He prayed the people that was there, That they would styll stande, 250 "For he that shooteth for such a wager, Behoveth a stedfast hand."
Muche people prayed for Cloudesle, That hys lyfe saved myght be, And whan he made hym redy to shote, 255 There was many a weping eye.
Thus Cloudesle clefte the apple in two, That many a man myght se;[L258]
"Over gods forbode," sayde the kynge, "That thou shote at me! 260
"I geve the xviii. pence a day, And my bowe shalt thou beare, And over all the north countre, I make the chyfe rydere."
"And I geve the xvii. pence a day," said the quene, 265 "By god and by my fay; Come feche thy payment when thou wylt, No man shall say the nay.
"Wyllyam, I make the a gentelman, Of clothyng and of fe, 270 And thi two brethren yemen of my chambre, For they are so semely to se.
"Your sonne, for he is tendre of age, Of my wyne-seller shall he be, And whan he commeth to mannes estate, 275 Better avaunced shall he be.
"And, Wylliam, bring me your wife," said the quene, Me longeth her sore to se; She shal be my chefe gentelwoman, To governe my nursery." 280
The yemen thanketh them full curteously, And sayde, "To some bysshop wyl we wend, Of all the synnes that we have done To be assoyld at his hand."
So forth be gone these good yemen, 285 As fast as they myght hye, And after came and dwelled with the kynge, And dyed good men all thre.
Thus endeth the lives of these good yemen, God send them eternall blysse, 290 And all that with hande bowe shoteth, That of heaven may never mysse!
176, trusty, R.
177, there, C.
181, nowe, C.
184, drynke, R.
186. Another I wyll, R.
2, trusty, R.
3, they, R.
11, supplied from a modern edition.
12, put out, R.
18, thus, trusty, R.
45, at our, R.
51, you breng, R.
197. At what a butte now, wold ye shot. PERCY.
217-258. For remarks upon this passage in the story, see the preface to the ballad.
258. His son he did not nee. PERCY.
ROBIN HOOD AND GUY OF GISBORNE.
This ballad was derived from the Percy Manuscript, and is printed in the _Reliques_, i. 84 (ed. 1794), with some alterations by the Editor.
"As for Guy of Gisborne," says Ritson, "the only further memorial which has occurred concerning him is in an old satirical piece by William Dunbar, a celebrated Scottish poet of the fifteenth century, on one "Schir Thomas Nory," (MS. Maitland, p. 3, MMS. More, Ll. 5, 10,) where he is named along with our hero, Adam Bell, and other worthies, it is conjectured of a similar stamp, but whose merits have not, less fortunately, come to the knowledge of posterity.
"Was nevir WEILD ROBEINE under bewch, Nor yitt Roger of Clekkislewch, So bauld a bairne as he; GY OF GYSBURNE, na Allane Bell, Na Simones sones of Quhynsell, Off thocht war nevir so slie."
"Gisborne is a market town in the west riding of the county of York, on the borders of Lancashire."
When shaws beene sheene, and shradds full fayre,[L1]
And leaves both large and longe, Itt is merrye walkyng in the fayre forrest, To heare the small birdes songe.
The woodweele sang, and wold not cease, 5 Sitting upon the spraye, Soe lowde, he wakened Robn Hood, In the greenwood where he lay.
"Now, by my faye," sayd jollye Robn, "A sweaven I had this night; 10 I dreamt me of tow wight yemen,[L11]
That fast with me can fight.
"Methought they did mee beate and binde, And tooke my bowe mee froe; Iff I be Robin alive in this lande, 15 Ile be wroken on them towe."
"Sweavens are swift, master," quoth John, "As the wind that blowes ore a hill; For iff itt be never so loude this night, To-morrow itt may be still." 20
"Buske yee, bowne yee, my merry men all, And John shall goe with mee, For Ile goe seeke yond wight yeomen, In greenwood where they bee."[L24]
Then they cast on their gownes of grene, 25 And tooke theyr bowes each one; And they away to the greene forrest[L27]
A shooting forth are gone;
Until they came to the merry greenwood, Where they had gladdest bee; 30 There were they ware of a wight yeoman,[L31]
His body leaned to a tree.
A sword and a dagger he wore by his side, Of manye a man the bane; And he was clad in his capull hyde, 35 Topp and tayll and mayne.