Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 5 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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don acceded, his estates were restored, and Edward found him ever after an attached and faithful servant.1 The story is romantic, and yet Adam Gordon was not made the subject of ballads. Garuit vote sacro. The contemporary his­torians, however, all have a paragraph for him. He is celebrated by Wikes, the Chronicle of Dunstaple, the Waverley Annals, and we know not where else besides.
But these theories are open to an objection stronger even than the silence of history. They are contradicted by the spirit of the ballads. No line of these songs breathes political ani­mosity. There is no suggestion or reminiscence of wrong, from invading Norman, or from the established sovereign. On the contrary, Robin loved no man in the world so well as his king. What the tone of these ballads would have been, had Robin Hood been any sort of partisan, we may judge from the mournful and indignant strains which were poured out on the fall of De Montfort. We should have heard of the fatal field of Hastings, of the perfidy of Henry, of the sanguinary revenge of Edward, and not of matches at archery and encounters at quarter-staff, the plundering of rich abbots, and squabbles with the sheriff. The Robin Hood of our ballads is neither patriot under ban, nor proscribed rebel. An outlaw indeed he is, but an " outlaw for veny-
l Matthew Paris, London, 1640, p. 1002.