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But thou mayft fayle of thy purpose, quoth John,

If it be Christ his will.

Lett 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, fayd Robin fo fayre,

“ Good morrowe, good fellow, quo' he:" Methinkes by this bowe thou beares in thy hande 95

A good archere thou sholdft bee.

I am wilfulle of my waye, quo' the yeman,

And of my morning tyde.
Ile lead thee through the wood, fayd Robin ;

Good fellow, Ile be thy guide.

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I seeke an outlàwe, the ftraunger fayd,

Men call him Robin Hood;
Rather Ild meet with that proud outlàwe

Than fortye pound foe 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 fome masterye make

Among the woods so even,
We may chance to meete with Robin Hood

Here at some unsett steven.

They cutt them down two summer shroggs,

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

To shoote the prickes y-fere.


Leade on, good fellowe, quoth Robin Hood,

Leade on, I do bidd thee.
Nay by my faith, good fellowe, hee fayd,

My leader thou shalt bee.

I 20

The first time Robin shot at the pricke,

He mift but an inch it fro:
The yeoman he was an archer good,

But he cold never do soe.


The second shoote had the wightye yeman,

He shot within the garland :
But Robin he shott far better than hee,

For he clave the good pricke wande.


A blefling upon thy heart, he fayd;

Good fellowe, thy shooting is goode; For an thy hart be as good as thy hand,

Thou wert better than Robin Hoode,

Now tell me thy name, good fellowe, fayd 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 haft fought.


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 browne * and bright.


* The common epithet for a sword or other offensive weapon, in the old metrical romances, is Brown. As " brown brand,or breton sword: brown bill,&c. and sometimes even bright brown fuord." Chaucer applies the word RUSTIE in the same sense; ibus be describes be REVE: “ Und by his side he bare A 'rustie vlade."

Pral. ver. 620. And even thus the God MARS : « And in his hand he had a rousty sword,”

Teft. of Crillid, 188. Spencer kas sometimes used the same epitbet: See Warton's Cbsei v. adl. 2. p. 62. It should fiem from this particularity that our ancefiors aid mot pique themselves upon keeping their weapons bright: perhaps try deemed it more bonourable to carry them fiained zeiibike bloed of thir enemies.

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

150 Yett neither Robin Hood nor fir Guy

Them fettled to Hye away.

Robin was reachles on a roote,

And stumbled at that tyde ;
And Guy was quicke and nimble with-all,

And hitt him upon the fyde.


Ah deere Ladye, fayd Robin Hood tho,

That art but mother and may',
I think it was never mans destinye

To dye before his day.


Robin thought on our ladye deere,

And foone leapt up againe,
And strait he came with a 'backward' ftroke,

And he fir Guy hath flayne.


He took fir Guys head by the hayre,

And stuck it upon his bowes end : Thou hast beene a traytor all thy life,

Which thing must have an end.

Robin pelled forth an Irish knife,

And nicked fir Guy in the face, That he was never on woman born,

Cold know whose head it was.



Ver. 163. awkwarde. MS.

Sayes, Lye there, lye there, now fir Guye,

And with me be not wrothe; Iff thou have had the worst strokes at my hand, 175

Thou shalt have the better clothe.

Robin did off his gowne of greene,

And on fir Guy did throwe, And hee put on that capull hyde,

That cladd him topp to toe.


Thy bowe, thy arrowes, and litle horne,
Now with me I will beare

; For I will away to Barnèsdale,

To see how my men doe fare.


Robin Hood sett Guyes horne to his mouth,

And a loud blast in it did blow.
That beheard the sheriffe of Nottingham,

As he leaned under a lowc.

Hearken, hearken, fayd the sheriffe,

I heare nowe tydings good,
For yonder I heare fir Guyes horne blow,

And he hath saine Robin Hoode,


Yonder I heare fir Guyes horne blowe,

Itt blowes foe well in tyde,
And yonder comes that wightye yeoman,

Cladd in his capull hyde.



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