Robin Hood and the Potter

ROBIN HOOD AND THE POTTER: NOTES

4 MS: merey now. This is not "merry now," which has little meaning, but is a spelling variant of merey ynow, a familiar phrase in this context which means "completely joyful"; enough in Middle English means "as much as is appropriate."

6 MS: cortessey. Child emends to the required adjective corteys.

12 MS: werschep ye. Child emends both tense and pronoun to werschepyd he; both changes seem necessary.

16 MS: lefe. An easy error for leye (see line 28). Child spells it ley, but the simplification of spelling is not necessary.

21 Wentbridge is a small town on the River Went near the Yorkshire Barnsdale; see note on the Gest, lines 69-70 for a discussion of locations.

24 MS: Yet they cleffe by my seydes. The scribe has clearly misremembered the order of the elements of the line and so lost the rhyme. Child reorders the line to Yet by my seydys cleffe they, that is "The blows are still splitting my sides," and this is accepted.

27 MS: hys. Emended by Child to hus; the error was presumably influenced by ys earlier in the line.

28 MS: hem leffe. The same misreading as in line 16 has again lost the rhyme. The sense is the same here: to leave a pledge or to lay a pledge. Child emends leffe to ley to preserve the rhyme, and this is accepted, though as in 16 the spelling leye is preferred.

41 MS: he seyde. The final attribution to a speaker makes the line very long, but there are similar lines elsewhere, especially in this ballad (lines 81, 222, 225) and the Gest (lines 310, 442, 630, 758). There seems no good reason to omit he seyde.

65 MS: ffelow he. Child makes this ffelowhes, interpreting the he as part of the noun, and adding s because John seems to be addressing more than one companion. There is not much space between the w and the h, but more than is usual in a continuous word, and he must be the pronoun. Dobson and Taylor treat it as such, but also accept Child's notion of a plural audience, and read ffelows he seyde. But the singular idiom is common, and emendation is not necessary.
The line begins with a large capital L, presumably because it is at the top of a new page in the MS.

67 MS: a caward stroke. Child emends to acward, meaning "backhand." Though caward makes sense as " a cowardly blow," it is unlikely, in view of the rest of the ballad, that the Potter would be represented as cowardly. Child's emendation is accepted, and it is also assumed that in misreading acward as caward the scribe also changed an to a. Robin himself defeats Guy with "an awkward stroke" (see Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne, line 159).

76 MS: hels. Child emends to els.
MS: sclo. Child emends to slo: this scribe uses sc to begin many words but has here done so wrongly.

77 MS: Thes went yemen. Child inverts the two words to yemen went, but the verb cam follows in the next line. It is more likely that the scribe has miswritten wight, a very familiar word in this context; this would also maintain the rhythm better than Child's emendation.

78 thes. Child emends unnecessarily to ther, but thes is simply a form of "this," as in line 77. See also hes in line 79, which means "his."

87 MS: over. Child reads on, but the manuscript clearly has ou with an abbreviation mark.

100 MS: yede. Child emends to yode to improve the rhyme, but although rhymes in general in this ballad are better than in the Gest, this is unnecessary.

103 MS: eney. Child reads eny, presumably a minor error.

109-12 Child reorders these lines, as he feels they do not make sense in the existing order: he prints:

 

"Heyt war howte!" seyde Roben,
"Ffelowhes, let me alone;
Thorow the helpe of Howr Ladey
To Notynggam well y gon."
 

As Dobson and Taylor note (1976, p. 127), the re-arrangement seems "hardly necessary." Although the stanza's first two lines are rather condensed, it does make sense overall, and is printed here as in the manuscript. In the first line of the stanza Robin appeals to Mary to help against the sheriff, and so (line two) feels his fellows can allow him to go alone; then in line three he stirs up his horse to head off to (line four) Nottingham.

113-16 This stanza is wrongly located in the text after line 96 - presumably the scribe's eye has skipped from Nottingham in line 96 to Nottingham in line 113. The fact that the stanza begins a new page may have facilitated the error.

121 The language suggests this is an obvious place to begin a new fitt, as Ritson does (1795, p. 64); Child's text has an extra space here (though not at line 234, here taken as the start of Fitt 3). The MS does not mark a new fitt in either place.

