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´╗┐Title: A Bundle of Ballads
Author: Morley, Henry, 1822-1894 [Editor]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Bundle of Ballads" ***


Edited By Henry Morley


     CHEVY CHASE (the later version)


Recitation with dramatic energy by men whose business it was to travel
from one great house to another and delight the people by the way,
was usual among us from the first. The scop invented and the glee-man
recited heroic legends and other tales to our Anglo-Saxon forefathers.
These were followed by the minstrels and other tellers of tales written
for the people. They frequented fairs and merrymakings, spreading the
knowledge not only of tales in prose or ballad form, but of appeals also
to public sympathy from social reformers.

As late as the year 1822, Allan Cunningham, in publishing a collection
of "Traditional Tales of the English and Scottish Peasantry," spoke from
his own recollection of itinerant story-tellers who were welcomed in the
houses of the peasantry and earned a living by their craft.

The earliest story-telling was in recitative. When the old alliteration
passed on into rhyme, and the crowd or rustic fiddle took the place of
the old "gleebeam" for accentuation of the measure and the meaning of
the song, we come to the ballad-singer as Philip Sidney knew him. Sidney
said, in his "Defence of Poesy," that he never heard the old song of
Percy and Douglas, that he found not his heart moved more than with a
trumpet; and yet, he said, "it is sung but by some blind crowder, with
no rougher voice than rude style; which being so evil apparelled in the
dust and cobweb of that uncivil age, what would it work trimmed in the
gorgeous eloquence of Pindar?" Many an old ballad, instinct with natural
feeling, has been more or less corrupted, by bad ear or memory, among
the people upon whose lips it has lived. It is to be considered,
however, that the old broader pronunciation of some letters developed
some syllables and the swiftness of speech slurred over others,
which will account for many an apparent halt in the music of what was
actually, on the lips of the ballad-singer, a good metrical line.

"Chevy Chase" is, most likely, a corruption of the French word
chevauchee, which meant a dash over the border for destruction and
plunder within the English pale. Chevauchee was the French equivalent
to the Scottish border raid. Close relations between France and Scotland
arose out of their common interest in checking movements towards their
conquest by the kings of England, and many French words were used with a
homely turn in Scottish common speech. Even that national source of joy,
"great chieftain of the pudding-race," the haggis, has its name from
the French hachis. At the end of the old ballad of "Chevy Chase," which
reads the corrupted word into a new sense, as the Hunting on the Cheviot
Hills, there is an identifying of the Hunting of the Cheviot with the
Battle of Otterburn:--

     "Old men that knowen the ground well enough call it the Battle of
      At Otterburn began this spurn upon a Monenday;
      There was the doughty Douglas slain, the Percy never went away."

The Battle of Otterburn was fought on the 19th of August 1388. The
Scots were to muster at Jedburgh for a raid into England. The Earl
of Northumberland and his sons, learning the strength of the Scottish
gathering, resolved not to oppose it, but to make a counter raid into
Scotland. The Scots heard of this and divided their force. The
main body, under Archibald Douglas and others, rode for Carlisle.
A detachment of three or four hundred men-at-arms and two thousand
combatants, partly archers, rode for Newcastle and Durham, with James
Earl of Douglas for one of their leaders. These were already pillaging
and burning in Durham when the Earl of Northumberland first heard
of them, and sent against them his sons Henry and Ralph Percy. In a
hand-to-hand fight between Douglas and Henry Percy, Douglas took Percy's
pennon. At Otterburn the Scots overcame the English but Douglas fell,
struck by three spears at once, and Henry was captured in fight by Lord
Montgomery. There was a Scots ballad on the Battle of Otterburn quoted
in 1549 in a book--"The Complaynt of Scotland"--that also referred
to the Hunttis of Chevet. The older version of "Chevy Chase" is in an
Ashmole MS. in the Bodleian, from which it was first printed in 1719 by
Thomas Hearne in his edition of William of Newbury's History. Its author
turns the tables on the Scots with the suggestion of the comparative
wealth of England and Scotland in men of the stamp of Douglas and Percy.
The later version, which was once known more widely, is probably not
older than the time of James I., and is the version praised by Addison
in Nos. 70 and 74 of "The Spectator."

"The Nut-Brown Maid," in which we can hardly doubt that a woman pleads
for women, was first printed in 1502 in Richard Arnold's Chronicle.
Nut-brown was the old word for brunette. There was an old saying that "a
nut-brown girl is neat and blithe by nature."

"Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough, and William of Cloudeslie" was first
printed by Copland about 1550. A fragment has been found of an earlier
impression. Laneham, in 1575, in his Kenilworth Letter, included "Adam
Bell, Clym of the Clough, and William of Cloudeslie" among the light
reading of Captain Cox. In the books of the Stationers' Company (for
the printing and editing of which we are deeply indebted to Professor
Arber), there is an entry between July 1557 and July 1558, "To John
kynge to prynte this boke Called Adam Bell etc. and for his lycense
he giveth to the howse." On the 15th of January 1581-2 "Adam Bell" is
included in a list of forty or more copyrights transferred from
Sampson Awdeley to John Charlewood; "A Hundred Merry Tales" and Gower's
"Confessio Amantis" being among the other transfers. On the 16th of
August 1586 the Company of Stationers "Alowed vnto Edward white for his
copies these fyve ballades so that they be tollerable:" four only are
named, one being "A ballad of William Clowdisley, never printed before."
Drayton wrote in the "Shepheard's Garland" in 1593:--

     "Come sit we down under this hawthorn tree,
        The morrow's light shall lend us day enough--
      And tell a tale of Gawain or Sir Guy,
        Of Robin Hood, or of good Clem of the Clough."

Ben Jonson, in his "Alchemist," acted in 1610, also indicates the
current popularity of this tale, when Face, the housekeeper, brings
Dapper, the lawyer's clerk, to Subtle, and recommends him with--

                    "'slight, I bring you
      No cheating Clim o' the Clough or Claribel."

"Binnorie," or "The Two Sisters," is a ballad on an old theme popular in
Scandinavia as well as in this country. There have been many versions of
it. Dr. Rimbault published it from a broadside dated 1656. The version
here given is Sir Walter Scott's, from his "Minstrelsy of the Scottish
Border," with a few touches from other versions given in Professor
Francis James Child's noble edition of "The English and Scottish Popular
Ballads," which, when complete, will be the chief storehouse of our
ballad lore.

"King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid" is referred to by Shakespeare in
"Love's Labour's Lost," Act iv. sc I; in "Romeo and Juliet," Act ii. sc.
I; and in "II. Henry IV.," Act iii. sc. 4. It was first printed in 1612
in Richard Johnson's "Crown Garland of Goulden Roses gathered out of
England's Royall Garden. Being the Lives and Strange Fortunes of many
Great Personages of this Land, set forth in many pleasant new Songs and
Sonnets never before imprinted."

"Take thy Old Cloak about thee," was published in 1719 by Allan Ramsay
in his "Tea-Table Miscellany," and was probably a sixteenth century
piece retouched by him. Iago sings the last stanza but one--"King
Stephen was a worthy peer," etc.--in "Othello," Act ii. sc. 3.

In "Othello," Act iv. sc. 3, there is also reference to the old ballad
of "Willow, willow, willow."

"The Little Wee Man" is a wee ballad that is found in many forms with a
little variation. It improves what was best in the opening of a longer
piece which introduced popular prophecies, and is to be found in Cotton
MS. Julius A. v. It was printed by Thomas Wright in his edition of
Langtoft's Chronicle (ii. 452).

"The Spanish Lady's Love" was printed by Thomas Deloney in "The Garland
of Goodwill," published in the latter half of the sixteenth century. The
hero of this ballad was probably one of Essex's companions in the
Cadiz expedition, and various attempts have been made to identify him,
especially with a Sir John Bolle of Thorpe Hall, Lincolnshire.

"Edward, Edward," is from Percy's "Reliques." Percy had it from Lord

"Robin Hood" is the "Lytell Geste of Robyn Hood," printed in London by
Wynken de Worde, and again in Edinburgh by Chepman and Myllar in 1508,
in the first year of the establishment of a printing-press in Scotland.

"King Edward IV. and the Tanner of Tamworth" is a ballad of a kind once
popular; there were "King Alfred and the Neatherd," "King Henry and
the Miller," "King James I. and the Tinker," "King Henry VII. and
the Cobbler," with a dozen more. "The Tanner of Tamworth" in another,
perhaps older, form, as "The King and the Barker," was printed by Joseph
Ritson in his "Ancient Popular Poetry."

"Sir Patrick Spens" was first published by Percy in his "Reliques of
Ancient English Poetry" (1757). It was given by Sir Walter Scott in his
"Minstrelsy of the Border," and with more detail by Peter Buchan in
his "Ancient Ballads of the North." Buchan took it from an old blind
ballad-singer who had recited it for fifty years, and learnt it in
youth from another very old man. The ballad is upon an event in Scottish
history of the thirteenth century, touching marriage of a Margaret,
daughter of the King of Scotland, to Haningo, son of the King of Norway.
The perils of a winter sea-passage in ships of the olden time were
recognised by an Act of the reign of James III. of Scotland, prohibiting
all navigation "frae the feast of St. Simon's Day and Jude unto the
feast of the Purification of our Lady, called Candlemas."

"Edom o' Gordon" was first printed at Glasgow by Robert and Andrew
Foulis in 1755. Percy ascribed its preservation to Sir David Dalrymple,
who gave it from the memory of a lady. The incident was transferred
to the border from the North of Scotland. Edom o' Gordon was Sir Adam
Gordon of Auchindown, Lieutenant-Depute for Queen Mary in the North in
1571. He sent Captain Ker with soldiers against the Castle of Towie,
which was set on fire, and the Lady of Towie, with twenty-six other
persons, "was cruelly brint to the death." Other forms of the ballad
ascribe the deed, with incidents of greater cruelty, to Captain Carr,
the Lord of Estertowne.

"The Children in the Wood" was entered in the books of the Stationers'
Company on the 15th of October 1595 to Thomas Millington as, "for his
Copie vnder th[e h]andes of bothe the wardens a ballad intituled, The
Norfolk gent his will and Testament and how he Commytted the keepinge of
his Children to his owne brother whoe delte moste wickedly with them and
howe God plagued him for it." It was printed as a black-letter ballad in
1670. Addison wrote a paper on it in "The Spectator" (No. 85), praising
it as "one of the darling songs of the common people."

"The Blind Beggar of Bednall Green" is in many collections, and was
known in Elizabeth's time, another Elizabethan ballad having been set
to the tune of it. "This very house," wrote Samuel Pepys in June 1663
of Sir William Rider's house at Bethnal Green, "was built by the blind
beggar of Bednall Green, so much talked of and sung in ballads; but they
say it was only some outhouses of it." The Angels that abounded in the
Beggar's stores were gold coins, so named from the figure on one side of
the Archangel Michael overcoming the Dragon. This coin was first struck
in 1466, and it was used until the time of Charles the First.

"The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington," or "True Love Requited," is a
ballad in Pepys's collection, now in the Bodleian. The Islington of the
Ballad is supposed to be an Islington in Norfolk.

"Barbara Allen's Cruelty" was referred to by Pepys in his Diary, January
2, 1665-6 as "the little Scotch song of Barbary Allen." It was first
printed by Allan Ramsay (in 1724) in his "Tea-Table Miscellany." In the
same work Allan Ramsay was also the first printer of "Sweet William's

Fragments of "The Braes o' Yarrow" are in old collections. The ballad
has been given by Scott in his "Minstrelsy of the Border," and another
version is in Peter Buchan's "Ancient Ballads of the North."

"Kemp Owyne" is here given from Buchan's "Ballads of the North
of Scotland." Here also Professor F. J. Child has pointed to many
Icelandic, Danish, and German analogies. Allied to "Kemp Owyne" is
the modern ballad of "The Laidley Worm of Spindleston Heughs," written
before 1778 by the Rev. Mr. Lamb of Norham; but the "Laily Worm and the
Machrel of the Sea" is an older cousin to "Kemp Owyne."

"O'er the Water to Charlie" is given by Buchan as the original form
of this one of the many songs made when Prince Charles Edward made his
attempt in 1745-6. The songs worked scraps of lively old tunes, with
some old words of ballad, into declaration of goodwill to the Pretender.

"Admiral Hosier's Ghost" was written by Richard Glover in 1740 to rouse
national feeling. Vice-Admiral Vernon with only six men-of-war had taken
the town of Portobello, and levelled its fortifications. The place has
so dangerous a climate that it is now almost deserted. Admiral Hosier
in 1726 had been, in the same port, with twenty ships, restrained from
attack, while he and his men were dying of fever. He was to blockade the
Spanish ports in the West Indies and capture any Spanish galleons that
came out. He left Porto Bello for Carthagena, where he cruised about
while his men were being swept away by disease. His ships were made
powerless through death of his best officers and men. He himself at last
died, it was said, of a broken heart. Dyer's ballad pointed the contrast
as a reproach to the Government for half-hearted support of the war,
and was meant for suggestion of the success that would reward vigorous

"Jemmy Dawson" was a ballad written by William Shenstone on a young
officer of Manchester volunteers who was hanged, drawn, and quartered
in 1746 on Kennington Common for having served the Pretender. He was
engaged to a young lady, who came to the execution, and when it was over
fell back dead in her coach.

"William and Margaret," by David Mallet, published in 1727, is another
example of the tendency to the revival of the ballad in the eighteenth

"Elfinland Wood," by the Scottish poet William Motherwell, who died in
1835, aged thirty-seven, is a modern imitation of the ancient Scottish
ballad. Mrs. Hemans, who wrote "Casabianca," died also in 1835. But the
last ballad in this bundle, Lady Anne Barnard's "Auld Robin Gray," was
written in 1771, and owes its place to a desire that this volume, which
begins with the best of the old ballads, should end with the best of the
new. Lady Anne, eldest daughter of the fifth Earl of Balcarres, married
Sir Andrew Barnard, librarian to George III., and survived her husband
eighteen years. While the authorship of the piece remained a secret
there were some who attributed it to Rizzio, the favourite of Mary Queen
of Scots. Lady Anne Barnard acknowledged the authorship to Walter Scott
in 1823, and told how she came to write it to an old air of which she
was passionately fond, "Bridegroom grat when the sun gaed down." When
she had heaped many troubles on her heroine, and called to a little
sister to suggest another, the suggestion came promptly, "Steal the cow,
sister Anne." And the cow was stolen.

H. M.


  The Percy out of Northumberland, and avow to God made he
  That he would hunt in the mountains of Cheviot within days three,
  In the maugre of doughty Douglas and all that ever with him be,
  The fattest harts in all Cheviot he said he would kill and carry them
  "By my faith," said the doughty Douglas again, "I will let that
  hunting if that I may!"
  Then the Percy out of Bamborough came, with him a mighty mean-y;
  With fifteen hundred archers, bold of blood and bone, they were chosen
  out of shires three.
  This began on a Monday, at morn, in Cheviot, the hillis so hie,
  The child may rue that is unborn, it was the more pitie.
  The drivers thorough the wood-es went for to raise the deer;
  Bowmen bickered upon the bent with their broad arrows clear,
  Then the wild thorough the wood-es went on every sid-e shear;
  Greyhounds thorough the grov-es glent for to kill their deer.
  This began in Cheviot, the hills abone, early on a Monnynday;
  By that it drew to the hour of noon a hundred fat harts dead there
  They blew a mort upon the bent; they sembled on sidis shear,
  To the quarry then the Percy went, to see the brittling of the deer.
  He said, "It was the Douglas' promise this day to meet me here;
  But I wist he would fail, verament"--a great oath the Percy sware.
  At the last a squire of Northumberland looked, at his hand full nigh
  He was ware of the doughty Douglas coming, with him a mighty mean-y,
  Both with spear, bill, and brand, it was a mighty sight to see.
  Hardier men both of heart nor hand were not in Christiant-e.
  They were twenty hundred spearmen good without any fail;
  They were borne along by the water of Tweed, i'th' bounds of Tividale.
  "Leave off the brittling of the deer," he said, "and to your bows look
  ye take good heed,
  For never sith ye were of your mothers born had ye never so mickle
  The doughty Douglas on a steed he rode all his men beforn,
  His armour glittered as did a glede, a bolder barn was never born.
  "Tell me whose men ye are," he says, "or whose men that ye be;
  Who gave you leave to hunt in this Cheviot Chase in the spite of mine
  and of me?"
  The first man that ever him an answer made, it was the good Lord Perc-
  "We will not tell thee whose men we are," he says, "nor whose men that
  we be;
  But we will hunt here in this Chase in the spite of thine and of thee.
  The fattest harts in all Cheviot we have killed, and cast to carry
  them away."
  "By my troth," said the doughty Douglas again, "therefore the tone of
  us shall die this day."
  Then said the doughty Douglas unto the Lord Perc-y,
  "To kill all these guiltless men, alas! it were great pit-y.
  But, Percy, thou art a lord of land, I am an earl called within my
  Let all our men upon a parti stand, and do the battle of thee and of
  "Now Christ's curse on his crown," said the Lord Percy, "whosoever
  thereto says nay!
  By my troth, doughty Douglas," he says, "thou shalt never see that
  Neither in England, Scotland, nor France, nor for no man of a woman
  But and fortune be my chance, I dare meet him, one man for one."
  Then bespake a squire of Northumberland, Richard Witherington was his
  "It shall never be told in South England," he says, "to King Harry the
  Fourth, for shame.
  I wot you ben great lord-es two, I am a poor squire of land;
  I will never see my captain fight on a field, and stand myself and
  look on;
  But while I may my weapon wield I will fight both heart and hand."
  That day, that day, that dreadful day:  the first fytte here I find,
  An you will hear any more of the hunting of the Cheviot, yet is there
  more behind.


