Robin Hood 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.

The Writ

In þe summer hƿen þe scaƿs ƿere sceen,
And þe leafs ƿere great and long,
It ƿas full merry in þe fair ƿoods
To hear þe fules song.

To see þe deers draƿ to þe dale,
And from þe hige hills flee,
To scadoƿ emselfs in green leafs
Under þe greenƿood tree.

It befell on Hƿitsun
Early 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 dear lord,"
Littel John said,
"And see þat it is a full fair time,
Þis morning in hƿic ƿe tread."

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

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

Þen spoke Muc, þe millers son,
May for him good þings betide.
"Take tƿelf of geƿer bold geomen,
Ƿell ƿeaponed, 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 cees to draƿ."

"Geƿ scall bare geƿer oƿn," said Littel John,
"Lord, and I ƿill bare mine,
And ƿe ƿill scoot for a penny,
Under þe greenƿood lind."

"I ƿill not scoot for a penny." said Robin,
"Indeed, Littel John, I say to þee,
For efery penny þu scoots for,
Indeed 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 þreep fell betƿeen em,
As hy ƿent by þe ƿay.
Littel John said he had ƿon fife scillings,
And Robin Hood said scortly "nay".

Robin Hood 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 Scerƿood,
Þe paþs he kneƿ eac one.

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

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

Beside him stood a great headed monk,
I bid to God ƿoe to him be.
For cƿickly he melded Robin,
As soon as he did see.

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

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

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

"Þis lordsƿikes name is Robin Hood ,
Under þe greenƿood 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 ƿeaponed men
Hƿo to þe circ ƿiþ him did fare.

Þe doors hy þorougly sparred,
Ƿiþ stafes in full good ƿone;
"Ƿellaƿay," said Robin Hood ,
"Nu miss I Littel John."

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

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

His sƿord upon þe sceriffs head,
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 seek 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 great scame to see."

"Ure lord ƿas hard bestood
And get ran not aƿay.
Pluck up geƿer harts, and leaf þis moning,
And hearken 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 deaþ scall he die."

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

"Look þat ge keep ƿell ure tryst tree
Under þe small leafs,
And spare none of þis hartmeat,
Þat þrugeute þis dale ƿeafs."

Forþ þen ƿent þese geomen tƿo,
Littel John and Muc on þe fare.
And looked on Mucces eams huse,
Þe higeƿay lay full near.

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

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

"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,
Forsooþ 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 leaf,
And bring geƿer on geƿer ƿay."

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

As hy ƿent talking by þe ƿay,
Þe monk and Littel John,
John took þe monks hors by þe head,
Full soon and anon.

John took þe monks hors by þe head,
Forsooþ as I nu say.
So did Muc fang þe littel gum,
So he culd not flee aƿay.

By þe þroat of þe hood
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 sƿoop.
Þe monk saƿ he ƿuld be killed,
Ludely for mils he did roop.

"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 head,
No longer ƿuld he dƿell.
So did Muc þe littel gum,
For fear þat he ƿuld tell.

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

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

"God nere geƿ, my king."
To speak 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 must 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 seal in hand,
To þe sceriff for him to bare,
To bring Robin Hood to him,
And no man do him dere.

John took his leaf of þe king,
Forsooþ as I nu say,
Þe next day to Nottingham
To take he gede þe ƿay.

Hƿen John came to Nottingham
Þe gates ƿere sparred eac 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 Hood ," said þe porter,
"Nu in deep {{over|imprisonment|haft} he is þroƿn."

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

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

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

"Þe king is so fain ƿiþ him," said Littel John,
"Forsooþ 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 asleep,
Drunken ƿiþ ƿine and ale,
Littel John and Muc forsooþ
Fund þe ƿay to þe cƿartern.

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

Þe porter rose anon,
As soon as he heard John cleep.
Littel John ƿas reddy ƿiþ a sƿord,
And stabbed him þruge þe ƿall.

"Nu I am cƿarternkeeper," said John,
And took þe keys in his hands.
He tread þe ƿay to Robin Hood ,
And freed him from his bands.

He gafe Robin a good sƿord,
His head þereƿiþ to keep.
And þere hƿere þe ƿalls ƿere loƿest,
Anon dune did hy leap.

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

He made a roop þrugeute all þe tune,
Telling boþ geoman and knafe.
Hƿoefer brougt him Robin Hood,
His meed 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 roads and by styne.
But Robin ƿas in merry Scerƿood,
As ligt as a leaf on lime.

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

"I haf done geƿ a good hƿarft,
Forsooþ as I nu say.
I haf brougt geƿ under þe greenƿood lime.
Fareƿell, and haf good 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,
Indeed from þat bane.
Hƿen his men saƿ him hƿole and sund,
Forsooþ hy ƿere full fain.

Hy filled in ƿine and ƿere glad,
Under þe leafs of þe dale.
And hy ate pasties of hartmeat,
Hƿic ƿere good ƿiþ her ale.

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

Þen bespake þe cumly king
In a ƿraþ hige:
"Littel John has sƿiked þe sceriff,
In leaf 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 sƿeet Halloƿ John.
He lufs better Robin Hood
Þen he does us eac one."

"Robin Hood is efer bund to him,
Boþ in street and stall.
Speak no more of þis bisiness,
But John has sƿiked us all."

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