143 MS: car. Child reads care, feeling there is an abbreviated e; but if so (and it is not clear) this would be an erroneous spelling of this word for cart. Dobson and Taylor print car (1976, p. 128).

146 As Child reports, after sche there is a "character" in the manuscript, which he expands to ser and also relocates after Gereamarsey. Here it is expanded as sir. Dobson and Taylor reject this and merely print a stray apostrophe after sche (1976, p. 231). However the abbreviation is clear and is also used in line 243. Child presumably moves it (with than) to improve the rhyme, but in the light of the uncertain rhymes found in this ballad, there seems insufficient reason to move it: the later usage in line 243 has the same structure, separating sir from Gereamarsey, and the line is printed here as it stands. It might seem unusual for a sheriff's wife to address a potter she has just met as "sir," though less so in line 243, after he has given her a gold ring. Perhaps the implication is that Robin from the start is identified by the wife as more than a mere potter, leading to the slight sexual rapport suggested between them later on.

148 MS: the (first instance). Child emends to they (=thy), but it would be a strangely intimate (or perhaps rude) thing for a sheriff's wife to say to a tradesman - especially when she has just called him sir. There is no need for any personal pronoun.
MS: of the. Crossed out after pottys.

151 sche. MS: he.

161 As with line 65, a large initial L starts the line, presumably because it begins a new page.

164 to. MS: to to. Child emends to go to, but it is more likely that the Middle English idiom "let us to meat" is used, and "to" has been accidentally repeated.
When the sheriff suggests that they wash their hands before eating the meal, he is following a custom of "civilized" behavior that originated in the banquet hall of the medieval court. Since food was served in communal bowls, diners picked it out with their hands; hence, the need for clean hands. As Norbert Elias observes, in The Civilizing Process: The History of Manners (New York: Urizen Books, 1978), table manners were adopted by the bourgeois during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (p. 62). This display of "courtly" manners is paralleled by the sheriff's wife calling Robin "sir" and by Robin's gifts to her of five pots, a gold ring, and a white palfrey. For other hand-washing references, see line 125 and line 922 in the Gest and line 527 in Adam Bell.

169 schotyng. Since English armies recruited their archers from rural levies and city militias, the populace was required to own bows and arrows and to practice archery. In the Statute of Winchester of 1285, Edward I "commanded that every man have in his house arms for keeping the peace" and be "sworn to arms according to the amount of his lands and of his chattels." All men having land worth between 40 and 100 shillings a year were required to own a sword, bow and arrows, and a knife (Harry Rothwell, ed., English Historical Documents 1189-1327 [New York: Oxford University Press, 1975] III, 461-62). In a royal writ, dated 1363, King Edward III ordered all the sheriffs in England to proclaim "that everyone in the shire, on festival days when he has holiday, shall learn and exercise himself in the art of archery, and use for his games bows and arrows, or crossbolts or bolts" (Alec R. Myers, ed., English Historical Documents 1327-1485 [New York: Oxford University Press, 1969] IV, 1182). To encourage practice and to identify expert marksmen, municipal and shire competitions were routinely held. In addition to the match in Robin Hood and the Potter, there are four other competitions described in the Gest (578-89, 1130-81, 1586-1614) and in Adam Bell (612-51). More informal archery matches include the games of plucke buffet (Gest, 1690-1705) and shete a peny (Robin Hood and the Monk, 41-50). For a detailed treatment of the history of archery, including a chapter on Robin Hood, see Jim Bradbury, The Medieval Archer (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1985).

170 MS: the tho ther. Child prints as the thother, which Dobson and Taylor accept (1976, p. 129), but this is not a dialectical variant but an error: emend to the tother.

172 MS: wen. The rhyme has been lost, and the original was probably gayne, with the half-rhyme common in this ballad.

179 MS: pottys. Presumably this reading was influenced by the trade Robin has assumed, but it cannot make sense. Child's emendation to bottys, that is "butts," is sensible.

180 MS: bolt yt: boltys.

182 MS: goode. Child accepts this as the final word in the line, with a consequent failure to rhyme; however, this is so common a cliché (often as ful goode) that a scribe has obviously slipped into it and spoiled the rhyme: the rarer word prowe provides a good rhyme and is accepted here. The equally familiar good ynow, which would rhyme, would be metrically very clumsy.

