Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Old Robin of Portingale

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Old Robin of Portingale

Old Robin of Portingale

God let neuer soe old a man
Marry soe yonge a wiffe
As did Old Robin of Portingale;
He may rue all the dayes of his liffe.

for  the maiors daughter of Lin, God wott,
He chose her to his wife,
And thought to haue liued in quiettnesse
With her all the dayes of his liffe.

They had not in their wed-bed laid,
Scarcly were both on sleepe,
But vpp shee rose, and forth shee goes
To Sir Gyles, and fast can weepe.

Saies, Sleepe you, wake you, faire Sir Gyles?
Or be not you within?
. . . . .
. . . . .

But I am waking, sweete, he said,
Lady, what is your will?
I haue vnbethought me of a wile,
How my wed lord we shall spill.

Four and twenty knights, she sayes,
That dwells about this towne,
Eene four and twenty of my next cozens,
Will helpe to dinge him downe.

With that beheard his litle foote-page,
As he was watering his masters steed;
Soe s . . . . .
His verry heart did bleed.

He mourned, sikt, and wept full sore;
I sweare by the holy roode,
That teares he for his master wept
Were blend water and bloude.

With that beheard his deare master,
As he in his garden sate;
Says, Euer alacke, my litle page,
What causes thee to weepe?

Hath any one done to thee wronge,
Any of thy fellowes here?
Or is any of thy good friends dead,
Which makes thee shed such teares?

Or if it be my head-kookes-man,
Greiued againe he shalbe,
Nor noe man within my howse
Shall doe wrong vnto thee.

But it is not your head-kookes-man,
Nor none of his degree;
But for to morrow, ere it be noone,
You are deemed to die.

And of that thanke your head-steward,
And after, your gay ladie:
If it be true, my litle foote-page,
Ile make thee heyre of all my land.

If it be not true, my deare master,,
God let me neuer thye:
If it be not true, thou litle foot-page,
A dead corse shalt thou be.

He called downe his head-kookes-man,
Cooke in kitchen super to dresse:
All and anon, my deare master,
Anon att your request.

. . . . .
. . . . .
And call you downe my faire lady,
This night to supp with mee.

And downe then came that fayre lady,
Was cladd all in purple and palle;
The rings that were vpon her fingers
Cast light thorrow the hall.

What is your will, my owne wed lord,
What is your will with mee?
I am sicke, fayre lady,
Sore sicke, and like to dye.

But and you be sicke, my owne wed lord,
Soe sore it greiueth mee;
But my fiue maydens and my selfe
Will goe and make your bedd.

And at the wakening of your first sleepe
You shall haue a hott drinke made,
And at the wakening of your next sleepe
Your sorrowes will haue a slake.

He put a silke cote on his backe,
Was thirteen inches folde,
And put a steele cap vpon his head,
Was gilded with good red gold.

Anidr he layd a bright browne sword by his side,
And another att his feete,
And full well knew Old Robin then
Whether he shold wake or sleepe.

And about the middle time of the night
Came twenty four good knights in;
Sir Gyles he was the formost man,
Soe well he knew that ginne.

Old Robin, with a bright browne sword,
Sir Gyles head he did winne;
Soe did he all those twenty four,
Neuer a one went quicke out agen.

None but one litle foot-page,
Crept forth at a window of stone,
And he had two armes when he came in,
And when he went out he had none.

Vpp then came that ladie light,
With torches burning bright;
Shee thought to haue brought Sir Gyles a drinke,
But shee found her owne wedd knight.

And the first things that this ladye stumbled vpon
Qas of Sir Giles his foote,
Sayes, Euer alack, and woe is me
Here lies my sweete hart-roote!

And the second thing that this ladie stumbled on
Was of Sir Gyles his head
Sayes, Euer alacke anmd woe is me
Here lies my true-love dead.

He cut the paps beside her brest
And bade her wish her will
And he cut the eares beside her heade
And bade her wish on still.

"Mickle is tha man's blood I haue spent
To do thee and me some good"
Sayes, Euer alack, my fayre ladie
I thinks that I was woode!

He calld then vp his litle foote-page
And made him heyre of all his land
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .

And he shope the cross in his right sholder
Of the white flesh and the redd
And he went him into the holy land
Where Christ was quicke and dead.

Child #80
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III