Robin Hode and þe Monk

From The Anglish Wiki

This is an Anglish translation of Robin Hood and the Monk, a fifteenth century ballad. I've taken liberties to make it more comprehensible and to keep some of the lines rhyming.

As a personal preference I have opted: to use ⟨eCe⟩ and ⟨oCe⟩ instead of ⟨ee⟩ and ⟨oo⟩; to use ⟨oCe⟩ instead of ⟨oa⟩; to use ⟨e⟩, ⟨eCe⟩, or ⟨aCe⟩ instead of ⟨ea⟩, depending on vowel quality; to allow magic-E to appear after all consonant clusters. In other words, green, moon, goat, head, mead, great, mild, ground, moose, and wife become grene, mone, gote, hed, mede, grate, milde, grunde, mosse, and ƿiffe.

The Writ

In þe summer hƿen þe scaƿs ƿere scene,
And þe lefes ƿere grate and long,
It ƿas full merry in þe fair ƿodes
To here þe fules song.

To see þe deres draƿ to þe dale,
And from þe hige hills flee,
To scadoƿ emselfs in grene lefes
Under þe greneƿode tree.

It befell on Hƿitsun
Erly on a Þrimilk morning.
Þe fair sun abuf did scine,
And þe merry birds did sing.

"Þis is a merry morning," said Littel John,
"By him hƿo died on a tree,
A more merry man þan I
Lifs not in Cristianity."

"Pluck up geƿer hart, my dere lord,"
Littel John said,
"And see þat it is a full fair time,
Þis morning in hƿic ƿe tred."

"Gea, but one þing gnorns me," said Robin,
"And does my hart muc ƿoe.
Þat I may not knoƿ ernest day,
To mass nor morning bedes go."

"It has bene a fortnigt and more," he said,
"Sins my Helend I did see.
Today I ƿill go to Nottingham
Ƿiþ þe migt of milde Mary."

Þen spoke Muc, þe millers son,
May for him gode þings betide.
"Take tƿelf of geƿer bold geomen,
Ƿell ƿepponed, by geƿer side.
He hƿo ƿuld haf geƿ slain,
Ƿuld dare not þose tƿelf abide."

"Of all my merry men," said Robin,
"I ƿant no utelaƿ,
But Littel John to bare my boƿ,
Until I cese to draƿ."

"Yeƿ scall bare geƿer oƿn," said Littel John,
"Lord, and I ƿill bare mine,
And ƿe ƿill scote for a penny,
Under þe greneƿode lind."

"I ƿill not scote for a penny." said Robin,
"Indede, Littel John, I say to þee,
For efery penny þue scotes for,
Indede I ƿill stake þee þree."

Þus hy scot forþ, þese tƿo geomen,
Boþ at busc and stone,
Til Littel John ƿon of his lord,
Fife scillings for hose and scone.

A ferly þrepe fell betƿene em,
As hy ƿent by þe ƿay.
Littel John said he had ƿon fife scillings,
And Robin Hode said scortly "nay".

Robin Hode clept Littel John a liar,
And smote him ƿiþ his hand.
Littel John ƿaxed ƿroþ þereƿiþ,
And pulled ute his brigt brand.

"Ƿere geƿ not my lord," said Littel John,
"Geƿ ƿuld be hit full sore.
Get geƿerself a man hƿere geƿ ƿill,
For geƿ haf me no more."

Þen Robin ƿent to Nottingham,
Himself mourning alone,
And Littel John to merry Scerƿode,
Þe paþs he kneƿ ece one.

Hƿen Robin came to Nottingham,
I ƿill tell geƿ hƿat happened þen,
He bade to God and milde Mary
To bring him ute sundly agen.

He ƿent into Halloƿ Marys circ,
And knelt dune before þe rode.
All hƿo ƿere ƿiþin þe circ
Beheld ƿell Robin Hode .

Beside him stode a grate hedded monk,
I bid to God ƿoe to him be.
For cƿickly he melded Robin,
As sone as he did see.

Ute þe dore þe monk ran,
Full sƿift and anon.
All þe gates of Nottingham
He made to be sparred ece one.

"Rise up," þe monk said, "geƿ prude sceriff,
Busk geƿerself and make geƿerself bunde.
I haf spotted þe kings ƿarry,
Forsoþe he is in þis tune."

"I haf spotted þe sneking ƿarry,
As he stode þere at mass.
It ƿill be geƿer scild," said þe monk,
"If he sculd slip geƿer grasp."

"Þis lordsƿikes name is Robin Hode ,
Under þe greneƿode lind.
He ones stole from me a hundred punds,
It scall nefer be ute of my mind."

Up þen rose þis prude sceriff,
And sƿiftly made himself geare.
Many ƿere þe ƿepponed men
Hƿo to þe circ ƿiþ him did fare.

Þe dores hy þorougly sparred,
Ƿiþ stafes in full gode ƿone;
"Ƿellaƿay," said Robin Hode ,
"Nu miss I Littel John."

