The King has ta'en Robin by the hand, And bade him nothing dread, 230 But quit for aye the gude grene-wood, And come to the court wi' speed.
The King has ta'en White Lilly's son, And set him on his knee; Says, "Gin ye live to wield a brand, 235 My bowman thou sall be."
Then they have ta'en them to the holy chapelle, And there had fair wedding; And when they cam to the King's court, For joy the bells did ring. 240
THE WEDDING OF ROBIN HOOD AND LITTLE JOHN.
From Kinloch's _Ancient Scottish Ballads_, p. 69.
The King has wedded an ill woman, Into some foreign land; His daughters twa, that stood in awe, They bravely sat and sang.
Then in be-came their step-mother, 5 Sae stately steppin' ben; "O gin I live and bruik my life, I'll gar ye change your tune."
"O we sang ne'er that sang, ladie, But we will sing again; 10 And ye ne'er boor that son, ladie, We wad lay our love on.
"But we will cow our yellow locks, A little abune our bree; And we will on to gude green-wud, 15 And serve for meat and fee.
"And we will kilt our gay claithing A little below the knee; And we will on the gude green-wud, Gif Robin Hood we see. 20
"And we will change our ain twa names, When we gae frae the toun,-- The tane we will call Nicholas, The tither Rogee Roun."
Then they hae cow'd their yellow locks, 25 A little abune their bree; And they are on to gude green-wud To serve for meat and fee.
And they hae kilt their gay claithing A little below their knee, 30 And they are on to gud green-wud, Gif Robin Hood they see.
And they hae chang'd thair ain twa names, When they gaed frae the toun;-- The tane they've called Nicholas, 35 The tither Rogee Roun.
And they hae staid in gude green-wud, And never a day thoucht long, Till it fell ance upon a day, That Rogee sang a sang. 40
"When we were in our fathers bouer, We sew'd the silken seam; But now we walk the gude green-wud, And bear anither name.
"When we were in our fathers ha', 45 We wore the beaten gold; But now we wear the shield sae sharp, Alas! we'll die with cold!"
Then up bespake him Robin Hood, As he to them drew near; 50 "Instead of boys to carry the bow, Twa ladies we've got here."
So they had not been in gud green-wud, A twalmonth and a day, Till Rogee Roun was as big wi' bairn 55 As onie lady could gae.
"O wae be to my stepmother, That garr'd me leave my hame, For I'm wi' bairn to Robin Hood, And near nine month is gane. 60
"O wha will be my bouer-woman?
Na bouer-woman is here!
O wha will be my bouer-woman, Whan that sad time draws near?
The tane was wedded to Robin Hood, 65 And the tither to Little John; And it was a' owing to their step-mother That garr'd them leave their hame.
ROBIN HOOD AND THE BEGGAR.
"Robin Hood and his fellow, Little John," says Motherwell, "were popular with the minstrels of Scotland as they were with those of England. Our early poets and historians never tired of alluding to songs current in their own times, relative to these waithmen and their merry men. Even to this day there are fragments of songs regarding them, traditionally extant in Scotland, which have not yet found their way into any printed collection of ballads commemorative of these celebrated outlaws. Were they carefully gathered they would form an interesting addition to Ritson's _Robin Hood_. In that collection, the ballad of _Robin Hood and the Beggar_ is evidently the production of a Scottish minstrel, pretty early stall copies of which were printed both at Aberdeen and Glasgow."--_Minstrelsy_, p. xliii.
Ritson printed this ballad (_Robin Hood_, ii. 97,) from a modern copy printed at Newcastle. He remarks that a similar story may be found in _Le Moyen de parvenir_, (i. 304, ed. 1739, _Comment un moine se debarasse des voleurs_.)
We have adopted a superior version given by Gutch, which was from an Aberdeen copy in the Ashmolean Museum, without date.--(Gutch's _Robin Hood_, ii. 233.)
_Robin Hood and the Beggar_, with the nine pieces which are now immediately subjoined, the first part of the tenth, (which has the same title as the present,) and the first part of _Robin Hood and the Stranger_, in the Appendix, contains a story essentially the same with the first part of the ancient ballad of _Robin Hood and the Potter_, p. 17.
Lyth and listen, gentlemen, That's come of high born blood, I'll tell you of a brave booting That befel Robin Hood.
Robin Hood upon a day, 5 He went forth alone; And as he came from Barnesdale Into fair evening,
He met a beggar on the way, Who sturdily could gang; 10 He had a pike-staff in his hand That was baith stark and strang.
A clouted cloak about him was, That held him frae the cold; The thinnest bit of it, I guess, 15 Was more then twenty fold.
His meal-pock hang about his neck, Into a leathern fang, Well fasten'd with a broad buckle, That was baith stark and strang. 20
He had three hats upon his head, Together sticked fast, He car'd neither for wind nor weet, In lands where'er he past.
Good Robin coost him in his way, 25 To see what he might be, If any beggar had money, He thought some part had he.
"Tarry, tarry," good Robin says, "Tarry, and speak with me;" 30 He heard him as he heard him not, And fast on his way can hie.
"It be's not so," says good Robin, "Nay, thou must tarry still;"
"By my troth," said the bold beggar, 35 "Of that I have no will.
"It is far to my lodging house, And it is growing late; If they have supt e'er I come in I will look wondrous blate." 40
"Now, by my truth," says good Robin, "I see well by thy fare, If thou chear well to thy supper, Of mine thou takes no care;
"Who wants my dinner all this day, 45 And wots not where to lie, And should I to the tavern go, I want money to buy.
"Sir, thou must lend me some money Till we two meet again:" 50 The beggar answer'd cankerdly, "I have no money to lend.
"Thou art as young a man as I, And seems to be as sweir; If thou fast till thou get from me, 55 Thou shalt eat none this year."
"Now, by my truth," says good Robin, "Since we are 'sembled so, If thou have but a small farthing, I'll have it e'er thou go. 60
"Therefore, lay down thy clouted cloak, And do no longer stand, And loose the strings of all thy pocks, I'll ripe them with my hand.
"And now to thee I make a vow, 65 If thou make any din, I shall see if a broad arrow, Can pierce a beggar's skin."