"Her het ys merey to be," seyde Roben,[L251]
"For a man that had hawt to spende; Be mey horne we schall awet Yeff Roben Hode be ner hande."[L254]
Roben set hes horne to hes mowthe,[L255] 255 And blow a blast that was foll god, That herde hes men that ther stode, Fer downe yn the wodde; "I her mey master" seyde Leytell John;[L259]
They ran as thay wer wode. 260
Whan thay to thar master cam, Leytell John wold not spar; "Master, how haffe yow far yn Notynggam?
How haffe yow solde yowr war?"
"Ye, be mey trowthe, Leytyll John,[L265] 265 Loke thow take no car; Y haffe browt the screffe of Notynggam, For all howr chaffar."
"He ys foll wellcom," seyde Lytyll John, "Thes tydyng ys foll godde; 270 The screffe had lever nar a hundred ponde [He had never sene Roben Hode.]
"Had I west that beforen,[L273]
At Notynggam when we wer, Thow scholde not com yn feyr forest 275 Of all thes thowsande eyr."
"That wot y well," seyde Roben, "Y thanke god that ye be her; Therfor schall ye leffe yowr horse with hos, And all your hother ger." 280
"That fend I godys forbode," kod the screffe, "So to lese mey godde;"
"Hether ye cam on horse foll hey,[L283]
And hom schall ye go on fote; And gret well they weyffe at home, 285 The woman ys foll godde.
"Y schall her sende a wheyt palffrey,[L287]
Het hambellet as the weynde; Ner for the loffe of yowr weyffe, Off mor sorow scholde yow seyng." 290
Thes parted Robyn Hode and the screffe, To Notynggam he toke the waye; Hes weyffe feyr welcomed hem hom, And to hem gan sche saye:
"Seyr, how haffe yow fared yn grene foreyst? 295 Haffe ye browt Roben hom?"
"Dam, the deyell spede him, bothe bodey and bon, Y haffe hade a foll grete skorne.
"Of all the god that y haffe lade to grene wod, He hayt take het fro me, 300 All bot this feyr palffrey, That he hayt sende to the."
With that sche toke op a lowde lawhyng, And swhar be hem that deyed on tre, "Now haffe yow payed for all the pottys 305 That Roben gaffe to me.
"Now ye be com hom to Notynggam, Ye schall haffe god ynowe;"
Now speke we of Roben Hode, And of the pottyr onder the grene bowhe.[L310] 310
"Potter, what was they pottys worthe To Notynggam that y ledde with me?"
"They wer worth two nobellys," seyd he, "So mot y treyffe or the; So cowde y had for tham, 315 And y had ther be."[L316]
"Thow schalt hafe ten ponde," seyde Roben, "Of money feyr and fre; And yever whan thou comest to grene wod, Wellcom, potter to me." 320
Thes partyd Robyn, the screffe, and the potter, Ondernethe the grene-wod tre; God haffe mersey on Robyn Hodys solle, And saffe all god yemanrey!
MS. 135, say.
146, Gereamarsey, sir, seyde sche s'than.
MS. 161, loseth. 164, to to.
164. This ceremony [of washing,] which, in former times, was constantly practised as well before as after meat, seems to have fallen into disuse on the introduction of forks, about the year 1620; as before that period our ancestors supplied the place of this necessary utensil with their fingers.--RITSON.
169, 170, transposed in MS.
MS. 179, pottys the.
180, bolt yt.
MS. 214, goe.
218, Robyng gaffe me.
232, mey they.
MS. 250, goy.
MS. 265, I leyty.
273, He had west.
287. The MS. repeats this line after the following: Het ambellet be mey sey.
MS. 310, bowhes.
316, be ther.
ROBIN HOOD AND THE BUTCHER.
Ritson's _Robin Hood_, ii. 27. Printed from an old black-letter copy in the collection of Anthony a Wood. The story is the same as in the second part of _Robin Hood and the Potter_.