198 In his note Child speculates whether thow should be inserted after And, but he does not print this, and it is unnecessary.
The long bow was very hard to pull to its full extent; the sheriff thinks this will test whether the "potter" is really a bowman. In fact the sheriff's bows are too weak for Robin's mighty arm: this sense of his special strength underlies the well-known proverb "Many men speak of Robin Hood who never bent his bow."

205 MS: a bowthe. As in the Gest, Child treats this like an adverb, modern about, meaning in turn. But the MS does separate the a from bowthe (as is noted by Child at the end of his collations). This is more likely, here and elsewhere, to be a noun phrase, meaning "a round (of a contest)," from which the sense "in turn" develops.

213 There is disturbance in this passage through to line 224. Lines 213-14 are, most unusually, a couplet, with the same rhyme as the following stanza. Line 217 unemended lacks a rhyme in the MS; there may be a line missing after line 223. These problems can be made to disappear by a tissue of emending and reordering; however the policy here has been to print as much of the existing text as possible and show how it does in fact make sense, though metrically unusual.

218 MS: That Robyn gaff me. This is metrically poor and has lost the rhyme. As this stanza appears, apart from this problem, coherent, it would seem the scribe has remembered the line the wrong way round because it is a little strained for rhyme, as in Child's convincing emendation to That gaffe me Robyn Hode.

225 Child feels a line is missing in the manuscript before this line (though no gap occurs) and he leaves a blank. But there is no gap in the sense, and the rhyme runs on from the previous stanza (as emended). This may well be a rare seven-line stanza (see General Introduction, p. 9), perhaps produced as a scribe tried to rework a passage damaged in the original. The text is left as it stands.

226 MS: the B crossed out after seyde.

230 MS: well, not wel as Child has it.

231 meythe. MS: meythey.

233 soper. MS: scoper.

247 MS: Yonder. Child accepts this reading but it does not make sense unless it is seen as a strange spelling of Under - that is a very familiar statement in the outlaw ballads, and emendation seems appropriate.

252 ye. MS: he. Child emends to "I." Dobson and Taylor read "he" with "I" in brackets as a possible emendation. But the obvious reading, easily misread as "he," is ye.

258-59 Child treats these lines as if they are the first and last of a fragmentary stanza, but in fact they fit easily as the end of a six line stanza. They do however start a new page, with a large capital I.

264 Leytyll. MS: I leyty. Child's emendation.

270 Note the ironic repetition from line 223, when the sheriff thought meeting Robin Hood worth £100.

272-73 The manuscript has the line He had west that befforen after line 269, so lacking a rhyme for line 268. Child, assuming the scribe has jumped from He had in line 270 to Had I in line 271, has reconstructed the lost line and this fine piece of editing is accepted.

275 After thes is a canceled abbreviation for five hundred.

280-81 Child regards these two lines as the beginning of a fragmentary stanza, but in fact they fit as the start of a six-line stanza, with, as is common in the four-line stanza, the speaker changing after two lines.

286 Before this stanza the text includes the lines:

 

Y schall her sende a wheyt palffrey
That ambellet be mey ffey
 

As Child notes, the scribe mistook the rhyme and started the stanza again, so the lines should be dropped.

297 After hade, haffe is crossed out.

308 The manuscript repeats line 305 after this line, an "eyeskip" error.

309 MS: bowhes. This is a more common version of this familiar statement, but the rhyme calls for emendation to the singular, as found in Child.

312 MS: to nobellys. Two nobles was thirteen shillings and four pence (i.e., two thirds of a pound), quite a large sum. The ten pounds Robin provides would have been something like a year's wages.

314 Child inserts haffe before had presumably on grammatical grounds, but cowde Y had is idiomatic Middle English and is retained.

315 MS: be there. Child inverts the words to there be for a better rhyme, but this is not necessary.

323 After this line the original scribe has added Expleycyt Robyn Hode.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Robin Hood and the Potter








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Fitt 1

In schomer, when the leves spryng,
The bloschoms on every bowe,
So merey doyt the berdys syng
Yn wodys merey now.

