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242 EOBIN HOOD AND THE SHEPHERD.
That a shepherds hook at thy sturdy look Will one jot be dismaied."
So they fell to it, full hardy and sore, s.5
Striving for victorie; " I will know," says John, " ere we give o'er,
Whether thou wilt fight or flee."
The shepherd gave John a sturdie blow,
With his hook under the chin ; s»
" Beshrew thy heart," said Little John, " Thou basely dost begin."
" Nay, that is nothing," said the shepherd ;
" Either yield to me the daie, Or I will bang thy back and sides, as
Before thou goest thy way.
" What, dost thou think, thou proud fellow,
That thou canst conquer me ? Nay, thou shalt know, before thou go,
I'll fight before I'le flee." 100
Again the shepherd laid on him,
' Just as he first begun ;' " Hold thy hand," cry'd bold Eobin,
" I will yield the wager won."
" With all my heart," said Little John, wa
" To that I will agree ;