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Goe fetch him downe the Eldridge sworde, Then giving her one partinge looke,
He closed his eyes in death,
| Ere Christabelle, that ladye milde, My daughter is thy meede.
Began to draw her breathe. The gyaunt he stepped into the lists,
But when she founde her comelye knighte
Indeed was dead and gone,
She layd her pale cold cheeke to his,
And thus she made her moane : Then forth the stranger knighte he came
O staye, my deare and onlye lord, In his blacke armoure dight:
For me thy faithful feere ;
'Tis meet that I shold followe thee, The ladye sighed a gentle sighe, “ That this were my true knighte!"
Who hast bought my love soe deare. And now the gyaunt and knighte be mett
Then fayntinge in a deadly swoune, Within the lists so broad :
And with a deep-fette sighe
| That burst her gentle heart in twayne, And now with swordes so sharp of steele,
Fayre Christabelle did dye.
§ 104. Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne. That made him reele asyde: Then woe-begone was that faire ladye,
" In this time (about the year 1190, in the reign of
Richard I.) were many robbers and out-lawes, among And thrice she deeply sighde.
the which' Robin Hood and Little John, renowned The soldan strucke a second stroke,
theeves, continued in woods, despoyling and robbing And made the bloude to flowe:
the goods of the rich. They killed 'none but such as All pale and wan was that ladye fayre,
would invade them; or by resistance for their own deAnd thrice she wept for woe.
“ The said Robert entertained an hundred tall men and The soldan strucke a third fell stroke,
good archers with such spoiles and thefts as he got, Which brought the knighte on his knee; upon-whom four hundred (were they ever so strong) Sad sorrow pierced that ladyes heart,
durst not give the onset. He suffered no woman to And she shriekt loud shriekings three.
be oppressed, violated, or otherwise molested; poore
men's goods he spared, abundantlie relieving thein The knighte he leapt upon his feete,
with that, which by theft he got from abbeys and the All recklesse of the paine;
houses of rich carles; whom Maior the historian Quoth he, But heaven be now my speede, blameth for his rapine and thefi, but of all theeves he Or else I shall be slaine.
affirmeth him to be the prince and the most gentle He grasped his sword with mayne and mighte,
theefe." Stowe's Annals, p. 159. And spying a secrette part,
'Whan shaws beene sheene, and shraddes full He drave it into the soldan's syde,
fayre, And pierced him to the heart.
And leaves both large and longe,
Itt's merrye walkyng in the fayre forrest
To hear the small birdes songe.
The woodweele sang, and wold not cease, That had reskewed her from thrall.
Sitting upon the spraye,
So lowde, he wakened Robin Hood,
In the greenwood where he lay.
Now by my faye, said jollye Robin,
A sweaven l' had this night;
I dreanit me of tow wighty yemen, Bat he for paine and lacke of bloude
That fast with me gan fight. Was fallen into a swounde,
Methought they did me beat and binde, And there all waltering in his gore,
And tooke my bowe me froe; Lay lifelesse on the grounde.
Iff I be Robin alive in this lande, Come downe, come downe, my daughter deare, Ile be wroken on them towe. Thou art a leeche of skille;
Sweavens are swift, sayd Lyttle John, Farre lever had I lose half my landes,
As the wind blowes over the hill; Than this good knighte sholde spille. For iff it be never so loude this night, Down then stepped that faire ladyè,
To-morrow it may be still. To helpe him if she waye;
Buske yee, bowne yee, my merry men all, But when she did his beavere raise,
And John shall goe with mee, It is my life, my lord, she sayes,
For Ile goe seeke yond wighty yeomen, And shriekte and swound awaye.
In greenwood where they bee. Sir Cauline juste lifte up his eyes
They then cast on theyr gownes-of grene, When he heard his ladye crye:
And took theyr bowes each one; O ladye, I am thine owne true love;
| And they away to the grene forrest For thee I wisht to dye.
A shooting forth are gone;
Untill they came to the merry greenwood,
Lett us leave talking of Little John, Where they had gladdest to bee :
And thinke of Robin Hood, There they were ware of a wight yeoman,
How he is gone to the wight yeomàn, shat leaned against a tree..
Where under the leaves he stood. A sworde and a dagger he wore by his side, Good morrow, good fellowe, sayd Robin 58 Of manye a man the bane;
fayre, And he was clad in his capull hyde
Good morrow, good fellow, quo he: Top and tayll and mayne.
