"Gude day, gude day," said Robin Hood, "What is your wills wi' me?"
"Lo here we are, twa banish'd knights, Come frae our native hame; 90 We're come to crave o' thee service, Our king will gie us nane."
"If ye be twa young banish'd knights, Tell me frae what countrie;"
"Frae Anster town into Fifeshire, 95 Ye know it as well as we."
"If a' be true that ye ha'e said, And tauld just now to me; Ye're welcome, welcome, every one, Your master I will be. 100
"Now ye shall eat as I do eat, And lye as I do lye; Ye salna wear nae waur claithing Nor my young men and I."
Then they went to a ruinous house, 105 And there they enter'd in; And Nicholas fed wi' Robin Hood, And Roger wi' little John.
But it fell ance upon a day, They were at the putting-stane; 110 Whan Rose the Red she view'd them a', As they stood on the green.
She hit the stane then wi' her foot, And kep'd it wi' her knee; And spaces three aboon them a', 115 I wyte she gar'd it flee.
She sat her back then to a tree, And ga'e a loud Ohon!
A lad spak in the companie, "I hear a woman's moan." 120
"How know you that, young man," she said, "How know you that o' me?
Did e'er ye see me in that place A'e foot my ground to flee?
"Or know ye by my cherry cheeks, 125 Or by my yellow hair?
Or by the paps on my breast bane?
Ye never saw them bare."
"I know not by your cherry cheeks, Nor by your yellow hair; 130 But I know by your milk-white chin, On it there grows nae hair.
"I never saw you in that cause A'e foot your ground to flee; I've seen you stan' wi' sword in han' 135 'Mang men's blood to the knee.
"But if I come your bower within, By night, or yet by day, I shall know before I go, If ye be man or may." 140
"O if you come my bower within, By night, or yet by day, As soon's I draw my trusty brand, Nae lang ye'll wi' me stay."
But he is haunted to her bower, 145 Her bigly bower o' stane, Till he has got her big wi' bairn, And near sax months she's gane.
Whan three mair months were come and gane, They gae'd to hunt the hynde; 150 She wont to be the foremost ane, But now stay'd far behynd.
Her luver looks her in the face, And thus to her said he; "I think your cheeks are pale and wan, 155 Pray, what gaes warst wi' thee?
"O want ye roses to your breast, Or ribbons to your sheen?
Or want ye as muckle o' dear bought luve As your heart can conteen?" 160
"I want nae roses to my breast, Nae ribbons to my sheen; Nor want I as muckle dear bought luve As my heart can conteen.
"I'd rather ha'e a fire behynd, 165 Anither me before; A gude midwife at my right side, Till my young babe be bore."
"I'll kindle a fire wi' a flint stane, Bring wine in a green horn; 170 I'll be midwife at your right side, Till your young babe be born."
"That was ne'er my mither's custom, Forbid that it be mine!
A knight stan' by a lady bright, 175 Whan she drees a' her pine!
"There is a knight in gude greenwood, If that he kent o' me, Thro' stock and stane and the hawthorn, Sae soon's he wou'd come me tee." 180
"If there be a knight in gude greenwood Ye like better than me, If ance he come your bower within, Ane o' us twa shall dee."
She set a horn to her mouth, 185 And she blew loud and shrill!
Thro' stock and stane and the hawthorn, Brave Roger came her till.
"Wha's here sae bauld," the youth replied, "Thus to encroach on me?" 190 "O here I am," the knight replied, "Ha'e as much right as thee."
Then they fought up the gude greenwood, Sae did they down the plain; They niddart ither wi' lang braid swords, 195 Till they were bleedy men.
Then out it spak the sick woman, Sat under the greenwood tree; "O had your han', young man," she said, "She's a woman as well as me." 200
Then out it speaks anither youth, Amang the companie; "Gin I had kent what I ken now, 'Tis for her I wou'd dee."
"O wae mat worth you, Rose the Red, 205 An ill death mat ye dee!
Altho' ye tauld upo' yoursell, Ye might ha'e heal'd on me.
"O for her sake I was content For to gae ower the sea; 210 For her I left my mither's ha', Tho' she proves fause to me."
But whan these luvers were made known, They sung right joyfullie; Nae blyther was the nightingale, 215 Nor bird that sat on tree.
Now they ha'e married these ladies, Brought them to bower and ha', And now a happy life they lead, I wish sae may we a'.
ROBIN HOOD AND THE STRANGER.
Ritson's _Robin Hood_. ii. 69.
"From an old black-letter copy in the collection of Anthony a Wood.
The title now given to this ballad is that which it seems to have originally borne; having been foolishly altered to _Robin Hood newly revived_. The circumstances attending the second part will be explained in a note." RITSON.
For the different versions of the first part of the story see _Robin Hood and the Beggar_, p. 188.
Come listen awhile, you gentlemen all, _With a hey down, down, a down, down_, That are this bower within, For a story of gallant bold Robin Hood I purpose now to begin.
"What time of day?" quod Robin Hood then; 5 Quoth Little John, "'Tis in the prime;"
"Why then we will to the greenwood gang, For we have no vittles to dine."
As Robin Hood walkt the forrest along, (It was in the mid of the day,) 10 There he was met of a deft young man As ever walkt on the way.
His doublet was of silk, 'tis said, His stockings like scarlet shone; And he walked on along the way, 15 To Robin Hood then unknown.
A herd of deer was in the bend, All feeding before his face: "Now the best of you Ile have to my dinner, And that in a little space." 20