  The English men had their bows ybent, their hearts were good enow;
  The first of arrows that they shot off, sevenscore spearmen they
  Yet bides the Earl Douglas upon the bent, a captain good enow,
  And that was seene verament, for he wrought them both wo and wough.
  The Douglas parted his host in three like a chief chieftain of pride,
  With suar spears of mighty tree they come in on every side,
  Through our English archery gave many a wound full wide;
  Many a doughty they gard to die, which gain-ed them no pride.
  The Englishmen let their bows be, and pulled out brands that were
  It was a heavy sight to see bright swords on basnets light.
  Thorough rich mail and manople many stern they struck down straight,
  Many a freke that was full free there under foot did light.
  At last the Douglas and the Percy met, like to captains of might and
  of main;
  They swapt together till they both swat, with swords that were of fine
  These worthy frekis for to fight thereto they were full fain,
  Till the blood out of their basnets sprent as ever did hail or rain.
  "Yield thee, Percy," said the Douglas, "and in faith I shall thee
  Where thou shalt have an earl's wagis of Jamy our Scottish king.
  Thou shalt have thy ransom free, I hight thee here this thing,
  For the manfullest man yet art thou that ever I conquered in field
  "Nay," said the Lord Percy, "I told it thee beforn,
  That I would never yielded be to no man of a woman born."
  With that there came an arrow hastily forth of a mighty wone;
  It hath stricken the Earl Douglas in at the breastbone.
  Through liver and lung-es both the sharp arrow is gone,
  That never after in all his life-days he spake mo word-es but one,
  That was, "Fight ye, my merry men, whilis ye may, for my life-days ben
  The Percy lean-ed on his brand and saw the Douglas dee;
  He took the dead man by the hand, and said, "Wo is me for thee!
  To have saved thy life I would have parted with my lands for years
  For a better man of heart nor of hand was not in all the north
  Of all that see, a Scottish knight, was called Sir Hugh the Montgomer-
  He saw the Douglas to the death was dight, he spended a spear a trusty
  He rode upon a coursiere through a hundred archer-y,
  He never stinted nor never blane till he came to the good Lord Perc-y.
  He set upon the Lord Percy a dint that was full sore;
  With a suar spear of a mighty tree clean thorough the body he the
  Percy bore
  On the tother side that a man might see a large cloth yard and more.
  Two better captains were not in Christiant-e than that day slain were
  An archer of Northumberland saw slain was the Lord Perc-y,
  He bare a bent bow in his hand was made of trusty tree,
  An arrow that a cloth yard was long to the hard steel hal-ed he,
  A dint that was both sad and sore he sat on Sir Hugh the Montgomer-y.
  The dint it was both sad and sore that he on Montgomery set,
  The swan-feathers that his arrow bare, with his heart-blood they were
  There was never a freke one foot would flee, but still in stour did
  Hewing on each other while they might dree with many a baleful brand.
  This battle began in Cheviot an hour before the noon,
  And when evensong bell was rang the battle was not half done.
  They took on either hand by the light of the moon,
  Many had no strength for to stand in Cheviot the hillis aboon.
  Of fifteen hundred archers of England went away but seventy and three,
  Of twenty hundred spearmen of Scotland but even five and fift-y;
  But all were slain Cheviot within, they had no strength to stand on
  The child may rue that is unborn, it was the more pity.
  There was slain with the Lord Percy Sir John of Agerstone,
  Sir Roger the hinde Hartley, Sir William the bold Herone,
  Sir George the worthy Lumley, a knight of great renown,
  Sir Ralph the rich Rugby, with dints were beaten down;
  For Witherington my heart was wo, that ever he slain should be,
  For when both his leggis were hewen in two, yet he kneeled and fought
  on his knee.
  There was slain with the doughty Douglas Sir Hugh the Montgomer-y;
  Sir Davy Lewdale, that worthy was, his sister's son was he;
  Sir Charles of Murray in that place that never a foot would flee;
  Sir Hugh Maxwell, a lord he was, with the Douglas did he dee.
  So on the morrow they made them biers of birch and hazel so gay;
  Many widows with weeping tears came to fetch their makis away.
  Tivydale may carp of care, Northumberland may make great moan,
  For two such captains as slain were there on the March parti shall
  never be none.
  Word is comen to Edinborough to Jamy the Scottish king,
  That doughty Douglas, lieutenant of the Marches, he lay slain Cheviot
  His hand-es did he weal and wring; he said, "Alas! and woe is me:
  Such another captain Scotland within," he said, "yea faith should
  never be."
  Word is comen to lovely London, to the fourth Harry our king,
  That Lord Perc-y, lieutenant of the Marches, he lay slain Cheviot
  "God have mercy on his soul," said King Harry, "good Lord, if thy will
  it be,
  I have a hundred captains in England," he said, "as good as ever was
  But Percy, an I brook my life, thy death well quite shall be."
  As our noble king made his avow, like a noble prince of renown,
  For the death of the Lord Perc-y he did the battle of Homildoun,
  Where six and thirty Scottish knights on a day were beaten down;
  Glendale glittered on their armour bright, over castle, tower, and
  This was the hunting of the Cheviot; that tear began this spurn;
  Old men that knowen the ground well enough call it the battle of
  At Otterburn began this spurn upon a Monenday;
  There was the doughty Douglas slain, the Percy never went away.
  There was never a time on the March part-es sen the Douglas and the
  Percy met,
  But it is marvel an the red blood run not as the rain does in the
  Jesu Christ our balis bete, and to the bliss us bring!
  Thus was the hunting of the Cheviot.  God send us all good ending!

CHEVY CHASE (the later version.)

     God prosper long our noble king,
       Our lives and safeties all!
     A woeful hunting once there did
       In Chevy Chase befall.

     To drive the deer with hound and horn
       Earl Piercy took the way;
     The child may rue that is unborn
       The hunting of that day!

     The stout Earl of Northumberland,
       A vow to God did make,
     His pleasure in the Scottish woods
       Three summers' days to take,

     The chiefest harts in Chevy Chase
       To kill and bear away;
     These tidings to Earl Douglas came
       In Scotland where he lay,

     Who sent Earl Piercy present word
       He would prevent his sport.
     The English Earl, not fearing that,
       Did to the woods resort,

     With fifteen hundred bowmen bold,
       All chosen men of might,
     Who knew full well in time of need
       To aim their shafts aright.

     The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran
       To chase the fallow deer;
     On Monday they began to hunt
       Ere daylight did appear;

     And long before high noon they had
       A hundred fat bucks slain.
     Then having dined, the drivers went
       To rouse the deer again.

     The bowmen mustered on the hills,
       Well able to endure;
     Their backsides all with special care
       That day were guarded sure.

     The hounds ran swiftly through the woods
       The nimble deer to take,
     That with their cries the hills and dales
       An echo shrill did make.

     Lord Piercy to the quarry went
       To view the tender deer;
     Quoth he, "Earl Douglas promised once
       This day to meet me here;

     "But if I thought he would not come,
       No longer would I stay."
     With that a brave young gentleman
       Thus to the Earl did say,

     "Lo, yonder doth Earl Douglas come,
       His men in armour bright,
     Full twenty hundred Scottish spears
       All marching in our sight,

     "All men of pleasant Tividale
       Fast by the river Tweed."
     "O cease your sports!" Earl Piercy said,
       "And take your bows with speed,

     "And now with me, my countrymen,
       Your courage forth advance!
     For there was never champion yet
       In Scotland nor in France

     "That ever did on horseback come,
       But if my hap it were,
     I durst encounter man for man,
       With him to break a spear."

     Earl Douglas on his milk-white steed,
       Most like a baron bold,
     Rode foremost of his company,
       Whose armour shone like gold:

     "Show me," said he, "whose men you be
       That hunt so boldly here;
     That without my consent do chase
       And kill my fallow deer."

     The first man that did answer make
       Was noble Piercy, he,
     Who said, "We list not to declare,
       Nor show whose men we be;

     "Yet we will spend our dearest blood
       Thy chiefest harts to slay."
     Then Douglas swore a solemn oath,
       And thus in rage did say,

     "Ere thus I will outbrav-ed be,
       One of us two shall die!
     I know thee well! an earl thou art,
       Lord Piercy! so am I.

     "But trust me, Piercy, pity it were,
       And great offence, to kill
     Any of these our guiltless men
       For they have done no ill;

     "Let thou and I the battle try,
       And set our men aside."
     "Accurst be he," Earl Piercy said,
       "By whom it is denied."

     Then stepped a gallant squire forth,--
       Witherington was his name,--
     Who said, "I would not have it told
       To Henry our king, for shame,

     "That e'er my captain fought on foot,
       And I stand looking on:
     You be two Earls," quoth Witherington,
       "And I a Squire alone.

     "I'll do the best that do I may,
       While I have power to stand!
     While I have power to wield my sword,
       I'll fight with heart and hand!"

     Our English archers bent their bows--
       Their hearts were good and true,--
     At the first flight of arrows sent,
       Full fourscore Scots they slew.

     To drive the deer with hound and horn,
       Douglas bade on the bent;
     Two captains moved with mickle might,
       Their spears to shivers went.

     They closed full fast on every side,
       No slackness there was found,
     But many a gallant gentleman
       Lay gasping on the ground.

     O Christ! it was great grief to see
       How each man chose his spear,
     And how the blood out of their breasts
       Did gush like water clear!

     At last these two stout Earls did meet
       Like captains of great might;
     Like lions wood they laid on load,
       They made a cruel fight.

     They fought, until they both did sweat,
       With swords of tempered steel,
     Till blood adown their cheeks like rain
       They trickling down did feel.

     "O yield thee, Piercy!" Douglas said,
       "And in faith I will thee bring
     Where thou shalt high advanc-ed be
       By James our Scottish king;

     "Thy ransom I will freely give,
       And this report of thee,
     Thou art the most courageous knight
       That ever I did see."

     "No, Douglas!" quoth Earl Piercy then,
       "Thy proffer I do scorn;
     I will not yield to any Scot
       That ever yet was born!"

     With that there came an arrow keen
       Out of an English bow,
     Which struck Earl Douglas to the heart
       A deep and deadly blow;

     Who never said more words than these,
       "Fight on; my merry men all!
     For why? my life is at an end,
       Lord Piercy sees my fall."

     Then leaving life, Earl Piercy took
       The dead man by the hand;
     Who said, "Earl Douglas! for thy life
       Would I had lost my land!

     "O Christ! my very heart doth bleed
       For sorrow for thy sake!
     For sure, a more redoubted knight
       Mischance could never take!"

     A knight amongst the Scots there was,
       Which saw Earl Douglas die,
     Who straight in heart did vow revenge
       Upon the Lord Pierc-y;

     Sir Hugh Montgomery he was called,
       Who, with a spear full bright,
     Well mounted on a gallant steed,
       Ran fiercely through the fight,

     And past the English archers all
       Without all dread or fear,
     And through Earl Piercy's body then
       He thrust his hateful spear.

     With such a vehement force and might
       His body he did gore,
     The staff ran through the other side
       A large cloth yard and more.

     So thus did both those nobles die,
       Whose courage none could stain.
     An English archer then perceived
       The noble Earl was slain;

     He had a good bow in his hand
       Made of a trusty tree;
     An arrow of a cloth yard long
       To the hard head hal-ed he,

     Against Sir Hugh Montgomery
       His shaft full right he set;
     The grey goose-wing that was thereon,
       In his heart's blood was wet.

     This fight from break of day did last
       Till setting of the sun;
     For when they rung the evening bell,
       The battle scarce was done.

     With stout Earl Piercy there was slain
       Sir John of Egerton,
     Sir Robert Harcliffe and Sir William,
       Sir James that bold bar-on;

     And with Sir George and Sir James,
       Both knights of good account,
     Good Sir Ralph Raby there was slain,
       Whose prowess did surmount.

     For Witherington needs must I wail
       As one in doleful dumps,
     For when his legs were smitten off,
       He fought upon his stumps.

     And with Earl Douglas there was slain
       Sir Hugh Montgomery,
     And Sir Charles Morrel that from the field
       One foot would never fly;

     Sir Roger Hever of Harcliffe too,--
       His sister's son was he,--
     Sir David Lambwell, well esteemed,
       But saved he could not be;

     And the Lord Maxwell in like case
       With Douglas he did die;
     Of twenty hundred Scottish spears,
       Scarce fifty-five did fly.

     Of fifteen hundred Englishmen
       Went home but fifty-three;
     The rest in Chevy Chase were slain,
       Under the greenwood tree.

     Next day did many widows come
       Their husbands to bewail;
     They washed their wounds in brinish tears,
       But all would not prevail.

     Their bodies, bathed in purple blood,
       They bore with them away;
     They kissed them dead a thousand times
       Ere they were clad in clay.

     This news was brought to Edinburgh,
       Where Scotland's king did reign,
     That brave Earl Douglas suddenly
       Was with an arrow slain.

     "O heavy news!" King James did say,
       "Scotland may witness be
     I have not any captain more
       Of such account as he!"

     Like tidings to King Henry came
       Within as short a space,
     That Piercy of Northumberland
       Was slain in Chevy Chase.

     "Now God be with him!" said our king,
       "Sith 'twill no better be,
     I trust I have within my realm
       Five hundred as good as he!

     "Yet shall not Scots nor Scotland say
       But I will vengeance take,
     And be reveng-ed on them all
       For brave Earl Piercy's sake."

     This vow the king did well perform
       After on Humble Down;
     In one day fifty knights were slain,
       With lords of great renown,

     And of the rest of small account,
       Did many hundreds die:
     Thus ended the hunting in Chevy Chase
       Made by the Earl Piercy.

     God save our king, and bless this land
       With plenty, joy, and peace,
     And grant henceforth that foul debate
       Twixt noble men may cease!


     Be it right or wrong, these men among
       On women do complain;
     Affirming this, how that it is
       A labour spent in vain
     To love them wele; for never a dele
       They love a man again:
     For let a man do what he can,
       Their favour to attain,
     Yet, if a new to them pursue,
       Their first true lover than
     Laboureth for naught; and from her thought
       He is a banished man.

     I say not nay, but that all day
       It is both writ and said
     That woman's faith is, as who saith,
       All utterly decayed;
     But nevertheless, right good witn-ess
       In this case might be laid.
     That they love true, and contin-ue,
       Record the Nut-brown Maid:
     Which from her love, when her to prove
       He came to make his moan,
     Would not depart; for in her heart
       She loved but him alone.

     Then between us let us discuss
       What was all the manere
     Between them two:  we will also
       Tell all the pain in fere
     That she was in.  Now I begin,
       So that ye me answere:
     Wher-efore, ye, that present be
       I pray you give an ear.
     I am the knight.  I come by night,
       As secret as I can;
     Saying, "Alas! thus standeth the case,
       I am a banished man."

     And I your will for to fulfil
       In this will not refuse;
     Trusting to shew, in word-es few,
       That men have an ill use
     (To their own shame) women to blame,
       And causeless them accuse:
     Therefore to you I answer now,
       All women to excuse,--
     "Mine own heart dear, with you what cheer?
       I pray you, tell anone:
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "It standeth so:  a deed is do
       Whereof much harm shall grow;
     My destiny is for to die
       A shameful death, I trow;
     Or else to flee.  The one must be.
       None other way I know,
     But to withdraw as an out-law,
       And take me to my bow.
     Wherefore, adieu, my own heart true!
       None other rede I can:
     For I must to the green wood go,
       Alone, a banished man."

     "O Lord, what is this world-es bliss,
       That changeth as the moon!
     My summer's day in lusty May
       Is darked before the noon.
     I hear you say, farewell:  Nay, nay!
       We de-part not so soon.
     Why say ye so? whither will ye go?
       Alas! what have ye done?
     All my welf-are to sorrow and care
       Should change, if ye were gone:
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "I can believe, it shall you grieve,
       And somewhat you distrain;
     But, afterward, your pain-es hard
       Within a day or twain
     Shall soon aslake; and ye shall take
       Com-fort to you again.
     Why should ye nought? for, to make thought,
       Your labour were in vain.
     And thus I do; and pray you, lo,
       As heartily as I can:
     For I must to the green wood go,
       Alone, a banished man."

     "Now, sith that ye have shewed to me
       The secret of your mind,
     I shall be plain to you again,
       Like as ye shall me find.
     Sith it is so, that ye will go,
       I will not leave behind.
     Shall never be said, the Nut-brown Maid
       Was to her love unkind:
     Make you read-y, for so am I,
       Although it were anone:
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "Yet I you re-de, take good heed
       When men will think and say:
     Of young, of old, it shall be told,
       That ye be gone away
     Your wanton will for to fulfil,
       In green wood you to play;
     And that ye might from your delight
       No longer make delay.
     Rather than ye should thus for me
       Be called an ill wom-an,
     Yet would I to the green wood go,
       Alone, a banished man."

     "Though it be sung of old and young,
       That I should be to blame,
     Theirs be the charge that speak so large
       In hurting of my name:
     For I will prove, that faithful love
       It is devoid of shame
     In your distress and heaviness
       To part with you the same:
     And sure all tho that do not so,
       True lovers are they none:
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "I counsel you, Remember how
       It is no maiden's law
     Nothing to doubt, but to run out
       To wood with an out-law;
     For ye must there in your hand bear
       A bow to bear and draw;
     And, as a thief, thus must ye live,
       Ever in dread and awe;
     By which to you great harm might grow:
       Yet had I liever than
     That I had to the green wood go
       Alone, a banished man."

     "I think not nay, but as ye say,
       It is no maiden's lore;
     But love may make me for your sake,
       As ye have said before,
     To come on foot, to hunt and shoot
       To get us meat and store;
     For so that I your company
       May have, I ask no more;
     From which to part, it maketh mine heart
       As cold as any stone:
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "For an out-law, this is the law,
       That men him take and bind;
     Without pit-ie, hang-ed to be,
       And waver with the wind.
     If I had nede (as God forbede!)
       What rescues could ye find?
     Forsooth, I trow, you and your bow
       Should draw for fear behind.
     And no mervayle:  for little avail
       Were in your counsel than:
     Wherefore I to the wood will go,
       Alone, a banished man."

     "Full well know ye, that women be
       Full feeble for to fight;
     No womanhede it is indeed
       To be bold as a knight;
     Yet, in such fear if that ye were
       Among enemies day and night,
     I would withstand, with bow in hand,
       To grieve them as I might,
     And you to save; as women have
       From death many a one:
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "Yet take good hede; for ever I drede
       That ye could not sustain
     The thorny ways, the deep vall-eys,
       The snow, the frost, the rain,
     The cold, the heat:  for dry or wet,
       We must lodge on the plain;
     And, us above, none other roof
       But a brake bush or twain:
     Which soon should grieve you, I believe:
       And ye would gladly than
     That I had to the green wood go,
       Alone, a banished man."

     "Sith I have here been partynere
       With you of joy and bliss,
     I must al-so part of your woe
       Endure, as reason is:
     Yet am I sure of one pleas-ure;
       And, shortly, it is this:
     That, where ye be, me seemeth, perde,
       I could not fare amiss.
     Without more speech, I you beseech
       That we were soon agone:
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "If ye go thyder, ye must consider,
       When ye have lust to dine,
     There shall no meat be for to gete,
       Nor drink, beer, ale, ne wine.
     Ne sheet-es clean, to lie between,
       Ymade of thread and twine;
     None other house, but leaves and boughs,
       To cover your head and mine;
     Lo mine heart sweet, this ill di-ete
       Should make you pale and wan:
     Wherefore I to the wood will go,
       Alone, a banished man."

     "Among the wild deer, such an archere,
       As men say that ye be,
     Ne may not fail of good vitayle,
       Where is so great plent-y:
     And water clear of the rivere
       Shall be full sweet to me;
     With which in hele I shall right wele
       Endure, as ye shall see;
     And, ere we go, a bed or two
       I can provide anone;
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "Lo yet, before, ye must do more,
       If ye will go with me:
     As cut your hair up by your ear,
       Your kirtle by the knee,
     With bow in hand, for to withstand
       Your enemies, if need be:
     And this same night, before daylight,
       To woodward will I flee.
     An ye will all this fulfil,
       Do it shortly as ye can:
     Else will I to the green wood go,
       Alone, a banished man."

     "I shall as now do more for you
       Than 'longeth to womanhede;
     To short my hair, a bow to bear,
       To shoot in time of need.
     O my sweet mother! before all other
       For you have I most drede!
     But now, adieu! I must ensue,
       Where fortune doth me lead.
     All this make ye.  Now let us flee;
       The day comes fast upon:
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "Nay, nay, not so; ye shall not go,
       And I shall tell you why,--
     Your appetite is to be light
       Of love, I well espy:
     For, right as ye have said to me,
       In like wise hardily
     Ye would answere whosoever it were,
       In way of company,
     It is said of old, Soon hot, soon cold;
       And so is a wom-an:
     Wherefore I to the wood will go,
       Alone, a banished man."

     "If ye take heed, it is no need
       Such words to say by me;
     For oft ye prayed, and long assayed,
       Or I you loved, pard-e;
     And though that I of ancestry
       A baron's daughter be,
     Yet have you proved how I you loved.
       A squire of low degree;
     And ever shall, whatso befall;
       To die therefore anone;
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "A baron's child to be beguiled!
       It were a curs-ed dede;
     To be fel-aw with an out-law
       Almighty God forbede!
     Yet better were, the poor squyere
       Alone to forest yede,
     Than ye shall say another day,
       That by my wicked dede
     Ye were betrayed:  Wherefore, good maid,
       The best rede that I can,
     Is, that I to the green wood go,
       Alone, a banished man."

     "Whatsoever befall, I never shall
       Of this thing you upbraid:
     But if ye go, and leave me so,
       Then have ye me betrayed.
     Remember you wele, how that ye dele,
       For if ye, as ye said,
     Be so unkind to leave behind
       Your love, the Nut-brown Maid,
     Trust me tru-ly, that I shall die
       Soon after ye be gone:
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "If that ye went, ye should repent;
       For in the forest now
     I have purveyed me of a maid,
       Whom I love more than you;
     Another fairer than ever ye were,
       I dare it well avow;
     And of you both, each should be wroth
       With other, as I trow:
     It were mine ease to live in peace;
       So will I, if I can:
     Wherefore I to the wood will go,
       Alone, a banished man."