Herkens, god yemen,
Comley, corteys, and god,
On of the best that yever bare bowe,
Hes name was Roben Hode.

Roben Hood was the yemans name,
That was boyt corteys and fre;
For the loffe of owre ladey,
All wemen werschepyd he.

Bot as the god yeman stod on a day,
Among hes mery maney,
He was ware of a prowd potter,
Cam dryfyng owyr the leye.

"Yonder comet a prod potter," seyde Roben,
"That long hayt hantyd this wey;
He was never so corteys a man
On peney of pawage to pay."

"Y met hem bot at Wentbreg," seyde Lytyll John,
"And therefore yeffell mot he the!
Seche thre strokes he me gafe,
Yet by my seydys cleffe they.

Y ley forty shillings," seyde Lytyll John,
"To pay het thes same day,
Ther ys nat a man among hus all
A wed schall make hem leye."

"Here ys forty shillings," seyde Roben,
"More, and thow dar say,
That Y schall make that prowde potter,
A wed to me schall he ley."

There thes money they leyde,
They toke het a yeman to kepe;
Roben beffore the potter he breyde,
And bad hem stond stell.

Handys apon hes hors he leyde,
And bad the potter stonde foll stell;
The potter schorteley to hem seyde,
"Felow, what ys they well?"

"All thes thre yer, and more, potter," he seyde,
"Thow hast hantyd thes wey,
Yet were tow never so cortys a man
On peney of pavage to pay."

"What ys they name," seyde the potter,
"For pavage thow aske of me?"
"Roben Hod ys mey name,
A wed schall thow leffe me."

"Wed well y non leffe," seyde the potter,
"Nor pavag well Y non pay;
Awey they honde fro mey hors!
Y well the tene eyls, be mey fay."

The potter to hes cart he went,
He was not to seke;
A god to-hande staffe therowt he hent,
Beffore Roben he leppyd.

Roben howt with a swerd bent,
A bokeler en hes honde;
The potter to Roben he went,
And seyde, "Felow, let mey hors go."

Togeder then went thes to yemen,
Het was a god seyt to se;
Thereof low Robyn hes men,
There they stod onder a tre.

Leytell John to hes felow he seyde,
"Yend potter well steffeley stonde":
The potter, with an acward stroke,
Smot the bokeler owt of hes honde.

And ar Roben meyt get het agen
Hes bokeler at hes fette,
The potter yn the neke hem toke,
To the gronde sone he yede.

That saw Roben hes men,
As they stod onder a bow;
"Let us helpe owre master," seyde Lytell John,
"Yonder potter," seyde he, "els well hem slo."

Thes wight yemen with a breyde,
To thes master they cam.
Leytell John to hes master seyde,
"Ho haet the wager won?

"Schall Y haffe yowre forty shillings," seyde Lytl John,
"Or ye, master, schall haffe myne?"
"Yeff they were a hundred," seyde Roben,
"Y feythe, they ben all theyne."

"Het ys fol leytell cortesey," seyde the potter,
"As I hafe harde weyse men sye,
Yeffe a pore yeman com drywyng over the way,
To let hem of hes gorney."

"Be mey trowet, thow seys soyt," seyde Roben,
"Thow seys god yemenrey;
And thow dreyffe forthe yevery day,
Thow schalt never be let for me."

"Y well prey the, god potter,
A felischepe well thow haffe?
Geffe me they clothyng, and thow schalt hafe myne;
Y well go to Notynggam."

"Y grant thereto," seyde the potter,
"Thow schalt feynde me a felow gode;
Bot thow can sell mey pottys well,
Com ayen as thow yede."

"Nay, be mey trowt," seyde Roben,
"And then Y bescro mey hede,
Yeffe Y bryng eney pottys ayen,
And eney weyffe well hem chepe."

Than spake Leytell John,
And all hes felowhes heynd,
"Master, be well ware of the screffe of Notynggam,
For he ys leytell howr frende."

"Thorow the helpe of Howr Ladey,
Felowhes, let me alone.
Heyt war howte!" seyde Roben,
"To Notynggam well Y gon."

Robyn went to Notynggam,
Thes pottys for to sell;
The potter abode with Robens men,
There he fered not eylle.

