Now the stranger he made no mickle adoe, But he bends a right good bow, And the best of all the herd he slew,[L23]
Forty good yards him froe.[L24]
"Well shot, well shot," quod Robin Hood then, 25 "That shot it was shot in time; And if thou wilt accept of the place, Thou shalt be a bold yeoman of mine."
"Go play the chiven," the stranger said, "Make haste and quickly go, 30 Or with my fist, be sure of this, Ile give thee buffets sto'."
"Thou had'st not best buffet me," quod Robin Hood, "For though I seem forlorn, Yet I have those will take my part, 35 If I but blow my horn."
"Thou wast not best wind thy horn," the stranger said, "Beest thou never so much in haste, For I can draw out a good broad sword, And quickly cut the blast." 40
Then Robin Hood bent a very good bow, To shoot, and that he would fain; The stranger he bent a very good bow, To shoot at bold Robin again.
"Hold thy hand, hold thy hand," quod Robin Hood, 45 "To shoot it would be in vain; For if we should shoot the one at the other, The one of us may be slain.
"But let's take our swords and our broad bucklers, And gang under yonder tree:" 50 "As I hope to be sav'd," the stranger said, "One foot I will not flee."
Then Robin Hood lent the stranger a blow, 'Most scar'd him out of his wit: "Thou never delt blow," the stranger he said,[L55] 55 "That shall be better quit."
The stranger he drew out a good broad sword, And hit Robin on the crown, That from every haire of bold Robins head, The blood ran trickling down. 60
"God a mercy, good fellow!" quod Robin Hood then, "And for this that thou hast done, Tell me, good fellow, what thou art, Tell me where thou doest wone."[L64]
The stranger then answer'd bold Robin Hood, 65 "Ile tell thee where I do dwell; In Maxwell town I was bred and born, My name is young Gamwell.
"For killing of my own fathers steward, I am forc'd to this English wood, 70 And for to seek an uncle of mine, Some call him Robin Hood."
"But art thou a cousin of Robin Hood then?
The sooner we should have done:"
"As I hope to be sav'd," the stranger then said, 75 "I am his own sisters son."
But, lord! what kissing and courting was there, When these two cousins did greet!
And they went all that summers day, And Little John did [not] meet. 80
But when they met with Little John, He unto them did say, "O master, pray where have you been, You have tarried so long away?"
"I met with a stranger," quod Robin Hood, 85 "Full sore he hath beaten me:"
"Then I'le have a bout with him," quod Little John, "And try if he can beat me."
"Oh [no], oh no," quoth Robin Hood then, "Little John, it may [not] be so; 90 For he is my own dear sisters son, And cousins I have no mo.
"But he shall be a bold yeoman of mine, My chief man next to thee; And I Robin Hood, and thou Little John, 95 And Scadlock he shall be:
"And weel be three of the bravest outlaws That live in the north country."
If you will hear more of bold Robin Hood, In the second part it will be. 100
23, and a. Ritson.
24, full froe.
55, felt. Ritson.
64, won, R.
[PART THE SECOND.]
Now Robin Hood, Will Scadlock, and Little John Are walking over the plain, With a good fat buck, which Will Scadlck With his strong bow had slain.
"Jog on, jog on," cries Robin Hood, 5 "The day it runs full fast; For tho' my nephew me a breakfast gave, I have not yet broke my fast.
"Then to yonder lodge let us take our way,-- I think it wondrous good,-- 10 Where my nephew by my bold yeomen Shall be welcom'd unto the greenwood."
With that he took his bugle-horn, Full well he could it blow; Streight from the woods came marching down 15 One hundred tall fellows and mo.
"Stand, stand to your arms," says Will Scadlck, "Lo! the enemies are within ken:"
With that Robin Hood he laugh'd aloud, Crying, "They are my bold yeomen." 20
Who, when they arrived, and Robin espy'd, Cry'd "Master, what is your will?
We thought you had in danger been, Your horn did sound so shrill."
"Now nay, now nay," quoth Robin Hood, 25 "The danger is past and gone; I would have you welcome my nephew here, That has paid me two for one."
In feasting and sporting they pass'd the day, Till Ph[oe]bus sunk into the deep; 30 Then each one to his quarters hy'd, His guard there for to keep.
Long had they not walked within the greenwood, When Robin he soon espy'd A beautiful damsel all alone,[L35] 35 That on a black palfrey did ride.
Her riding-suit was of sable hew black, Cypress over her face, Through which her rose-like cheeks did blush, All with a comely grace. 40
"Come tell me the cause, thou pretty one,"
Quoth Robin, "and tell me aright, From whence thou comest, and whither thou goest, All in this mournful plight?"
"From London I came," the damsel reply'd, 45 "From London upon the Thames, "Which circled is, O grief to tell!
Besieg'd with foreign arms;
"By the proud prince of Arragon, Who swears by his martial hand 50 To have the princess to his spouse, Or else to waste this land;
"Except such champions can be found, That dare fight three to three, Against the prince, and giants twain, 55 Most horrid for to see;
"Whose grisly looks, and eyes like brands, Strike terrour where they come, With serpents hissing on their helms, Instead of feathered plume. 60
"The princess shall be the victor's prize, The king hath vow'd and said, And he that shall the conquest win, Shall have her to his bride.
"Now we are four damsels sent abroad, 65 To the east, west, north, and south, To try whose fortune is so good To find these champions forth.
"But all in vain we have sought about, For none so bold there are 70 That dare adventure life and blood, To free a lady fair."
"When is the day?" quoth Robin Hood, "Tell me this and no more:"
"On Midsummer next," the dam'sel said, 75 "Which is June the twenty-four."