     "Though in the wood I understood
       Ye had a paramour,
     All this may nought remove my thought,
       But that I will be your:
     And she shall find me soft and kind,
       And courteis every hour;
     Glad to fulfil all that she will
       Command me, to my power:
     For had ye, lo! an hundred mo,
       Yet would I be that one:
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "Mine own dear love, I see the proof
       That ye be kind and true;
     Of maid, and wife, in all my life,
       The best that ever I knew.
     Be merry and glad; be no more sad;
       The case is chang-ed new;
     For it were ruth that for your truth
       You should have cause to rue.
     Be not dismayed, whatsoever I said
       To you, when I began:
     I will not to the green wood go;
       I am no banished man."

     "These tidings be more glad to me,
       Than to be made a queen,
     If I were sure they should endure:
       But it is often seen,
     When men will break promise they speak
       The wordis on the spleen.
     Ye shape some wile me to beguile,
       And steal from me, I ween:
     Then were the case worse than it was
       And I more wo-begone:
     For, in my mind, of all mankind
       I love but you alone."

     "Ye shall not nede further to drede:
       I will not dispar-age
     You (God defend!), sith you descend
       Of so great a lin-age.
     Now understand:  to Westmoreland,
       Which is my heritage,
     I will you bring; and with a ring
       By way of marri-age
     I will you take, and lady make,
       As shortly as I can:
     Thus have ye won an earl-es son
       And not a banished man."

     Here may ye see, that women be
       In love, meek, kind, and stable;
     Let never man reprove them than,
       Or call them vari-able;
     But, rather, pray God that we may
       To them be comfort-able,
     Which sometime proveth such as he loveth,
       If they be charit-able.
     For sith men would that women should
       Be meek to them each one;
     Much more ought they to God obey,
       And serve but Him alone.



     Merry it was in green for-est,
     Among the leav-es green,
     Where that men walk both east and west
     With bows and arrows keen,
     To raise the deer out of their den,
     Such sights as hath oft been seen;
     As by three yeomen of the North Countrey:
     By them is as I mean.

     The one of them hight Adam Bell,
     The other Clym of the Clough,
     The third was William of Cloudeslie,
     An archer good enough.
     They were outlawed for venison,
     These three yeomen every one;
     They swore them brethren upon a day,
     To Ingle wood for to gone.

     Now lith and listen, gentlemen,
     And that of mirths love to hear:
     Two of them were single men,
     The third had a wedded fere.
     William was the wedded man,
     Much more then was his care;
     He said to his brethren upon a day,
     To Carlisle he would fare,

     For to speak with fair Alice his wife,
     And with his children three.
     "By my troth," said Adam Bell,
     "Not by the counsel of me:
     For if ye go to Carlisle, brother,
     And from this wild wood wend,
     If the Justice may you take,
     Your life were at an end."--

     "If that I come not to-morrow, brother,
     By prime to you again,
     Trust not else but that I am take,
     Or else that I am slain."--
     He took his leave of his brethren two,
     And to Carlisle he is gone.
     There he knocked at his own wind-ow
     Shortly and anon.

     "Where be you, fair Alice, my wife?
     And my children three?
     Lightly let in thine husb-and,
     William of Cloudeslie."--
     "Alas," then saide fair Al-ice,
     And sigh-ed wondrous sore,
     "This place hath been beset for you,
     This half-e year and more."

     "Now am I here," said Cloudeslie,
     "I would that I in were;--
     Now fetch us meat and drink enough,
     And let us make good cheer."
     She fetched him meat and drink plent-y,
     Like a true wedded wife,
     And pleas-ed him with that she had,
     Whom she loved as her life.

     There lay an old wife in that place,
     A little beside the fire,
     Which William had found of charity
     Mor-e than seven year;
     Up she rose, and walked full still,
     Evil mote she speed therefore:
     For she had not set no foot on ground
     In seven year before.

     She went unto the justice hall,
     As fast as she could hie:
     "This night is come unto this town
     William of Cloudeslie."
     Thereof the Justice was full fain,
     And so was the Sheriff also;
     "Thou shalt not travel hither, dame, for nought,
     Thy meed thou shalt have, ere thou go."

     They gave to her a right good gown,
     Of scarlet it was, as I heard sain;
     She took the gift and home she went,
     And couched her down again.
     They raised the town of merry Carlisle,
     In all the haste that they can,
     And came throng-ing to William's house,
     As fast as they might gan.

     There they beset that good yeo-man,
     Round about on every side;
     William heard great noise of folks,
     That hitherward hied.
     Alice opened a shot wind-ow,
     And look-ed all about
     She was ware of the Justice and the Sheriff both,
     With a full great rout.

     "Alas, treason!" cried Alice,
     "Ever woe may thou be!--
     Go into my chamber, my husband," she said,
     "Sweet William of Cloudeslie."
     He took his sword and his buckl-er,
     His bow and his children three,
     And went into his strongest chamber,
     Where he thought surest to be.

     Fair Al-ice followed him as a lover true,
     With a poleaxe in her hand:
     "He shall be dead that here cometh in
     This door, while I may stand."
     Cloudeslie bent a well-good bow,
     That was of trusty tree,
     He smote the Justice on the breast,
     That his arrow burst in three.

     "God's curse on his heart!" said William,
     "This day thy coat did on,
     If it had been no better than mine,
     It had gone near thy bone!"
     "Yield thee, Cloudeslie," said the Justice,
     "And thy bow and thy arrows thee fro!"
     "God's curse on his heart," said fair Al-ice,
     "That my husband counselleth so!"

     "Set fire on the house," said the Sheriff,
     "Sith it will no better be,
     And burn we therein William," he said,
     "His wife and his children three!"
     They fired the house in many a place,
     The fire flew up on high;
     "Alas," then cried fair Al-ice,
     "I see we shall here die!"

     William opened his back wind-ow,
     That was in his chamber on high,
     And with shet-es let his wif-e down,
     And his children three.
     "Have here my treasure," said Willi-am,
     "My wife and my children three;
     For Christ-es love do them no harm,
     But wreak you all on me."

     William shot so wondrous well,
     Till his arrows were all gone,
     And the fire so fast upon him fell,
     That his bowstring burnt in two.
     The sparkles burnt, and fell upon,
     Good William of Cloudeslie!
     But then was he a woeful man, and said,
     "This is a coward's death to me.

     "Liever I had," said Willi-am,
     "With my sword in the rout to run,
     Than here among mine enemies' wood,
     Thus cruelly to burn."
     He took his sword and his buckler then,
     And among them all he ran,
     Where the people were most in press,
     He smote down many a man.

     There might no man abide his stroke,
     So fiercely on them he ran;
     Then they threw windows and doors on him,
     And so took that good yeom-an.
     There they bound him hand and foot,
     And in a deep dungeon him cast:
     "Now, Cloudeslie," said the high Just-ice,
     "Thou shalt be hanged in haste!"

     "One vow shall I make," said the Sheriff,
     "A pair of new gallows shall I for thee make,
     And all the gates of Carlisle shall be shut,
     There shall no man come in thereat.
     Then shall not help Clym of the Clough
     Nor yet Adam Bell,
     Though they came with a thousand mo,
     Nor all the devils in hell."

     Early in the morning the Justice uprose,
     To the gates fast gan he gone,
     And commanded to shut close
     Lightly every one;
     Then went he to the market-place,
     As fast as he could hie,
     A pair of new gallows there he set up,
     Beside the pillor-y.

     A little boy stood them among,
     And asked what meant that gallows tree;
     They said-e, "To hang a good yeoman,
     Called William of Cloudeslie."
     That little boy was the town swineherd,
     And kept fair Alice' swine,
     Full oft he had seen William in the wood,
     And given him there to dine.

     He went out at a crevice in the wall,
     And lightly to the wood did gone;
     There met he with these wight yeomen,
     Shortly and anon.
     "Alas!" then said that little boy,
     "Ye tarry here all too long!
     Cloudeslie is taken and damned to death,
     And ready for to hong."

     "Alas!" then said good Adam Bell,
     "That ever we see this day!
     He might here with us have dwelled,
     So oft as we did him pray.
     He might have tarried in green for-est,
     Under the shadows sheen,
     And have kept both him and us at rest,
     Out of all trouble and teen."

     Adam bent a right good bow,
     A great hart soon had he slain:
     "Take that, child," he said, "to thy dinner,
     And bring me mine arrow again."
     "Now go we hence," said these wight yeomen,
     "Tarry we no longer here;
     We shall him borrow, by God's grace,
     Though we abye it full dear."

     To Carlisle went these good yeom-en
     On a merry morning of May.
     Here is a fytte of Cloudeslie,
     And another is for to say.


     And when they came to merry Carlisle,
     All in a morning tide,
     They found the gates shut them until,
     Round about on every side.
     "Alas," then said good Adam Bell,
     "That ever we were made men!
     These gates be shut so wonderly well,
     That we may not come here in."

     Then spake him Clym of the Clough:
     "With a wile we will us in bring;
     Let us say we be messengers,
     Straight comen from our King."
     Adam said:  "I have a letter written well,
     Now let us wisely werk;
     We will say we have the King-e's seal,
     I hold the porter no clerk."

     Then Adam Bell beat on the gate,
     With strok-es great and strong;
     The porter heard such noise thereat,
     And to the gate he throng.
     "Who is there now," said the porter,
     "That maketh all this knocking?"
     "We be two messengers," said Clym of the Clough,
     "Be comen straight from our King."

     "We have a letter," said Adam Bell,
     "To the Justice we must it bring;
     Let us in our message to do,
     That we were again to our King."
     "Here cometh no man in," said the porter,
     "By him that died on a tree,
     Till that a false thief be hanged,
     Called William of Cloudeslie!"

     Then spake the good yeoman Clym of the Clough,
     And swore by Mary free,
     "If that we stand-e long without,
     Like a thief hanged shalt thou be.
     Lo here we have the King-es seal;
     What, lourdain, art thou wood?"
     The porter weened it had been so,
     And lightly did off his hood.

     "Welcome be my lord's seal," said he,
     "For that shall ye come in."
     He opened the gate right shortelie,
     An evil open-ing for him.
     "Now are we in," said Adam Bell,
     "Thereof we are full fain,
     But Christ he knoweth, that harrowed hell,
     How we shall come out again."

     "Had we the keys," said Clym of the Clough,
     "Right well then should we speed;
     Then might we come out well enough
     When we see time and need."
     They called the porter to a couns-el,
     And wrung his neck in two,
     And cast him in a deep dunge-on,
     And took the keys him fro.

     "Now am I porter," said Adam Bell;
     "See, brother, the keys have we here;
     The worst port-er to merry Carlisle
     They have had this hundred year:
     And now will we our bow-es bend,
     Into the town will we go,
     For to deliver our dear broth-er,
     That lieth in care and woe."

     They bent their good yew bow-es,
     And looked their strings were round,
     The market-place of merry Carlisle
     They beset in that stound;
     And as they look-ed them beside,
     A pair of new gallows there they see,
     And the Justice with a quest of squires,
     That judged William hang-ed to be.

     And Cloudeslie lay ready there in a cart,
     Fast bound both foot and hand,
     And a strong rope about his neck,
     All ready for to be hanged.
     The Justice called to him a lad,
     Cloudeslie's clothes should he have
     To take the measure of that yeom-an,
     Thereafter to make his grave.

     "I have seen as great marvel," said Cloudeslie,
     "As between this and prime;
     He that maketh this grave for me,
     Himself may lie therein."--
     "Thou speakest proudly," said the Justice;
     "I shall hang thee with my hand."
     Full well that heard his brethren two,
     There still as they did stand.

     Then Cloudeslie cast his eyen aside,
     And saw his two brethren
     At a corner of the market-place,
     Ready the Justice to slain.
     "I see good comfort," said Cloudeslie,
     "Yet hope I well to fare;
     If I might have my hands at will,
     Right little would I care."

     Then spake good Adam Bell
     To Clym of the Clough so free,
     "Brother, see ye mark the Justice well;
     Lo, yonder ye may him see;
     And at the Sheriff shoot I will
     Strongly with arrow keen."
     A better shot in merry Carlisle
     This seven year was not seen.

     They loosed their arrows both at once,
     Of no man had they drede;
     The one hit the Justice, the other the Sheriff,
     That both their sides gan bleed.
     All men voided, that them stood nigh,
     When the Justice fell to the ground,
     And the Sheriff fell nigh him by,
     Either had his death's wound.

     All the citizens fast gan flee,
     They durst no longer abide;
     Then lightly they loos-ed Cloudeslie,
     Where he with ropes lay tied.
     William stert to an officer of the town,
     His axe out of his hand he wrong,
     On each-e side he smote them down,
     Him thought he tarried too long.

     William said to his brethren two:
     "Together let us live and dee;
     If e'er you have need, as I have now,
     The same shall ye find by me."
     They shot so well in that tide,
     For their strings were of silk full sure,
     That they kept the streets on every side,
     That battle did long endure.

     They fought together as brethren true,
     Like hardy men and bold;
     Many a man to the ground they threw,
     And many an heart made cold.
     But when their arrows were all gone,
     Men pressed to them full fast;
     They drew their sword-es then anon,
     And their bow-es from them cast.

     They went lightly on their way,
     With swords and bucklers round;
     By that it was the middes of the day,
     They had made many a wound.
     There was many a neat-horn in Carlisle blown,
     And the bells back-ward did ring;
     Many a woman said "Alas!"
     And many their hands did wring.

     The Mayor of Carlisle forth come was,
     And with him a full great rout;
     These three yeomen dread him full sore,
     For their lives stood in doubt.
     The Mayor came armed a full great pace,
     With a poleaxe in his hand;
     Many a strong man with him was,
     There in that stour to stand.

     The Mayor smote Cloudeslie with his bill,
     His buckler he burst in two;
     Full many a yeoman with great ill,
     "Alas! treason!" they cried for woe.
     "Keep we the gat-es fast," they bade,
     "That these traitors thereout not go!"

     But all for nought was that they wrought,
     For so fast they down were laid,
     Till they all three that so manfully fought,
     Were gotten without at a braid.
     "Have here your keys," said Adam Bell,
     "Mine office I here forsake;
     If you do by my coun-sel,
     A new port-er do ye make."

     He threw the keys there at their heads,
     And bade them evil to thrive,
     And all that letteth any good yeo-man
     To come and comfort his wife.
     Thus be these good yeomen gone to the wood,
     As light as leaf on linde;
     They laugh and be merry in their mood,
     Their en'mies were far behind.

     When they came to Inglewood,
     Under their trysting tree,
     There they found bow-es full good,
     And arrows great plent-y.
     "So help me God," said Adam Bell,
     And Clym of the Clough so free,
     "I would we were now in merry Carlisle,
     Before that fair meynie!"

     They sit them down and make good cheer,
     And eat and drink full well.--
     Here is a fytte of these wight yeomen,
     And another I shall you tell.


     As they sat in Inglewood
     Under their trysting tree,
     They thought they heard a woman weep,
     But her they might not see.
     Sore there sigh-ed fair Al-ice,
     And said, "Alas that e'er I see this day!
     For now is my dear husband slain:
     Alas, and well away!

     "Might I have spoken with his dear brethren,
     With either of them twain,
     To show-e them what him befell,
     My heart were out of pain."
     Cloudeslie walked a little beside,
     And looked under the greenwood linde;
     He was ware of his wife and his children three,
     Full woe in heart and mind.

     "Welcome, wife," then said Willi-am,
     "Under this trysting tree!
     I had weened yesterday, by sweet Saint John,
     Thou should me never have see."
     "Now well is me," she said, "that ye be here!
     My heart is out of woe."--
     "Dame," he said, "be merry and glad,
     And thank my brethren two."

     "Hereof to speak," said Adam Bell,
     "Iwis it is no boot;
     The meat that we must sup withal
     It runneth yet fast on foot."
     Then went they down into the launde,
     These noble archers all three;
     Each of them slew a hart of grease,
     The best that they could see.

     "Have here the best, Al-ice, my wife,"
     Said William of Cloudeslie,
     "Because ye so boldly stood me by
     When I was slain full nie."
     And then they went to their supp-er
     With such meat as they had,
     And thanked God of their fort-une;
     They were both merry and glad.

     And when that they had supp-ed well,
     Certain withouten lease,
     Cloudeslie said:  "We will to our King,
     To get us a charter of peace;
     Al-ice shall be at our sojourning,
     In a nunnery here beside,
     And my two sons shall with her go,
     And there they shall abide.

     "Mine eldest son shall go with me,
     For him have I no care,
     And he shall bring you word again
     How that we do fare."
     Thus be these yeomen to London gone,
     As fast as they may hie,
     Till they came to the King's pal-ace,
     Where they would needs be.

     And when they came to the King-es court,
     Unto the palace gate,
     Of no man would they ask no leave,
     But boldly went in thereat.
     They press-ed prestly into the hall,
     Of no man had they dread;
     The porter came after, and did them call,
     And with them gan to chide.

     The usher said:  "Yeomen, what would ye have?
     I pray you tell to me;
     You might thus make officers shent,
     Good sirs, of whence be ye?"
     "Sir, we be outlaws of the for-est,
     Certain without any lease,
     And hither we be come to our King,
     To get us a charter of peace."--

     And when they came before the King,
     As it was the law of the land,
     They kneel-ed down without lett-ing,
     And each held up his hand.
     They said:  "Lord, we beseech thee here,
     That ye will grant us grace:
     For we have slain your fat fallow deer
     In many a sundry place."--

     "What be your names?" then said our King,
     "Anon that you tell me."
     They said:  "Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough,
     And William of Cloudeslie."--
     "Be ye those thieves," then said our King,
     "That men have told of to me?
     Here to God I make avowe
     Ye shall be hanged all three!

     "Ye shall be dead without merc-y,
     As I am King of this land."
     He commanded his officers every one
     Fast on them to lay hand.
     There they took these good yeomen;
     And arrested them all three.
     "So may I thrive," said Adam Bell,
     "This game liketh not me.

     "But, good lord, we beseech you now,
     That ye will grant us grace,
     Insomuch as we be to you comen;
     Or else that we may fro you pace
     With such weapons as we have here,
     Till we be out of your place;
     And if we live this hundred year,
     Of you we will ask no grace."--

     "Ye speak proudly," said the King;
     "Ye shall be hanged all three."
     "That were great pity," then said the Queen,
     "If any grace might be.
     My lord, when I came first into this land,
     To be your wedded wife,
     Ye said the first boon that I would ask,
     Ye would grant it me belife.

     "And I asked never none till now:
     Therefore, good lord, grant it me."
     "Now ask it, madam," said the King,
     "And granted shall it be."--
     "Then, good my lord, I you beseech,
     These yeomen grant ye me."--
     "Madam, ye might have asked a boon,
     That should have been worth them all three:

     "Ye might have ask-ed towers and towns,
     Parks and for-ests plent-y."--
     "None so pleasant to my pay," she said,
     "Nor none so lief to me."--
     "Madam, sith it is your desire,
     Your asking granted shall be;
     But I had liever have given you
     Good market town-es three."

     The Queen she was a glad wom-an,
     And said:  "Lord, gramerc-y,
     I dare well undertake for them
     That true men shall they be.
     But, good lord, speak some merry word,
     That comfort they may see."--
     "I grant you grace," then said our King;
     "Wash, fellows, and to meat go ye."

