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The Twa Corbies

The three Rauens
Edward
Lord Randal
QUEEN ELEANOR'S CONFESSION
ROBIN HOOD RESCUING THREE SQUIRES
ROBIN HOOD AND LITTLE JOHN
ROBIN HOOD'S PROGRESS TO NOTTINGHAM
ROBIN HOOD AND THE BISHOP

ROBIN HOOD RESCUING THREE SQUIRES
There are twelve months in all the year,
As I hear many men say,
But the merriest month in all the year
Is the merry month of May.
Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone,
With a link a down and a day,
And there he met a silly old woman,
Was weeping on the way.
"What news? what news, thou silly old woman?
What news hast thou for me?" Said she,
There 's three squires in Nottingham town
To-day is condemned to die.
"O have they parishes burnt?" he said,
"Or have they ministers slain?
Or have they robbed any virgin,
Or with other men's wives have lain?"
"They have no parishes burnt, good sir,
Nor yet have ministers slain,
Nor have they robbed any virgin,
Nor with other men's wives have lain."
"O what have they done?" said bold Robin Hood,
"I pray thee tell to me:"
"It's for slaying of the king's fallow deer,
Bearing their long bows with thee."
"Dost thou not mind, old woman," he said,
"Since thou made me sup and dine?
By the truth of my body," quoth bold Robin Hood,
"You could not tell it in better time."
Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone,
With a link a down and a day,
And there he met with a silly old palmer,
Was walking along the highway.
"What news? what news, thou silly old man?
What news, I do thee pray?" Said he,
Three squires in Nottingham town
Are condemnd to die this day.
"Come change thy apparel with me, old churl,
Come change thy apparel for mine;
Here is forty shillings in good silver,
Go drink it in beer or wine."
"O thine apparel is good," he said,
"And mine is ragged and torn;
Wherever you go, wherever you ride,
Laugh neer an old man to scorn."
"Come change thy apparel with me, old churl,
Come change thy apparel with mine;
Here are twenty pieces of good broad gold,
Go feast thy brethren with wine."
Then he put on the old man's hat,
It stood full high on the crown:
"The first bold bargain that I come at,
It shall make thee come down."
Then he put on the old man's cloak,
Was patchd black, blew, and red;
He thought no shame all the day long
To wear the bags of bread.
Then he put on the old man's breeks,
Was patchd from ballup to side;
By the truth of my body," bold Robin can say,
"This man lovd little pride."
Then he put on the old man's hose,
Were patchd from knee to wrist;
"'By the truth of my body," said bold Robin Hood,
"I'd laugh if I had any list."
Then he put on the old man's shoes,
Were patchd both beneath and aboon;
Then Robin Hood swore a solemn oath,
It's good habit that makes a man.
Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone,
With a link a down and a down,
And there he met with the proud sheriff,
Was walking along the town.
"O save, O save, O sheriff," he said,
"O save, and you may see!
And what will you give to a silly old man
To-day will your hangman be?"
"Some suits, some suits," the sheriff he said,
"Some suits I'll give to thee;
Some suits, some suits, and pence thirteen
To-day 's a hangman's fee."
Then Robin he turns him round about,
And jumps from stock to stone;
"By the truth of my body," the sheriff he said,
"That's well jumpt, thou nimble old man."
"I was neer a hangman in all my life,
Nor yet intends to trade;
But curst be he," said bold Robin,
"That first a hangman was made.
"I've a bag for meal, and a bag for malt,
And a bag for barley and corn;
A bag for bread, and a bag for beef,
And a bag for my little small horn.
"I have a horn in my pocket,
I got it from Robin Hood,
And still when I set it to my mouth,
For thee it blows little good."
"O wind thy horn, thou proud fellow,
Of thee I have no doubt;
I wish that thou give such a blast
Till both thy eyes fall out.
"The first loud blast that he did blow,
He blew both loud and shrill;
A hundred and fifty of Robin Hood's men
Came riding over the hill.
The next loud blast that he did give,
He blew both loud and amain,
And quickly sixty of Robin Hood's men
Came shining over the plain.
"O who are yon," the sheriff he said,
"Come tripping over the lee?"
"The're my attendants," brave Robin did say,
'They '11 pay a visit to thee.
"They took the gallows from the slack,
They set it in the glen,
They hangd the proud sheriff on that,
Releasd their own three men.


