Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
112. Robyn and Gandelyn

I HERDE a carpyng of a clerk,
  Al at yone wodes ende,
Of gode Robyn and Gandeleyn;
  Was ther non other thynge.
Robynn lyth in grene wode bowndyn.        5

Stronge thevys wern tho chylderin none,
  But bowmen gode and hende;
He wentyn to wode to getyn hem fleych,
  If God wold it hem sende.

Al day wentyn tho chylderin two,
  And fleych fowndyn he non,
Til it were ageyn evyn;
  The chylderin wold gon hom.

Half an honderid of fat falyf der
  He comyn ayon,        15
And alle he wern fayr and fat i-now,
  But markyd was ther non:
‘Be dere God,’ seyde gode Robyn,
  ‘Hereof we shul have on.’

Robyn bent his joly bowe,
  Ther in he set a flo;
The fattest der of alle
  The herte he clef a to.

He hadde not the der i-flawe,
  Ne half out of the hyde,        25
There cam a schrewde arwe out of the west,
  That felde Robertes pryde.

Gandeleyn lokyd hym est and west,
  Be every syde:
‘Hoo hat myn mayster slayin?        30
  Ho hat don this dede?
Shal I never out of grene wode go
  Til I se his sydis blede.’

Gandeleyn lokyd hym est and west,
  And sowt under the sunne;        35
He saw a lytil boy,
  He clepyn Wrennok of Donne.

A good bowe in his hond,
  A brod arwe ther-ine,
And fowre and twenti goode arwys,        40
  Trusyd in a thrumme:
‘Be war the, war the, Gandeleyn,
  Her-of thu shalt han summe!

‘Be war the, war the, Gandeleyn,
  Her of thu gyst plenté!’—        45
‘Ever on for an other,’ seyde Gandeleyn;
  ‘Mysaunter have he shal fle.

‘Qwer-at shal our marke be?’
  Seyde Gandeleyn.—
‘Everyche at otheris herte,’        50
  Seyde Wrennok ageyn.

‘Ho shal yeve the ferste schote?’
  Seyde Gandeleyn.
‘And I shul yeve the on be-forn,’
  Seyde Wrennok ageyn.        55

Wrennok schette a ful good schote,
  And he schet not to hye;
Throw the sanchothis of his bryk;
  It towcyhd neyther thye.

‘Now hast thu yovyn me on be-forn,’
  Al thus to Wrennok seyde he,
‘And throw the myyt of our lady
  A bettere I shal yeve the.’

Gandeleyn bent his goode bowe,
  And set ther-in a flo;        65
He schet throw his grene certyl,
  His herte he clef on too.

‘Now shalt thu never yelpe, Wrennok,
  At ale ne at wyn,
That thu hast slawe goode Robyn,        70
  And his knave Gandeleyn.

‘Now shalt thu never yelpe, Wrennok,
  At wyn ne at ale,
That thu hast slawe goode Robyn,
  And Gandeleyn his knave.’        75
Robyn lyth in grene wode bowndyn.
GLOSS:  carpyng] talking, tale.  hende] gracious, courteous.  He] they.  ageyn evyn] towards evening.  He comyn ayon] came over against them, in their path.  on] one.  flo] arrow.  a to] in two.  i-flawe] flayed.  schrewde] sharp.  He clepyn] whom they call.  Trusyd] trussed. bound up.  thrumme] end of a warp.  gyst] gettest.  Mysaunter] misadventure.  Ho] who.  yeve] give.  sanchothis] fork.  bryk] breeches.  yovyn me on] given me one.  certyl] kirtle.


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