Robin Hood and the Pedlars

ROBIN HOOD AND THE PEDLARS: FOOTNOTES


1 Gutch reads many a one.

2 Gutch suggests that "this nasty incident seems taken from Don Quixote" (II, 355).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Robin Hood and the Pedlars






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Will you heare a tale of Robin Hood,
   Will Scarlett, and Little John?
Now listen awhile, it will make you smile,
   As before it hath many done.1

They were archers three, of hie degree,
   As good as ever drewe bowe;
Their arrowes were long and their armes were strong,
   As most had cause to knowe.

But one sommers day, as they toke their way
   Through the forrest of greene Sherwood,
To kill the kings deare, you shall presently heare
   What befell these archers good.

They were ware on the roade of three peddlers with loade,
   For each had his packe.
Full of all wares for countrie faires,
   Trusst up upon his backe.

A good oke staffe, a yard and a halfe,
   Each one had in his hande,
And they were all bound to Nottingham towne,
   As you shall understand.

"Yonder I see bold peddlers three,"
   Said Robin to Scarlett and John;
"We'le search their packes upon their backes
   Before that they be gone.

"Holla, good fellowes!" quod Robin Hood,
   "Whither is it ye doe goe?
Now stay and rest, for that is the best,
   'Tis well ye should doe soe."

"Noe rest we neede, on our roade we speede,
   Till to Nottingham we get."
"Thou tellst a lewde lye," said Robin, "for I
   Can see that ye swinke and swet."

The peddlers three crosst over the lee,
   They did not list to fight:
"I charge you tarrie," quod Robin, "for marry,
   This is my owne land by right.

"This is my mannor and this is my parke,
   I would have ye for to knowe;
Ye are bolde outlawes, I see by cause
   Ye are so prest to goe."

The peddlers three turned round to see
   Who it might be they herd;
Then agen went on as they list to be gone,
   And never answered word.

Then toke Robin Hood an arrow so good,
   Which he did never lacke,
And drew his bowe, and the swift arrowe
   Went through the last peddlers packe.

For him it was well on the packe it fell,
   Or his life had found an ende;
And it pierst the skin of his backe within,
   Though the packe did stand his frend.

Then downe they flung their packes eche one,
   And stayde till Robin came;
Quod Robin, "I saide ye had better stayde;
   Good sooth, ye were to blame.

"And who art thou? by S. Crispin, I vowe,
   I'le quickly cracke thy head!"
Cried Robin, "Come on, all three, or one;
   It is not so soone done as said.

"My name, by the Roode, is Robin Hood,
   And this is Scarlett and John;
It is three to three, ye may plainelie see,
   Soe now, brave fellowes, laye on."

The first peddlars blowe brake Robins bowe
   That he had in his hand;
And Scarlett and John, they eche had one
   That they unneth could stand.

"Now holde your handes," cride Robin Hood,
   "For ye have got oken staves;
But tarie till wee can get but three,
   And a fig for all your braves."

Of the peddlers the first, his name Kit o Thirske,
   Said, "We are all content."
So eche tooke a stake for his weapon to make
   The peddlers to repent.

Soe to it they fell, and their blowes did ring well
   Uppon the others backes,
And gave the peddlers cause to wish
   They had not cast their packes.

Yet the peddlers three of their blowes were so free
   That Robin began for to rue;
And Scarlett and John had such loade laide on
   It made the sunne looke blue.

At last Kits oke caught Robin a stroke
   That made his head to sound;
He staggerd and reelde, till he fell on the fielde,
   And the trees with him went round.

"Now holde your handes," cride Little John,
   And soe said Scarlette eke;
"Our maister is slaine, I telle you plaine,
   He never more will speake."

"Now, heaven forefend he come to that ende,"
   Said Kit, "I love him well;
But lett him learne to be wise in turne,
   And not with pore peddlers mell.

"In my packe, God wot, I a balsame have got
   That soone his hurts will heale";
And into Robin Hoods gaping mouth
   He presentlie powrde some deale.

"Nowe fare ye well, tis best not to tell
   How ye three peddlers met;
Or if ye doe, prithee tell alsoe
   How they made ye swinke and swett."

Poore Robin in sound they left on the ground,
   And hied them to Nottingham,
While Scarlett and John Robin tended on
   Till at length his senses came.

Noe sooner, in haste, did Robin Hood taste
   The balsame he had tane,
Than he gan to spewe, and up he threwe
   The balsame all againe.

And Scarlett and John, who were looking on
   Their maister as he did lie,
Had their faces besmeard, both eies and beard,
   Therwith most piteously.2

Thus ended that fray; soe beware alwaye
   How ye doe challenge foes;
Looke well aboute they are not to stoute,
   Or you may have worst of the blowes.





high






deer
























stupid
labor and sweat



wish





eager



as they yearned

















Saint


more often boasted than done

Cross






each took a blow
scarcely




chutzpa









taken off












also



forbid


tangle

medicine


immediately poured; part




labor and sweat

unsound
hastened themselves




taken





eyes




too strong

 


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