his conv-ent,
There he stood on ground,
"This day twelve month came there a knight
And borrowed four hundred pound
Upon all his land free,
But he come this ilk-e day
Disherited shall he be."

"It is full early," said the prior,
"The day is not yet far gone,
I had liever to pay an hundred pound,
And lay it down anone.
The knight is far beyond the sea,
In England is his right,
And suffereth hung-er and cold
And many a sorry night:
It were great pity," said the prior,
"So to have his lond;
An ye be so light of your consci-ence,
Ye do to him much is wrong."

"Thou art ever in my beard," said the abb-ot,
"By God and Saint Rich-ard!"

With that came in a fat-headed monk,
The high cellarer;
"He is dead or hang-ed," said the monk,
"By him that bought me dear,
And we shall have to spend in this place
Four hundred pound by year."

The abbot and the high cellarer,
Stert-e forth full bold.

The high justice of Englond
The abb-ot there did hold;
The high just-ice and many mo
Had take into their hond
Wholly all the knight-es debt,
To put that knight to wrong.
They deemed the knight wonder sore,
The abb-ot and his meyn-e:
"But he come this ilk-e day
Disherited shall he be."

"He will not come yet," said the just-ice,
"I dare well undertake."

But in sorrow-e tim-e for them all
The knight came to the gate.
Then bespake that gentle knight
Unto his meyn-e,
"Now put on your simple weeds
That ye brought from the sea."
And cam-e to the gates anone,
The porter was ready himself,
And welcom-ed them every one.

"Welc-ome, sir knyght," said the port-er,
"My lord to meat is he,
And so is many a gentle man,
For the love of thee."
The porter swore a full great oath,
"By him that mad-e me,
Here be the best cores-ed horse
That ever yet saw I me.
Lead them into the stable," he said,
"That eas-ed might they be."

"They shall not come therein," said the knight,
"By him that died on a tree."

Lord-es were to meat iset
In that abb-ot-es hall,
The knight went forth and kneel-ed down,
And salved them great and small.
"Do gladly, sir abb-ot," said the knight,
"I am come to hold my day."

The first word the abbot spake,
"Hast th-ou brought m-y pay?"

"Not one penny," said the knight,
"By him that mak-ed me."

"Thou art a shrewd debtor!" said the abb-ot;
"Sir justice, drink to me!
What dost thou here," said the abb-ot,
"But thou hadst brought thy pay?"

"For-e God," then said the knight,
"To pray of a longer day."

"Thy day is broke," said the justice,
"Land gettest thou none."

"Now, good sir justice, be my friend,
And fend me of my fone."

"I am hold with the abbot," said the justice,
"Both with cloth and fee."

"Now, good sir sheriff, be my friend."

"Nay, for-e God," said he.

"Now, good sir abbot, be my friend,
For thy curteys-e,
And hold my land-es in thy hand
Till I have made thee gree;
And I will be thy true serv-ant,
And truly serv-e thee,
Till ye have fo-ur hundred pound
Of money good and free."

The abbot sware a full great oath,
"By him that died on a tree,
Get the land where thou may,
For thou gettest none of me."

"By dere-worthy God," then said the knight,
"That all this world wrought,
But I have my land again,
Full dear it shall be bought;
God, that was of a maiden borne,
Lene us well to speed!
For it is good to assay a friend
Ere that a man have need."

The abb-ot loathl-y on him gan look,
And villainousl-y gan call;
"Out," he said, "thou fals-e knight!
Speed thee out of my hall!"

"Thou liest," then said the gentle knight,
"Abbot in thy hall;
Fals-e knight was I nev-er,
By him that made us all."

Up then stood that gentle knight,
To the abb-ot said he,
"To suffer a knight to kneel so long,
Thou canst no courtes-y.
In joust-es and in tournem-ent
Full far then have I be,
And put myself as far in press
As any that e'er I see."

"What will ye give more?" said the just-ice,
"And the knight shall make a release;
And ell-es dare I safely swear
Ye hold never your land in peace."

"An hundred pound," said the abb-ot.

The justice said, "Give him two."

"Na-y, by God," said the knight,
"Yet get ye it not so:
Though ye would give a thousand more,
Yet were thou never the nere;
Shall there never be mine heir,
Abb-ot, just-ice, ne frere."

He stert him to a board anon,
To a table round,
And there he shook out of a bag
Even fo-ur hundred pound.

