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Merry Pranks of Robin Goodfellow

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The Merry Pranks of Robin Goodfellow

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The Merry Pranks of Robin Goodfellow
From Oberon of Faerie-Land, the King of Ghosts and shadows fair
Have Robin, I, at his command, am sent to view the night-sports here
What revel-rout is kept about, in every corner where I go
I will o'ersee and merry be, and make good sport with HOHOHO!

More swift than lightning can I fly and round this aerie well cosune
And in a minute's space descry each thing that's done beneath the moon.
There's not a hag, nor ghost shall rag, no cry "GOBLIN!" where I do go;
But Robin I their feats will spy and feare them home with HOHOHO!

If any wanderers I meet that from their night sports do trudge home,
With counterfeiting voice I greet and call them on with me to roam.
Through woods, through lakes, through bogs, through brakes, o'er bush
     and briar with them I go
I call upon them to come on and run me laughing HOHOHO!

Sometimes I greet them like a man, sometimes an ox, sometimes a hound
And to a horse I turn me can to trip and trot about them round
But if to ride my back they stride, more swift than wind away I go
and run me laughing HOHOHO!

When lads and lasses merry be with possets and with junkets fine
Unseen of all the company I eat the cakes and sip their wine
And to make sport, I fart and snort and out the candles I do blow
The maids I kiss; they shriek, "WHO'S THIS?!"  I answer not but HOHOHO!

Yet now and then the maids to please I card at midnight up their wool
And while they sleep, snort, fart and wheeze, with wheel to threads
     their flax I pull
I grind at mill their malt up still; I dress the hemp; I spin their tow;
If any wake and would me take, I run me laughing HOHOHO!

From hag-bred Merlin's time have I thus nightly revel'd to and fro,
And for my pranks, men call me by the name of Robin Goodfellow!
Things ghosts and sprites that haunt the nights, the hags and goblins
     do me know
And belledames old my feats have told, so farewell, farewell, HOHOHO!

Traditional, formerly attributed to Ben Jonson.  The tune is "Dulcina"
sometimes attributed to Sir Walter Raleigh.  Recorded by the duo, A
Reasonable Facsimile, on their recording, "Popular Music of the
Renaissance." WBO

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