     They had not sitten but a while,
     Certain, without leas-ing,
     There came two messengers out of the north,
     With letters to our King.
     And when they came before the King,
     They kneeled down upon their knee,
     And said:  "Lord, your officers greet you well
     Of Carlisle in the north countree."--

     "How fareth my Justice?" said the King,
     "And my Sheriff also?"--
     "Sir, they be slain, without leas-ing,
     And many an officer mo."--
     "Who hath them slain?" then said the King,
     "Anon thou tell-e me."--
     "Adam Bell, and Clym of the Clough,
     And William of Cloudeslie."--

     "Alas, for ruth!" then said our King,
     "My heart is wondrous sore;
     I had liever than a thousand pound
     I had known of this before;
     For I have y-granted them grace,
     And that forthinketh me:
     But had I known all this before,
     They had been hanged all three."--

     The King he opened the letter anon,
     Himself he read it tho,
     And found how these three outlaws had slain
     Three hundred men and mo;
     First the Justice and the Sheriff,
     And the Mayor of Carlisle town,
     Of all the const-ables and catchipolls
     Alive were left but one;

     The bailiffs and the bedels both,
     And the serjeants of the law,
     And forty fosters of the fee,
     These outlaws have they slaw;
     And broken his parks, and slain his deer,
     Over all they chose the best,
     So perilous outlaws as they were,
     Walked not by east nor west.

     When the King this letter had read,
     In his heart he sigh-ed sore:
     "Take up the table," anon he bade:
     "For I may eat no more."
     The King called his best archers
     To the butts with him to go;
     "I will see these fellows shoot," he said,
     "That in the north have wrought this woe."

     The King-es bowmen busk them blive,
     And the Queen's archers also,
     So did these three wight yeomen;
     With them they thought to go.
     There twice or thrice they shot about,
     For to assay their hand;
     There was no shot these yeomen shot,
     That any prick might them stand.

     Then spake William of Cloudeslie:
     "By Him that for me died,
     I hold him never no good archer,
     That shooteth at butts so wide."--
     "Whereat, then?" said our King,
     "I pray thee tell to me."--
     "At such a butt, sir," he said,
     "As men use in my countree."--

     William went into the field,
     And his two brothers with him,
     There they set up two hazel rods,
     Twenty score paces between.
     "I hold him an archer," said Cloudeslie,
     "That yonder wand cleaveth in two."--
     "Here is none such," said the King,
     "For no man that can so do."

     "I shall assay, sir," said Cloudeslie,
     "Ere that I farther go."
     Cloudeslie with a bearing arrow
     Clave the wand in two.
     "Thou art the best archer," said the King,
     "Forsooth that ever I see."--
     "And yet for your love," said William,
     "I will do more mastrie.

     "I have a son is seven year old;
     He is to me full dear;
     I will tie him to a stake,
     All shall see him that be here,
     And lay an apple upon his head,
     And go six score paces him fro,
     And I myself with a broad arrow
     Shall cleave the apple in two."--

     "Now haste thee, then," said the King,
     "By him that died on a tree,
     But if thou do not as thou hast said,
     Hang-ed shalt thou be.
     An thou touch his head or gown,
     In sight that men may see,
     By all the saints that be in heaven,
     I shall you hang all three."--

     "That I have promised," said William,
     "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!


     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!"


     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 be 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.


     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."

     "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."

     "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."

     "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."

     "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."

     "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."

     "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."

     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.


     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."


     "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."


     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.


       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!"


     "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."


     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."


     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.


     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 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 he 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,
       And all his merry meyn-e.
     The knight light downe of his good palfr-ey,
       Rob-in when he gan see.
     So courteysly he did adown his hood,
       And set him on his knee.

     "God thee save, good Robin Hood,
       And all this company."

     "Welcome be thou, gentle knight,
       And right welc-ome to me."
     Then bespake him Robin Hood,
       To that knight so free,
     "What need driveth thee to green wood?
       I pray thee, sir knight, tell me.
     And welcome be thou, gentle knight,
       Why hast thou be so long?"

     "For the abbot and the high justice
       Would have had my lond."

     "Hast thou thy land again?" said Robin,
       "Truth then tell thou me."

     "Yea, fore God," said the knight,
       "And that thank I God and thee.
     But take not a grief," said the knight,
       "That I have been so long;
       I came by a wresteling,
     And there I did help a poor yeom-an,
       With wrong was put behind."

     "Nay, fore God," said Rob-in,
       "Sir knight, that thank I thee;
     What man that helpeth a good yeom-an,
       His friend then will I be."

     "Have here four hundred pound," then said the knight,
       "The which ye lent to me;
     And here is also twenty mark
       For your courtes-y."

     "Nay, fore God," then said Robin,
       "Thou brook it well for aye,
     For our Lady, by her cellarer,
       Hath sent to me my pay;
     And if I took it twice,
       A shame it were to me:
     But truly, gentle knight,
       Welc-ome art thou to me."

     When Rob-in had told his tale,
       He laughed and had good cheer.
     "By my troth," then said the knight,
       "Your money is ready here."

     "Brook it well," said Rob-in,
       "Thou gentle knight so free;
     And welcome be thou, gentle knight,
       Under my trystell tree.
     But what shall these bows do?" said Robin,
       "And these arrows i-feathered free?"

     "It is," then said the knight,
       "A poor pres-ent to thee."

     "Come now forth, Little John,
       And go to my treasur-y,
     And bring me there four hundred pound,
       The monk over-told it to me.
     Have here four hundred pound,
       Thou gentle knight and true,
     And buy horse and harness good,
       And gild thy spurs all new:
     And if thou fail an-y spend-ing,
       Come to Robin Hood,
     And by my troth thou shalt none fail
       The whiles I have any good.
     And brook well thy four hundred pound,
       Which I lent to thee,
     And make thyself no more so bare,
       By the counsel of me."

     Thus then holp him good Rob-in,
       The knight of all his care.
     God, that sitteth in heaven high,
       Grant us well to fare.


     Now hath the knight his leave i-take,
       And went him on his way;
     Robin Hood and his merry men
       Dwelled still full many a day.
     Lithe and listen, gentle men,
       And hearken what I shall say,
     How the proud sheriff of Nottingham
       Did cry a full fair play;
     That all the best archers of the north
       Should come upon a day,
     And they that shoot all of the best
       The game shall bear away.

     'He that shooteth all of the best
       Furthest fair and law,
     At a pair of fynly butts,
       Under the green wood shaw,
     A right good arrow he shall have,
       The shaft of silver white,
     The head and the feathers of rich red gold,
       In England is none like.'

     This then heard good Rob-in,
       Under his trystell tree:
     "Make you ready, ye wight young men,
       That shooting will I see.
     Busk you, my merr-y young men,
       Ye shall go with me;
     And I will wete the sheriff's faith,
       True an if he be."

     When they had their bows i-bent,
       Their tackles feathered free,
     Seven score of wight young men
       Stood by Robin's knee.
     When they came to Nottingham,
       The butts were fair and long,
     Many was the bold arch-er
       That shooted with bow-es strong.

     "There shall but six shoot with me,
       The other shall keep my head,
     And stand with good bow-es bent
       That I be not deceived."

     The fourth outlaw his bow gan bend,
       And that was Robin Hood,
     And that beheld the proud sher-iff,
       All by the butt he stood.
     Thri-es Robin shot about,
       And alway he cleft the wand,
     And so did good Gilbert,
       With the whit-e hand.
     Little John and good Scathelock
       Were archers good and free;
     Little Much and good Reynold,
       The worst would they not be.
     When they had shot about,
       These archers fair and good,
     Evermore was the best,
       For sooth, Robin Hood.
     Him was delivered the good arr-ow,
       For best worthy was he;
     He took the gift so courteysly
       To green wood wold-e he.

     They cri-ed out on Robin Hood,
       And great horns gan they blow.
     "Wo worth thee! treason!" said Rob-in,
       "Full evil thou art to know!
     And woe be thou, thou proud sher-iff,
       Thus gladding thy guest,
     Otherwise thou behot-e me
       In yonder wild for-est;
     But had I thee in green wood,
       Under my trystell tree,
     Thou shouldest leave me a better wed
       Than thy true lewt-e."

     Full many a bow there was bent,
       And arrows let they glide,
     Many a kirtle there was rent,
       And hurt man-y a side.
     The outlaw-es shot was so strong,
       That no man might them drive,
     And the proud sherif-es men
       They fled away full blive.
     Robin saw the busshement to-broke,
       In green wood he would have be,
     Many an arrow there was shot
       Among that company.
     Little John was hurt full sore,
       With an arrow in his knee,
     That he might neither go nor ride:
       It was full great pit-e.

     "Master," then said Little John,
       "If ever thou lovest me,
     And for that ilk-e Lord-es love,
       That died upon a tree,
     And for the meeds of my serv-ice,
       That I have serv-ed thee,
     Let nev-er the proud sher-iff
       Aliv-e now find me;
     But take out thy brown sword,
       And smite all off my head,
     And give me wound-es dead and wide,
       That I after eat no bread."

     "I wold-e not that," said Rob-in,
       "John, that thou wer-e slawe,
     For all the gold in merry England,
       Though it lay now on a rawe."

     "God forbid," said Little Much,
       "That died on a tree,
     That thou shouldest, Little John,
       Part our company!"
     Up he took him on his back,
       And bare him well a mile,
     Many a time he laid him down,
       And shot another while.

     Then was there a fair cast-ell,
       A little within the wood,
     Double-ditched it was about,
       And wall-ed, by the rood;
     And there dwelled that gentle knight,
       Sir Richard at the Lee,
     That Rob-in had lent his good,
       Under the green wood tree.
     In he took good Rob-in,
       And all his compan-y:

     "Welcome be thou, Robin Hood,
       Welc-ome art thou me;
     And much thank thee of thy comf-ort,
       And of thy courtesy,
     And of thy great kind-eness,
       Under the green wood tree;
     I love no man in all this world
       So much as I do thee;
     For all the proud sheriff of Nottingham,
       Right here shalt thou be.
     Shut the gates, and draw the bridge,
       And let no man come in;
     And arm you well, and make you read-y,
       And to the wall ye win.
     For one thing, Rob-in, I thee behote,
       I swear by Saint Quin-tin,
     These twelve days thou wonest with me,
       To sup, eat, and dine."

     Boards were laid, and cloth-es spread,
       Readily and anon;
     Robin Hood and his merry men
       To meat gan they gon.


     Lithe and listen, gentle men,
       And hearken unto your song;
     How the proud sheriff of Nottingham,
       And men of arm-es strong,
     Full fast came to the high sher-iff,
       The country up to rout,
     And they beset the knight's cast-ell,
       The wall-es all about.
     The proud sher-iff loud-e gan cry,
       And said, "Thou traitor knight,
     Thou keepest here the king's enemy,
       Against the laws and right!"

     "Sir, I will avow that I have done,
       The deeds that here be dight,
     Upon all the land-es that I have,
       As I am a true knight.
     Wend-e forth, sirs, on your way,
       And doth no more to me,
     Till ye wite our king-es will
       What he will say to thee."

     The sheriff thus had his answ-er,
       Without an-y leas-ing,
     Forth he yode to London town,
       All for to tell our king.
     There he told him of that knight,
       And eke of Robin Hood,
     And also of the bold arch-ers,
       That noble were and good.
     "He would avow that he had done,
       To maintain the outlaws strong;
     He would be lord, and set you at nought,
       In all the north lond."

     "I will be at Nottingham," said the king,
       "Within this fortnight,
     And take I will Robin Hood,
       And so I will that knight.
     Go home, thou proud sher-iff,
       And do as I bid thee,
     And ordain good arch-ers enow,
       Of all the wide countree."

     The sheriff had his leave i-take,
       And went him on his way;
     And Robin Hood to green wood
       Upon a certain day;
     And Little John was whole of the arrow,
       That shot was in his knee,
     And did him straight to Robin Hood,
       Under the green wood tree.
     Robin Hood walked in the for-est,
       Under the leav-es green,
     The proud sher-iff of Nottingham,
       Therefore he had great teen.

     The sheriff there failed of Robin Hood,
       He might not have his prey,
     Then he awaited that gentle knight,
       Both by night and by day.
     Ever he awaited that gentle knight,
       Sir Richard at the Lee.
     As he went on hawking by the river side,
       And let his hawk-es flee,
     Took he there this gentle knight,
       With men of arm-es strong,
     And led him home to Nottingham ward,
       I-bound both foot and hond.

     The sheriff swore a full great oath,
       By him that died on a tree,
     He had liever than an hundred pound,
       That Robin Hood had he.

     Then the lad-y, the knight-es wife,
       A fair lad-y and free,
     She set her on a good palfr-ey,
       To green wood anon rode she.
     When she came to the for-est,
       Under the green wood tree,
     Found-e she there Robin Hood,
       And all his fair meyn-e.

     "God thee save, good Robin Hood,
       And all thy compan-y;
     For our deare Ladyes love,
       A boon grant thou to me.
     Let thou never my wedded lord
       Shamefully slain to be;
     He is fast i-bounde to Nottingham ward,
       For the love of thee."

     Anon then said good Rob-in,
       To that lad-ye free,
     "What man hath your lord i-take?"

     "The proud sheriff," then said she.
       "Forsooth as I thee say;
     He is not yet three mil-es
       Pass-ed on your way."

     Up then stert-e good Rob-in,
       As a man that had be wode:
     "Busk you, my merr-y young men,
       For him that died on a rode;
     And he that this sorrow forsaketh,
       By him that died on a tree,
     Shall he never in green wood be,
       Nor longer dwell with me."

     Soon there were good bows i-bent,
       More than seven score,
     Hedge ne ditch spar-ed they none,
       That was them before.

     "I make mine avow," said Robin,
       "The knight would I fain see,
     And if I ma-y him take,
       Iquit then shall he be."

     And when they came to Nottingham,
       They walk-ed in the street,
     And with the proud sheriff, i-wis,
       Soon-e gan they meet.

     "Abide, thou proud sher-iff," he said,
       "Abide and speak with me,
     Of some tidings of our king,
       I would fain hear of thee.
     This seven year, by dere-worthy God,
       Ne yede I so fast on foot,
     I make mine avow, thou proud sheriff,
       Is not for thy good."

     Robin bent a good bow-e,
       An arrow he drew at his will,
     He hit so the proud sher-iff,
       On the ground he lay full still;
     And ere he might up arise,
       On his feet to stand,
     He smote off the sheriff's head,
       With his bright brand.

     "Lie thou there, thou proud sher-iff,
       Evil mote thou thrive;
     There might no man to thee trust,
       The whiles thou were alive."

     His men drew out their bright swords
       That were so sharp and keen,
     And laid on the sher-iff's men,
       And drived them down bidene.
     Robin stert to that knight,
       And cut atwo his band,
     And took him in his hand a bow,
       And bade him by him stand.
     "Leav-e thy horse thee behind,
       And learn for to ren;
     Thou shalt with me to green wood,
       Through mire, moss, and fen;
     Thou shalt with me to green wood,
       Without an-y leas-ing,
     Till that I have get us grace,
       Of Edward our comely king."


     The king came to Nottingham,
       With knights in great array,
     For to take that gentle knight,
       And Robin Hood, if he may.
     He asked men of that countr-e,
       After Robin Hood,
     And after that gentle knight,
       That was so bold and stout.

     When they had told him the case,
       Our king understood their tale,
     And seised in his hand
       The knight-es landes all,
     All the pass of Lancashire,
       He went both far and near,
     Till he came to Plompton park,
       He failed many of his deer.
     Where our king was wont to see
       Herd-es many one
     He could unneth find one deer,
       That bare an-y good horn.
     The king was wonder wroth withal,
       And swore by the trinit-e,
     "I would I had Robin Hood,
       With eyen I might him see;
     And he that would smite off the knight-es head.
       And bring it to me,
     He shall have the knight-es lands,
       Sir Rychard at the Lee;
     I give it him with my chart-er,
       And seal it with my hand,
     To have and hold for ever-more,
       In all merr-y Engl-and."

     Then bespake a fair old knight,
       That was true in his fay,
     "Ah, my lieg-e lord the king,
       One word I shall you say:
     There is no man in this countr-y
       May have the knight-es lands,
     While Robin Hood may ride or gon,
       And bear a bow in his hands,
     That he ne shall lose his head,
       That is the best ball in his hood:
     Give it no man, my lord the king,
       That ye will any good!"

     Half a year dwelled our comely king,
       In Nottingham, and well more,
     Could he not hear of Robin Hood,
       In what country that he were;
     But alw-ay went good Rob-in
       By halk and eke by hill,
     And alway slew the king-es deer,
       And welt them at his will.

     Then bespake a proud forstere,
       That stood by our king's knee,
     "If ye will see good Rob-in,
       Ye must do after me.
     Take five of the best knyght-es
       That be in your lede,
     And walk down by your abb-ey,
       And get you monk-es weed.
     And I will be your led-es man,
       And led-e you the way,
     And ere ye come to Nottingham,
       Mine head then dare I lay,
     That ye shall meet with good Rob-in,
       Alive if that he be,
     Ere ye come to Nottingham,
       With eyen ye shall him see."

     Full hastily our king was dight,
       So were his knight-es five,
     Each of them in monk-es weed,
       And hasted them thither blithe.
     Our king was great above his cowl,
       A broad hat on his crown,
     Right as he were abbot-like,
       They rode up into the town.
     Stiff boots our king had on,
       Forsooth as I you say,
     He rode sing-ing to green wood,
       The convent was clothed in gray,
     His mail horse, and his great som-ers,
       Followed our king behind,
     Till they came to green-e wood,
       A mile under the lind:
     There they met with good Rob-in,
       Standing on the way,
     And so did many a bold arch-er,
       For sooth as I you say.

     Robin took the king-es horse,
       Hastily in that stead,
     And said, "Sir abbot, by your leave,
       A while ye must abide;
     We be yeom-en of this for-est,
       Under the green wood tree,
     We live by our king-es deer,
       Other shift have not we;
     And ye have churches and rent-es both,
       And gold full great plent-y;
     Give us some of your spend-ing,
       For saint Charity."

     Than bespake our comely king,
       Anon then said he,
     "I brought no more to green-e wood,
       But forty pound with me.
     I have lain at Nottingham,
       This fortnight with our king,
     And spent I have full much good,
       On many a great lording;
     And I have but forty pound,
       No more then have I me;
     But if I had an hundred pound,
       I would give it to thee."

     Robin took the forty pound,
       And departed it in two part-ye,
     Halfendell he gave his merry men,
       And bade them merr-y to be.
     Full courteously Rob-in gan say,
       "Sir, have this for your spend-ing,
     We shall meet another day."

       "Gramerc-y," then said our king,
     "But well thee greeteth Edw-ard our king,
       And sent to thee his seal,
     And biddeth thee come to Nottingham,
       Both to meat and meal."
     He took out the broad tarpe,
       And soon he let him see;
     Robin coud his courtesy,
       And set him on his knee:
     "I love no man in all the world
       So well as I do my king,
     Welcome is my lord-es seal;
       And, monk, for thy tid-ing,
     Sir abbot, for thy tiding-es,
       To-day thou shalt dine with me,
     For the love of my king,
       Under my trystell tree."

     Forth he led our comely king,
       Full fair by the hand,
     Many a deer there was slain,
       And full fast dightand.
     Robin took a full great horn,
       And loud he gan blow;
     Seven score of wight young men,
       Came ready on a row,
     All they kneel-ed on their knee,
       Full fair before Rob-in.
     The king said himself unto,
       And swore by saint Austin,
     "Here is a wonder seemly sight,
       Me thinketh, by Goddes pine;
     His men are more at his bidd-ing,
       Than my men be at mine!"

     Full hastily was their dinner i-dight,
       And thereto gan they gon,
     They served our king with all their might,
       Both Robin and Little John.
     Anon before our king was set
       The fatt-e venison,
     The good white bread, the good red wine,
       And thereto the fine ale brown.
     "Mak-e good cheer," said Rob-in,
       "Abb-ot, for charit-y;
     And for this ilk-e tiding-e,
       Bless-ed mote thou be.
     Now shalt thou see what life we lead,
       Or thou henn-es wend,
     Then thou may inform our king,
       When ye together lend."

     Up they stert all in haste,
       Their bows were smartly bent,
     Our king was never so sore agast,
       He weened to have be shent.
     Two yard-es there were up set,
       Thereto gan they gang;
     But fifty pace, our king said,
       The mark-es were too long.
     On every side a rose garl-and,
       They shot under the line.
     "Whoso faileth of the rose garland," said Robin,
       "His tackle he shall tine,
     And yield it to his master,
       Be it never so fine,--
     For no man will I spare,
       So drinke I ale or wine,--
     And bear a buffet on his head
       I-wys right all bare."

