Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 5 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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Quoth bold Eobin Hood, " Thou dost prate like an ass,
For were I to bend but my bow, I could send a dart quite thro' thy proud heart, ss
Before thou couldst strike me one blow."
" Thou talk'st like a coward," the stranger reply'd;
" "Well arm'd with a long bow you stand, To shoot at my breast, while I, I protest,
Have nought but a staff in my hand."               40
" The name of a coward," quoth Eobin, " I scorn, "Wherefore my long bow I'll lay bj';
And now, for thy sake, a staff will I take, The truth of thy manhood to try."
Then Eobin Hood stept to a thicket of trees, « And chose him a staff of ground oak;
Now this being done, away he did run To the stranger, and merrily spoke:
" Lo! see my staff, it is lusty and tough,
Now here on the bridge we will play;              so
- Whoever falls in, the other shall win The battel, and so we'll away."
" With all my whole heart," the stranger reply'd ;
" I scorn in the least to give out; " This said, they fell to't without more dispute, 55
And their staffs they did flourish about.