Of Robin Hood's Death and Burial

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Of Robin Hood's Death and Burial

from: Brother Fabian's Manuscript and Other Poems (Pp. 51 - 59)  1865

Bold Robin is at the Kirkleys
   For a deed that is y-do,
And threescore and three of the king's men
   Came to fetch him therefro.

"Now dup the gate," quoth the king's men,
   "So quickly as ye may,
"And yield ye the traitor that liggeth here
   "Or ye shall rue the day."

Then up and spoke the Abbess
   That was his sister dear:
"My lords, there is never a traitor
   "This day that liggeth here!"

Thereat Lord Perryn he waxed wood
   And tirled the hair on his lip,
Quoth he, "Bold Robin he liggeth here,
   "And hence he shall not slip!

"For we have rid fro Saint Alban's
   "With letters fro the king:
"They are written with his own hand
   "And sealed with his ring."

"Then," quoth the Abbess, "ye may stand without
   "And tirl the hair on your chin!
"The king may bear his letters himself,
   "I nill not let ye in!"

Then spoke the false Lord Newbery,
   "A parlous dame, parfay!
"But an if bold Robin Hood be here,
   "We will kill him this day!"

"Ye traitor, false Lord Newbery,"
   Spake up the Abbess than:
"She was my mother's tiring-maid
   "That was thy sire's leman!

"There nis not one false loon as ye
   "In all broad England!
"An I were a man as ye're a girl
   "I'd slay thee with my hand!"

"See now," quoth Lord Newbery,
   "We do but parle in vain!"--
They brought an axe and a beetle,
   And split the door in twain.

"Come down," then spoke Lord Perryn,
   "Come down, thou bold outlaw!
"Ye shall be hanged on a tree,
   "Ye have a man y-slaw!"

"Ye may not take me hence," quoth Robin,
   "Ye may not do me die!--
"For this is the sanctuary
   "And Saint Chad's jawbone hereby!"

"Nay then," quoth Lord Newbery,
   "Sith we may not do thee die,
"Yet we'll have a basin of thy blood
   "Or ever we pass hereby!"

Lord Newbery drew a bodkin
   And pricked him on the arm:
I wot the traitor leugh to see
   His heartis blood run warm!

"A basin, a basin hither," he said,
   "To catch the blood fro the vein!
"Until the basin be full of blood
   "He shall not forth again!"

He pricked a hole in the basin
   That nobody should know;--
And ever bold Robin bled above,
   And the blood tricked forth below.

"My sister," then quoth bold Robin,
   "As thou art lief and true,
"So fetch me an arrow hither,
   "Bot and my bow of yew!--

"For these bin traitors here
   "That have a true man in hold!
"They are a-draining my lifeblood,
   "My heart it is acold!--"

Then up and went his sister,
   I wot she was not slow:
She brought to him an arrow
   Bot and she brought his bow.

Bold Robin uprist fro the bed,
   His cheek was white to see:--
"I will," quoth he, "where ye find this arrow,
   "There ye shall bury me.

"And ye shall bear Friar Tuck on hand
   "That he aye say mass for my soul,
"That Mary mother and may
   "Me free fro pain and dole!"--

He took his bent bow in his hand,
   And a broad arrow he let flee:
Seven furlongs he shot the arrow
   Whereat it stuck in a tree.

Spoke out bold Robin than,
   I wis his voice was small;
"Farewell, dear sister, Christ ye speed,
   "Sith it may no better befal!

"And find ye Little John,
   "And give him my bugle horn,
"For there nis never a better fellawe
   "To kill the deer in the morn.

"Ye shall give my bow to Friar Tuck
   "That is a bold outlaw,
"To lesen a merchant's girdle
   "All in the greenwood shaw.

"And ye shall tell my merrymen all,
   "Maid Marian also,
"That I am y-slaw right treacherously,
   "Ne shall go forth no mo

"To slay the king's deer in the valleys
   "Or rob a bishop at noon,
"Or to feast in merry Sherwood,
   "For I shall die full soon.

"We were the merriest company
   "Was ever in broad England,
"But Robin is slayen treacherously
   "As I well understand!

"Now lay the salt on my bowel,
   "And shut mine eyen tway:
"I nill no priest but Friar Tuck,
   "And he is far away."

Then up and spoke Lord Perryn
   And spoke unto his fere:
"Thou hast y-slaw the bravest man
   "That ever brittled a deer!

"I will to the King presently
   "And tell him thy treachery!
"And I will twist the willow
   "To hang thee on a tree!"

They bare bold Robin fro fair Kirkleys
   And laid him on a bier:
They dolve a grave beneath the arrow
   And covered it with brere.

A cross y-corve above his head,
   Another at his feet;
And the pricket belleth in Bernesdale,
   There nis none now to shete!

Now Mary mother and sweet Saint John
   Have grace on bold Robin Hood,
And keep us all fro traitors false
   At home and eke abroad!--