"Have here thy gold, sir abb-ot," said the knight,
"Which that thou lentest me;
Haddest thou been curteys at my com-ing,
Rewarded shouldst thou have be."
The abb-ot sat still, and ate no more.
For all his royal cheer,
He cast his hood on his should-er,
And fast began to stare.
"Take me my gold again," said the abb-ot,
"Sir just-ice, that I took thee."

"Not a penny," said the just-ice,
"By him that died on a tree."

"Sir abbot, and ye men of law,
Now have I held my day,
Now shall I have my land again,
For aught that you can say."
The knight stert out of the door,
Away was all his care,
And on he put his good cloth-ing,
The other he left there.
He went him forth full merry sing-ing,
As men have told in tale,
His lady met him at the gate,
At home in Uterysdale.

"Welc-ome, my lord," said his lady;
"Sir, lost is all your good?"

"Be merry, dam-e," said the knight,
"And pray for Robin Hood,
That ever his soul-e be in bliss,
He holp me out of my tene;
Ne had not be his kind-enesse,
Beggars had we been.
The abb-ot and I accorded ben,
He is served of his pay,
The good yeoman lent it me,
As I came by the way."

This knight then dwell-ed fair at home,
The sooth for to say,
Till he had got four hundred pound,
All ready for to pay.
He p-urveyed him an hundred bows,
The string-es well ydight,
An hundred sheaf of arrows good,
The heads burn-ished full bright,
And every arrow an ell-e long,
With peacock well ydight,
I-nock-ed all with white silv-er,
It was a seemly sight.
He p-urveyed him an hundred men,
Well harneysed in that stead,
And h-imself in that sam-e set,
And clothed in white and red.
He bare a launsgay in his hand,
And a man led his male,
And ridden with a light song,
Unto Barnisdale.

As he went at a bridge there was a wresteling,
And there tarried was he,
And there was all the best yeom-en
Of all the west countree.
A full fair game there was upset,
A white bull up i-pight;
A great cours-er with saddle and bridle,
With gold burn-ished full bright;
A pair of gloves, a red gold ring,
A pipe of wine, in good fay:
What man beareth him best, i-wis,
The prize shall bear away.

There was a yeoman in that place,
And best worth-y was he.
And for he was ferre and fremd bestad,
I-slain he should have be.
The knight had ruth of this yeom-an,
In place where that he stood,
He said that yeoman should have no harm,
For love of Robin Hood.
The knight press-ed into the place,
An hundred followed him free,
With bow-es bent, and arrows sharp,
For to shend that company.

They shouldered all, and made him room,
To wete what he would say,
He took the yeoman by the hand,
And gave him all the play;
He gave him five mark for his wine,
There it lay on the mould,
And bade it should be set abroach,
Drink-e who so would.
Thus long tarried this gentle knight,
Till that play was done,
So long abode Rob-in fasting,
Three hours after the none.

THE THYRDE FYTTE.

Lithe and listen, gentle men,
All that now be here,
Of Little John, that was the knight's man,
Good mirth ye shall hear.

It was upon a merry day,
That young men would go shete,
Little John fet his bow anon,
And said he would them meet.
Three times Little John shot about,
And always cleft the wand,
The proud sher-iff of Nottingham
By the marks gan stand.
The sheriff swore a full great oath,
"By him that died on a tree,
This man is the best arch-er
That ever yet saw I me.
Sa-y me now, wight young man,
What is now thy name?
In what country were thou born,
And where is thy wonning wan?"

"In Hold-ernesse I was bore,
I-wis all of my dame,
Men call me Reynold Greenleaf,
Whan I am at hame."

"Say me, Reynold Greenleaf,
Wilt thou dwell with me?
And every year I will thee give
Twent-y mark to thy fee."

"I have a master," said Little John,
"A curteys knight is he,
Ma-y ye get leave of him,
The better may it be."

The sher-iff gat Little John
Twelve months of the knight,
Theref-ore he gave him right anon
A good horse and a wight.

Now is Little John the sheriff's man,
He give us well to speed,
But alw-ay thought Little John
To quite him well his meed.
"Now so God me help," said Little John,
"And by my true lewt-e,
I sh-all be the worst serv-ant to him
That ever yet had he!"

It befell upon a Wednesday,
The sheriff a-hunting was gone,
And Little John lay in his bed,
And was forgot at home.
Therefore he was fast-ing
Till it was past the none.
"Good sir Steward, I pray thee,
Give me to dine," said Little John;
"It is too long for Greenleaf,
Fast-ing so long to be;
Therefore I pray thee, stew-ard,
My dinner give thou me!"