Tho Roben droffe on hes wey,
So merey ower the londe:
Her es more, and affter ys to saye,
The best ys beheynde.


Fitt 2

When Roben cam to Notynggam,
The soyt yef Y scholde saye,
He set op hes hors anon,
And gaffe hem hotys and haye.

Yn the medys of the towne,
There he schowed hes ware;
"Pottys! pottys!" he gan crey foll sone,
"Haffe hansell for the mare!"

Foll effen agenest the screffeys gate
Schowed he hes chaffare;
Weyffes and wedowes abowt hem drow,
And chepyd fast of hes ware.

Yet "Pottys, gret chepe!" creyed Robyn,
"Y loffe yeffell thes to stonde."
And all that say hem sell
Seyde he had be no potter long.

The pottys that were worthe pens feyffe,
He solde tham for pens thre;
Preveley seyde man and weyffe,
"Ywnder potter schall never the."

Thos Roben solde foll fast,
Tell he had pottys bot feyffe;
Op he hem toke of hes car,
And sende hem to the screffeys weyfe.

Thereof sche was foll fayne,
"Gereamarsey," seyde sche, "sir, than,
When ye com to thes contré ayen,
Y schall bey of the pottys, so mo Y the."

"Ye schall haffe of the best," seyde Roben,
And sware be the Treneyté";
Foll corteysley sche gan hem call,
"Com deyne with the screfe and me."

"God amarsey," seyde Roben,
"Yowre bedyng schall be doyn."
A mayden yn the pottys gan bere,
Roben and the screffe weyffe folowed anon.

Whan Roben yn to the hall cam,
The screffe sone he met;
The potter cowed of corteysey,
And sone the screffe he gret.

"Lo, ser, what thes potter hayt geffe yow and me,
Feyffe pottys smalle and grete!"
"He ys foll wellcom," seyd the screffe,
"Let os was, and to mete."

As they sat at her methe,
With a nobell chere,
To of the screffes men gan speke
Of a gret wager,

Of a schotyng, was god and feyne,
Was made the tother daye,
Of forty shillings, the soyt to saye,
Who scholde thes wager gayne.

Styll than sat thes prowde potter,
Thos than thowt he,
As Y am a trow Cerstyn man,
Thes schotyng well Y se.

Whan they had fared of the best,
With bred and ale and weyne,
To the bottys the made them prest,
With bowes and boltys foll feyne.

The screffes men schot foll fast,
As archares that weren prowe,
There cam non ner ney the marke
Bey halffe a god archares bowe.

Stell then stod the prowde potter,
Thos than seyde he;
"And Y had a bow, be the Rode,
On schot scholde yow se."

"Thow schall haffe a bow," seyde the screffe,
"The best that thow well cheys of thre;
Thou semyst a stalward and a stronge,
Asay schall thow be."

The screffe commandyd a yeman that stod hem bey
After bowhes to weynde;
The best bow that the yeman browthe
Roben set on a stryng.

"Now schall Y wet and thow be god,
And polle het op to they nere."
"So god me helpe," seyde the prowde potter,
"Thys ys bot ryght weke gere."

To a quequer Roben went,
A god bolt owthe he toke;
So ney on to the marke he went,
He fayled not a fothe.

All they schot a bowthe agen,
The screffes men and he;
Off the marke he welde not fayle,
He cleffed the preke on thre.

The screffes men thowt gret schame
The potter the mastry wan;
The screffe lowe and made god game,
And seyde, "Potter, thow art a man.
Thow art worthey to bere a bowe
Yn what plas that thow goe."

"Yn mey cart Y haffe a bow,
For soyt," he seyde, "and that a godde;
Yn mey cart ys the bow
That gaffe me Robyn Hode."

"Knowest thow Robyn Hode?" seyde the screffe,
"Potter, Y prey the tell thow me."
"A hundred torne Y haffe schot with hem,
Under hes tortyll-tre."
"Y had lever nar a hundred ponde," seyde the screffe,
And sware be the Trinity,
"That the fals outelawe stod be me."

"And ye well do afftyr mey red," seyde the potter,
"And boldeley go with me,
And to morow, or we het bred,
Roben Hode well we se."

