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
XXXV
' Take up thy dogs,' said Little John,
i Friar, at my bidding be.' ' Whose man art thou,' said the curtal friar,
' Comes here to prate with me ?'
xxxvi
' I am Little John, Robin Hood's man,
Friar, I will not lie ; If thou take not up thy dogs soon,
1'le take up them and thee.'
XXXVII
Little John had a bow in his hand,
He shot with might and main ; Soon half a score of the friar's dogs
Lay dead upon the plain.
XXXVIII
' Hold thy hand, good fellow,' said the curtal friar,
' Thy master and I will agree ; And we will have new orders taken,
With all the haste that may be.'
XXXIX
' If thou wilt forsake fair Fountains Dale,
And Fountains Abbey free, Every Sunday throughout the year,
A noble shall be thy fee.
XL
' And every holy day throughout the year.
Changed shall thy garment be, If thou wilt go to fair Nottingham, And there remain with me.' 606
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