ROBIN HOOD AND LITTLE JOHN
When Robin Hood was about twenty years old,
With a hey down down and a down
He happend to meet Little John,
A jolly brisk blade, right fit for the trade,
For he was a lusty young man.
Tho he was calld Little, his limbs they were large,
And his stature was seven foot high;
Where-ever he came, they quak'd at his name,
For soon he would make them to fly.
How they came acquainted, I'll tell you in brief,
If you will but listen a while;
For this very jest, amongst all the rest,
I think it may cause you to smile.
Bold Robin Hood said to his jolly bowmen,
Pray tarry you here in this grove;
And see that you all observe well my call,
While thorough the forest I rove.
We have had no sport for these fourteen long days,
Therefore now abroad will I go;
Now should I be beat, and cannot retreat,
My horn I will presently blow.
Then did he shake hands with his merry men all,
And bid them at present good b'w'ye;
Then, as near a brook his journey he took,
A stranger he chancd to espy.
They happend to meet on a long narrow bridge,
And neither of them would give way;
Quoth bold Robim Hood, and sturdily stood,
I '11 show you right Nottingham play.
With that from his quiver an arrow he drew,
A broad arrow with a goose-wing:
The stranger reply'd, I 'll liquor thy hide,
If thou offerst to touch the string.
Quoth bold Robin 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,
Before thou couldst strike me one blow.
"Thou talkst like a coward," the stranger reply'd;
"Well armd with a long bow you stand,
To shoot at my breast, while I'll protest,
Have nought but a staff in my hand.
"The name of a coward," quoth Robin,
"I scorn, Wherefore my long bow I '11 lay by;
And now, for thy sake, a staff will I take,
The truth of thy manhood to try."
Then Robin 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;
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,
And their staffs they did flourish about.
And first Robin he gave the stranger a bang,
So hard that it made his bones ring:
The stranger he said. This must be repaid,
I'll give you as good as you bring."o
" So long as I 'm able to handle my staff,
To die in your debt, friend, I scorn:
Then to it each goes, and followd their blows,
As if they had been threshing of corn.
The stranger gave Robin a crack on the crown,
Which caused the blood to appear;
Then Robin, enrag'd, more fiercely engag'd,
And followd his blows more severe.
So thick and so fast did he lay it on him,
With a passionate fury and ire,
At every stroke, he made him to smoke,
As if he had been all on fire.
? then into fury the stranger he grew,
And gave him a damnable look,
And with it a blow that laid him full low,
And tumbld him into the brook.
"I prithee, good fellow, O where art thou now?"
The stranger, in laughter, he cry'd;
Quoth bold Robin Hood, Good faith, in the flood,
And floating alone with the tide.
I needs must acknowledge thou art a brave soul;
With thee I '11 no longer contend;
For needs must I say, thou hast got the day,
Our battel shall be at an end.
Then unto the bank he did presently wade,
And pulld himself out by a thorn;
Which done, at the last, he blowd a loud blast
Straitway on his fine bugle-horn.
The eccho of which through the vallies did fly,
At which his stout bowmen appeard,
All cloathed in green, most gay to be seen;
So up to their master they steerd.
"O what's the matter?" quoth William Stutely;
"Good master, you are wet to the skin:"
"No matter," quoth he, "the lad which you see,
In fighting, hath tumbid me in."
"He shall not go scot-free," the others reply'd,
So strait they were seizing him there,
To duck him likewise; but Robin Hood cries,
He is a stout fellow, forbear.
There 's no one shall wrong thee, friend, be not afraid
These bowmen upon me do wait;
There 's threescore and nine; if thou wilt be mine,
Thou shalt have my livery strait.
And other accoutrements fit for a man;
Speak up, jolly blade, never fear;
I 'll teach you also the use of the bow,
To shoot at the fat fallow-deer.
"O here is my hand," the stranger reply'd,
"I 'll serve you with all my whole heart;
My name is John Little, a man of good mettle;
Nere doubt me, for I 'll play my part."
"His name shall be alterd," quoth William Stutely,
"And I will his godfather be;
Prepare then a feast, and none of the least,
For we will be merry," quoth he.
They presently fetchd in a brace of fat does,
With humming strong liquor likewise;
They lovd what was good; so, in the greenwood,
This pretty sweet babe they baptize.
He was, I must tell you, but seven foot high,
And, may be, an ell in the waste;
A pretty sweet lad; much feasting they had;
Bold Robin the christning grac'd.
With all his bowmen, which stood in a ring,
And were of the Nottingham breed;
Brave Stutely comes then, with seven yeomen,
And did in this manner proceed.
"This infant was called John Little," quoth he,
"Which name shall be changed anon;
The words we '11 transpose, so where-ever he goes,
His name shall be calld Little John."
They all with a shout made the elements ring,
So soon as the office was ore;
To feasting they went, with true merriment,
And tippid strong liquor gillore.
Then Robin he took the pretty sweet babe,
And cloathd him from top to the toe
In garments of green, most gay to be seen,
And gave him a curious long bow.
"Thou shalt be an archer as well as the best,
And range in the greenwood with us;
Where we '11 not want gold nor silver, behold,
While bishops have ought in their purse.
"We live here like squires, or lords of renown,
Without ere a foot of free land;
We feast on good cheer, with wine, ale, and beer,
And evry thing at our command."
Then musick and dancing did finish the day;
At length, when the sun waxed low,
Then all the whole train the grove did refrain,
And unto their caves they did go.
And so ever after, as long as he livd,
Altho he was proper and tall,
Yet nevertheless, the truth to express,
Still Little John they did him call.


