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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ccccxxr The King cast off his coat then,
A green garment he did on, And every knight had so, i-wis,
They clothed them full soon, ccccxxn When they were clothed in Lincoln green,
They cast away their gray. 'Now we shall to Nottingham,'
All thus our king gan say.
Their bows bent and forth they went,
Shooting all in fere, Toward the town of Nottingham,
Outlaws as they were.
ccccxxiv Our King and Robin rode together
Forsooth as I you say, And they shot pluck-buffet,
As they went by the way ;
ccccxxv And many a buffet our King won,
Of Robin Hood that day : And nothing spared good Robin
Our King in his pay.
i So God me help,' said our King,
' Thy game is nought to lere, I should not get a shot of thee,
Though I shot all this year.'
pluck-buffet] ' app. a competition between archers, in which he who missed or failed "caught" a buffet from his competitor' (IV. E.D.). lere] learn.
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