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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God thee save, Robin Hood,
And all this company ! ' i Welcome be thou, gentle Knight,
Right welcome unto me.'
Then bespake him Robin Hood
To that Knight so free : ' What need driveth thee to greene-wood ?
I pray, sir Knight, tell me.
' And welcome be thou, gentle Knight, Why hast thou been so long ?'
' For the Abbot and the High Justice Would have had my land with wrong.'
' Hast thou thy land again I' said Robin ;
' Truthe tell thou me.' ' Yea, 'fore God,' said the Knight,
' That thank I God and thee.
' But take no grief I have been so long ;
I came by a wresteling, And there I holp a poor yeoman,
With wrong was put behind.'
' Nay, 'fore God,' said Robin Hood,
' Sir Knight, that thank I thee ; What man that helpeth a good yeoman. His friend I wille be.' 542
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