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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' A boon, a boon,' said the curtal friar,
' The like I gave to thee! Give me leave to set my fist to my mouth,
And to whute whutes three.'
xxx ' That will I do,' said Robin Hood,
' Or else I were to blame ; Three whutes in a friar's fist
Would make me glad and fain.'
xxxi The friar he set his fist to his mouth,
And whuted whutes three ; Half a hundred good ban-dogs
Came running the friar unto.
' Here 's for every man of thine a dog,
And I my self for thee !' ' Nay, by my faith,' quoth Robin Hood,
' Friar, that may not be.'
Two dogs at once to Robin Hood did go,
T' one behind, the other before ; Robin Hood's mantle of Lincoln green
Off from his back they tore.
And whether his men shot east or west,
Or they shot north or south, The curtal dogs, so taught they were,
They kept their arrows in their mouth.
whute] whistle.
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