"Shalt thou never eat ne drink," said the stew-ard,
"Till my lord be come to town."

"I make mine avow," said Little John,
"I had liever to crack thy crown!"

The butler was full uncurteys,
There he stood on floor,
He stert to the buttery,
And shut fast the door.
Little John gave the butler such a stroke
His back yede nigh in two,
Though he lived an hundred winter,
The worse he should-e go.
He spurned the door with his foot,
It went up well and fine,
And there he made a large liveray
Both of ale and wine.
"Sith ye will not dine," said Little John,
"I shall give you to drink,
And though ye live an hundred winter,
On Little John ye shall think!"
Little John ate, and Little John drank,
The whil-e that he would.
The sheriff had in his kitchen a cook,
A stout man and a bold.

"I make mine avow to God," said the cook,
"Thou art a shrewd-e hind,
In an household to dwell,
For to ask thus to dine."
And there he lent Little John,
Good strok-es three.

"I make mine avow," said Little John,
"These strok-es liketh well me.
Thou art a bold man and an hardy,
And so thinketh me;
And ere I pass from this place,
Assayed better shalt thou be."

Little John drew a good sword,
The cook took another in hand;
They thought nothing for to flee,
But stiffly for to stand.
There they fought sor-e together,
Two mile way and more,
Might neither other harm don,
The mountenance of an hour.
"I make mine avow," said Little John,
"And by my true lewt-e,
Thou art one of the best swordmen
That ever yet saw I me.
Couldest thou shoot as well in a bow,
To green wood thou shouldest with me,
And two times in the year thy clothing
I-changed should-e be;
And every year of Robin Hood
Twent-y mark to thy fee."

"Put up thy sword," said the cook,
"And fellows will we be."

Then he fet to Little John
The numbles of a doe,
Good bread and full good wine,
They ate and drank thereto.
And when they had drunken well,
Their troths together they plight,
That they would be with Rob-in
That ilke same day at night.
They hied them to the treasure-house,
As fast as they might gone,
The locks that were of good steel
They brake them every one;
They took away the silver vessel,
And all that they might get,
Pi-eces, mas-ars, and spoons,
Would they none forget;
Also they took the good pence,
Three hundred pound and three;
And did them straight to Robin Hood,
Under the green wood tree.

"God thee save, my dear mast-er,
And Christ thee save and see."

And then said Rob-in to Little John,
"Welcome might thou be;
And also be that fair yeom-an
Thou bringest there with thee.
What tiding-es from Nottingham?
Little John, tell thou me."

"Well thee greeteth the proud sher-iff,
And sendeth thee here by me,
His cook and his silv-er vessel,
And three hundred pound and three."

"I make mine avow to God," said Robin,
"And to the Trinit-y,
It was never by his good will,
This good is come to me."

Little John him there bethought,
On a shrewed wile,
Five mile in the for-est he ran,
Him happ-ed at his will;
Then be met the proud sher-iff,
Hunt-ing with hound and horn,
Little John coud his curteysye,
And kneel-ed him beforn:
"God thee save, my dear mast-er,
And Christ thee save and see."

"Raynold Greenleaf," said the sher-iff,
"Where hast thou now be?"

"I have be in this for-est,
A fair sight can I see,
It was one of the fairest sights
That ever yet saw I me;
Yonder I see a right fair hart,
His colour is of green,
Seven score of deer upon an herd,
Be with him all bedene;
His tynde are so sharp, mast-er,
Of sixty and well mo,
That I durst not shoot for drede
Lest they wold me slo."

"I make mine avow to God," said the sheriff,
"That sight would I fain see."

"Busk you thitherward, my dear mast-er,
Anon, and wend with me."

The sheriff rode, and Little John
Of foot he was full smart,
And when they came afore Robin:
"Lo, here is the master hart!"

Still stood the proud sher-iff,
A sorry man was he:
"Wo worth thee, Raynold Greenleaf!
Thou hast now betray-ed me."

"I make mine avow," said Little John,
"Mast-er, ye be to blame,
I was misserved of my dinere,
When I was with you at hame."

Soon he was to supper set,
And served with silver white;
And when the sher-iff see his vess-el,
For sorrow he might not eat.
"Make good cheer," said Robin Hood,
"Sher-iff, for charit-y,
And for the love of Little John;
Thy life is granted to thee."

