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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The Fifth Fytte
How at Archery in Nottingham Robin Hood was treacherously attacked, but escaped into Sir Richard's Castle
Now hath the Knight his leave i-take,
And went him on his way ; Robin Hood and his merry men
Dwelt still full many a day.
Lithe and listen, Gentlemen,
And hearken what I shall say, How the proud Sheriff of Nottingham,
Did cry a full fair play ;
That all the best archers of the North
Should come upon a day, i And he that shooteth alder-best
The game shall bear away.
' He that shooteth alder-best,
Furthest, fair, and law, At a pair of fynly butts,
Under the green-wood shaw,
' A right good arrow he shall have,
The shaft of silver white, The head and feathers of rich red gold, In England is none like.'
alder-best] best of all. 1225
law] low. T
fynly] goodly. 545
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