ROBIN HOOD'S PROGRESS TO NOTTINGHAM
Robin Hood hee was and a tall young man,
Derry derry down And fifteen winters old,
And Robin Hood he was a proper young man,
Of courage stout and bold.
Hey down derry derry down
Robin Hood he would and to fair Nottingham,
With the general for to dine;
There was he were of fifteen forresters,
And a drinking bear, ale, and wine.
"What news? What news?" said bold Robin Hood;
"What news, fain wouldest thou know?
-Our king hath provided a shooting-match:"
"And I 'm ready with my bow."
"We hold it in scorn," then said the forresters,
"That ever a boy so young
Should bear a bow before our king,
That's not able to draw one string."
"I 'll hold you twenty marks," said bold Robin Hood
"By the leave of Our Lady,
That I 'll hit a mark a hundred rod,
And I 'll cause a hart to dye."
"We'l hold you twenty mark," then said the foresters
"By the leave of Our Lady,
Thou hitst not the marke a hundred rod,
Nor causest a hart to dye."
Robin Hood he bent up a noble bow,
And a broad arrow he let flye,
He hit the mark a hundred rod,
And he caused a hart to dye.
Some said hee brake ribs one or two,
And some said hee brake three;
The arrow within the hart would not abide,
But it glanced in two or three.
-"The hart did skip, and the hart di'd l???,
And the hart lay on the ground;
"The wager is mine," said bold Robin Hood,
"If't were for a thousand pound."
"The wager's none of thine," then said the forresters,
"Although thou beest in haste;
Take up thy bow, and get thee hence,
Lest wee thy sides do baste."
Robin Hood hee took up his noble bow,
And his broad arrows all amain,
And Robin Hood he laught, and begun to smile,
As hee went over the plain.
Then Robin Hood hee bent his noble bow,
And his broad arrows he let flye,
Till fourteen of these fifteen foresters
Vpon the ground did lye.
He that did this quarrel first begin
Went tripping over the plain;
But Robin Hood he bent his noble bow,
And hee fetc'ht him back again.
"You said I was no archer," said Robin Hood,
"But say so now again;" With that he sent another arrow
That split his head in twain.
"You have found mee an archer," saith Robin Hood,
"Which will make your wives for to wring,
And wish that you had never spoke the word,
That I could not draw one string."
The people that lived in fair Nottingham
Came runing out amain,
Supposing to have taken bold Robin Hood,
With the forresters that were slain.
Some lost legs, and some lost arms,
And some did lose their blood,
But Robin Hood hee took up his noble bow,
And is gone to the merry green wood.
They carryed these forresters into fair Nottingham,
As many there did know;
They digd them graves in their church-yard,
And they buried them all a row.


