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From Oberon, in fairye land,

The king of ghosts and shadowes there,
Mad Robin I, at his command,
Am sent to viewe the night-sports here.

What revell rout

Is kept about,
In every corner where I go,

I will o'ersee,

And merry bee,
And make good sport, with ho, ho, ho!

More swift than lightning can I Aye

About this aery welkin soone,
And, in a minutes space, descrye
Each thing that's done belowe the moone,

There's not a hag

Or ghost shall wag,
Or cry, ware Goblins ! where I go;

But Robin I

Their feats will spy,
And send them home, with ho, ho, ho!

Whene'er such wanderers I meete,

As from their night-sports they trudge home,
With counterfeiting voice I greete
And call them on, with me to roame

Thro’ woods, thro' lakes,
Thro’ bogs, thro’ brakes;

Or else, unseene with them I go,

All in the nicke
To play some tricke
And frolicke it, with ho, ho, ho!

Sometimes I meete them like a man ;

Sometimes an ox, sometimes a hound;
And to a horse I turn me can;
To trip and trot about them round,

But if to ride

My backe they stride,
More swift than wind away I go,

Ore hedge and lands,

Thro' pools and ponds
I whirry, laughing, ho, ho, ho !


When lads and lasses merry be,

possets and with juncates fine; Unseene of all the company, I eat their cakes and sip their wine;

And to make sport,

I and snort;

out the candles I do blow.
The maides I kiss.

They shrieke—who's this!
answer nought, but ho, ho, ho !


now and then, the maids to please,
At midnight I card up their wooll;
And while they sleepe, and take their ease,
With wheel to threads their flax I pull,

I grind at mill
Their malt up still;

I dress their hemp, I spin their tow.

If any 'wake,

And would me take,
I wend me laughing, ho, ho, ho !
When house or harth doth sluttish lye,

I pinch the maidens black and blue;
The bed-clothes from the bedd pull I,
And lay them naked all to view.

'Twixt sleepe and wake,

I do them take,
And on the key-cold floor them throw.

If out they cry,

Then forth I fly,
And loudly laugh out, ho, ho, ho !
When any need to borrowe ought,

We lend them what they do require :
And for the use demand we nought;
Our owne is all we do desire.

If to repay,

They do delay,
Abroad amongst them then I go;

And night by night,

I them affright With pinchings, dreames, and ho, ho, ho! When lazie queans have nought to do,

But study how to cog and lye; To make debate and mischief too, 'Twixt one another secretlye:

I wark their gloze, *
And it disclose,

* Canting, dissimulation.

To them whom they have wronged so ;

When I have done,

I get me gone,
And leave them scolding, ho, ho, ho!

When men do traps and engins set

In loop holes where the vermine creepe, Who from their foldes and houses, get Their duckes and geese, and lambes and sheepe:


And enter in,
And seeme a vermine taken so;

But when they there,

Approach me neare,
I leap out laughing, ho, ho, ho !


the gin,

By wells and rills, in meadowes greene,

We nightly dance our hey-day guise ;
And to our faerye king and queene
We chant our moonlight minstrelsies.

When larks 'gin sing,

Away we fling ;
And babes new born steal as we go,

And elfe in bed,

We leave instead
And wend us laughing, ho, ho, ho!

From hag-bred Merlin's time have I

Thus nightly revell’d to and fro:
And for my pranks men call me by
The name of Robin Good-fellow.

Fiends, ghosts, and sprites,
Who haunt the nightes,

The hags and goblins do me know;

And beldames old

My feates have told;
So, Vale, Vale; ho, ho, ho !

[This song which is attributed to Ben Jonson, I print from Percy's Reliques, vol. 3, p. 254. [Ed. 1811.)

The form of Robin Good-Fellow, Sir Joshua Reynolds has painted for us, his doings are admirably told above.)


Come, follow, follow me,
You, fairy elves that be :
Which circle on the greene,

Come follow Mab your queene.
Hand in hand let's dance around,
For this place is fairye ground.

When mortals are at rest,
And snoring in their nest ;
Unheard and unespy'd,

Through key-holes we do glide ;
Over tables, stools, and shelves,
We trip it with our fairy elves.

And, if the house be foul
With platter, dish, or bowl,
Up stairs we nimbly creep,

And find the sluts asleep :
Then we pinch their armes and thighes;
None escapes, nor none espies.

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