     And all that fell in Robin's lot,
       He smote them wonder sair.
     Twi-es Robin shot about,
       And ever he cleaved the wand,
     And so did good Gilb-ert,
       With the lily white hand;
     Little John and good Scath-elock,
       For nothing would they spare,
     When they failed of the garl-and,
       Robin smote them fall sair.
     At the last shot that Robin shot,
       For all his friends fair,
     Yet he failed of the garl-and,
       Three fingers and mair.

     Then bespak-e good Gilb-ert,
       And thus he gan say,
     "Master," he said, "your tackle is lost,
       Stand forth and take your pay."
     "If it be so," said Rob-in,
       "That may no better be:
     Sir abbot, I deliver thee mine arrow,
       I pray thee, sir, serve thou me."

     "It falleth not for mine order," said our king;
       "Robin, by thy leave,
     For to smite no good yeom-an,
       For doubt I should him grieve."

     "Smite on boldly!" said Rob-in,
       "I give thee larg-e leave."

     Anon our king, with that word,
       He fold up his sleeve,
     And such a buffet he gave Rob-in,
       To ground he yede full near.

     "I make mine avow to God," said Robin,
       "Thou art a stalworthy frere;
     There is pith in thine arm," said Rob-in,
       "I trow thou canst well shoot!"

     Thus our king and Robin Hood
       Together then they met.

     Robin beheld our comely king
       Wistly in the face,
     So did Sir Richard at the Lee,
       And kneeled down in that place;
     And so did all the wild outl-aws,
       When they see them kneel.
     "My lord the king of Engl-and,
       Now I know you well.
     Merc-y," then Robin said to our king,
       "Under your trystal tree,
     Of thy goodness and thy grace,
       For my men and me!
     Yes, fore God," said Robin,
       "And also God me save;
     I ask merc-y, my lord the king,
       And for my men I crave."

     "Yes, fore God," then said our king,
       "Thy petition I grant thee,
     With that thou leave the green wood,
       And all thy compan-y;
     And come home, sir, to my court,
       And there dwell with me."

     "I make mine avow," said Rob-in,
       "And right so shall it be;
     I will come to your court,
       Your service for to see,
     And bring with me of my men
       Seven score and three.
     But me like well your serv-ice,
       I come again full soon,
     And shoot at the donn-e deer,
       As I am wont to doon."


     "Hast thou any green cloth," said our king,
       "That thou wilt sell now to me?"
     "Yea, fore God," said Robin.
       "Thirty yards and three."

     "Robin," said our king,
       "Now pray I thee,
     To sell me some of that cloth,
       To me and my meyn-e."

     "Yes, fore God," then said Rob-in,
       "Or else I were a fool;
     Another day ye will me clothe,
       I trow, against the Yule."

     The king cast off his cot-e then,
       A green garment he did on,
     And every knight had so, i-wis,
       They cloth-ed them full soon.
     When they were clothed in Lincoln green,
       They cast away their gray.
     Now we shall to Nottingham,
       All thus our king gan say.
     Their bows they bent and forth they went,
       Shooting all in-fere,
     Toward the town of Nottingham,
       Outlaws as they were.
     Our king and Robin rode together,
       For sooth as I you say,
     And they shot pluck-buffet,
       As they went by the way;
     And many a buffet our king wan,
       Of Robin Hood that day:
     And nothing spar-ed good Rob-in
       Our king in his pay.
     "So God me help-e," said our king,
       "Thy name is nought to lere,
     I should not get a shot of thee,
       Though I shot all this year."

     All the people of Nottingham
       They stood and beheld,
     They saw nothing but mantles of green,
       They covered all the feld;
     Then every man to other gan say,
       "I dread our king be slone;
     Come Robin Hood to the town, i-wis,
       On live he leaveth not one."
     Full hastily they began to flee,
       Both yeomen and knaves,
     And old wives that might evil go,
       They hopp-ed on their staves.

     The king be lough full fast,
       And commanded them again;
     When they see our comely king,
       I-wis they were full fain.
     They ate and drank, and made them glad,
       And sang with not-es hie.
     Then bespake our comely king
       To Sir Richard at the Lee:
     He gave him there his land again,
       A good man he bade him be.
     Robin thanked our comely king,
       And set him on his knee.

     Had Robin dwelled in the king's court
       But twelv-e months and three,
     That he had spent an hundred pound,
       And all his menn-es fee,
     In every place where Robin came,
       Ever more he laid down,
     Both for knights and squires,
       To get him great renown.
     By then the year was all agone,
       He had no man but twain,
     Little John and good Scathlocke,
       With him all for to gane.

     Robin saw yong-e men to shoot,
       Full fair upon a day,
     "Alas!" then said good Rob-in,
       "My wealth is went away.
     Sometime I was an archer good,
       A stiff and eke a strong,
     I was committed the best arch-er
       That was in merry Englond.
     Alas!" then said good Rob-in,
       "Alas and well away!
     If I dwell longer with the king,
       Sorrow will me slay!"

     Forth then went Robin Hood,
       Till he came to our king:
     "My lord the king of Englond,
       Grant me mine ask-ing.
     I made a chapel in Barnysdale,
       That seemly is to see,
     It is of Mary Magdalene,
       And thereto would I be;
     I might never in this seven-night,
       No time to sleep ne wink,
     Neither all these seven days,
       Neither eat ne drink.
     Me longeth sore to Barnysdale,
       I may not be therefro,
     Barefoot and woolward I have hight
       Thither for to go."

     "If it be so," then said our king,
       "It may no better be;
     Seven-night I give thee leave,
       No longer, to dwell fro me."

     "Gram-ercy, lord," then said Rob-in,
       And set him on his knee;
     He took his leave full courteously,
       To green wood then went he.
     When he came to green-e wood,
       In a merr-y morning,
     There he heard the not-es small
       Of bird-es merry sing-ing.
     "It is ferre gone," said Rob-in,
       "That I was last here,
     Me list a little for to shoot
       At the dunne deer."
     Robin slew a full great hart,
       His horn then gan he blow,
     That all the outlaws of that for-est,
       That horn could they know,
     And gathered them together,
       In a little throw,
     Seven score of wight young men,
       Came ready on a row;
     And fair did off their hoods,
       And set them on their knee:
     "Welcome," they said, "our mast-er,
       Under this green wood tree!"

     Robin dwelled in green wood,
       Twenty year and two,
     For all dread of Edward our king,
       Again would he not go.
     Yet he was beguiled, i-wis,
       Through a wicked wom-an,
     The Prioress of Kirklees,
       That nigh was of his kin,
     For the love of a knight,
       Sir Roger of Doncaster,
     That was her own special,
       Full evil mote they thee,

     They took together their couns-el,
       Robin Hood for to sle,
     And how they might best do that deed,
       His banis for to be.
     Then bespak-e good Rob-in,
       In place whereas he stood,
     "To-morrow I must to Kirklees,
       Craftily to be letten blood."
     Sir Roger of Doncaster,
       By the Prioress he lay,
     And there they betrayed good Robin Hood,
       Through their fals-e play.
     Christ have mercy on his soul,
       That di-ed on the rood!
     For he was a good outlaw,
       And did poor men much good.


     In summer time, when leaves grow green,
       And blossoms bedeck the tree,
     King Edward would a hunting ride,
       Some pastime for to see.

     With hawk and hound he made him boun,
       With horn, and eke with bow;
     To Drayton Basset he took his way,
       With all his lords arow.

     And he had ridden o'er dale and down
       By eight of clock in the day,
     When he was ware of a bold tann-er,
       Come riding along the way.

     A fair russet coat the tanner had on,
       Fast buttoned under his chin,
     And under him a good cow-hide,
       And a mare of four shill-ing.

     "Now stand you still, my good lords all
       Under the green wood spray;
     And I will wend to yonder fell-ow,
       To weet what he will say."--

     "God speed, God speed thee," said our king.--
       "Thou art welcome, sir," said he.--
     "The readiest way to Drayton Basset
       I pray thee to show to me."--

     "To Drayton Basset wouldst thou go,
       Fro the place where thou dost stand?
     The next pair of gallows thou comest unto
       Turn in upon thy right hand."--

     "That is an unready way," said our king,
       "Thou doest but jest, I see;
     Now show me out the nearest way,
       And I pray thee wend with me."--

     "Away with a vengeance!" quoth the tanner:
       "I hold thee out of thy wit:
     All day have I ridden on Brock my mare,
       And I am fasting yet."--

     "Go with me down to Drayton Basset,
       No dainties we will spare;
     All day shalt thou eat and drink of the best,
       And I will pay thy fare."--

     "Gram-ercy for nothing," the tanner replied,
       "Thou payest no fare of mine:
     I trow I've more nobles in my purse,
       Than thou hast pence in thine."--

     "God give thee joy of them," said the king,
       "And send them well to prief."--
     The tanner would fain have been away,
       For he weened he had been a thief.

     "What art thou," he said, "thou fine fell-ow?
       Of thee I am in great fear,
     For the clothes thou wearest upon thy back
       Might beseem a lord to wear."--

     "I never stole them," quoth our king,
       "I tell you, sir, by the rood."--
     "Then thou playest, as many an unthrift doth,
       And standest in midst of thy good."--

     "What tidings hear you," said the king.
       "As you ride far and near?"--
     "I hear no tidings, sir, by the mass,
       But that cow-hides are dear."--

     "Cow-hides! cow-hides! what things are those?
       I marvel what they be!"--
     "What, art thou a fool?" the tanner replied;
       "I carry one under me."--

     "What craftsman art thou?" said the king,
       "I pray thee tell me trow."--
     "I am a barker, sir, by my trade.
       Now tell me what art thou?"--

     "I am a poor courtier, sir," quoth he,
       "That am forth of service worn;
     And fain I would thy 'prentice be,
       Thy cunning for to learn."--

     "Marry, heaven forfend," the tanner replied,
       "That thou my 'prentice were!
     Thou'dst spend more good than I should win,
       By forty shilling a year."--

     "Yet one thing would I," said our king,
       "If thou wilt not seem strange:
     Though my horse be better than thy mare,
       Yet with thee I fain would change."--

     "Why, if with me thou fain wilt change,
       As change full well may we,
     By the faith of my body, thou proud fell-ow
       I will have some boot of thee."--

     "That were against reason," said the king,
       "I swear, so mote I thee:
     My horse is better than thy mare,
       And that thou well may'st see."--

     "Yea, sir, but Brock is gentle and mild,
       And softly she will fare;
     Thy horse is unruly and wild, i-wis;
       Aye skipping here and there."--

     "What boot wilt thou have?" our king replied;
       "Now tell me in this stound."--
     "No pence, nor halfpence, by my fay,
       But a noble in gold so round."--

     "Here's twenty groats of white mon-ey,
       Sith thou wilt have it of me."--
     "I would have sworn now," quoth the tanner,
       "Thou hadst not had one penni-e.

     "But since we two have made a change,
       A change we must abide;
     Although thou hast gotten Brock my mare,
       Thou gettest not my cow-hide."--

     "I will not have it," said the king,
       "I swear, so mote I thee;
     Thy foul cow-hide I would not bear,
       If thou wouldst give it to me."

     The tanner he took his good cow-hide
       That of the cow was hilt;
     And threw it upon the king's sad-elle,
       That was so fairly gilt.

     "Now help me up, thou fine fell-ow,
       'Tis time that I were gone:
     When I come home to Gyllian my wife,
       She'll say I am a gentilmon."

     When the tanner he was in the king's sad-elle,
       And his foot in the stirrup was;
     He marvelled greatly in his mind,
       Whether it were gold or brass.

     But when his steed saw the cow's tail wag,
       And eke the black cow-horn;
     He stamped, and stared, and away he ran,
       As the devil had him borne.

     The tanner he pulled, the tanner he sweat,
       And held by the pummel fast:
     At length the tanner came tumbling down;
       His neck he had well-nigh brast.

     "Take thy horse again with a vengeance!" he said,
       "With me he shall not bide!"--
     "My horse would have borne thee well enough,
       But he knew not of thy cow-hide.

     "Yet if again thou fain wouldst change,
       As change full well may we,
     By the faith of my body, thou jolly tann-er,
       I will have some boot of thee."--

     "What boot wilt thou have?" the tanner replied,
       "Now tell me in this stound."--
     "No pence nor halfpence, sir, by my fay,
       But I will have twenty pound."--

     "Here's twenty groats out of my purse;
       And twenty I have of thine:
     And I have one more, which we will spend
       Together at the wine."

     The king set a bugle horn to his mouth,
       And blew both loud and shrill:
     And soon came lords, and soon came knights,
       Fast riding over the hill.

     "Now, out alas!" the tanner he cried,
       "That ever I saw this day!
     Thou art a strong thief, yon come thy fell-ows
       Will bear my cow-hide away!"--

     "They are no thieves," the king replied,
       "I swear, so mote I thee:
     But they are the lords of the north countr-y,
       Here come to hunt with me."

     And soon before our king they came,
       And knelt down on the ground:
     Then might the tanner have been away,
       He had liever than twenty pound.

     "A collar, a collar, here!" said the king,
       "A collar!" he loud gan cry;
     Then would he liever than twenty pound,
       He had not been so nigh.

     "A collar, a collar," the tanner he said,
       "I trow it will breed sorrow;
     After a collar cometh a halter,
       I trow I'll be hanged to-morrow."--

     "Be not afraid, tanner," said our king;
       "I tell thee, so mote I thee,
     Lo here I make thee the best esquire
       That is in the north countrie.

     "For Plumpton Park I will give thee,
       With tenements fair beside:
     'Tis worth three hundred marks by the year,
       To maintain thy good cow-hide."--

     "Gram-ercy, my liege," the tanner replied
       "For the favour thou hast me shown;
     If ever thou comest to merry Tam-worth,
       Neat's leather shall clout thy shoon."


     The king sits in Dumferling toune,
       Drinking the blude-reid wine:
     "O whare will I get a skeely skipper
       To sail this new ship of mine?"

     Up and spak an eldern knicht,
       Sat at the king's right knee:
     "Sir Patrick Spens is the best sail-or
       That ever sailed the sea."

     Our king has written a braid letter,
       And sealed it with his hand;
     And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,
       Was walking on the sand.

     "To Noroway, to Noroway,
       To Noroway o'er the faem;
     The king's daughter of Noroway,
       'Tis thou maun bring her hame."

     The first word that Sir Patrick read,
       A loud laugh laughed he:
     The neist word that Sir Patrick read,
       The tear blinded his ee.

     "O wha is this has done this deed,
       And tauld the king o' me;
     To send us out this time o' the year,
       To sail upon the sea?

     "Be it wind, be it weet, be it hail, be it sleet,
       Our ship must sail the faem,
     The king's daughter of Noroway,
       'Tis we must fetch her hame."

     They hoysed their sails on Monenday morn,
       Wi' a' the speed they may;
     They hae landed in Noroway,
       Upon a Wodensday.

     They hadna been a week, a week,
       In Noroway, but twae,
     When that the lords o' Noroway
       Began aloud to say,--

     "Ye Scottishmen spend a' our king's goud,
       And a' our queenis fee."--
     "Ye lie, ye lie, ye liars loud,
       Fu' loud I hear ye lie;

     "For I brought as much white monie
       As gane my men and me,
     And I brought a half-fou of gude red goud,
       Out o'er the sea wi' me.

     "Make ready, make ready, my merry men a',
       Our gude ship sails the morn!"--
     "Now, ever alack, my master dear,
       I fear a deadly storm!

     "I saw the new moon, late yestreen,
       Wi' the auld moon in her arm;
     And if we gang to sea, master,
       I fear we'll come to harm."

     They hadna sailed a league, a league,
       A league but barely three,
     When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud,
       And gurly grew the sea.

     The ankers brak, and the topmasts lap,
       It was sic a deadly storm;
     And the waves cam o'er the broken ship,
       Till a' her sides were torn.

     "O where will I get a gude sail-or
       To take my helm in hand,
     Till I get up to the tall topmast
       To see if I can spy land?"--

     "O here am I, a sailor gude,
       To take the helm in hand,
     Till you go up to the tall topmast,
       But I fear you'll ne'er spy land."

     He hadna gane a step, a step,
       A step but barely ane,
     When a bolt flew out of our goodly ship,
       And the salt sea it came in.

     "Gae, fetch a web o' the silken claith,
       Another o' the twine,
     And wap them into our ship's side,
       And let nae the sea come in."

     They fetched a web o' the silken claith,
       Another o' the twine,
     And they wapped them round that gude ship's side,
       But still the sea cam in.

     O laith, laith, were our gude Scots lords
       To wet their cork-heeled shoon!
     But lang or a' the play was played
       They wat their hats aboon.

     And mony was the feather bed
       That flattered on the faem;
     And mony was the gude lord's son
       That never mair cam hame.

     The ladies wrang their fingers white,
       The maidens tore their hair,
     A' for the sake of their true loves;
       For them they'll see nae mair.

     O lang, lang, may the ladies sit,
       Wi' their fans into their hand,
     Before they see Sir Patrick Spens
       Come sailing to the strand!

     And lang, lang, may the maidens sit,
       Wi' their gold combs in their hair,
     Awaiting for their ain dear loves!
       For them they'll see nae mair.

     O forty miles off Aberdeen
       'Tis fifty fathoms deep,
     And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,
       Wi' the Scots lords at his feet.


     It fell about the Martinmas,
       When the wind blew shrill and cauld,
     Said Edom o' Gordon to his men,
       "We maun draw till a hauld.

     "And what a hauld sall we draw till,
       My merry men and me?
     We wull gae to the house o' the Rode,
       To see that fair lad-ie."

     The ladie stude on her castle wa',
       Beheld baith dale and down:
     There she was ware of a host of men
       Come riding towards the toun.

     "O see ye nat, my merry men a'?
       O see ye nat what I see?
     Methinks I see a host of men:
       I marvel wha they be!"

     She weened it had been her luvely lord,
       As he came riding hame;
     It was the traitor Edom o' Gordon,
       Wha recked nae sin nor shame.

     She had nae sooner buskit hersel,
       And putten on her goun,
     But Edom o' Gordon and his men
       Were round about the toun.

     They had nae sooner supper set,
       Nae sooner said the grace,
     But Edom o' Gordon and his men
       Were light about the place.

     The lady ran up to her tower head,
       Sae fast as she could hie,
     To see if by her fair speech-es
       She could wi' him agree.

     But whan he see this lady saif,
       And her gat-es all locked fast,
     He fell into a rage of wrath,
       And his look was all aghast.

     "Come down to me, ye lady gay,
       Come down, come down to me!
     This night sall ye lig within mine arms
       To-morrow my bride sall be."--

     "I winna come down, ye false Gord-on,
       I winna come down to thee;
     I winna forsake my ain dear lord,
       That is sae far frae me."--

     "Give o'er your house, ye lady fair,
       Give o'er your house to me,
     Or I sall bren yoursel therein,
       Bot and your babies three."--

     "I winna give o'er, ye false Gord-on
       To nae sic traitor as ye;
     And if ye bren my ain dear babes,
       My lord sall make you dree.

     "But reach my pistol, Glaud, my man,
       And charge ye weel my gun:
     For, but an I pierce that bluidy butcher
       My babes we been undone."

     She stude upon her castle wa',
       And let twa bullets flee:
     She missed that bluidy butcher's heart
       And only rased his knee.

     "Set fire to the house!" quo' false Gord-on,
       All wood wi' dule and ire:
     "False lady, ye sall rue this deed,
       As ye bren in the fire!"--

     "Wae worth, wae worth ye, Jock my man,
       I paid ye weel your fee:
     Why pu' ye out the ground-wa' stane,
       Lets in the reek to me?

