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The Theban knyghtes in compas rounde

aboute In the vale lay slayne, alle the hoole route, Which pitously ageyn the mone 2 gape; For non of hem, shortly, myght eskape, 1180 But dede 4 echon as thei han deserved, Save oon excepte, the which was reserved By Tydeus, of intencioun, To the kyng to make relacioun How his knyghtes han on her journe

spedde, 5 Everich of hem his lyf left for a wedde, And at the metyng how they han hem born; To tellen al he sured ? was and sworn To Tydeus, ful lowly on his khe.

5. “Buskel yee, bownel yee, my merry

men all,
For John shall goe with mee;
For I'le goe seeke yond wight yeomen

In greenwood where they bee."
6. They cast on their gowne of greene,

A shooting gone are they,
Until they came to the merry greenwood,

Where they had gladdest bee;
There were they ware of a wight yeoman,

His body leaned to a tree.

BALLADS

(Authors and Dates Unknown)

ROBIN HOOD AND GUY OF

GISBORNE

1. When shawes beene sheene, and

shradds 10 full fayre, And leeves both large and longe, It is merry, walking in the fayre fforrest,

To heare the small birds songe.

7. A sword and a dagger he wore by his side,

Had beene many a mans bane,
And he was cladd in his capull-hyde, 2

Topp, and tayle, and mayne. 30 8. "Stand you still, master," quoth Litle

John, “Under this trusty tree, And I will goe to yond wight yeoman,

To know his meaning trulye.”
9. “A, John, by me thou setts noe store,

And that's a ffarley 3 thinge;
How offt send I my men beffore,

And tarry my-selfe behinde?
10. “It is noe cunning a knave to ken;

And a man but heare him speake. 40
And itt were not for bursting of my bowe,

John, I wold thy head breake."
II. But often words they breeden bale;

That parted Robin and John.
John is gone to Barnesdale,

The gates * he knowes eche one.

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12. And when hee came to Barnesdale,

Great heavinesse there hee hadd; He fiound two of his fellowes

Were slaine both in a slade,5

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13. And Scarlett a-ffoote flyinge was,

Over stockes and stone,
For the sheriffe with seven score men

Fast after him is gone.

14. “Yett one shoote I'le shoote,” sayes Litle

John, “With Crist his might and mayne; I'le make yond fellow that flyes soe fast

To be both glad and ffaine.”

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1 yew ? made ready 3 help * linden 5 astray

1 hour

2 wands

3 apart

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made ready ? careless 3 maiden 4 back-handed

1 also

2 hill

3 voice

4 released

53. But Robin hee hyed him towards Litle

John,
Hee thought hee wold loose him belive;?
The sheriffe and all his companye

Fast after him did drive.

They dyd owr Ynglyssh men grete

wrange,

To battell that were not bowyn.
5. Than spake a berne 1 upon the bent,

Of comforte that was not colde,
And sayd, “We have brente Northomber-

lond,
We have all welth in holde.

2

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6. “Now we have haryed all Bamborowe

schyre, All the welth in the world have wee; I rede we ryde to Newe Castell,

So styll and stalworthlye."
7. Upon the morowe,' when it was day,

The standerds schone' fulle bryght;
To the Newe Castell they toke the waye,

And thether they cam fulle ryght: 8. Syr Henry Perssy laye at the New Castell,

I tell yow wythowtten drede; 30 He had byn a march-man all hys dayes,

And kepte Barwyke upon Twede. 9. To the Newe Castell when they cam,

The Skottes they cryde on hyght: “Syr Hary Perssy, and thow byste within,

Com to the fylde, and fyght. 10. “For we have brente Northomberlonde,

Thy erytage good and ryght,
And syne 5 my logeyng I have take, 39

Wyth my brande dubbyd many a

57. Towards his house in Nottingham

He Med full fast away,
And soe did all his companye,
Not one behind did stay.

230 58. But he cold neither soe fast goe,

Nor away soe fast runn,
But Litle John, with an arrow broade,

Did cleave his heart in twinn.

THE BATTLE OF OTTERBURN

knyght.”

7

1. Yt felle abowght the Lamasse tyde,

Whan husbondes wynnes 5 ther haye, The dowghtye Dowglasse bowynd hym

to ryde,

In Ynglond to take a praye. 2. The yerlle of Fyffe, wythowghten stryffe,

He bowynd hym over Sulway;
The grete wolde ever to-gether ryde;

That raysse ? they may rewe for aye. 3. Over Hoppertope hyll they cam in,

And so down by Rodclyffe crage;
Upon Grene Lynton they lyghted dowyn,

Styrande 8 many a stage. 4. And boldely brente Northomberlond,

And haryed many a towyn; 1 hastened a quickly 3 help * clotted 5 dry got ready ?raid 8 arousing 'burned

II. Syr Harry Perssy cam to the walles,

The Skottyssch oste for to se,
And sayd, “And thow hast brente North-

omberlond,

Full sore it rewyth me. 12. “Yf thou hast haryed all Bamborowe

schyre,
Thow hast done me grete envye;
For the trespasse thow hast me done,

The tone 8 of us schall dye.” 13. “Where schall I byde the?” sayd the

Dowglas, “Or where wylte thow com to me?” 50 “At Otterborne, in the hygh way,

Ther mast thow well logeed be. man field 3 morrow * doubt 5 since 6 lodging 7 hostility 8 the one

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