The Oxford Book of Ballads - online book

A Selection Of The Best English Lyric Ballads Chosen & Edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch

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His kirtle and his courtepy,
That was furred well fine, And take him a green mantel,
To lap his body therein.
Robin commanded his wight young men,
Under the green-wood tree, They shall lie in that same sort;
That the Sheriff might them see. cxcv I All night lay that proud Sheriff,
In his breech and in his shirt, No wonder it was in green-wood,
Tho' his sides do smerte.
cxcvn ' Make glad cheer,' said Robin Hood,
' Sheriff, for charity ! For this is our order, i-wis,
Under the green-wood tree.'
'This is harder order,' said the Sheriff,
' Than any anchor or frere ; For all the gold in merry England
I would not long dwell here.'
cxcix ' All these twelve months,' said Robin
' Thou shalt dwell with me; I shall thee teach, proud Sheriff,
An outlaw for to be.'
courtepy] a short coat or cloak. lap] wrap. smerte] smart, anchor] hermit.           frere] friar.
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