Methinks, by this bowe thou beares in the Stand still, master, quoth Lyttle John,
hande, Under this tree so green,
A good archere thou sholdst bee. And I will go to yond wight yeoman
I am wilfulle of my waye, quo' the yeman, To know what he doth meane.
And of my morning tyde. Ah! John, by me thou settest noe store, Ile lead thee through the wood, sayd Robin: And that I farley finde:
Good fellow, lle be thy guide. How often send I my men before,
I seeke an outlàwe, the straunger sayd, And tarry myselfe behinde?
Men call him Robin Hood; It is no cunning a knave to ken,
Rather I'd meet with that proud outlawe An a man but heare him speake;
Than fortye pound soe good.
Now come with me, thou wighty yeman,
And Robin thou soone shalt see: As often wordes they breeden bale,
But first let us some pastiine find
Under the greenwood tree.
First let us soine masterye make
Among the woods so even, Great heavinesse there hee hadd,
We may chance to meet with Robin Hood For he found tow of his owne fellowes
Here at some unsett steven. Were slaine both in a slade,
| They cut them down two summer shroges, And Scarlette he was flying a-foote
That grew both under a breere, Fast over stocke and stone,
And set them threescore rood in twaine For the proud sheriffe with seven score men
To shoote the prickes y-fere. Fast after him is gone.
Leade on, good fellowe, quoth Robin Hood, One shoote now I will shoote, quoth John, Leade on, I do bidd thee. With Christ his might and mayne;
Nay by my faith, good fellowe, hee sayd,
The first time Robin shot at the pricke,
The yeoman he was an archer good,
But he cold never do soe. And fell downe at his foote.
| The second shoote had the wightye yeman, Woe worth, woe worth thee, wicked wood, He shot within the garland? That ever thou grew on a tree;
But Robin he shot far better than hee, For now this day thou art my bale,
For he clave the good prick-wande. My boote when thou shold bee.
A blessing upon thy heart, he sayd; His shoote it was but loosely shott,
Goode fellowe, thy shooting is goode; Yet flew not the arrowe in vaine,
For an thy heart be as good as thy hand, For it mett one of the sheriffes men,
Thou wert better than Robin Hood. And William a Trent was slaine.
Now tell me thy name, good fellowe, sayd be, It had bene better of William a Trent
Under the leaves of lyne.
Nay by my faith, quoth bolde Robin,
Till thou have told me thine.
I dwelle by dale and downe, quoth hee,
And Robin to take Ime sworne; The sheriffe hath taken Little John,
And when I am called by my right name And bound him fast to a tree.
I am Guy of good Gisborne. Thou shalt be drawen by dale and downe, My dwelling is in this wood, says Robin, And hanged hye on a hill.
By thee I set right nought: But thou mayst fayle of thy purpose, quoth I am Robin Hood of Barnesdale, If it be Christ his will.
[John, l Whom thou so long has sought. * Ways, passes, paths.
He that had neyther been kithe nor kin, Thou art a madman, sayd the sheriffe,
Thou sholdst have had a knightes fee : To see how together these yeomen went But seeing thy asking hath beene soe bad, With blades both browne and bright:
Well granted it shall bee. To see how these yeomen together they fought,
When Little John heard his master speake, Two howres of a summer's day:
Well knew he it was his steven : Yet neither Robin Hood nor Sir Guy
Now shall I bee looset, quoth Little John, Them fettled to fly awaye.
With Christ his mighi in heaven. Robin was reachles on a roote,
Fast Robin hee hyed him to Little John,
He thought to loose him blive;
The sheriffe and all his companye
Fast after him gan drive.
Stand abacke, stand abacke, sayd Robin; Ah deere Ladye, said Robin Hood, thou
Why draw you me so neere? That art both mother and may,
Itt was never the use in our countryè, I think it was never mans destinye
Ones shrift another shold heere. To dye before his day.
But Robin pulled forth an Irysh knife, Robin thought on our Ladye deere,
And losed John hand and foote, And soon leapt up againe;
And gave him Sir Guyes bow into his hand, And strait he came with a backward stroke,
And bade it be his boote. And he Sir Guy hath slayne.
Then John he took Guyes bow in his hand, He took Sir Guys head by the hayre,
His bolts and arrowes eche one; And stuck it upon his bowes end :
When the sheriffe saw Little John bend his bow, Thou hast been a traytor all thy life,
He fettled him to be gone. Which thing must have an end.
Towards his house in Nottingham towne Robin pulled forth an Irysh knife,
He fled full fast away: And nicked Sir Guy in the face,
And so did all the coinpanye: That he was never on woman born
Not one behind wold stay.