"Y well queyt the," kod the screffe,
"And swere be God of meythe."
Schetyng thay left, and hom they went,
Her soper was reddy deythe.


Fitt 3

Upon the morrow, when het was day,
He boskyd hem forthe to reyde;
The potter hes cart forthe gan ray,
And wolde not leffe beheynde.

He toke leffe of the screffys wyffe,
And thankyd her of all thyng:
"Dam, for mey loffe and ye well thys were,
Y geffe yow here a golde ryng."

"Gramarsey," seyde the weyffe,
"Sir, God eylde het the."
The screffes hart was never so leythe,
The feyre foreyst to se.

And when he cam yn to the foreyst,
Under the leffes grene,
Berdys there sange on bowhes prest,
Het was gret goy to se.

"Here het ys merey to be," seyde Roben,
"For a man that had hawt to spende;
Be mey horne ye schall awet
Yeff Roben Hode be here."

Roben set hes horne to hes mowthe,
And blow a blast that was foll god;
That herde hes men that there stode,
Fer downe yn the wodde.
"I her mey master blow," seyde Leytell John,
They ran as thay were wode.

Whan thay to thar master cam,
Leytell John wold not spare;
"Master, how haffe yow fare yn Notynggam?
How haffe yow solde yowre ware?"

"Ye, be mey trowthe, Leytyll John,
Loke thow take no care;
Y haffe browt the screffe of Notynggam,
For all howre chaffare."

"He ys foll wellcom," seyde Lytyll John,
"Thes tydyng ys foll godde."
The screffe had lever nar a hundred ponde
He had never seen Roben Hode.

"Had I west that befforen,
At Notynggam when we were,
Thow scholde not com yn feyre forest
Of all thes thowsande eyre."

"That wot Y well," seyde Roben,
"Y thanke God that ye be here;
Thereffore schall ye leffe yowre hors with hos,
And all yowre hother gere."

"That fend I Godys forbod," kod the screffe,
"So to lese mey godde."
"Hether ye cam on hors foll hey,
And hom schall ye go on fote;
And gret well they weyffe at home,
The woman ys foll godde.

"Y schall her sende a wheyt palffrey,
Het hambellet as the weynde,
Nere for the loffe of yowre weyffe,
Off more sorow scholde yow seyng."

Thes parted Robyn Hode and the screffe;
To Notynggam he toke the waye;
Hes weyffe feyre welcomed hem hom,
And to hem gan sche saye:

"Seyr, how haffe yow fared yn grene foreyst?
Haffe ye browt Roben hom?"
"Dam, the deyell spede hem, bothe bodey and bon;
Y haffe hade a foll gret skorne.

"Of all the god that Y haffe lade to grene wod,
He hayt take het fro me;
All bot thes feyre palffrey,
That he hayt sende to the."

With that sche toke op a lowde lawhyng,
And swhare be Hem that deyed on tre,
"Now haffe yow payed for all the pottys
That Roben gaffe to me.

"Now ye be com hom to Notynggam.
Ye schall haffe god ynowe."
Now speke we of Roben Hode,
And of the pottyr ondyr the grene bowhe.

"Potter, what was they pottys worthe
To Notynggam that Y ledde with me?"
"They wer worthe to nobellys," seyde he,
"So mot Y treyffe or the;
So cowde Y had for tham,
And Y had be there."

"Thow schalt hafe ten ponde," seyde Roben,
"Of money feyre and fre;
And yever whan thow comest to grene wod,
Wellcom, potter, to me."

Thes partyd Robyn, the screffe, and the potter,
Ondernethe the grene wod tre;
God haffe mersey on Roben Hodys solle,
And saffe all god yemanrey!


summer
blossoms
merry do
completely joyful; (see note)

Listen
Fair, well-bred, and good; (see note)
One; ever bore



both courteous and generous
love of our lady (Virgin Mary)
honored; (see note)

But
his merry band of men
aware
Came hastening over the open land (see note)

comes a proud
has regularly passed
courteous
One penny of road-toll to pay

Wentbridge; (see note)
evil may he thrive (damn him)
Such; gave
The blows are still splitting my sides; (see note)

