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OLD ROBIN OF PORTINGALE.
From an ancient copy in the Editor's folio MS. which was judged to require considerable corrections.
In the former Edition the hero of this piece had been called Sir Robin, but that title not being in the MS. is now omitted.
Let never again soe old a man
arrye soe yonge a wife,
Who may rue all the dayes of his life.
For the mayors daughter of Lin, god wott,
He chose her to his wife,
But they fell to hate and strife.
They scarce were in their wed-bed laid,
And scarce was hee asleepe,
To the steward, and gan to weepe.
Sleepe you, wake you, faire sir Gyles ?
Or be you not within ?
Arise and let me inn.
O, I am waking, sweete, he said,
Sweete ladye, what is your will ?
How my wed-lord weell spill.
Twenty-four good knights, shee sayes,
That dwell about this towne,
Will helpe to dinge him downe.
He mourned still, and wept full sore;
I sweare by the holy roode
Were blent water and bloude.
And that beheard his deare master
As he stood at his garden pale:
What causes thee to wail ?
Hath any one done to thee wronge
Any of thy fellowes here?
That thou shedst manye a teare?
Ver. 19. unbethought, [properly onbethought] this word is still used in the Midland counties in the same sense as bethought. Ver, 32, blend, MS,
Or, if it be my head bookes-man,
Aggrieved he shal bee :
Shall doe wrong unto thee.
0, it is not your head bookes-man,
Nor none of his degree :
All deemed to die are yee.
And of that bethank your head steward,
The heyre of my land thoust bee.
If it be not true, my dear master,
No good death let me die.
A dead corse shalt thou lie.
What is your will, my owne wed-lord ?
will with mee? O see, my ladye deere, how sicke,
And like to die I bee.
And thou be sicke, my own wed-lord,
Soe sore it grieveth me:
Will watch thy' bedde for thee.
And at the waking of your first sleepe,
We will a hott drinke make:
Your sorrowes we will slake.
He put a silk cote on his backe,
And mail of manye a fold :
Was gilt with good red gold.
He layd a bright browne sword by his side,
And another att his feete: * And twentye goodi knights he placed at hand,
To watch him in his sleepe.'
And about the middle time of the night,
Came twentye-four traitours inn : Sir Giles he was the foremost man,
The leader of that ginn.
Ver. 72. make the, MS.
Ver. 75. first, MS.
Old Robin with his bright browne sword,
Sir Gyles head soon did winn: And scant of all those twenty-four,
Went out one quick agenn.
None save only a litle foot page,
Crept forth at a window of stone : And he had two armes when he came in,
And he went back with one.
Upp then came that ladie
gaye With torches burning bright : She thought to have brought sir Gyles a drinke,
Butt she found her owne wedd knight. 100
The first thinge that she stumbled on
It was sir Gyles his foote :
Here lyes my sweete hart-roote.
The next thinge that she stumbled on
It was sir Gyles his heade :
Heere lyes my true love deade.
Hee cutt the pappes beside her brest,
And did her body spille;
And bade her love her fille.