But he cold neither runne soe fast,
But Little John with an arrowe soe broad, Iff thou have had the worst strokes at my hand, He shott him into the backe-syde.
Thou shalt have the better clothe. Robin did off his gowne of greene, And on Sir Guy did throwe,
$ 105. Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough, and And he put on that capull hyde,
William of Cloudesly. That clad him topp to toe.
| They were three noted outlaws, whose skill in archery Thy bowe, thy arrows, and little horne,
rendered them formerly as famous in the North of Now with me I will beare;
England, as Robin Hood and his fellows were in the For I will away to Barnesdale,
midland counties. Their place of residence was in the To see how my men doe fare.
forest of Englewood, not far from Carlisle (called cor
ruptly in the ballad English-wood, whereas Engle or Robin Hood sett Guys horne to his mouth, Ingle wood signifies wood for firing). At what time And a loud blast in it did blow,
they lived does not appear. The author of the comThat beheard the sheriffe of Nottingham,
mon ballad on the pedigree, education, and mar.
riage, of Robin Hood, makes the contemporary As he leaned under a lowe.
with Robin Hood's father, in order to give hin the Hearken, hearken, sayd the sheriffe,
honor of beating them; viz. I heare nowe tydings good,
The father of Robin a forester was, For yonder I hear Sir Guyes horne blowe, And be shot in a lusty long bow And he hath slaine Robin Hoode.
Two north-country miles and an inch at a shot,
As the pinder of Wakeheld does know; Yonder I heare Sir Guyes herne blowe,
For he brought Adam Bell, and Clim of the Clough, Itt blowes soe well in tyde;
And William of Clowdèslee,
And our forester beat them all three.
Collect. of Old Ballads, 1727, 1st vol. p. 67. Aske what thou wilt of mee.
This seems to prove that they were commonly thought 0 I will none of thy gold, sayd Robin,
to have lived before the popular hero of Sherwood. Nor I will none of thy fee :
I have only to add further concerning the principal hero
of this ballad, that the Bells were noted rogues in the But now I have slaine the master, he sayes, north so late as the time of Q. Elizabeth. See, in Lett me goe strike the knave;
Rymer's Fædera, a letter from Lord William Howard For this is all the meede I aske,
to some of the officers of state, wherein he mentions None other reward Ile have.
Part the First.
There lay an old wyfe in that place,
A lytle besyde the fyre,
Whych Wyllyam had found of charytyè
More than seven yere.
Up she rose, and forth she goes,
Evel mote she spede therefoore; Suche sightes hath ofte bene sene;
For she had not set no fote on ground As by thre yemen of the north countrèy,
In seven yere before. By them it is I meane.
She went unto the justice-hall, The one of them hight Adam Bel,
As fast as she could hye : The other Clym of the Clough*,
Thys night is come unto thys town The thyrd was Williamn of Cloudesly,
Wyllyam of Cloudeslyè. An archer good ynough.
Thereof the justice was full fayne, They were outlawed for venyson,
And so was the sherife also: These yemen everchone ;
Thou shalt not trauaill hither, dame, for nought, They swore them brethren upon a day,
Thy mede thou shalt have or thou go. To Englyshe wood for to gone.
They gave to her a ryght good goune Now lith and lysten, gentylmen,
Of scarlate and of graine : That of myrthe loveth to here :
She toke the gyfte, and home she wente, Two of them were single men,
And couched her downe agayne, The third had a wedded fere.
They rysed the towne of mery Carleile Wyllyam was the wedded man,
In all the haste they can; Muche more than was hys care:
And came thronging to Wyllyames house, He sayde to hys brethren upon a day,
As fast as they might gone. To Carleil he wold fare;
Theyre they besette that good yemàn For to speke with fayre Alyce his wife,
About on every side : And with hys children thre.
Wyllyam hearde great noyse of folkes,
That theytherward they hyed.
Alyce opened a back wyndow,
And toked all aboute:
She was ware of the justice and shirife bothe, Your lyfe were at an ende.
Wyth a full great route. If that I come not to-morrow, brother,
Alas! treason, cryed Alyce, By pryme to you agayne,
Ever wo may thou be! Truste not els but that I am take,
Goe into my chamber, husband, she sard, Or else that I am slayne.
Sweet Wyllyam of Cloudeslè. He took his leave of his brethren two,
He toke hys sweard and hys bucler, And to Carleil he is gon:
Hys bow and hys chyldren thre, Theyre he knocked at his owne windowe, And wente into hys strongest chamber, Shortly and anone,
Where he thought surest to be. Wher be you, fayre Alyce my wyfe,
Fayre Alyce, lik a lover true, And my chyldren thre?