ROBIN HOOD AND THE BISHOP
Come, gentlemen all, and listen a while,
Hey down down an a down
And a story I 'Ie to you unfold;
I 'Ie tell you how Robin Hood served the Bishop,
When he robbed him of his gold.
As it fell out on a sun-shining day,
When Phebus was in his prime,
Then Robin Hood, that archer good,
In mirth would spend some time.
And as he walkd the forrest along,
Some pastime for to spy,
There was he aware of a proud bishop,
And all his company.
"0 what shall I do?" said Robin Hood then,
"If the Bishop he doth take me,
No marcy he 'l show unto me, I know,
But hanged 1 shall be."
Then Robin was stout, and tumd him about,
And a little house there he did spy;
And to an old wife, for to save his life,
He loud began for to cry.
"Why, who art thou?" said the old woman,
"Come tell it to me for good:"
"I am an out-law, as many do know,
My name it is Robin Hood.
"And yonder 's the Bishop and all his men,
And if that I taken be,
Then day and night he 'l work me spight,
And hanged I shall be."
"If thou be Robin Hood," said the old wife,
"As thou dost seem to be,
I 'll for thee provide, and thee I will hide
From the Bishop and his company.
"For I well remember, one Saturday night
Thou bought me both shoos and hose;
Therefore I 'll provide thy person to hide,
And keep thee from thy foes."
"Then give me soon thy coat of gray,
And take thou my mantle of green;
Thy spindle and twine unto me resign,
And take thou my arrows so keen."
And when that Robin Hood was so araid,
He went straight to his company;
With his spindle and twine, he oft lookt behind
For the Bishop and his company.
"O who is yonder," quoth Little John,
"That now comes over the lee? An arrow I will at her let flie,
So like an old witch looks she."
"O hold thy hand, hold thy hand," said Robin then,
"And shoot not thy arrows so keen;
I am Robin Hood, thy master good,
And quickly it shall be seen."
The Bishop he came to the old womans house,
And he called with furious mood,
"Come let me soon see, and bring unto me,
That traitor Robin Hood."
The old woman he set on a milk-white steed,
Himselfe on a dapple-gray,
And for joy he had got Robin Hood,
He went laughing all the way.
But as they were riding the forrest along,
The Bishop he chanc'd for to see
A hundred brave bow-men bold
Stand under the green-wood tree.
"O who is yonder," the Bishop then said,
"That's ranging within yonder wood?"
"Marry," says the old woman, "I think it to be
A man calld Robin Hood."
"Why, who art thou," the Bishop he said,
"Which I have here with me?"
"Why, I am an old woman, thou cuckoldly bishop;
Lift up my leg and see."
"Then woe is me," the Bishop he said,
"That ever I saw this day!"
He turnd him about, but Robin so stout
Calld him, and bid him stay.
Then Robin took hold of the Bishops horse,
And ty'd him fast to a tree;
Then Little John smii'd his master upon,
For joy of that company.
Robin Hood took his mantle from 's back,
And spread it upon the ground,
And out of the Bishops portmantle he
Soon told five hundred pound.
"So now let him go," said Robin Hood;
Said Little John, That may not be;
For I vow and protest he shall sing us a mass
Before that he goe from me.
Then Robin Hood took the Bishop by the hand,
And bound him fast to a tree,
And made him sing a mass, God wot,
To him and his yeomandree.
And then they brought him through the wood,
And set him on his dapple-gray,
And gave the tail within his hand,
And bade him for Robin Hood pray.


The Twa Corbies

As I was walking all alane
I heard twa corbies making a mane:
The tane unto the tither did say,
"Whar sall we gang and dine the day?"

"- In behint yon auld fail dyke
I wot there lies a new-slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there
But his hawk, his hound, and his lady fair.

"His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady's ta'en anither mate,
So we may mak our dinner sweet.

"Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pike out his bonny blue e'en:
Wi'ae lock o' his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.

"Mony a one for him maks mane,
But nane sall ken whar he is gane:
O'er his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair."


The three Rauens

There were three rauens sat on a tree,
Downe a downe, hay down, hay downe
There were three rauens sat on a tree,
With a downe.
There were three rauens sat on a tree,
They were as blacke as they might be,
With a downe derrie, derrie, derrie, downe, downe.
The one of them said to his mate,
"Where shall we our breakefast take?"
"Downe on yonder greene field,
There lies a knight slain under his shield.
"His hounds they lie downe at his feete,
So well they can their master keepe.
"His haukes they flie so eagerly,
Theres no fowle dare him come nie
Downe there comes a fallow doe,
As great with young as she might goe.
She lift up his bloudy hed,
And kist his wounds that were so red.
She got him up to upon her backe,
And carried him to earthen lake.
She buried him before the prime;
She was dead herself ere euen-song time.
God send every gentleman
Such haukes, such hounds, and such a leman


EDWARD

Why dois your brand sae drap wi bluid,
Edward, Edward,
Why dois your brand sae drap wi bluid,
And why sae sad gang yee O?
O I hae killed my hauke sae guid,
Mither, mither,
O I hae killed my hauke sae guid,
And I had nae mair bot hee O.

Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid,
Edward, Edward,
Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid,
My deir son I tell thee O.
O I hae killed my reid-roan steid,
Mither, mither,
O I hae killed my reid-roan steid,
That erst was sae fair and frie O.

Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair,
Edward, Edward,
Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair,
Sum other dule ye drie O.
O I hae killed my fadir deir,
Mither, mither,
O I hae killed my fadir deir,
Alas, and wae is mee O!

