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92. Here the old edition adds,--

'Redy the justice for to chaunce', (chase, C.)

93, Copland omits good.

94, will.

102, an, C.

105, thre.

108, sedes.

115, then.

121, brethen.

122, togyder, C.

127, sede.

132, made many a herte.

134, on, C.

139, was myd, R.

140, had, C.

141, many, C.

142, they, C.

147, thre, C.

155, evyll, R.

160, to.

162, abraide, R.

166, we.

167, theyr keys at, R.

172, And lyghtly as, R.


As they sat in Englyshe-wood, Under theyr trysty tre,[L2]

Them thought they herd a woman wepe,[L3]

But her they mought not se.

Sore then syghed the fayre Alyce, And sayde, "Alas that ever I sawe this daye!

For now is my dere husband slayne, Alas and wel a way!

"Myght I have spoken wyth hys dere brethren,[L9]

Or with eyther of them twayne, 10 [To let them know what him befell][L11]

My hart were out of payne!"[L12]

Cloudesle walked a lytle besyde, And loked under the grenewood linde; He was ware of hys wife and chyldren thre, 15 Full wo in hart and mynde.

"Welcome, wife," then sayde Wyllyam, "Under this trysty tre;[L18]

I had wende yesterday, by swete saynt John, Thou shulde me never have se."[L20] 20

"Now well is me," she sayde, "that ye be here, My hart is out of wo:"

"Dame," he sayde, "be mery and glad, And thank my brethren two."[L24]

"Hereof to speake," sayd Adam Bell, 25 "I-wis it is no bote; The meat that we must supp withall It runneth yet fast on fote."

Then went they down into a launde, These noble archares all thre, 30 Eche of them slew a hart of greece,[L31]

The best they could there se.

"Have here the best, Alyce my wife,"

Sayde Wyllyam of Cloudesle, "By cause ye so bouldly stod by me, 35 When I was slayne full nye."

Then went they to supper,[L37]

Wyth suche meat as they had, And thanked God of ther fortune; They were both mery and glad. 40

And when they had supped well, Certayne without any leace, Cloudesle sayd, "We wyll to our kyng, To get us a charter of peace.

"Alyce shall be at sojournyng,[L45] 45 In a nunry here besyde; My tow sonnes shall wyth her go, And ther they shall abyde.

"Myne eldest son shall go wyth me, For hym have I no care, 50 And he shall breng you worde agayn[L51]

How that we do fare."

Thus be these yemen to London gone, As fast as they might hye, Tyll they came to the kynges pallace, 55 Where they woulde nedes be.

And whan they came to the kynges courte, Unto the pallace gate, Of no man wold they aske no leave, But boldly went in therat. 60

They preced prestly into the hall, Of no man had they dreade; The porter came after and dyd them call, And with them began to chyde.

The ussher sayed, "Yemen, what wold ye haue? 65 I pray you tell me; You myght thus make offycers shent: Good syrs, of whence be ye?"

"Syr, we be outlawes of the forest, Certayne without any leace, 70 And hether we be come to our kyng, To get us a charter of peace."

And whan they came before the kyng, As it was the lawe of the lande, The[y] kneled downe without lettyng, 75 And eche held up his hand.

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