They lowsed their arrowes both at once,[L105] 105 Of no man had they dread; The one hyt the justice, the other the sheryfe, That both theyr sides gan blede.[L108]
All men voyded, that them stode nye, When the justice fell downe to the grounde, 110 And the sherife fell nyghe hym by, Eyther had his deathes wounde.
All the citezens fast gan flye, They durst no longer abyde; Then lyghtly they loused Cloudesle,[L115] 115 When he with ropes lay tyde.
Wyllyam sterte to an officer of the towne, Hys axe out of hys hande he wronge, On eche syde he smote them downe, Hym thought he taryed all to long. 120
Wyllyam sayde to hys brethren two,[L121]
"Thys daye let us togyder lyve and dye;[L122]
If ever you have nede as I have now, The same shall you fynde by me."
They shot so well in that tyde, 125 For theyr stringes were of silke full sure, That they kept the stretes on every side:[L127]
That batayle dyd longe endure.
The[y] fought together as brethren tru, Lyke hardy men and bolde; 130 Many a man to the ground they thrue, And many a herte made colde.[L132]
But when their arrowes were all gon, Men preced on them full fast;[L134]
They drew theyr swordes then anone, 135 And theyr bowes from them cast.
They went lyghtlye on theyr way, Wyth swordes and buclers round; By that it was the myddes of the day,[L139]
They had made mani a wound.[L140] 140
There was many an out-horne in Caerlel blowen,[L141]
And the belles bacward did they ryng;[L142]
Many a woman sayd alas, And many theyr handes dyd wryng.
The mayre of Caerlel forth com was, 145 And with hym a ful great route; These thre yemen dred him full sore,[L147]
For of theyr lyues they stode in great doute.
The mayre came armed a full great pace, With a pollaxe in hys hande; 150 Many a strong man with him was, There in that stowre to stande.
The mayre smot at Cloudesle with his bil, Hys bucler he brust in two; Full many a yeman with great yll,[L155] 155 "Alas, treason!" they cryed for wo.
"Kepe we the gates fast" they bad, "That these traytours thereout not go."
But al for nought was that they wrought, For so fast they downe were layde,[L160] 160 Tyll they all thre, that so manfulli fought, Were gotten without at a braide.[L162]
"Have here your keys," sayd Adam Bel, "Myne office I here forsake; Yf you do by my councell, 165 A new porter do ye make."[L166]
He threw the keys there at theyr heads,[L167]
And bad them evell to thryve, And all that letteth any good yeman To come and comfort hys wyfe. 170
Thus be these good yemen gon to the wod, As lyght as lefe on lynde;[L172]
They lough and be mery in theyr mode, Theyr ennemyes were ferre behynd.
When they came to Englyshe wode, 175 Under the trysty tre,[L176]
There they found bowes full good,[L177]
And arrowes full great plentye.
"So God me help," sayd Adam Bell, And Clym of the Clough so fre, 180 "I would we were nowe in mery Caerlel,[L181]
Before that fayre meyny."
They set them downe and made good chere, And eate and drank full well:[L184]
Here is a fet of these wyght yong men, 185 And another I shall you tell.[L186]
7, wonderous. R. (RITSON.)
12, come nowe. R.
15, seales. R.
20, R. omits faste.
24, come ryght. R.
29, none. R.
30, Be ... upon. R.
47, knows, R.
53, a, C. (COLLIER.)
67, in, R.
68, in, C.
71, squyers, R.
74, bounde, C.
76, to hang, R.
79, good, C.
87, that, C.
90, brethen; Copland omits stande.