     "And e'en wae worth ye, Jock my man,
       I paid ye weel your hire;
     Why pu' ye out the ground-wa' stane,
       To me lets in the fire?"--

     "Ye paid me weel my hire, lady;
       Ye paid me weel my fee;
     But now I'm Edom o' Gordon's man,
       Maun either do or dee."

     O then bespake her little son,
       Sate on the nurse's knee:
     Says, "Mither dear, gi'e o'er this house,
       For the reek it smithers me."--

     "I wad gi'e a' my gowd, my child,
       Sae wad I a' my fee,
     For ane blast o' the western wind
       To blaw the reek frae thee."

     O then bespake her dochter dear,
       She was baith jimp and sma',
     "O row me in a pair o' sheets,
       And tow me o'er the wa'."

     They rowd her in a pair o' sheets,
       And towd her o'er the wa':
     But on the point of Gordon's spear
       She gat a deadly fa'.

     O bonnie bonnie was her mouth,
       And cherry were her cheeks,
     And clear clear was her yellow hair,
       Whereon the reid bluid dreeps.

     Then wi' his spear he turned her o'er,--
       O gin her face was wan!
     He said, "Ye are the first that e'er
       I wished alive again."

     He turned her o'er and o'er again,--
       O gin her skin was white!
     "I might ha' spared that bonnie face
       To hae been some man's delite.

     "Busk and boun, my merry men a',
       For ill dooms I do guess;
     I canna luik in that bonnie face,
       As it lies on the grass."--

     "Tham luiks to freits, my master dear,
       Then freits will follow thame:
     Let it neir be said brave Edom o' Gordon
       Was daunted by a dame!"--

     But when the ladie see the fire
       Come flaming o'er her head,
     She wept and kissed her children twain,
       Said, "Bairns, we been but dead!"

     The Gordon then his bugle blew,
       And said, "Awa', awa';
     This house o' the Rodes is a' in flame,
       I hauld it time to ga'."

     O then bespied her ain dear lord,
       As he came o'er the lee;
     He spied his castle all in blaze
       Sae far as he could see.

     Then sair, O sair his mind misgave,
       And all his heart was wae;
     "Put on! put on! my wighty men,
       So fast as ye can gae!

     "Put on! put on! my wighty men,
       Sae fast as ye can dree;
     For he that is hindmost of the thrang
       Sall neir get guid o' me!"

     Then some they rade, and some they rin,
       Fou fast out-o'er the bent,
     But ere the foremost could get up,
       Baith ladie and babes were brent.

     He wrang his hands, he rent his hair,
       And wept in teenefu' muid:
     "O traitors! for this cruel deed
       Ye sall weep tears o' bluid!"

     And after the Gordon he is gane,
       So fast as he might dree;
     And soon i' the Gordon's foul heart's bluid
       He's wroken his dear ladie.


     Now ponder well, you parents dear,
       These words which I shall write;
     A doleful story you shall hear,
       In time brought forth to light.
     A gentleman of good account
       In Norfolk dwelt of late,
     Who did in honour far surmount
       Most men of his estate.

     Sore sick he was, and like to die,
       No help his life could save;
     His wife by him as sick did lie,
       And both possessed one grave.
     No love between these two was lost,
       Each was to other kind;
     In love they lived, in love they died,
       And left two babes behind:

     The one a fine and pretty boy,
       Not passing three years old;
     The other a girl more young than he,
       And framed in beauty's mould.
     The father left his little son,
       As plainly doth appear,
     When he to perfect age should come,
       Three hundred pounds a year.

     And to his little daughter Jane
       Five hundred pounds in gold,
     To be paid down on marriage-day,
       Which might not be controlled:
     But if the children chance to die,
       Ere they to age should come,
     Their uncle should possess their wealth;
       For so the will did run.

     "Now, brother," said the dying man,
       "Look to my children dear;
     Be good unto my boy and girl,
       No friends else have they here:
     To God and you I recommend
       My children dear this day;
     But little while be sure we have
       Within this world to stay.

     "You must be father and mother both,
       And uncle all in one;
     God knows what will become of them,
       When I am dead and gone."
     With that bespake their mother dear,
       "O brother kind," quoth she,
     "You are the man must bring our babes
       To wealth or misery:

     "And if you keep them carefully,
       Then God will you reward;
     But if you otherwise should deal,
       God will your deeds regard."
     With lips as cold as any stone,
       They kissed their children small:
     "God bless you both, my children dear!"
       With that the tears did fall.

     These speeches then their brother spake
       To this sick couple there,--
     "The keeping of your little ones,
       Sweet sister, do not fear:
     God never prosper me nor mine,
       Nor aught else that I have,
     If I do wrong your children dear,
       When you are laid in grave!"

     The parents being dead and gone,
       The children home he takes,
     And brings them straight unto his house,
       Where much of them he makes.
     He had not kept these pretty babes
       A twelvemonth and a day,
     But, for their wealth, he did devise
       To make them both away.

     He bargained with two ruffians strong,
       Which were of furious mood,
     That they should take these children young,
       And slay them in a wood.
     He told his wife an artful tale,
       He would the children send
     To be brought up in fair Lond-on,
       With one that was his friend.

     Away then went those pretty babes,
       Rejoicing at that tide,
     Rejoicing with a merry mind,
       They should on cock-horse ride.
     They prate and prattle pleasantly,
       As they rode on the way,
     To those that should their butchers be,
       And work their lives' decay:

     So that the pretty speech they had,
       Made Murder's heart relent;
     And they that undertook the deed,
       Full sore did now repent.
     Yet one of them more hard of heart,
       Did vow to do his charge,
     Because the wretch that hir-ed him
       Had paid him very large.

     The other won't agree thereto,
       So here they fall to strife;
     With one another they did fight,
       About the children's life:
     And he that was of mildest mood,
       Did slay the other there,
     Within an unfrequented wood;
       The babes did quake for fear!

     He took the children by the hand,
       Tears standing in their eye,
     And bade them straightway follow him,
       And look they did not cry:
     And two long miles he led them on,
       While they for food complain:
     "Stay here," quoth he, "I'll bring you bread,
       When I come back again."

     These pretty babes, with hand in hand,
       Went wandering up and down;
     But never more could see the man
       Approaching from the town:
     Their pretty lips with black-berries,
       Were all besmeared and dyed;
     And when they saw the darksome night,
       They sat them down and cried.

     Thus wandered these poor innocents,
       Till death did end their grief;
     In one another's arms they died,
       As wanting due relief:
     No burial this pretty pair
       Of any man receives,
     Till Robin-red-breast piously
       Did cover them with leaves.

     And now the heavy wrath of God
       Upon their uncle fell;
     Yea, fearful fiends did haunt his house,
       His conscience felt an hell:
     His barns were fired, his goods consumed,
       His lands were barren made,
     His cattle died within the field,
       And nothing with him staid.

     And in a voyage to Portugal
       Two of his sons did die;
     And to conclude, himself was brought
       To want and miser-y:
     He pawned and mortgaged all his land
       Ere seven years came about;
     And now at length this wicked act
       Did by this means come out:

     The fellow that did take in hand
       These children for to kill,
     Was for a robbery judged to die;
       Such was God's blessed will;
     Who did confess the very truth,
       As here hath been displayed:
     Their uncle having died in gaol,
       Where he for debt was laid.

     You that executors be made,
       And overse-ers eke
     Of children that be fatherless
       And infants mild and meek;
     Take you example by this thing,
       And yield to each his right,
     Lest God with such like misery
       Your wicked minds requite.



     It was a blind beggar, had long lost his sight,
     He had a fair daughter of beauty most bright;
     And many a gallant brave suitor had she,
     For none was so comely as pretty Bessee.

     And though she was truly of favour most fair,
     Yet seeing she was but a poor beggar's heir,
     Of ancient housekeepers despis-ed was she,
     Whose sons came as suitors to pretty Bessee.

     Wherefore in great sorrow fair Bessy did say,
     "Good father, and mother, let me go away
     To seek out my fortune, whatever it be."
     This suit then they granted to pretty Bessee.

     Then Bessy, that was of a beauty so bright,
     All clad in grey russet, and late in the night
     From father and mother alone parted she;
     Who sigh-ed and sobb-ed for pretty Bessee.

     She went till she came into Stratford-le-Bow;
     Then knew she not whither, nor which way to go:
     With tears she lamented her hard destin-ie,
     So sad and so heavy was pretty Bessee.

     She kept on her journey until it was day,
     And went unto Rumford along the highway;
     Where at the Queen's Arms entertain-ed was she:
     So fair and well-favoured was pretty Bessee.

     She had not been there a month to an end,
     But master and mistress and all was her friend:
     And every brave gallant, that once did her see,
     Was straightway enamoured of pretty Bessee.

     Great gifts they did send her of silver and gold,
     And in their songs daily her love was extolled;
     Her beauty was blaz-ed in every degree,
     So fair and so comely was pretty Bessee.

     The young men of Rumford in her had their joy;
     She showed herself courteous, and modestly coy,
     And at her command-ement still would they be;
     So fair and so comely was pretty Bessee.

     Four suitors at once unto her did go;
     They crav-ed her favour, but still she said no;
     I would not wish gentles to marry with me;
     Yet ever they honour-ed pretty Bessee.

     The first of them was a gallant young knight,
     And he came unto her disguised in the night:
     The second a gentleman of good degree,
     Who woo-ed and su-ed for pretty Bessee:

     A merchant of London, whose wealth was not small,
     He was the third suitor, and proper withal:
     Her master's own son the fourth man must be,
     Who swore he would die for pretty Bessee.

     "And, if thou wilt marry with me," quoth the knight,
     "I'll make thee a lady with joy and delight;
     My heart's so inthrall-ed by thy beaut-ie,
     That soon I shall die for pretty Bessee."

     The gentleman said, "Come, marry with me,
     As fine as a lady my Bessy shall be:
     My life is distress-ed:  O hear me," quoth he;
     "And grant me thy love, my pretty Bessee."

     "Let me be thy husband," the merchant could say,
     "Thou shalt live in London both gallant and gay;
     My ships shall bring home rich jewels for thee,
     And I will for ever love pretty Bessee."

     Then Bessy she sigh-ed, and thus she did say,
     "My father and mother I mean to obey;
     First get their good will, and be faithful to me,
     And you shall enjoy your pretty Bessee."

     To every one this answer she made,
     Wherefore unto her they joyfully said,--
     "This thing to fulfil we all do agree:
     But where dwells thy father, my pretty Bessee?"

     "My father," she said, "is soon to be seen:
     The seely blind beggar of Bethnal Green,
     That daily sits begging for charit-ie,
     He is the good father of pretty Bessee."

     "His marks and his tokens are known very well;
     He always is led with a dog and a bell:
     A seely old man, God knoweth, is he,
     Yet he is the father of pretty Bessee."

     "Nay then," quoth the merchant, "thou art not for me:"
     "Nor," quoth the innholder, "my wife thou shalt be:"
     "I loathe," said the gentle, "a beggar's degree,
     And therefore adieu, my pretty Bessee!"

     "Why then," quoth the knight, "hap better or worse,
     I weigh not true love by the weight of the purse,
     And beauty is beauty in every degree;
     Then welcome unto me, my pretty Bessee:

     "With thee to thy father forthwith I will go."
     "Nay soft," quoth his kinsmen, "it must not be so;
     A poor beggar's daughter no lady shall be;
     Then take thy adieu of pretty Bessee."

     But soon after this, by the break of the day,
     The knight had from Rumford stole Bessy away.
     The young men of Rumford, as thick as might be,
     Rode after to fetch again pretty Bessee.

     As swift as the wind to ride they were seen,
     Until they came near unto Bethnal Green;
     And as the knight lighted most courteouslie,
     They all fought against him for pretty Bessee.

     But rescue came speedily over the plain,
     Or else the young knight for his love had been slain.
     This fray being ended, then straightway he see
     His kinsmen come railing at pretty Bessee.

     Then spake the blind beggar, "Although I be poor,
     Yet rail not against my child at my own door:
     Though she be not deck-ed in velvet and pearl,
     Yet will I drop angels with you for my girl.

     "And then, if my gold may better her birth,
     And equal the gold that you lay on the earth,
     Then neither rail nor grudge you to see
     The blind beggar's daughter a lady to be.

     "But first you shall promise, and have it well known,
     The gold that you drop shall all be your own."
     With that they repli-ed, "Contented be we."
     "Then here's," quoth the beggar, "for pretty Bessee!"

     And with that an angel he cast on the ground,
     And dropp-ed in angels full three thousand pound;
     And oftentimes it was prov-ed most plain,
     For the gentlemen's one the beggar dropped twain:

     So that the place, wherein they did sit,
     With gold it was cover-ed every whit.
     The gentlemen then having dropt all their store,
     Said, "Now, beggar, hold; for we have no more.

     "Thou hast fulfill-ed thy promise aright."
     "Then marry," quoth he, "my girl to this knight;
     And here," added he, "I will now throw you down
     A hundred pounds more to buy her a gown."

     The gentlemen all, that this treasure had seen,
     Admir-ed the beggar of Bethnal Green:
     And all those, that were her suitors before,
     Their flesh for very anger they tore.

     Thus the fair Bess was matched to the knight,
     And then made a lady in others' despite:
     A fairer lady there never was seen
     Than the blind beggar's daughter of Bethnal Green.

     But of their sumptuous marriage and feast,
     What brave lords and knights thither were prest,
     The SECOND FITT shall set forth to your sight
     With marvellous pleasure, and wish-ed delight.


     Of a blind beggar's daughter most bright,
     That late was betroth-ed unto a young knight;
     All the discourse thereof you did see;
     But now comes the wedding of pretty Bessee.

     Within a gorgeous palace most brave,
     Adorn-ed with all the cost they could have,
     This wedding was kept most sumptuousl-ie,
     And all for the credit of pretty Bessee.

     All kind of dainties, and delicates sweet
     Were bought for the banquet, as it was most meet;
     Partridge, and plover, and venison most free,
     Against the brave wedding of pretty Bessee.

     This marriage through England was spread by report,
     So that a great number thereto did resort
     Of nobles and gentles in every degree;
     And all for the fame of pretty Bessee.

     To church then went this gallant young knight,
     His bride followed after, an angel most bright,
     With gay troops of ladies, the like ne'er was seen
     As went with sweet Bessy of Bethnal Green.

     This marriage being sol-emniz-ed then,
     With music performed by the skilfullest men,
     The nobles and gentles sate down at that tide,
     Each one admiring the beautiful bride.

     Now, after the sumptuous dinner was done,
     To talk and to reason a number begun;
     They talked of the blind beggar's daughter most bright,
     And what with his daughter he gave to the knight.

     Then spake the nobles, "Much marvel have we,
     This jolly blind beggar we cannot here see."
     "My lords," quoth the bride, "my father's so base,
     He is loth with his presence these states to disgrace."

     "The praise of a woman in question to bring
     Before her own face, were a flattering thing;
     But we think thy father's baseness," quoth they,
     "Might by thy beauty be clean put away."

     They had no sooner these pleasant words spoke,
     But in comes the beggar clad in a silk cloak;
     A fair velvet cap and a feather had he,
     And now a musician forsooth he would be.

     He had a dainty lute under his arm,
     He touch-ed the strings, which made such a charm,
     Says, "Please you to hear any music of me,
     I'll sing you a song of pretty Bessee."

     With that his lute he twang-ed straightway,
     And thereon began most sweetly to play;
     And after that lessons were played two or three,
     He strained out this song most delicatel-ie.

          "A poor beggar's daughter did dwell on a green,
          Who for her fairness might well be a queen:
          A blithe bonny lass, and a dainty was she,
          And many one call-ed her pretty Bessee.

          "Her father he had no goods, nor no land,
          But begged for a penny all day with his hand;
          And yet to her marriage he gave thousands three,
          And still he hath somewhat for pretty Bessee.

          "And if any one here her birth do disdain,
          Her father is ready, with might and with main,
          To prove she is come of a noble degree,
          Therefore never flout at pretty Bessee."

     With that the lords and the company round
     With hearty laughter were ready to swound.
     At last said the lords, "Full well we may see,
     The bride and the beggar's beholden to thee."

     On this the bride all blushing did rise,
     The pearly drops standing within her fair eyes.
     "O pardon my father, grave nobles," quoth she,
     "That through blind affection thus doteth on me."

     "If this be thy father," the nobles did say,
     "Well may he be proud of this happy day;
     Yet by his countenance well may we see,
     His birth and his fortune did never agree:

     "And therefore, blind man, we bid thee bewray,
     (And look that the truth thou to us do say)
     Thy birth and thy parentage, what it may be;
     For the love that thou bearest to pretty Bessee."

     "Then give me leave, nobles and gentles, each one,
     One song more to sing, and then I have done;
     And if that it may not win good report,
     Then do not give me a groat for my sport.

          "Sir Simon de Montfort my subject shall be;
          Once chief of all the great barons was he,
          Yet fortune so cruel this lord did abase,
          Now lost and forgotten are he and his race.

          "When the barons in arms did King Henry oppose,
          Sir Simon de Montfort their leader they chose;
          A leader of courage undaunted was he,
          And oft-times he made their bold enemies flee.

          "At length in the battle on Evesham plain,
          The barons were routed, and Montfort was slain;
          Most fatal that battle did prove unto thee,
          Though thou wast not born then, my pretty Bessee!

          "Along with the nobles, that fell at that tide,
          His eldest son Henry, who fought by his side,
          Was felled by a blow he received in the fight:
          A blow that deprived him for ever of sight.

          "Among the dead bodies all lifeless he lay,
          Till evening drew on of the following day.
          When by a young lady discovered was he;
          And this was thy mother, my pretty Bessee!

          "A baron's fair daughter stept forth in the night
          To search for her father, who fell in the fight,
          And seeing young Montfort, where gasping he lay,
          Was mov-ed with pity, and brought him away.

          "In secret she nursed him, and swag-ed his pain,
          While he through the realm was believed to be slain:
          At length his fair bride she consented to be,
          And made him glad father of pretty Bessee.

          "And now, lest our foes our lives should betray,
          We cloth-ed ourselves in beggar's array;
          Her jewels she sold, and hither came we:
          All our comfort and care was our pretty Bessee.

          "And here have we liv-ed in fortune's despite,
          Though poor, yet contented with humble delight:
          Full forty winters thus have I been
          A silly blind beggar of Bethnal Green.

          "And here noble lord-es, is ended the song
          Of one that once to your own rank did belong:
          And thus have you learn-ed a secret from me,
          That ne'er had been known but for pretty Bessee."

     Now when the fair company every one,
     Had heard the strange tale in the song he had shown,
     They all were amaz-ed, as well they might be,
     Both at the blind beggar, and pretty Bessee.

     With that the fair bride they all did embrace,
     Saying, "Sure thou art come of an honourable race,
     Thy father likewise is of noble degree,
     And thou art well worthy a lady to be."

     Thus was the feast ended with joy and delight,
     A bridegroom most happy then was the young knight,
     In joy and felicity long liv-ed he,
     All with his fair lady, the pretty Bessee.


     There was a youth, and a well-beloved youth,
       And he was a squire's son:
     He loved the bailiffs daughter dear,
       That lived in Islington.

     Yet she was coy, and would not believe
       That he did love her so;
     No, nor at any time would she
       Any countenance to him show.

     But when his friends did understand
       His fond and foolish mind,
     They sent him up to fair Lond-on
       An apprentice for to bind.

     And when he had been seven long years,
       And never his love could see:
     "Many a tear have I shed for her sake,
       When she little thought of me."

     Then all the maids of Islington
       Went forth to sport and play,
     All but the bailiff's daughter dear;
       She secretly stole away.

     She pull-ed off her gown of green,
       And put on ragged attire,
     And to fair London she would go
       Her true love to inquire.

     And as she went along the high road,
       The weather being hot and dry,
     She sat her down upon a green bank,
       And her true love came riding by.

