Sidor som bilder
[blocks in formation]

Than to be that day in the green wood slade
To meet with Little Johns arrowe.

But as it is said, when men be mett
Fyve can doe more than three,
The sheriffe hath taken little John,
And bound him fast to a tree.

Thou shalt be drawen by dale and downe,

And hanged hye on a hill.

But thou mayst fayle of thy purpose, quoth John,

If itt be Christ his will.

Let us leave talking of little John,

And thinke of Robin Hood,

How he is gone to the wight yeoman,
Where under the leaves he stood.

Good morrowe,

good fellowe, sayd Robin so fayre,

"Good morrowe, good fellow, quoth he."

Methinkes by this bowe thou beares in thy hande
A good archere thou sholdst bee.

I am wilfulle of my waye, quo' the yeman,
And of my morning tyde.

Ile lead thee through the wood, sayd Robin;
Good fellow, Ile be thy guide.




I seeke an outlawe, the straunger sayd,
Men call him Robin Hood;

Rather Ild meet with that proud outlawe
Than fortye pound soe good.

Now come with me, thou wighty yeman,


And Robin thou soone shalt see:

But first let us some pastime find

Under the greenwood tree.



First let us some masterye make

Among the woods so even,

We may chance to meet with Robin Hood
Here att some unsett steven.


They cutt them down two summer shroggs,hriebe

That grew both under a breere, briar de witke And sett them threescore rood in twaine

To shoote the prickes y-fere.


Leade on, good fellowe, quoth Robin Hood,

Leade on, I doe bidd thee.

Nay by my faith, good fellowe, hee sayd,

My leader thou shalt bee.


The first time Robin shot at the pricke,

He mist but an inch it froe;

The yeoman he was an archer good,
But he cold never shoote soe.

The second shoote had the wightye yeman,
He shot within the garlande;

But Robin he shott far better than hee,
For he clave the good pricke wande.

A blessing upon thy heart, he sayd;
Goode fellowe, thy shooting is goode;


[ocr errors]


For an thy hart be as good as thy hand,
Thou wert better than Robin Hoode.

Now tell me thy name, good fellowe, sayd he,
Under the leaves of lyne.

Nay by my faith, quoth bolde Robin,


Till thou have told me thine.

I dwell by dale and downe, quoth hee,
And Robin to take Ime sworne;

And when I am called by my right name
I am Guy of good Gisborne.


My dwelling is in this wood, sayes Robin,
By thee I set right nought:

I am Robin Hood of Barnèsdale,
Whom thou so long hast sought.

He that had neyther beene kithe nor kin,


Might have seen a full fayre sight,

To see how together these yeomen went

With blades both brownes and bright.

To see how these yeomen together they fought
Two howres of a summers day:


Yett neither Robin Hood nor sir Guy

Them fettled to flye away.

Robin was reachles on a roote, cach

And stumbled at that tyde;

And Guy was quicke and nimble with-all,
And hitt him ore the left side.

Ah deere Lady, sayd Robin Hood, thou,
Thou art but mother and may',

I think it was never mans destinye
To dye before his day.

Robin thought on our lady deere,

And soone leapt up againe,




8 The common epithet for a sword or other offensive weapon, in the old metrical romances, is brown: as "brown brand," or "brown sword: brown bill," &c., and sometimes even "bright brown sword." Chaucer applies the word rustie in the same sense; thus he describes the Reve:

"And by his side he bare a rustie blade.”

And even thus the god Mars:

Prol. ver. 620.

"And in his hand he had a rousty sword."

Test. of Cressid. 188. Spenser has sometimes used the same epithet: see Warton's Observ. vol. ii. p. 62. It should seem from this particularity, that our ancestors did not pique themselves upon keeping their weapons bright: perhaps they deemed it more honourable to carry them stained with the blood of their enemies.

And strait he came with a 'backward' stroke,
And he sir Guy hath slayne.

He took sir Guys head by the hayre,
And stuck itt upon his bowes end:
Thou hast beene a traytor all thy life,
Which thing must have an ende.

Robin pulled forth an Irish knife,
And nicked sir Guy in the face,
That he was never on woman born,

Cold tell whose head it was.



Saies, Lye there, lye there, now sir Guye,

And with me be not wrothe;

If thou have had the worst strokes at my hand,


Thou shalt have the better clothe.

Robin did off his gowne of greene,

And on sir Guy did throwe,

And hee put on that capull hyde, yet hide

That cladd him topp to toe.

The bowe, the arrowes, and little horne,

Now with me I will beare;

For I will away to Barnèsdale,


[blocks in formation]

For yonder I heare sir Guyes horne blowe,
And he hath slaine Robin Hoode.

Ver. 163, awkwarde. MS.

Yonder I heare sir Guyes horne blowe,
Itt blowes soe well in tyde,

And yonder comes that wightye yeoman,


Cladd in his capull hyde.

Come hyther, come hyther, thou good sir Guy,

Aske what thou wilt of mee.

o I will none of thy gold, sayd Robin,

Nor I will none of thy fee:


But now I have slaine the master, he sayes,

Let me goe strike the knave;

For this is all the rewarde I aske;

Nor noe other will I have.

Thou art a madman, said the sheriffe,


Thou sholdst have had a knightes fee:

But seeing thy asking hath beene soe bad,
Well granted it shale be.

[ocr errors]

When Little John heard his master speake,
Well knewe he it was his steven:
Now shall I be looset, quoth Little John,


With Christ his might in heaven.

Fast Robin hee hyed him to Little John,
He thought to loose him belive;

[ocr errors]

The sheriffe and all his companye


Fast after him can drive.

Stand abacke, stand abacke, sayd Robin;

Why draw you mee so neere?

Itt was never the use in our countryè,
Ones shrift another shold heere.

But Robin pulled forth an Irysh knife,

And losed John hand and foote,

And gave him sir Guyes bow into his hand,
And bade it be his boote.


« FöregåendeFortsätt »