I wager
it
us; (see note)
Who can force him to make a payment; (nt)


if you dare gamble (it)
I shall
He shall make me a payment

laid down
gave it to
jumped
ordered him to stand still

upon
absolutely still
briefly
what is thy will

(see note)
regularly passed
were you never
One; road-toll




A payment you shall leave me

I will not leave a payment
Nor will I pay a toll
from my
I will do thee evil otherwise, by my faith


did not hide
good two-handed; took out
Before; leaped

pulled out a sword
buckler



these two
good sight
Robin's men laughed
Where

(see note)
That; will staunchly stand
with a back-handed stroke; (see note)
Struck

before; might get it
feet
hit him on the neck
at once he fell

Robin's men saw that
bough [of a tree]

will him slay; (see note)

These strong; rush; (see note)
this; (see note)
his
Who has

Will I have

If
In faith, they are

It is very discourteous
heard
If; driving; (see note)
hinder him; journey

By my faith; speak truth
You speak good yeomanry
If thou go forth
be delayed

I will ask thee
Will you have a fellowship
Give




Unless
went; (see note)

truth
beshrew (curse) myself
If; (see note)
If any wife will buy them


friendly fellows
wary; sheriff
little our friend

With; Our Lady; (see note)

Gee up!
will I go

(see note)

stayed
fared well

hastened


is yet to come




(see note)
If I were to tell the truth
stabled
gave him oats and hay

In the midst
showed his wares
began to shout at once
Have a present the more you buy

Right against; sheriff's
merchandise
Wives; drew about him
quickly purchased

great bargain!
I hate to leave these standing
saw him selling
he had not been a potter long

five pence

Privately; woman
Yonder; prosper


Till; five
He took them up from his cart; (see note)
wife

very happy
Thank you; (see note)
these parts again
buy from you; as I may prosper; (see note)


Trinity
With full courtesy; him; (see note)
Come dine; sheriff

God thank you
bidding; done
bore the pots in
at once


sheriff at once
understood courtesy
greeted

Look sir; has given; (see note)
Five
very
Let's wash and [go] to food; (see note)

their food
noble cheer
Two; began to


Of a shooting match; fine; (see note)
other; (see note)
the truth to tell
win; (see note)

Silent
Thus; thought
true Christian
will I see

dined
wine
targets they hurried; (see note)
arrows; (see note)

shot very quickly
archers; skillful; (see note)
nearer the mark
By half the length of

Still
Thus
If; by Christ's Cross
One shot you would see


will choose
seem
Tested


To go for bows
brought
fitted a string

know if you are any good
pull it up to your ear; (see note)

but very feeble tackle

quiver
good arrow he took out
near to the mark
didn't miss by a foot

a round again; (see note)

would not miss
cleft; peg into three pieces

thought (i.e., felt) great shame
won the contest
laughed

(see note)
In whatever place

my
In truth; it's a good one

Robin Hood gave me; (see note)



bouts
trysting tree
rather than have

(see note)

If you will follow my counsel; (see note)
boldly
before we eat


I will reward thee, said; (see note)
almighty; (see note)
They stopped shooting
Their supper was prepared; (see note)




it
He got himself ready to ride
began to make ready his cart
leave (it) behind

took leave

if you will wear this


Many thanks
God reward you for it
light



(see note)
Birds sang freely on boughs there
great joy

To be here is merry
who had anything to spend
By my horn you shall discover (see note)




heard his

(see note)
crazy


hold back
how did you fare
did you sell

Little; (see note)

brought
As a result of our business

very
news
rather than; (see note)


Had I known that before; (see note)


years; (see note)

I know that well

leave; us
your other gear

May God forbid that, said; (see note)
So to lose my goods
Hither you came high upon a horse

greet; your wife


white palfrey; (see note)
It trots; wind
Were it not
you should sing

Thus




how did you fare
brought
Lady, the devil take him
full great harm; (see note)

Of all the property I had taken
has taken it from me
All but this
has

let out a loud laugh
swore by




plenty of property
(see note)
under; (see note)


that I took with me
two nobles; (see note)
So may I thrive or prosper
So [much] could I have had; (see note)
If I had been there; (see note)

pounds

always


Thus

soul
(see note)


Go to A Gest of Robyn Hode: Introduction