     She started up, with a colour so red,
       Catching hold of his bridle-rein;
     "One penny, one penny, kind sir," she said,
       "Will ease me of much pain."--

     "Before I give you one penny, sweetheart,
       Pray tell me where you were born."--
     "At Islington, kind sir," said she,
       "Where I have had many a scorn."--

     "I pr'ythee, sweetheart, then tell to me,
       O tell me, whether you know
     The bailiffs daughter of Islington."--
       "She is dead, sir, long ago."--

     "If she be dead, then take my horse,
       My saddle and bridle also;
     For I will into some far countrie,
       Where no man shall me know."--

     "O stay, O stay, thou goodly youth,
       She standeth by thy side:
     She is here alive, she is not dead,--
       And ready to be thy bride."--

     "O farewell grief, and welcome joy,
       Ten thousand times therefore!
     For now I have found mine own true love,
       Whom I thought I should never see more."


     In Scarlet town, where I was born,
       There was a fair maid dwellin',
     Made every youth cry, Well away!
       Her name was Barbara Allen.

     All in the merry month of May,
       When green buds they were swellin',
     Young Jemmy Grove on his death-bed lay
       For love of Barbara Allen.

     He sent his man unto her then,
       To the town where she was dwellin';
     "You must come to my master dear,
       Gif your name be Barbara Allen.

     "For death is printed on his face,
       And o'er his heart is stealin':
     Then haste away to comfort him,
       O lovely Barbara Allen."

     Though death be printed on his face
       And o'er his heart is stealin',
     Yet little better shall he be
       For bonny Barbara Allen.

     So slowly, slowly, she came up,
       And slowly she came nigh him;
     And all she said, when there she came,
       "Young man, I think y'are dying."

     He turned his face unto her straight,
       With deadly sorrow sighing;
     "O lovely maid, come pity me,
       I'm on my deathbed lying."--

     "If on your deathbed you do lie,
       What needs the tale you are tellin';
     I cannot keep you from your death:
       Farewell," said Barbara Allen.

     He turned his face unto the wall,
       As deadly pangs he fell in:
     "Adieu! adieu! adieu to you all!
       Adieu to Barbara Allen!"

     As she was walking o'er the fields,
       She heard the bell a knellin';
     And every stroke did seem to say,--

     She turned her body round about,
       And spied the corpse a coming:
     "Lay down, lay down the corpse," she said,
       "That I may look upon him."

     With scornful eye she look-ed down,
       Her cheek with laughter swellin';
     Whilst all her friends cried out amain,

     When he was dead, and laid in grave,
       Her heart was struck with sorrow,
     "O mother, mother, make my bed,
       For I shall die to-morrow!

     "Hard-hearted creature him to slight,
       Who lov-ed me so dearly:
     O that I had been more kind to him,
       When he was alive and near me!"

     She, on her deathbed as she lay,
       Begged to be buried by him;
     And sore repented of the day,
       That she did e'er deny him.

     "Farewell," she said, "ye maidens all,
       And shun the fault I fell in:
     Henceforth take warning by the fall
       Of cruel Barbara Allen."


     There came a ghost to Margaret's door,
       With many a grievous groan,
     And aye he tirl-ed at the pin;
       But answer made she none.

     "Is this my father Philip?
       Or is't my brother John?
     Or is't my true love Willie,
       From Scotland new come home?"

     "'Tis not thy father Philip;
       Nor yet thy brother John:
     But 'tis thy true love Willie
       From Scotland new come home.

     "O sweet Margret! O dear Margret!
       I pray thee speak to me:
     Give me my faith and troth, Margret,
       As I gave it to thee."

     "Thy faith and troth thou'se never get,
       Of me shalt never win,
     Till that thou come within my bower,
       And kiss my cheek and chin."

     "If I should come within thy bower,
       I am no earthly man:
     And should I kiss thy rosy lip,
       Thy days will not be lang.

     "O sweet Margret, O dear Margret,
       I pray thee speak to me:
     Give me my faith and troth, Margret,
       As I gave it to thee."--

     "Thy faith and troth thou'se never get,
       Of me shalt never win,
     Till thou take me to yon kirkyard,
       And wed me with a ring."--

     "My bones are buried in a kirkyard
       Afar beyond the sea,
     And it is but my sprite, Margret,
       That's speaking now to thee."

     She stretch-ed out her lily-white hand,
       As for to do her best:
     "Hae there your faith and troth, Willie,
       God send your soul good rest!"

     Now she has kilted her robes of green,
       A piece below her knee:
     And a' the live-lang winter night
       The dead corpse followed she.

     "Is there any room at your head, Willie?
       Or any room at your feet?
     Or any room at your side, Willie,
       Wherein that I may creep?"

     "There's nae room at my head, Margret,
       There's nae room at my feet,
     There's nae room at my side, Margret,
       My coffin is made so meet."

     Then up and crew the red red cock,
       And up then crew the gray:
     "'Tis time, 'tis time, my dear Margret,
       That I were gane away."

     No more the ghost to Margret said,
       But, with a grievous groan,
     Evanished in a cloud of mist,
       And left her all alone.

     "O stay, my only true love, stay!"
       The constant Margret cried:
     Wan grew her cheeks, she closed her een,
       Stretched her saft limbs, and died.


     Ten lords sat drinking at the wine,
       Intill a morning early;
     There fell a combat them among,
       It must be fought,--nae parly.

     --"O stay at hame, my ain gude lord,
       O stay, my ain dear marrow."--
     "Sweetest mine, I will be thine,
       And dine wi' you to-morrow."

     She's kissed his lips, and combed his hair,
       As she had done before, O;
     Gied him a brand down by his side,
       And he is on to Yarrow.

     As he gaed ower yon dowie knowe,
       As aft he'd dune before, O;
     Nine arm-ed men lay in a den,
       Upo' the braes o' Yarrow.

     "O came ye here to hunt or hawk,
       As ye hae done before, O?
     Or came ye here to wiel' your brand,
       Upo' the braes o' Yarrow."--

     "I came nae here to hunt nor hawk,
       As I hae dune before, O;
     But I came here to wiel' my brand,
       Upon the braes o' Yarrow."--

     Four he hurt, and five he slew,
       Till down he fell himsell, O;
     There stood a fause lord him behin',
       Who thrust him thro' body and mell, O.

     "Gae hame, gae hame, my brother John,
       And tell your sister sorrow;
     Your mother to come take up her son,
       Aff o' the braes o' Yarrow."

     As he gaed ower yon high, high hill,
       As he had dune before, O;
     There he met his sister dear,
       Came rinnin' fast to Yarrow.

     "I dreamt a dream last night," she says,
       "I wish it binna sorrow;
     I dreamt I was pu'ing the heather green,
       Upo' the braes o' Yarrow."--

     "I'll read your dream, sister," he says,
       "I'll read it into sorrow;
     Ye're bidden gae take up your love,
       He's sleeping sound on Yarrow."

     She's torn the ribbons frae her head,
       They were baith thick and narrow;
     She's kilted up her green claithing,
       And she's awa' to Yarrow.

     She's taen him in her arms twa,
       And gien him kisses thorough,
     And wi' her tears she bathed his wounds,
       Upo' the braes o' Yarrow.

     Her father looking ower his castle wa',
       Beheld his daughter's sorrow;
     "O haud yer tongue, daughter," he says,
       "And let be a' your sorrow;
     I'll wed you wi' a better lord,
       Than he that died on Yarrow."--

     "O haud your tongue, father," she says,
       "And let be till to-morrow;
     A better lord there coudna be
       Than he that died on Yarrow."

     She kissed his lips, and combed his hair,
       As she had dune before, O;
     Then wi' a crack her heart did brack
       Upon the braes o' Yarrow.


     Her mother died when she was young,
       Which gave her cause to make great moan;
     Her father married the warst woman
       That ever lived in Christendom.

     She serv-ed her with foot and hand,
       In every thing that she could dee;
     Till once in an unlucky time,
       She threw her in ower Craigy's sea.

     Says, "Lie you there, dove Isabel,
       And all my sorrows lie with thee;
     Till Kemp Owyne come ower the sea,
       And borrow you with kisses three,
     Let all the warld do what they will,
       Oh! borrowed shall you never be."

     Her breath grew strang, her hair grew lang,
       And twisted thrice about the tree;
     And all the people far and near,
       Thought that a savage beast was she;
     These news did come to Kemp Owyne,
       Where he lived far beyond the sea.

     He hasted him to Craigy's sea,
       And on the savage beast looked he;
     Her breath was strang, her hair was lang,
       And twisted was about the tree;
     And with a swing she came about,
       "Come to Craigy's sea and kiss with me.

     "Here is a royal belt," she cried,
       "That I have found in the green sea;
     And while your body it is on,
       Drawn shall your blood never be;
     But if you touch me tail or fin,
       I vow my belt your death shall be."

     He stepp-ed in, gave her a kiss,
       The royal belt he brought him wi'
     Her breath was strang, her hair was lang,
       And twisted twice about the tree;
     And with a swing she came about,
       "Come to Craigy's sea and kiss with me.

     "Here is a royal ring," she said,
       "That I have found in the green sea;
     And while your finger it is on,
       Drawn shall your blood never be;
     But if you touch me tail or fin,
       I swear my ring your death shall be."

     He stepp-ed in, gave her a kiss,
       The royal ring he brought him wi';
     Her breath was strang, her hair was lang,
       And twisted ance about the tree;
     And with a swing she came about,
       "Come to Craigy's sea and kiss with me.

     "Here is a royal brand," she said,
       "That I have found in the green sea;
     And while your body it is on,
       Drawn shall your blood never be;
     But if you touch me tail or fin,
       I swear my brand your death shall be."

     He stepp-ed in, gave her a kiss,
       The royal brand he brought him wi';
     Her breath was sweet, her hair grew short,
       And twisted nane about the tree:
     And smilingly she came about,
       As fair a woman, as fair could be.


     As I came by the shore o' Forth,
       And in by the craigs o' Bernie;
     There I spied a ship on the sea,
       And the skipper o' her was Charlie.

     O'er the water, and o'er the sea,
       O'er the water to Charlie;
     I'll gie John Ross another bawbie,
       To boat me o'er to Charlie.

     Charlie keeps nae needles nor pins,
       And Charlie keeps nae trappin';
     But Charlie keeps twa bonnie black een,
       Would haud the lasses waukin'.

     O'er the water, and o'er the sea,
       O'er the water to Charlie;
     I'll gie John Ross another bawbie,
       To boat me o'er to Charlie.

     O Charlie is neither laird nor lord,
       Nor Charlie is a caddie;
     But Charlie has twa bonnie red cheeks,
       And he's my juggler laddie.

     O'er the water, and o'er the sea,
       O'er the water to Charlie;
     I'll gie John Ross another bawbie,
       To boat me o'er to Charlie.

     A pinch o' snuff to poison the whigs,
       A gill o' Geneva to drown them;
     And he that winna drink Charlie's health,
       May roaring seas surround him.

     O'er the water, and o'er the sea,
       And o'er the water to Charlie;
     I'll gie John Brown another half-crown,
       To boat me o'er to Charlie.


     As near Porto-Bello lying
       On the gently swelling flood,
     At midnight with streamers flying
       Our triumphant navy rode;
     There while Vernon sate all-glorious
       From the Spaniards' late defeat:
     And his crews, with shouts victorious,
       Drank success to England's fleet:

     On a sudden shrilly sounding,
       Hideous yells and shrieks were heard;
     Then each heart with fear confounding,
       A sad troop of ghosts appeared,
     All in dreary hammocks shrouded,
       Which for winding-sheets they wore,
     And with looks by sorrow clouded
       Frowning on that hostile shore.

     On them gleamed the moon's wan lustre,
       When the shade of Hosier brave
     His pale bands were seen to muster
       Rising from their watery grave.
     O'er the glimmering wave he hied him,
       Where the Burford reared her sail,
     With three thousand ghosts beside him,
       And in groans did Vernon hail.

     "Heed, oh heed our fatal story;
       I am Hosier's injured ghost,
     You who now have purchased glory
       At this place where I was lost!
     Though in Porto-Bello's ruin
       You now triumph free from fears,
     When you think on our undoing,
       You will mix your joy with tears.

     "See these mournful spectres sweeping
       Ghastly o'er this hated wave,
     Whose wan cheeks are stained with weeping;
       These were English captains brave.
     Mark those numbers pale and horrid,
       Those were once my sailors bold:
     Lo, each hangs his drooping forehead
       While his dismal tale is told.

     "I, by twenty sail attended,
       Did this Spanish town affright;
     Nothing then its wealth defended
       But my orders not to fight.
     Oh! that in this rolling ocean
       I had cast them with disdain,
     And obeyed my heart's warm motion
       To have quelled the pride of Spain!

     "For resistance I could fear none,
       But with twenty ships had done
     What thou, brave and happy Vernon
       Hast achieved with six alone.
     Then the Bastimentos never
       Had our foul dishonour seen;
     Nor the sea the sad receiver
       Of this gallant train had been.

     "Thus, like thee, proud Spain dismaying,
       And her galleons leading home,
     Though condemned for disobeying,
       I had met a traitor's doom,
     To have fallen, my country crying
       He has played an English part;
     Had been better far than dying
       Of a grieved and broken heart.

     "Unrepining at thy glory,
       Thy successful arms we hail;
     But remember our sad story,
       And let Hosier's wrongs prevail.
     Sent in this foul clime to languish,
       Think what thousands fell in vain,
     Wasted with disease and anguish,
       Not in glorious battle slain.

     "Hence with all my train attending
       From their oozy tombs below,
     Through the hoary foam ascending,
       Here I feed my constant woe:
     Here the Bastimentos viewing,
       We recall our shameful doom,
     And our plaintive cries renewing,
       Wander through the midnight gloom.

     "O'er these waves for ever mourning
       Shall we roam deprived of rest,
     If to Britain's shores returning
       You neglect my just request;
     After this proud foe subduing,
       When your patriot friends you see,
     Think on vengeance for my ruin,
       And for England shamed in me."


     Come listen to my mournful tale,
       Ye tender hearts, and lovers dear;
     Nor will you scorn to heave a sigh,
       Nor will you blush to shed a tear.

     And thou, dear Kitty, peerless maid,
       Do thou a pensive ear incline;
     For thou canst weep at every woe,
       And pity every plaint but mine.

     Young Dawson was a gallant youth,
       A brighter never trod the plain;
     And well he loved one charming maid,
       And dearly was he loved again.

     One tender maid she loved him dear,
       Of gentle blood the damsel came,
     And faultless was her beauteous form,
       And spotless was her virgin fame.

     But curse on party's hateful strife,
       That led the faithful youth astray
     The day the rebel clans appeared:
       Oh had he never seen that day!

     Their colours and their sash he wore,
       And in the fatal dress was found;
     And now he must that death endure,
       Which gives the brave the keenest wound.

     How pale was then his true love's cheek,
       When Jemmy's sentence reach'd her ear!
     For never yet did Alpine snows
       So pale nor yet so chill appear.

     With faltering voice she weeping said,
       "Oh, Dawson, monarch of my heart,
     Think not thy death shall end our loves,
       For thou and I will never part.

     "Yet might sweet mercy find a place,
       And bring relief to Jemmy's woes,
     O GEORGE, without a prayer for thee
       My orisons should never close.

     "The gracious prince that gives him life
       Would crown a never-dying flame,
     And every tender babe I bore
       Should learn to lisp the giver's name.

     "But though, dear youth, thou should'st be dragged
       To yonder ignominious tree,
     Thou shalt not want a faithful friend
       To share thy bitter fate with thee."

     O then her mourning-coach was called,
       The sledge moved slowly on before;
     Though borne in a triumphal car,
       She had not loved her favourite more.

     She followed him, prepared to view
       The terrible behests of law;
     And the last scene of Jemmy's woes
       With calm and stedfast eye she saw.

     Distorted was that blooming face,
       Which she had fondly loved so long:
     And stifled was that tuneful breath,
       Which in her praise had sweetly sung:

     And severed was that beauteous neck,
       Round which her arms had fondly closed:
     And mangled was that beauteous breast,
       On which her love-sick head reposed:

     And ravished was that constant heart,
       She did to every heart prefer;
     For though it could his king forget,
       'Twas true and loyal still to her.

     Amid those unrelenting flames
       She bore this constant heart to see;
     But when 'twas mouldered into dust,
       "Now, now," she cried, "I'll follow thee.

     "My death, my death alone can show
       The pure and lasting love I bore:
     Accept, O heaven, of woes like ours,
       And let us, let us weep no more."

     The dismal scene was o'er and past,
       The lover's mournful hearse retired;
     The maid drew back her languid head,
       And sighing forth his name expired.

     Though justice ever must prevail,
       The tear my Kitty sheds is due;
     For seldom shall she hear a tale
       So sad, so tender, and so true.


     'Twas at the silent, solemn hour
       When night and morning meet;
     In glided Margaret's grimly ghost
       And stood at William's feet.

     Her face was like an April morn,
       Clad in a wintry cloud:
     And clay-cold was her lily-hand,
       That held her sable shroud.

     So shall the fairest face appear,
       When youth and years are flown:
     Such is the robe that kings must wear,
       When death has reft their crown.

     Her bloom was like the springing flower,
       That sips the silver dew;
     The rose was budded in her cheek,
       Just opening to the view.

     But Love had, like the canker-worm,
       Consumed her early prime:
     The rose grew pale, and left her cheek;
       She died before her time.

     "Awake!" she cried, "thy true love calls,
       Come from her midnight grave;
     Now let thy pity hear the maid
       Thy love refused to save.

     "This is the dumb and dreary hour
       When injured ghosts complain;
     When yawning graves give up their dead
       To haunt the faithless swain.

     "Bethink thee, William, of thy fault,
       Thy pledge and broken oath:
     And give me back my maiden vow,
       And give me back my troth.

     "Why did you promise love to me,
       And not that promise keep?
     Why did you swear my eyes were bright,
       Yet leave those eyes to weep?

     "How could you say my face was fair,
       And yet that face forsake?
     How could you win my virgin heart,
       Yet leave that heart to break?

     "Why did you say my lip was sweet,
       And made the scarlet pale?
     And why did I, young witless maid!
       Believe the flattering tale?

     "That face, alas! no more is fair;
       Those lips no longer red:
     Dark are my eyes, now closed in death,
       And every charm is fled.

     "The hungry worm my sister is;
       This winding sheet I wear:
     And cold and weary lasts our night,
       Till that last morn appear.

     "But hark! the cock has warned me hence;
       A long and late adieu!
     Come, see, false man, how low she lies,
       Who died for love of you."

     The lark sung loud; the morning smiled,
       With beams of rosy red:
     Pale William quaked in every limb,
       And raving left his bed.

     He hied him to the fatal place
       Where Margaret's body lay:
     And stretched him on the grass-green turf
       That wrapped her breathless clay.

     And thrice he called on Margaret's name,
       And thrice he wept full sore:
     Then laid his cheek to her cold grave,
       And word spoke never more.


     Erl William has muntit his gude grai stede,
       (Merrie lemis munelicht on the sea,)
     And graithit him in ane cumli weid,
       (Swa bonilie blumis the hawthorn tree.)

     Erl William rade, Erl William ran,--
       (Fast they ryde quha luve trewlie,)
     Quhyll the Elfinland wud that gude Erl wan--
       (Blink ower the burn, sweit may, to mee.)

     Elfinland wud is dern and dreir,
       (Merrie is the grai gowkis sang,)
     But ilk ane leaf is quhyt as silver cleir,
       (Licht makis schoirt the road swa lang.)

     It is undirnith ane braid aik tree,
       (Hey and a lo, as the leavis grow grein,)
     Thair is kythit ane bricht ladie,
       (Manie flouris blume quhilk ar nocht seen.)

     Around hir slepis the quhyte muneschyne,
       (Meik is mayden undir kell,)
     Her lips bin lyke the blude reid wyne;
       (The rois of flouris hes sweitest smell.)

     It was al bricht quhare that ladie stude,
       (Far my luve fure ower the sea.)
     Bot dern is the lave of Elfinland wud,
       (The knicht pruvit false that ance luvit me.)

