« PreviousContinue »
Thy father once mine honour wronged
In days of youthful pride ; Do thou the injury repair
In fondness for thy bride.
And as thou love her, and hold her dear,
Heaven prosper thee and thine : And now my blessing wend wi' thee,
My lovely Emmeline.
PART THE FIRST.
annoyERRY it was in the green forest
Among the leaves green,
With bows and arrows keen;
To raise the deer out of their den ;
Such sights hath oft been seen ;
By them it is I mean.
The one of them hightf Adam Bell,
The other Clym of the Clough,
An archer good enough.
. Clem (Clement) of the cliff.
They were outlawed for venison,
These yeomen everyone ;
To English wood to be gone.
Now lithe and listen, gentlemen,
That of mirth loveth to hear : Two of them were single men,
The third had a wedded fere. *
William was the wedded man,
Much more then was his care : He said to his brethren upon a day,
To Carlisle he would fare,
For to speak with fair Alice his wife,
And with his children three. By my troth, said Adam Bell,
Not by the counsel of me :
For if ye go to Carlisle, brother,
And from this wild wood wend, If that the justice should you take,
Your life were at an end.
If that I come not to-morrow, brother,
By pryme* to you again, Trust you then that I am taken
Or else that I am slain.
He took his leave of his brethren two,
And to Carlisle he is gone : There he knock'd at his own window
Shortly and anon.
Where be you, fair Alice, he said,
My wife and children three ? Lightly let in thine own husbånd,
William of Cloudesly.
Alas! then said fair Alice,
And sighed wondrous sore,
This half a year and more.
Now am I here, said Cloudesly,
I would that in I were: Now fetch us meat and drink enough,
And let us make good cheer.
She fetched him meat and drink plenty,
Like a true wedded wife;
Whom she loved as her life.
There lay an old wife in that place,
A little beside the fire,
More than seven year.
Up she rose, and forth she goes,
Evil may she speed therefore; For she had set no foot on ground
In seven year before.
She went unto the justice hall,
As fast as she could hie :
William of Cloudesly.
Thereat the justice was full fayne,*
And so was the sheriff also : Thou shalt not travel hither, dame, for nought;
Thy meed thou shalt have ere thou go.