Þen Robin toke ute a tƿohanded sƿord,
Þat hanged dune by his knee.
Hƿere þe sceriff and his men stode þickest
Þiþerƿard ƿuld he be.

Þrise at em he ran þen,
Forsoþe as I nu say,
And ƿunded many a ƿepponed man,
And tƿelf he sleƿ þat day.

His sƿord upon þe sceriffs hed,
Ƿissly it broke in tƿo.
"Þe smiþ þat made geƿ," said Robin,
"I bid God ƿork him ƿoe."

"For nu am I ƿepponless," said Robin,
"Ƿellaƿay, agenst my ƿill.
But if I seke to flee hens from,
I knoƿ hy ƿill me kill."


Sum fell in sƿoning as if hy ƿere ded,
And lay still as any stone.
None of em ƿere in her mind,
None but Littel John.

"Let by geƿer ƿailing," said Littel John,
"For his luf, Crist hƿo died on a tree.
Ge hƿo sculd be duty men,
It is a grate scame to see."

"Ure lord ƿas hard bestode
And get ran not aƿay.
Pluck up geƿer harts, and lefe þis moning,
And harken hƿat I say."

"He has þeƿed Ure Lady many a day,
And ƿill agen, þe time is nige.
Þerefore I trust in her hore,
No ƿicked deþ scall he die."

"Þerefore be glad
And let þis mourning go by.
I scall dele ƿiþ þat ƿicked monk,
Ƿiþ þe migt of mild Mary,
Hƿen I mete him," said Littel John
"Ƿe ƿill go but ƿe tƿo".

"Loke þat ge kepe ƿell ure tryst tree
Under þe small lefes,
And spare none of þis hartmete,
Þat þrugeute þis dale ƿefes."

Forþ þen ƿent þese geomen tƿo,
Littel John and Muc on þe fare.
And loked on Mucces emes huse,
Þe higeƿay lay full nere.

Littel John stode at a ƿindoƿ,
And loked forþ from an upper rome.
Þere he saƿ þe monk cum riding by,
And ƿiþ him a littel gum.

"By my leffe," said Littel John to Muc,
"I can tell þis tiding is gode.
I see hƿere þe monk cums riding,
I knoƿ him by his ƿide hode."

"Hƿens cum ge?" said Littel John,
"Tell us tidings, hƿatefer ge can say,
Of a ƿicked utelaƿ,
Hƿo ƿas taken gesterday."

"He stole from me and my felloƿs boþ,
Tƿenty marks he did gain.
If þat ƿicked utelaƿ be taken,
Forsoþe ƿe ƿuld boþ be fain."

"So did he me," said þe monk,
"Of a hundred punds and more.
I laid þe first hand upon him,
Ge may þank me þerefore."

"I bid to God to þank geƿ," said Littel John,
"And ƿe ƿill hƿen ƿe may.
Ƿe ƿill go ƿiþ geƿ, ƿiþ geƿer lefe,
And bring geƿer on geƿer ƿay."

"For Robin Hode has many a ƿild felloƿ,
I tell geƿ nu of þat bane.
If hy kneƿ ge rode þis ƿay,
In leffe ge ƿuld be slain."

As hy ƿent talking by þe ƿay,
Þe monk and Littel John,
John toke þe monks hors by þe hed,
Full sone and anon.

John toke þe monks hors by þe hed,
Forsoþe as I nu say.
So did Muc fang þe littel gum,
So he culd not flee aƿay.

By þe þrote of þe hode
John pulled þe monk dune.
John ƿas not of him agast,
He let him fall on his crune.

Littel John hƿo ƿas so gnorny,
Dreƿ ute his sƿord in one sƿope.
Þe monk saƿ he ƿuld be killed,
Ludely for mils he did rope.

"He ƿas my lord," said Littel John,
"Hƿo geƿ haf brougt suc bale.
Geƿ ƿill nefer see ure king,
Nor tell him geƿer last tale."

John smote off þe monks hed,
No longer ƿuld he dƿell.
So did Muc þe littel gum,
For fere þat he ƿuld tell.

Þere hy buried em boþ,
In neiþer moss nor ling.
And Littel John and Muc as feres
Toke þe monks errands to þe king.

Littel John came unto þe king,
He knelt dune upon his knee.
"God nere geƿ, my lord,
Jesu nere geƿ and see."

"God nere geƿ, my king."
To speke John ƿas full bold.
He gafe him þe errands in his hand,
Þe king did em unfold.

Þe king red þe errands anon,
And said, "So mut I þee,
þere ƿas nefer geoman in merry England
I longed so sore to see."

"Hƿere is þe monk hƿo þese sculd haf brougt?"
Þat þe king did say.
"By my treƿþ," said Littel John,
"He died along þe ƿay."

Þe king gafe Muc and Littel John
Tƿenty punds and þen,
Made em geomen of þe þrone,
And bade em go agen.