When they had supp-ed well,
The day was all agone,
Robin commanded Little John
To draw off his hosen and his shone,
His kirtle and his coat a pye,
That was furr-ed well fine,
And take him a green mant-ell,
To lap his body therein.
Robin commanded his wight young men,
Under the green wood tree,
They shall lie in that same sort,
That the sheriff might them see.
All night lay that proud sher-iff
In his breche and in his sherte,
No wonder it was, in green wood,
Though his sides do smerte.
"Make glad cheer," said Robin Hood,
"Sher-iff, for charit-e,
For this is our ord-er i-wis,
Under the green wood tree."

"This is harder order," said the sheriff,
"Than any anker or frere;
For all the gold in merry Engl-and
I would not long dwell here."

"All these twelve months," said Rob-in,
"Thou shalt dwell with me;
I shall thee teach, thou proud sher-iff,
An outlaw for to be."

"Ere I here another night lie," said the sheriff,
"Robin, now I pray thee,
Smite off my head rather to-morn,
And I forgive it thee.
Let me go," then said the sher-iff,
"For saint Charit-e,
And I will be thy best friend
That ever yet had thee."

"Thou shalt swear me an oath," said Robin,
"On my bright brand,
Thou shalt never awayte me scathe,
By water ne by land;
And if thou find any of my men,
By night or by day,
Upon thine oath thou shalt swear,
To help them that thou may."

Now hath the sheriff i-swore his oath,
And home he gan to gone,
He was as full of green wood
As ever was heap of stone.

THE FOURTH FYTTE.

The sheriff dwelled in Nottingham,
He was fain that he was gone,
And Robin and his merry men
Went to wood anone.

"Go we to dinner," said Little John.
Robin Hood said, "Nay;
For I dread Our Lady be wroth with me,
For she sent me not my pay."

"Have no doubt, master," said Little John,
"Yet is not the sun at rest,
For I dare say, and safely sware,
The knight is true and trust."

"Take thy bow in thy hand," said Robin,
"Let Much wende with thee,
And so shall William Scathelock,
And no man abide with me,
And walk up into the Sa-yl-es,
And to Watling Street,
And wait after such unketh gest,
Up-chance ye may them meet.
Whether he be messeng-er,
Or a man that mirth-es can,
Or if he be a poor man,
Of my good he shall have some."

Forth then stert Little John,
Half in tray and teen,
And girded him with a full good sword,
Under a mantle of green.
They went up to the Sa-yl-es,
These yeomen all three;
They look-ed east, they look-ed west,
They might no man see.
But as he looked in Barnisdale,
By the high way,
Then were they ware of two black monks,
Each on a good palfray.

Then bespak-e Little John,
To Much he gan say,
"I dare lay my life to wed,
That these monks have brought our pay.
Make glad cheer," said Little John,
"And frese our bows of yew,
And look your hearts be sicker and sad,
Your strings trust-y and true.
The monk hath fifty-two men,
And seven som-ers full strong,
There rideth no bishop in this land
So royally, I understond.
Brethren," said Little John,
"Here are no more but we three;
But we bring them to dinn-er,
Our master dare we not see.
Bend your bows," said Little John,
"Make all yon press to stand!
The foremost monk, his life and his death
Is clos-ed in my hand!
Abide, churl monk," said Little John,
"No farther that thou gone;
If thou dost, by dere-worthy God,
Thy death is in my hond.
And evil thrift on thy head," said Little John,
"Right under thy hat's bond,
For thou hast made our master wroth,
He is fast-ing so long."

"Who is your master?" said the monk.

Little John said, "Robin Hood."

"He is a strong thief," said the monk,
"Of him heard I never good."

"Thou liest!" then said Little John,
"And that shall rew-e thee;
He is a yeoman of the for-est,
To dine hath bod-e thee."
Much was ready with a bolt,
Redly and anon,
He set the monk tofore the breast,
To the ground that he can gon.
Of fifty-two wight young men,
There abode not one,
Save a little page, and a groom
To lead the somers with Little John.

They brought the monk to the lodge door,
Whether be were loth or lief,
For to speak with Robin Hood,
Maugr-e in their teeth.
Robin did adown his hood,
The monk when that he see;
The monk was not so courteyous,
His hood then let he be.

"He is a churl, master, by dere-worthy God,"
Then said Little John.