Took a pollaxe in her hande : Lyghtly let in thine owne husbande,
He shal be dead that here commeth in Wyllyam of Cloudeslè.
Thys dore, whyle I may stand. Alas! then sayde fayre Alyce, je
| Cloudeslè bente a wel-good bowe, And syghed wonderous sore,
That was of trusty tre: Thys place hath ben besette for you
He smot the justice on the brest, · Thys halfe yere and more.
That hys arowe brest in three. Now am I here, said Cloudeslè,
A curse on his harte, said William, I wold that in I were:
Thys day thy cote dyd on! Now fetche us meate and drynke ynoughe,
If it had ben no better than myne,
It had gone nere thy bone.
Thy bowe and thy arrowes the fro.
| A curse on hys hart, said fair Alyce, Whome she loved as her lyfe.
That my husband concelleth so. • Clym of the Clongh, means Clem. (Clement) of the Valley; for so Clough signifies in the Narata
Set fyre on the house, saide the sherife, That lytle boye was the towne swyne-heard, Syth it wyll no better be,
And kept fayre Alyces swine: And brenne we therein Williamı, he saide, Oft he had seene Cloudesle in the woodes Hys wyfe and chyldren-thre.
And geuend hym there to dyne. They fyred the house in many a place;
He went out att a crevis in the wall, The fyre flew up on hye: .
And lightly to the wood dyde gone; Alas! then cryed fair Alyce,
There met he with these wightye yemen I se we here shall dy.
Shortly and anone. William openyd a back wyndòw,
Alas! then sayde that lytle boye, That was in hys chamber hie,
Ye tary here all to longe; And wyth shetes let downe his wyfe,
Cloudesle is taken, and dampned to death, And eke hys chyldren thre.
All readye for to honge. Have here my treasure, sayde William,
Alas! then sayd good Adam Bell, My wyfe and my chyldren thre:
That ever we see thys daye ! For Christès love do them no harme,
He had better with us have taryed, But wreke you all on me.
So ofte as we dyd hym praye.
He myght have dwellyd in grene foreste, Wyllyam shot so wonderous well,
Under the shadowes grene, Tyll hys arrowes were all agoe,
And have kept both hym and us in reste, And the fyre so fast upon hym fell, That hys bowstryng brent in two.
Out of trouble and teene.
Adam bent a ryghte good bow, The sparkles brent and fell upon
A great hart sone had he slayne: Good Wyllyam of Cloudesle:
Take that, chylde, he sayde, to thy dynner, Then he was a wofull man, and sayde,
And bryng me myne arrowe agayne. Thys is a cowardes death to ine.
Now go we hence, sayde these wightye yeomen, Lever had I, sayde Wyllyam,
Tary we no lenger here; With my sworde in the route to renne, | We shall hym borowe by God his grace, Then here among myne enemyes wode
Though we bye it full 'dere. Thus cruelly to bren.
To Carleil wente these good yemen, He toke hys sweard and hys buckler,
In a merry mornynge of Maye.
Here is a Fyt* of Cloudeslye,
And another is for to saye.
Part the Second.
And in the mornynge tyde,
About on every side.
That ever we were made men!
These gates be shut so wonderous wel, Thou shalt be hanged in hast.
We may not come here in. A payre of new gallowes, sayd the sherife,
Then bespake him Clym of the Clough, Now shall I for the make;
Wyth a wyle we wyl us in bryng:
Let us saye we be messengers, And the gates of Carleil shal be shutte,
Streyght come nowe from our king.
Adam sayd, I have a letter written,
We wyl saye we have the knyges seals;
1 holde the porter no clerke. Nor all the devels in hell.
Then Adam Bell bete on the gate, Early in the mornynge the justice uprose, With strokes great and strong; To the gates first gan he gon,
The porter herde such noyse therat, And commaundeth he to be shut full close And to the gate he throng. Lightilè everychone.
| Who is there nowe, sayde the porter, Then went he to the markett place,
I That maketh all thys dinne? As fast as he could hye;
Webe towmessengers, sayde Clim oftheClough, A payre of new gallous there he set up
Be come ryght from our kyng. Besyde the pyllorye.
We have a letter, sayde Adam Bel, A lyttle boy among them asked,
To the justice we must it bryng: What meaneth that gallow-tree ?
Let us in our message to do, They sayde, To hang a good yeamàn,
That we were agayne to the kyng. Called Wyllyam of Cloudeslè.