186. A wys, W. For that shall be his fyne, C.
192, good whyte, W. lilly white, C.
234. Your, Ritson.
246. And therto sent I me, W.
THE EIGHTH FYTTE.
"Haste thou ony grene cloth," sayd our kynge, "That thou wylte sell now to me?"
"Ye, for god," sayd Robyn, "Thyrty yerdes and thre."
"Robyn," sayd our kynge, 5 "Now pray I the, To sell me some of that cloth, To me and my meyne."
"Yes, for god," then sayd Robyn,[L9]
"Or elles I were a fole; 10 Another day ye wyll me clothe,[L11]
I trowe, ayenst the Yole."[L12]
The kynge kest of his cote then, A grene garment he dyde on, And every knyght did so, i-wys,[L15] 15 They clothed them full soone.[L16]
Whan they were clothed in Lyncolne grene, They kest away theyr graye; "Now we shall to Notyngham,"
All thus our kynge gan say. 20
Theyr bowes bente and forth they went, Shotynge all in-fere, Towarde the towne of Notyngham, Outlawes as they were.
Our kynge and Robyn rode togyder, 25 For soth as I you say, And they shote plucke-buffet, As they went by the way.
And many a buffet our kynge wan Of Robyn Hode that day; 30 And nothynge spared good Robyn Our kynge in his pay.
"So god me helpe," sayd our kynge, "Thy game is nought to lere; I sholde not get a shote of the, 35 Though I shote all this yere."
All the people of Notyngham They stode and behelde; They sawe nothynge but mantels of grene That covered all the felde. 40
Than every man to other gan say, "I drede our kynge be slone; Come Robyn Hode to the towne i-wys, On lyve he leveth not one."[L44]
Full hastly they began to fle, 45 Both yemen and knaves, And olde wyves that myght evyll goo, They hypped on theyr staves.
The kynge loughe full fast,[L49]
And commanded theym agayne; 50 When they se our comly kynge, I-wys they were full fayne.
They ete and dranke, and made them glad, And sange with notes hye; Than bespake our comly kynge 55 To syr Rycharde at the Lee.
He gave hym there his londe agayne, A good man he bad hym be; Robyn thanked our comly kynge, And set hym on his kne. 60
Had Robyn dwelled in the kynges courte But twelve monethes and thre, That he had spent an hondred pounde, And all his mennes fe.
In every place where Robyn came 65 Evermore he layde downe, Both for knyghtes and for squyres, To gete hym grete renowne.
By than the yere was all agone He had no man but twayne, 70 Lytell Johan and good Scathelocke, Wyth hym all for to gone.
Robyn sawe yonge men shote, Full fayre upon a day;[L74]
"Alas!" than sayd good Robyn,[L75] 75 "My welthe is went away.
"Somtyme I was an archere good, A styffe and eke a stronge; I was commytted the best archere That was in mery Englonde. 80
"Alas!" then sayd good Robyn, "Alas and well a woo!
Yf I dwele lenger with the kynge, Sorowe wyll me sloo."
Forth than went Robyn Hode 85 Tyll he came to our kynge; "My lorde the kynge of Englonde, Graunte me myn askynge.
"I made a chapell in Bernysdale, That semely is to se, 90 It is of Mary Magdalene, And thereto wolde I be.
"I myght never in this seven nyght No tyme to slepe ne wynke, Nother all these seven dayes 95 Nother ete ne drynke.
"Me longeth sore to Bernysdale, I may not be therfro; Barefote and wolwarde I have hyght Thyder for to go." 100
"Yf it be so," than sayd our kynge, "It may no better be; Seven nyght I gyve the leve, No lengre, to dwell fro me."
"Gramercy, lorde," then sayd Robyn, 105 And set hym on his kne; He toke his leve full courteysly, To grene wode then went he.
Whan he came to grene wode, In a mery mornynge, 110 There he herde the notes small Of byrdes mery syngynge.
"It is ferre gone," sayd Robyn, "That I was last here; Me lyste a lytell for to shote 115 At the donne dere."
Robyn slewe a full grete harte, His horne than gan he blow, That all the outlawes of that forest, That horne coud they knowe 120
And gadred them togyder, In a lytell throwe; Seven score of wight yonge men Came redy on a rowe,
And fayre dyde of theyr hodes, 125 And set them on theyr kne: "Welcome," they sayd, "our mayster, Under this grene wode tre."
Robyn dwelled in grene wode Twenty yere and two; 130 For all drede of Edwarde our kynge, Agayne wolde he not goo.
Yet he was begyled, i-wys, Through a wycked woman, The pryoresse of Kyrkesly,[L135] 135 That nye was of hys kynne;
For the love of a knyght, Syr Roger of Donkester,[L138]
That was her owne speciall, Full evyll mote they fare.[L140] 140
They toke togyder theyr counsell Robyn Hode for to sle, And how they myght best do that dede, His banis for to be.
Than bespake good Robyn, 145 In place where as he stode, "Tomorow I muste to Kyrkesley, Craftely to be leten blode."
Syr Roger of Donkestere, By the pryoresse he lay, 150 And there they betrayed good Robyn Hode, Through theyr false playe.
Cryst have mercy on his soule, That dyed on the rode!
For he was a good outlawe, 155 And dyde pore men moch god.
9, good, OCC.