     The ladie's handis were quhyte als milk,
       (Ringis my luve wore mair nor ane.)
     Her skin was safter nor the silk;
       (Lilly bricht schinis my luvis halse bane.)

     Save you, save you, fayr ladie,
       (Gentil hert schawis gentil deed.)
     Standand alane undir this auld tree;
       (Deir till knicht is nobil steid.)

     Burdalane, if ye dwall here,
       (My hert is layed upon this land.)
     I wuld like to live your fere;
       (The schippis cum sailin to the strand.)

     Nevir ane word that ladie sayd;
       (Schortest rede hes least to mend.)
     Bot on hir harp she evir playd;
       (Thare nevir was mirth that had nocht end.)

     Gang ye eist, or fare ye wast,
       (Ilka stern blinkis blythe for thee,)
     Or tak ye the road that ye like best,
       (Al trew feeris ryde in cumpanie.)

     Erl William loutit doun full lowe.
       (Luvis first seid bin courtesie.)
     And swung hir owir his saddil bow,
       (Ryde quha listis, ye'll link with mee.)

     Scho flang her harp on that auld tree,
       (The wynd pruvis aye ane harpir gude.)
     And it gave out its music free;
       (Birdis sing blythe in gay green wud.)

     The harp playde on its leeful lane,
       (Lang is my luvis yellow hair.)
     Quhill it has charmit stock and stane,
       (Furth by firth, deir lady fare.)

     Quhan scho was muntit him behynd,
       (Blyth be hertis quhilkis luve ilk uthir,)
     Awa thai flew like flaucht of wind;
       (Kin kens kin, and bairnis thair mither.)

     Nevir ane word that ladie spak;
       (Mim be maydens men besyde.)
     But that stout steid did nicher and schaik;
       (Small thingis humbil hertis of pryde.)

     About his breist scho plet her handis;
       (Luvand be maydens quhan thai lyke.)
     Bot they were cauld as yron bandis.
       (The winter bauld bindis sheuch and syke.)

     Your handis ar cauld, fayr ladie, sayd hee,
       (The caulder hand the trewer hairt.)
     I trembil als the leif on the tree;
       (Licht caussis muve ald friendis to pairt.)

     Lap your mantil owir your heid,
       (My luve was clad in the red scarlett,)
     And spredd your kirtil owir my stede;
       (Thair nevir was joie that had nae lett.)

     The ladie scho wald nocht dispute;
       (Nocht woman is scho that laikis ane tung.)
     But caulder her fingeris about him cruik.
       (Some sangis ar writt, bot nevir sung.)

     This Elfinland wud will neir haif end;
       (Hunt quha listis, daylicht for mee.)
     I wuld I culd ane strang bow bend,
       (Al undirneth the grene wood tree.)

     Thai rade up, and they rade doun
       (Wearilie wearis wan nicht away.)
     Erl William's heart mair cauld is grown;
       (Hey, luve mine, quhan dawis the day?)

     Your hand lies cauld on my breist-bane,
       (Smal hand hes my ladie fair,)
     My horss he can nocht stand his lane,
       (For cauldness of this midnicht air.)

     Erl William turnit his heid about;
       (The braid mune schinis in lift richt cleir.)
     Twa Elfin een are glentin owt,
       (My luvis een like twa sternis appere.)

     Twa brennand eyne, sua bricht and full,
       (Bonnilie blinkis my ladeis ee,)
     Flang fire flaughtis fra ane peelit skull;
       (Sum sichts ar ugsomlyk to see.)

     Twa rawis of quhyt teeth then did say,
       (Cauld the boysteous windis sal blaw,)
     Oh, lang and weary is our way,
       (And donkir yet the dew maun fa'.)

     Far owir mure, and far owir fell,
       (Hark the sounding huntsmen thrang;)
     Thorow dingle, and thorow dell,
       (Luve, come, list the merlis sang.)

     Thorow fire, and thorow flude,
       (Mudy mindis rage lyk a sea;)
     Thorow slauchtir, thorow blude,
       (A seamless shrowd weird schaipis for me!)

     And to rede aricht my spell,
       Eerilie sal night wyndis moan,
     Quhill fleand Hevin and raikand Hell,
       Ghaist with ghaist maun wandir on.


     The boy stood on the burning deck
       Whence all but he had fled;
     The flame that lit the battle's wreck
       Shone round him o'er the dead.

     Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
       As born to rule the storm--
     A creature of heroic blood,
       A proud, though child-like form.

     The flames rolled on--he would not go
       Without his father's word;
     That father, faint in death below,
       His voice no longer heard.

     He called aloud, "Say, father! say
       If yet my task is done!"
     He knew not that the chieftain lay
       Unconscious of his son.

     "Speak, father!" once again he cried,
       "If I may yet be gone!"
     And but the booming shots replied,
       And fast the flames rolled on.

     Upon his brow he felt their breath,
       And in his waving hair,
     And looked from that lone post of death
       In still yet brave despair;

     And shouted but once more aloud,
        "My father! must I stay?"
     While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,
       The wreathing fires made way.

     They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
       They caught the flag on high,
     And streamed above the gallant child
       Like banners in the sky.

     There came a burst of thunder-sound--
       The boy--oh! where was he?
     Ask of the winds that far around
       With fragments strewed the sea,--

     With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
       That well had borne their part:--
     But the noblest thing which perished there
       Was that young faithful heart.



     When the sheep are in the fauld, when the kye's a' at hame,
     And a' the weary warld to rest are gane,
     The woes o' my heart fa' in showers frae my e'e,
     Unkent by my gudeman, wha sleeps sound by me.

     Young Jamie lo'ed me weel, and sought me for his bride,
     But saving a crown he had naething else beside;
     To mak the crown a pound my Jamie gaed to sea,
     And the crown and the pound--they were baith for me.

     He hadna been gane a twelvemonth and a day
     When my father brake his arm, and the cow was stown away;
     My mother she fell sick--my Jamie was at sea--
     And auld Robin Gray came a-courting me.

     My father couldna work, my mother couldna spin,
     I toiled day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
     Auld Rob maintained them baith, and, wi' tears in his e'e,
     Said, "Jeanie, for their sakes, will ye no marry me?"

     My heart it said na, and I looked for Jamie back,
     But hard blew the winds, and his ship was a wrack;
     His ship was a wrack--why didna Jamie dee?
     Or why am I spared to cry, "Woe is me?"

     My father urged me sair--my mother didna speak,
     But she looket in my face till my heart was like to break;
     They gied him my hand--my heart was in the sea--
     And so Robin Gray he was gudeman to me.

     I hadna been his wife a week but only four,
     When, mournfu' as I sat on the stane at my door,
     I saw my Jamie's ghaist, for I couldna think it he,
     Till he said, "I'm come hame, love, to marry thee."

     Oh! sair, sair did we greet, and mickle say o' a',
     I gied him ae kiss and bade him gang awa'.
     I wish that I were dead, but I'm no like to dee,
     For tho' my heart is broken, I'm young, woe's me!

     I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin,
     I darena think on Jamie, for that would be a sin;
     But I'll do my best a gude wife to be,
     For oh! Robin Gray he is kind to me.


     The winter was come, 'twas simmer nae mair,
     And, trembling, the leaves were fleeing thro' th' air;
     "O winter," says Jeanie, "we kindly agree,
     For the sun he looks wae when he shines upon me."

     Nae longer she mourned, her tears were a' spent;
     Despair it was come, and she thought it content--
     She thought it content, but her cheek it grew pale,
     And she bent like a lily broke down by the gale.

     Her father and mother observed her decay;
     "What ails ye, my bairn?" they ofttimes would say;
     "Ye turn round your wheel, but you come little speed,
     For feeble's your hand and silly's your thread."

     She smiled when she heard them, to banish their fear,
     But wae looks the smile that is seen through a tear,
     And bitter's the tear that is forced by a love
     Which honour and virtue can never approve.

     Her father was vexed and her mother was wae,
     But pensive and silent was auld Robin Gray;
     He wandered his lane, and his face it grew lean,
     Like the side of a brae where the torrent had been.

     Nae questions he spiered her concerning her health,
     He looked at her often, but aye 'twas by stealth;
     When his heart it grew grit, and often he feigned
     To gang to the door to see if it rained.

     He took to his bed--nae physic he sought,
     But ordered his friends all around to be brought;
     While Jeanie supported his head in its place,
     Her tears trickled down, and they fell on his face.

     "Oh, greet nae mair, Jeanie," said he wi' a groan,
     "I'm no worth your sorrow--the truth maun be known;
     Send round for your neighbours, my hour it draws near,
     And I've that to tell that it's fit a' should hear.

     "I've wronged her," he said, "but I kent it owre late;
     I've wronged her, and sorrow is speeding my date;
     But a' for the best, since my death will soon free
     A faithfu' young heart that was ill matched wi' me.

     "I lo'ed and I courted her mony a day,
     The auld folks were for me, but still she said nay;
     I kentna o' Jamie, nor yet of her vow,
     In mercy forgive me--'twas I stole the cow.

     "I cared not for Crummie, I thought but o' thee--
     I thought it was Crummie stood 'twixt you and me;
     While she fed your parents, oh, did you not say
     You never would marry wi' auld Robin Gray?

     "But sickness at hame and want at the door--
     You gied me your hand, while your heart it was sore;
     I saw it was sore,--why took I her hand?
     Oh, that was a deed to my shame o'er the land!

     "How truth soon or late comes to open daylight!
     For Jamie cam' back, and your cheek it grew white--
     White, white grew your cheek, but aye true unto me--
     Ay, Jeanie, I'm thankfu'--I'm thankfu' to dee.

     "Is Jamie come here yet?"--and Jamie they saw--
     "I've injured you sair, lad, so leave you my a';
     Be kind to my Jeanie, and soon may it be;
     Waste nae time, my dauties, in mourning for me."

     They kissed his cauld hands, and a smile o'er his face
     Seemed hopefu' of being accepted by grace;
     "Oh, doubtna," said Jamie, "forgi'en he will be--
     Wha wouldna be tempted, my love, to win thee?"


     The first days were dowie while time slipt awa',
     But saddest and sairest to Jeanie o' a'
     Was thinkin' she couldna be honest and right,
     Wi' tears in her e'e while her heart was sae light.

     But nae guile had she, and her sorrow away,
     The wife of her Jamie, the tear couldna stay;
     A bonnie wee bairn--the auld folks by the fire--
     Oh, now she has a' that her heart can desire.



     Abye: First English - abicgan, pay for.
     Assoiled: absolved.
     Avowe: "I make avowe," I declare; not "I make a vow."
     Avow-e: advocate.
     Awayte: "awayte me scathe," watch for opportunity of doing hurt to me.
     Balis: evils.
     Banis: slayers. First English - bana, whence "bane," destruction or
     Barker: tanner.
     Bedene: all bedene: bidene: promptly, altogether.
     Belife: blive: quickly.
     Bent: coarse grass.
     Bete: make better, amend.
     Bewray: disclose.
     Bickered: skirmished.
     Blave: stayed. First English - belaf (allied to German blieb.)
     Boot: help, remedy. First English - bot.
     Borrow: borowe: (noun) security. (verb) give security for.
             borowhood: state of being security.
             borrowed: redeemed, released by the fulfilment of conditions.
     Bra': braw: fine; French - brave.
     Braid: at a braid, with a sudden start.
     Brittling: breaking up (of the deer) and distribution of its parts
                according to the usual custom.
     Brook: broke: have use of, enjoy.
     Busshement: ambush.
     Busk: make self ready. Icelandic - bua, prepare; sik, oneself;
           sk, for sik, was in old Norse or Icelandic a suffix marking the
           reflexive form of a verb.
     Caddie: younger brother. French - cadet, a young fellow who runs on
     Clim: Clement.
     Clough: a cliff or fissure of rock, a glen between steep banks.
     Con thank: know thanks to be owing; therefore, pay thanks.
     Coresed: cuirassed, harnessed.
     Dang: struck, forced.
     Dauties: darlings.
     Dee: as in Kemp Owyne; do.
     Dele: division, "never a dele," never a bit.
     Dereworthy: precious.
     Derne: secret.
     Devilkins: of the devil's kind.
     Dight: made ready; dightand: being made ready.
     Do gladly: make good cheer.
     Do him drink: make him drink.
     Donkir: moister.
     Dowie: dull, sorrowful.
     Dree: suffer, endure.
     Dule: sorrow. French - deuil.
     Eftsoons: again soon, soon after.
     Fause: false.
     Fay: faith.
     Fend of: defend from.
     Fere: companion. In fere: in companionship, together.
     Ferre and fremd bestad: one from afar and among strangers.
     Fet: fetched.
     Flattered: floated to and fro.
     Flyte: scold.
     Fone: foes.
     Force: no force: of no importance, no matter.
     Forthinketh: repenteth.
     Fosters of the fee: foresters in charge of the stock of deer.
     Fou: bushel.
     Freke: fighting-man.
     Frese: curl, bend.
     Fynly: substantial, heavy. First English - findig; Prov. Scot. -
     Fytte: canto, song. First English - fitt (fem.) a song, poem.
     Gane: (as in Sir Patrick Spens) convenient, proper for.
     Garred me gang: made me go; Gang maiden: remain unmarried.
     Gest: deed, adventure.
     Gif: if.
     Glede: live-coal.
     Glent: passed suddenly, flashed.
     Goodman: the master of the "good" or little property of house and
              field.  There is the same sense of "good" in the first
              use of "goodwife," or "goody."
     Gowk: cuckoo.
     Grain, cloth in: cloth of special quality with a fast purple dye.
     Graithit him: dressed himself.
     Gramercy: great thanks. French - grand merci.
     Gree: satisfaction.
     Gurly: gurgly.
     Halfendell: the half part.
     Halk: flat ground by a river.
     Halse bane: neck bone.
     Haud: hold.
     Hie: high. First English - heah.
     Hie: make haste. First English - higan.
     Hilt: covering.
     Ilke: same.
     Iwis: certainly. First English - gewis. For the prefix i-,
           answering to First English and German ge-, see Y-.  This
           old adverb is often printed as if the prefix were the
           pronoun I and wis were a verb.
     Japes: trivial mockings.
     Jimp: slender.
     Kell: coif, woman's headdress.
     Kipples: rafters.
     Knowe: knoll, little hill.
     Lap: started, were rent.
     Launsgay: lancegay, a form of spear.
     Lease: leasing: falsehood.
     Leeful: "its leeful lane," "its lane," alone; a Scottish idiom
             joins to "lane" the genitive pronoun, "his lane,"
             "their lane," etc.  "Leeful," compassionate, the harp
             played of itself compassionately.
     Lemes: gleams.
     Lend: give. See Robin Hood - God lend. First English - laenan,
           to give, lend.
     Lend: dwell, come into contact. See Robin Hood - "when ye
           together lend."  Icelandic - lenda, to land; lendir saman,
           come close together.
     Lere: learn, teach. First English - laeran. See Robin Hood -
           "this lesson shall we lere;"
     Lere: face. First English - hleor. See Robin Hood - "fell down
           by his lere."
     Let: hinder.  Letting: hindrance.
     Lewte: loyalty.
     Lift: sky.
     Linde: lime-tree.
     Linn: torrent; also the pool under a torrent of water.
     Lithe: listen. Icelandic - alyoa, to listen.
     Liveray: what is 'livre,' or delivered, as a 'livree' of clothes,
     food, etc.
     Lodge: dwelling in a forest, as originally made of boughs and leaves.
     Lough: laughed.
     Lourdain: blockhead.
     Lown: loon, dull, base fellow.
     Makis: husbands.
     Male: bag.
     Manople: a large gauntlet protecting hand and fore-arm.
     March parti: border side.
     Masars: bowls or goblets.
     May: maid.
     Meany: meynie: body of retainers, or domestic following.
     Meet: narrow. First English - maete, little.
     Met: mete: measured.
     Mister: need.
     Mo: more.
     Mort: the note sounded at death of the deer.
     Mote I thee: May I thrive. First English - theon, to thrive.
     Mote: meeting for decision of cases in ecclesiastical or civil law, or
           for other public purposes, as ward-mote, etc. Strong men were
           said to oppress the weak by being "mighty to mote."
     Nicher: neigh.
     Numbles: liver, kidneys, etc. French - nombles. The word was
              often written in English umbles and humbles. The umbles,
              with skin, head, chine, and shoulders of the deer, were
              the keepers' share in the brittling.  There was a receipt
              for "umble pie" in the old cookery. To "eat humble pie"
              was to dine with the servants instead of from the
              haunch at the high table.
     Okerer: usurer.
     Pace: pass.
     Pay: satisfaction. The old sense of the word in the phrase "it
          does not pay"--does not give satisfaction. A man could be
          served "to his pay," meaning in a way that satisfied or
          pleased him.
     Pieces: drinking-cups.
     Pluck-buffet: whichever made a bad shot drew on himself a buffet from
                   his competitor.
     Prest: ready. Prestly: readily. French - pret.
     Prief: proof.
     Proseyla: Venus' shells, porcelain.
     Pye: coat a py: a rough coarse cloth. Dutch - py, or a coat made
          from it.  The word remains in our "pea-coat."
     Quarry: the skin of the deer on which entrails, etc. were piled as the
             dogs' share of the spoil. French - cuiree, from cuir, hide.
             To be distinguished from the quarry, a square bolt for
             the crossbow, or the quarry or squared stones, both from
             Latin - quadratus.
     Quh: = Wh.
     Quite: requite.
     Ray: striped cloth.
     Raikand: ranging.
     Rawe: row.
     Rede: counsel.
     Reve: plunder.
     Room: space or spacious. "The warldis room," the space of the
           world; or "The warld is room," the world is wide.
     Salved: saluted.
     Scheuch and syke: furrow and rill.
     Seid: seed.
     Shaw: covert of the wood.
     Shear: in different directions. First English - sciran, to divide.
     Shend: blame; shent: blamed.
     Shete: shoot.
     Shot-window: according to Ritson, is a window that opens and shuts.
     Sicker and sad: sure and firm.
     Sigh-clout: sieve-cloth.
     Somers: sumpter horses.
     Spleen, on the: in anger or discontent. The spleen was once
                     supposed to be the seat of anger and discontent.
     Spurn: strife, as a kicking against. "That tear began this spurn,"
            that rent began this strife.
     Stalworthy: stalwart.
     Stound: space of time.
     Stour: conflict.
     Stown: stolen.
     Suar: heavy. First English - swaer.
     Tarpe: probably a misprint for targe. In the Promptorium Parvulorum we
            have the "Targe, or chartyr--carta."
     Tene: vexation, sorrow.
     Thee, mote I: may I thrive. See Mote.
     Threap: argue back pertinaciously.
     Throw: space of time.
     Tine: lose.
     Tirled: twirled.
     To-broke: "to" is intensive.
     Told: counted.
     Tone: the tone = that one, as the tother = that other; "that"
           being the old neuter of "the."
     Tray: surly, unwillingly. Icelandic - thra, obstinate. First English -
           thrafian, to blame.
     Tynde: horns of hart.
     Unketh: unknown, unexpected.
     Unneth: not easily.
     Voided: quitted the place.
     Wap: throw quickly.
     Weal: twist.
     Wed: pledge.
     Weird: fate.
     Well away: wo, alas, wo! First English - wa, eala, wa!
     Welt them: tumbled them over. First English waeltan, to roll or
     Wight: a being.
     Wite: wete: weet: know.
     Wone: crowd.
     Wonning wan: where is thy, in what direction is thy home? "Wan" is an
                  adverbial affix with the sense of Latin versus.
     Wood: wode: mad.
     Woolward: clothed only in wool.
     Wough: "wo and wough." First English - wo, wa, the cry of lament for
            evil.  Wough, First English - woh, is the evil done; the first
            sense of the word is a swerving from the right line, then wrong
            and evil.
     Y- and I- as prefix = the participial prefix ge- (g being pronounced
            like y before the weak vowel e). So y-dight: y-granted:
            y-slaw: I-nocked.
     Yede: yode: First English - eode, went.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Bundle of Ballads" ***

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