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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Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne
i
W HEN shaws beene sheene, and shradds full fayre, And leves both large and longe, Itt is merrye walking in the fayre forrest To heare the small birds' songe.
ii The woodweele sang, and wold not cease,
[Sitting upon the spraye, Soe lowde, he wakened Robin Hood,
In the grenewood where he lay.
in ' Now by my faye,' sayd jollye Robin,
' A sweaven I had this night; I dreamt me of two wight yemen,
That fast with me can fight.]
IV
' Methought they did mee beate and binde,
And tooke my bow mee fro ; If I be Robin alive in this lande,
I'll be wroken on them towe.'
v ' Sweavens are swift, Master,' quoth John,
' As the wind that blowes ore a hill; For if itt be never so loude this night,
To-morrow itt may be still.'
shaws] woods.         sheene] bright.         shradds] coppices (?).
woodweele] woodlark, thrush (?). sweaven] dream. wight] sturdy. wroken] revenged.
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