He gafe John þe sele in hand,
To þe sceriff for him to bare,
To bring Robin Hode to him,
And no man do him dere.

John toke his lefe of þe king,
Forsoþe as I nu say,
Þe next day to Nottingham
To take he gede þe ƿay.

Hƿen John came to Nottingham
Þe gates ƿere sparred ece one.
John clept up to þe porter,
And he ansƿered back anon.

"Hƿat is þe inting," asked Littel John,
"Geƿ spar þe gates so fast?"
"Along of Robin Hode ," said þe porter,
"Nu in depe {{over|imprisonment|haft} he is þroƿn."

"John and Muc and Ƿill scaþelock,
Forsoþe as I nu say,
Hy sleƿ þe men upon þe ƿalls,
And fite us here efery day."

John aspired after þe sceriff,
And sone he him fund;
He opened þe kings sundersele,
And handed it on dune.

Hƿen þe sceriff saƿ þe kings sele,
He did off his hode anon.
"Hƿere is þe monk þat bore þe errands?"
He asked of Littel John.

"Þe king is so fain ƿiþ him," said Littel John,
"Forsoþe as I nu say,
He has made him abbot of Ƿestminster,
A lord of þat abbey."

Þe sceriff did John harry,
And gafe him ƿine of þe best.
At nigt hy ƿent to her beds,
And efery man to his rest.

Hƿen þe sceriff ƿas aslepe,
Drunken ƿiþ ƿine and ale,
Littel John and Muc forsoþe
Funde þe ƿay to þe cƿartern.

John clept up þe cƿarternkeper,
And bade him rise anon.
"Robin Hode has broken ute,
And from it he is gone."

Þe porter rose anon,
As sone as he herd John clepe.
Littel John ƿas reddy ƿiþ a sƿord,
And stabbed him þruge þe ƿall.

"Nu I am cƿarternkeper," said John,
And toke þe keys in his hands.
He tred þe ƿay to Robin Hode ,
And freed him from his bands.

He gafe Robin a gode sƿord,
His hed þereƿiþ to kepe.
And þere hƿere þe ƿalls ƿere loƿest,
Anon dune did hy lepe.

By þen þe cock began to croƿ,
Þe day began to spring.
Þe sceriff funde þe cƿarternkeper ded,
So þe tune bell he did ring.

He made a rope þrugeute all þe tune,
Telling boþ geoman and knafe.
Hƿoefer brougt him Robin Hode,
His mede he sculd haf.

"For I dare nefer," said þe sceriff,
"Cum before ure king.
For if I do I knoƿ ƿissly,
Þat he ƿill haf me hang."

Þe sceriff sougt þrugeute all Nottingham,
Boþ by rodes and by styne.
But Robin ƿas in merry Scerƿode,
As ligt as a leffe on lime.

Þen bespake gode Littel John,
To Robin Hode did he say:
"I haf done þee a gode hƿarft from ill,
Mede me hƿen geƿ may."

"I haf done geƿ a gode hƿarft,
Forsoþe as I nu say.
I haf brougt geƿ under þe greneƿode lime.
Fareƿell, and haf gode day."

"Nay, by my treƿþ," said Robin,
"So scall it nefer be.
I make geƿ þe lord
Of all my men and me."

"Nay, by my treƿþ," said Littel John,
"So scall it nefer be.
But let me be geƿer felloƿ,
Noþing els I care to be."

Þus John got Robin ute of cƿartern,
Indede from þat bane.
Hƿen his men saƿ him hƿole and sund,
Forsoþe hy ƿere full fain.

Hy filled in ƿine and ƿere glad,
Under þe lefes of þe dale.
And hy ate pasties of hartmete,
Hƿic ƿere gode ƿiþ her ale.

Þen ƿord came to þe king
Hu Robin Hode ƿas gone.
And hu þe sceriff of Nottingham
Dared nefer to loke him upon.

Þen bespake þe cumly king
In a ƿraþ hige:
"Littel John has sƿiked þe sceriff,
In leffe so has he I."

"Littel John has sƿiked us boþ,
And þat full ƿell I see.
Or els þe sceriff of Nottingham
Higely hung sculd he be."

"I made em geomen of þe kinsettel,
And gafe em fee ƿiþ my hand.
I gafe em griþ," said þe king,
"Þrugeute all merry England."

"I gafe em griþ," þen said þe king,
"I say, so mut I þee.
Suc a geoman as he is one,
In all England are not þree."

"He is treƿ to his lord,
I say, by sƿete Halloƿ John.
He lufs better Robin Hode
Þen he does us ece one."

"Robin Hode is efer bunde to him,
Boþ in strete and stall.
Speke no more of þis bisiness,
But John has sƿiked us all."

Þus ends þe tale of þe monk
And Robin Hode ƿiss.
God, þat is efer a kinsettelled king,
Bring us all to his bliss.