A Bundle of Ballads


The Eighth Fytte.

"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.


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Chicago: Morley, Henry, 1822-1894, ed. Bowring, Edgar Alfred, 1826-1911, trans., "The Eighth Fytte.," A Bundle of Ballads in A Bundle of Ballads (London: George Routledge & Sons, 1891), Original Sources, accessed February 6, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8F83LBUC7WQLCJP.

MLA: . "The Eighth Fytte." A Bundle of Ballads, edited by Morley, Henry, 1822-1894, and translated by Bowring, Edgar Alfred, 1826-1911, in A Bundle of Ballads, Vol. 3, London, George Routledge & Sons, 1891, Original Sources. 6 Feb. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8F83LBUC7WQLCJP.

Harvard: (ed.) (trans.), 'The Eighth Fytte.' in A Bundle of Ballads. cited in 1891, A Bundle of Ballads, George Routledge & Sons, London. Original Sources, retrieved 6 February 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8F83LBUC7WQLCJP.