And whatten penance wul ye drie, for that,
Edward, Edward?
And whatten penance will ye drie for that?
My deir son, now tell me O.
Ile set my feit in yonder boat,
Mither, mither,
Ile set my feit in yonder boat,
And Ile fare ovir the sea O.

And what wul ye doe wi your towirs and your ha,
Edward, Edward?
And what wul ye doe wi your towirs and your ha,
That were sae fair to see O?
Ile let thame stand tul they doun fa,
Mither, mither,
Ile let thame stand tul they doun fa,
For here nevir mair maun I bee O

And what wul ye leive to your bairns and your wi
Edward, Edward?
And what wul ye leive to your bairns and your wi
Whan ye gang ovir the sea O?
The warldis room, late them beg thrae life,
Mither, mither,
The warldis room, late them beg thrae life,
For thame nevir mair wul I see O.

And what wul ye leive to your ain mither deir,
Edward, Edward?
And what wul ye leive to your ain mither deir?
Io deir son, now tell me O.
The curse of hell frae me sall ye beir,
Mither, mither,
The curse of hell frae me sall ye beir,
Sic counseils ye gave to me O.


Lord Randal

"O where hae ye been, Lord Randal, my son?
O where hae ye been, my handsome young man?"
"I hae been to the wild wood; mother, make my bed soon,
For I am weary wi hunting and fain wald lie down."

"Where hat ye your dinner, Lord Randal, my son?
Where hat ye your dinner, my handsome young man?"
I dined wi my true-love; mother, make my bed soon,
For I am weary wi hunting and fain wald lie down."

"What gat ye to your dinner, Lord Randal, my son?
What gat ye to your dinner, my handsome young man?"
I gat eels and broo; mother, make my bed soon,
For I am weary wi hunting and fain wald lie down."

"What became of your bloodhounds, Lord Randal, my son?
What became of your bloodhounds, my handsome young man?"
"O they sweld and they died; mother, make my bed soon,
For I am weary wi hunting and fain wald lie down."

"O I fear ye are poisond, Lord Randal, my son!
O I fear ye are poisond, my handsome young man!"
O yes! I am poisond; mother, make my bed soon,
For I am sick at the heart, and I fain wald lie down."


QUEEN ELEANOR'S CONFESSION
The Queen's faen sick, and very, very sick,
Sick, and going to die,
And she's sent for twa friars of France,
To speak with her speedilie.

The King he said to the Earl Marischal,
To the Earl Marischal said he,
The Queen she wants twa friars frae France,
To speak with her presentlie.

Will ye put on a friar's coat.
And I 'll put on another,
And we 'll go in before the Queen,
Like friars both together.

"But O forbid." said the Earl Marischal,
"That I this deed should dee!
For it I beguile Eleanor our Queen,
She will gar hang me hie."

The King he turned him round about,
An angry man was he;
He's sworn by his sceptre and his sword
Earl Marischal should not die.

The King has put on a friar's coat,
Earl Marischal on another,
And they went in before the Queen,
Like friars both together.

"O if ye be twa friars of France,
Ye 're dearly welcome to me;
But if ye be twa London friars,
I will gar hang you hie."

"Twa friars of France, twa friars of France,
Twa friars of France are we,
And we vow we never spoke to a man
Till we spake to Your Majesty."

"The first great sin that eer I did,
And I 'll tell you it presentlie,
Earl Marischal got my maidenhead,
When coming oer the sea."

"That was a sin, and a very great sin,
But pardoned it may be;"
"All that with amendment," said Earl Marischal,
But a quacking heart had he.

"The next great sin that eer I did,
I 'll tell you it presentlie;
I carried a box seven years in my breast,
To poison King Henrie."

"O that was a sin, and a very great sin,
But pardoned it may be;"
"All that with amendement," said Earl Marischal,
But a quacking heart had he.

"The next great sin that eer I did,
I 'll tell you it presentlie;
I poisoned the Lady Rosamond,
And a very good woman was she.

"See ye not yon twa bonny boys,
As they play at the ba?
The eldest of them is Marischal's son,
And I love him best of a';
The youngest of them is Henrie's son,
And I love him none at a'.

"For he is headed like a bull, a bull,
He is backed like a boar;"
"Then by my sooth," King Henrie said,
"I love him the better therefor."

The King has cast off his friar's coat,
Put on a coat of gold;
The Queen she's turned her face about,
She could not's face behold.

The King then said to Earl Marischal,
To the Earl Marischal said he,
Were it not for my sceptre and sword,
Earl Marischal, ye should die.


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2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman