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VIII.

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,
As did old Robin of Portingale ;

Who may rue all the dayes of his life.

5

For the mayors daughter of Lin, god wott,

He chose her to his wife,
And thought with her to have lived in love,

But they fell to hate and strife.

10

They scarce were in their wed-bed laid,

And scarce was hee asleepe,
But upp shee rose, and forth shee goes,

To the steward, and gan to weepe.

Sleepe you, wake you, faire sir Gyles ?

Or be you not within ?
Sleepe you, wake you, faire sir Gyles,

Arise and let me inn.

15

O, I am waking, sweete, he said,

Sweete ladye, what is your will ?
I have unbethought me of a wile

How my wed-lord weell spill.

20

Twenty-four good knights, shee sayes,

That dwell about this towne,
Even twenty-four of my next cozèns,

Will helpe to dinge him downe.

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30

He mourned still, and wept full sore;

I sweare by the holy roode
The teares he for his master wept

Were blent water and bloude.

And that beheard his deare master

As he stood at his garden pale:
Sayes, Ever alacke, my litle foot-page,

What causes thee to wail ?

35

Hath any one done to thee wronge

Any of thy fellowes here?
Or is any of thy good friends dead,

That thou shedst manye a teare?

1

40

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

Or, if it be my head bookes-man,

Aggrieved he shal bee :
For no man here within my howse,

Shall doe wrong unto thee.

45

0, it is not your head bookes-man,

Nor none of his degree :
But, on to-morrow ere it be noone

All deemed to die are yee.

50

And of that bethank your head steward,
And thank your gay

ladie.
If this be true, my litle foot-page,

The heyre of my land thoust bee.

If it be not true, my dear master,

No good death let me die.
If it be not true, thou litle foot-page,

A dead corse shalt thou lie.

55

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65

What is your will, my owne wed-lord ?
What is

your

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:
But my five maydens and myselfe

Will watch thy' bedde for thee.

70

And at the waking of your first sleepe,

We will a hott drinke make:
And at the waking of your next sleepe,

Your sorrowes we will slake.

75

He put a silk cote on his backe,

And mail of manye a fold :
And hee putt a steele cap on his head,

Was gilt with good red gold.

80

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.'

85

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

90

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.

95

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 :
Sayes, Ever alacke, and woe is mee!

Here lyes my sweete hart-roote.

105

The next thinge that she stumbled on

It was sir Gyles his heade :
Sayes, Ever, alacke, and woe is me!

Heere lyes my true love deade.

110

Hee cutt the pappes beside her brest,

And did her body spille;
He cutt the eares beside her heade,

And bade her love her fille.

He

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