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Adam bent a right good bow,

A great hart soon he had slain ;
Take that, child, he said, to thy dinner,

And bring me mine arrow again.

Now go we hence, said these wight yeomen,

Tarry we no longer here ;
We shall him borrow* by God his grace,

Though we buy it full dear.

To Carlisle went these bold yeomen,

All in the morning of May. Here is a Fytt of Cloudesly,

And another is for to say.

* Redeem.

+ Part of a song.


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MEND when they came to merry Carlisle,

All in the morning tide,
They found the gates shut them against

About on every side. V

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Alas! then said good Adam Bello

That ever we were made men !
These gates be shut so wondrous fast,

We may not come therein.

Then bespake him Clym of the Clough,

With a wile we will us in bring;
Let us say we be messengers,

Straight come now from our king.

Adam said, I have a letter written,

Now let us wisely work,
We will say we have the king's seal ;

I hold the porter no clerk.

Then Adam Bell beat on the gates

With strokes great and strong,
The porter marvelled who was there,

And to the gates he throng.*

Who is there now, said the porter,

That maketh all this knocking ? We be two messengers, quoth Clym of the Clough,

Be come right from our king.

We have a letter, said Adam Bell,

To the justice we must it bring ; Let us in our message to do,

That we may again to the king.

Here cometh none in, said the porter,

By him that died on a tree, Till a false thief be hanged up,

Called William of Cloudesley.

* Hastened.

Then spake the good yeoman Clym of the Clough,

And swore by Mary free,
And if that we stand long without,

Like a thief hanged thou shalt be.

Lo! here we have the king's seal :

What, Lurden,* art thou wood ?* The porter thought it had been so,

And lightly did off his hood.

Welcome is my lord's seal, he said ;

For that ye shall come in.
He opened the gate full shortly ;

An evil opening for him.

Now are we in, said Adam Bell,

Whereof we are full fain ;
But Christ he knowes, that harrowed hell,

How we shall come out again.

Had we the keys, said Clym of the Clough,

Right well then should we speed, Then might we come out well enough When we see time and need.

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They called the porter to counsel,

And wrung his neck in two, And cast him in a deep dungeon,

And took his keys him fro'.

Now am I porter, said Adam Bell,

See, brother, the keys are here, The worst porter to merry Carlisle

That they had this hundred year.

And now will we our bows bend,

Into the town will we go,
For to deliver our dear brother,

That lyeth in care and woe.

Then they bent their good yew bows,

And looked their strings were round, The market place in merry Carlisle

They beset that stound.*

And, as they looked them beside,

A pair of new gallows they see, And the justice with a quest of squires,

Had judged William hanged to be.

* Time.

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