"Thereof no force," said Rob-in,
"For courtesy can he none.
How man-y men," said Rob-in,
"Had this monk, John?"

"Fifty and two when that we met,
But many of them be gone."

"Let blow a horn," said Robin,
"That fellowship may us know."

Seven score of wight yeomen,
Came pricking on a row,
And everich of them a good mant-ell,
Of scarlet and of ray,
All they came to good Rob-in,
To wite what he would say.
They made the monk to wash and wipe,
And sit at his dinere,
Robin Hood and Little John
They served them both infere.
"Do gladly, monk," said Robin.
"Gram-ercy, sir," said he.
"Where is your abbey, whan ye are at home,
And who is your avow-e?"

"Saint Mary abbey," said the monk,
"Though I be simple here."
"In what offic-e?" said Rob-in.
"Sir, the high cellarer."
"Ye be the more welcome," said Rob-in,
"So ever mote I thee.
Fill of the best wine," said Rob-in,
"This monk shall drink to me.
But I have great marvel," said Rob-in,
"Of all this long-e day,
I dread Our Lady be wroth with me,
She sent me not my pay."

"Have no doubt, master," said Little John,
"Ye have no need I say,
This monk it hath brought, I dare well swear,
For he is of her abbay."

"And she was a borow," said Robin,
"Between a knight and me,
Of a little money that I him lent,
Under the green wood tree;
And if thou hast that silver i-brought,
I pray thee let me see,
And I shall help thee eftsoons,
If thou have need of me."

The monk swore a full great oath,
With a sorry cheer,
"Of the borowhood thou speakest to me,
Heard I never ere!"

"I make mine avow to God," said Robin,
"Monk, thou art to blame,
For God is hold a righteous man,
And so is his dame.
Thou toldest with thine own tongue,
Thou may not say nay,
How that thou art her serv-ant
And servest her every day,
And thou art made her messenger,
My money for to pay,
Therefore I con thee more thank,
Thou art come at thy day.
What is in your coffers?" said Robin,
"True then tell thou me."
"Sir," he said, "twenty mark,
All so mote I thee."

"If there be no more," said Robin,
"I will not one penny;
If thou hast mister of any more,
Sir, more I shall lend to thee;
And if I find more," said Robin,
"I-wis thou shalt it forgone;
For of thy spending silver, monk,
Thereof will I right none.
Go now forth, Little John,
And the truth tell thou me;
If there be no more but twenty mark,
No penny of that I see."

Little John spread his mantle down,
As he had done before,
And he told out of the monk-es mail,
Eight hundred pound and more.
Little John let it lie full still,
And went to his master in haste;
"Sir," he said, "the monk is true enow,
Our lady hath doubled your cost."

"I make mine avow to God," said Robin,
"Monk, what told I thee?
Our Lady is the truest woman,
That ever yet found I me.
By dere-worthy God," said Robin,
"To seek all England thorowe,
Yet found I never to my pay
A much better borowe.
Fill of the best wine, do him drink," said Robin;
"And greet well thy Lady hend,
And if she have need of Robin Hood,
A friend she shall him find;
And if she needeth any more silv-er,
Come thou again to me,
And, by this token she hath me sent,
She shall have such three!"

The monk was going to London ward,
There to hold great mote,
The knight that rode so high on horse,
To bring him under foot.

"Whither be ye away?" said Robin.

"Sir, to manors in this lond,
To reckon with our rev-es,
That have done much wrong."

"Come now forth, Little John,
And hearken to my tale,
A better yeoman I know none,
To search a monk-es mail.
How much is in yonder other courser?" said Robin,
"The sooth must we see."

"By our Lady," then said the monk,
"That were no courtes-y
To bid a man to dinner,
And sith him beat and bind."

"It is our old manner," said Rob-in,
"To leave but little behind."

The monk took the horse with spur,
No longer would he abide.

"Ask to drink," then said Rob-in,
"Ere that ye further ride."

"Nay, fore God," then said the monk,
"Me reweth I came so near,
For better cheap I might have dined,
In Blyth or in Doncastere."

"Greet well your abbot," said Rob-in,
"And your prior, I you pray,
And bid him send me such a monk
To dinner every day!"

Now let we that monk be still,
And speak we of that knight,
Yet he came to hold his day
While that it was light.
He did him straight to Barnisdale,
Under the green wood tree,
And he found there Robin Hood,

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