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EOBIN HOOD -AND THE STRANGER. 411
In feasting and sporting they pass'd the day,
Till Phoebus sunk into the deep; so
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, 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. *>
" Come tell me the cause, thou pretty one,"
Quoth Eobin, " 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, is
" 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 To have the princess to his spouse, «o
Or else to waste this land;
" Except such champions can be found,
That dare fight three to three, Against the prince, and giants twain, «5
Most horrid for to see;
35, Of a.