Then John he took Guyes bow in his hand, 225 His boltes and arrowes eche one: When the sheriffe saw Little John bend his bow, He fettled him to be gone.
Towards his house in Nottingham towne He fled full fast away, 230 And soe did all the companye, Not one behind wold stay.
But he cold neither runne soe fast, Nor away soe fast cold ryde, But Litle John with an arrowe soe broad 235 He shott him into the backe-syde.
MS. 1, shales, for shaws.
27, 31, the.
THE BIRTH OF ROBIN HOOD.
"The following ballad was taken down by the Editor from the recitation of Mrs. Brown, and is here given without the alteration of a single word."--_Jamieson_, _Popular Ballads_, ii. 44.
Another version of the same is printed in the Appendix from Buchan's collections.
O Willie's large o' limb and lith, And come o' high degree; And he is gone to Earl Richard To serve for meat and fee.
Earl Richard had but ae daughter, 5 Fair as a lily flower; And they made up their love-contract Like proper paramour.
It fell upon a simmers nicht, Whan the leaves were fair and green, 10 That Willie met his gay ladie Intil the wood alane.
"O narrow is my gown, Willie, That wont to be sae wide; And gane is a' my fair colour, 15 That wont to be my pride.
"But gin my father should get word What's past between us twa, Before that he should eat or drink, He'd hang you o'er that wa. 20
"But ye'le come to my bower, Willie, Just as the sun goes down; And kep me in your arms twa, And latna me fa' down."
O whan the sun was now gane down, 25 He's doen him till her bower; And there, by the lee licht o' the moon, Her window she lookit o'er.
Intill a robe o' red scarlet She lap, fearless o' harm; 30 And Willie was large o' lith and limb, And keepit her in his arm.
And they've gane to the gude green-wood, And ere the night was deen, She's borne to him a bonny young son, 35 Amang the leaves sae green.
Whan night was gane, and day was come, And the sun began to peep, Up and raise the Earl Richard Out o' his drowsy sleep. 40
He's ca'd upon his merry young men, By ane, by twa, and by three, "O what's come o' my daughter dear, That she's nae come to me?
"I dreamt a dreary dream last night, 45 God grant it come to gude!
I dreamt I saw my daughter dear Drown in the saut sea flood.
"But gin my daughter be dead or sick, Or yet be stown awa, 50 I mak a vow, and I'll keep it true, I'll hang ye ane and a!"
They sought her back, they sought her fore, They sought her up and down; They got her in the gude green wood, 55 Nursing her bonny young son.
He took the bonny boy in his arms, And kist him tenderlie; Says, "Though I would your father hang, Your mother's dear to me." 60
He kist him o'er and o'er again; "My grandson I thee claim; And Robin Hood in gude green wood, And that shall be your name."
And mony ane sings o' grass, o' grass, 65 And mony ane sings o' corn; And mony ane sings o' Robin Hood, Kens little whare he was born.
It was na in the ha', the ha', Nor in the painted bower; 70 But it was in the gude green wood, Amang the lily flower.
ROSE THE RED, AND WHITE LILLY.
_Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, iii. 208.
This legend and the preceding are placed in this volume solely on account of the names given to the personages who figure in them. In character they have no affinity with the recognized circle of Robin Hood ballads. The story is of a more ancient cast, and also of a type common to the northern nations, and we have no doubt that Robin Hood and Little John were in the day of their popularity made to displace heroes of immemorial prescription, in order to give eclat to an old tale.
Of _Rose the Red, and White Lilly_, three versions have been published. The present is that of Scott, given "chiefly" from Mrs.
Brown's manuscript. Kinloch's is subjoined, and another, furnished by Buchan, is printed in the Appendix.
O Rose the Red, and White Lilly, Their mother deir was dead; And their father has married an ill woman, Wish'd them twa little guid.
But she had twa as gallant sons 5 As ever brake mans bread; And the tane o' them lo'ed her, White Lilly, And the tother Rose the Red.
O bigged hae they a bigly bour, Fast by the roaring strand; 10 And there was mair mirth in the ladyes bour, Nor in a' their fathers land.
But out and spak their step-mother, As she stood a little forebye-- "I hope to live and play the prank 15 Sall gar your loud sang lie."
She's call'd upon her eldest son, "Cum here, my son, to me: It fears me sair, my Bauld Arthur, That ye maun sail the sea." 20
"Gin sae it maun be, my deir mother, Your bidding I maun dee; But, be never waur to Rose the Red, Than ye hae been to me."
She's called upon her youngest son, 25 "Cum here, my son, to me: It fears me sair, my Brown Robin, That ye maun sail the sea."
"Gin it fear ye sair, my mother deir, Your bidding I shall dee; 30 But, be never waur to White Lilly, Than ye hae been to me."
"Now haud your tongues, ye foolish boys, For small sall be their part: They ne'er again sall see your face, 35 Gin their very hearts suld break."
Sae Bauld Arthur's gane to our king's court, His hie chamberlain to be; But Brown Robin, he has slain a knight, And to grene-woode he did flee. 40