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 THE CURTAL FRIAR
XVII
Lightly leapt the friar off Robin Hood's back ;
Robin Hood said to him again, ' Carry me over this water, thou curtal friar,
Or it shall breed thy pain.'
XVIII
The friar took Robin Hood on 's back again,
And stept up to the knee 5 Till he came at the middle stream,
Neither good nor bad spake he.
XIX
And coming to the middle stream,
There he threw Robin in ; ' And chuse thee, chuse thee, fine fellow,
Whetv er thou wilt sink or swim !'
XX
Robin Hood swam to a bush of broom,
The friar to a wicker wand ; Bold Robin Hood is gone to shore,
And took his bow in hand.
XXI
One of his best arrows under his belt
To the friar he let flye ; The curtai friar, with his steel buckler,
He put that arrow by.
XXII
' Shoot on, shoot on, thou fine fellow,
Shoot on as thou hast begun ; If thou shoot here a summer's day,
Thy mark I will not shun.'
603
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