Willie and Earl Richard’s Daughter
No: 102; variant: 102B
- MONY ane talks o the grass, the grass,
And mony ane o the corn,
And mony ane talks o gude Robin Hood
Kens little whar he was born.
- He was gotten in a earl’s ha,
And in a lady’s bower,
And born into gude greenwood,
Thro mony cauld winter’s shower.
- His father was the earl’s own steward,
Sprung frae sma pedigree;
His mother, Earl Huntingdon’s ae daughter,
For he had nane else but she.
- When nine months were near an end,
And eight months they were gone,
The lady’s cheeks wi tears were wet,
And thus she made her moan:
- ‘What shall I say, my love Archibald,
This day for you and me?
I will be laid in cauld irons,
And ye’ll be hanged on tree.’
- ‘What aileth my love Clementina?
What gars you mourn sae sair?’
‘You know,’ said she, ‘I’m with child to thee,
These eight lang months and mair.’
- ‘Will ye gae to my mother’s bower,
Stands on yon stately green?
Or will ye gae to the gude greenwood,
Where ye will not be seen?’
- ‘I winna gang to your mother’s bower,
Stands on yon stately green;
But I will on to gude greenwood,
For I will not be seen.’
- He’s girt his sword down by his side,
Took his lady by the hand,
And they are on thro gude greenwood,
As fast as they could gang.
- With slowly steps these couple walkd,
About miles scarcely three.
When this lady, being sair wearied out,
Lay down beneath a tree.
- ‘O for a few of yon junipers,
To cheer my heart again,
And likewise for a gude midwife,
To ease me of my pain!’
- ‘I’ll bring to you yon junipers,
To cheer your heart again,
And I’ll be to you a gude midwife,
To ease you of your pain.’
- ‘Had far awa frae me, Archibald,
For this will never dee;
That’s nae the fashion o our land,
And it’s nae be used by me.
- ‘Ye’ll take your small-sword by your side,
Your buckler and your bow,
And ye’ll gae down thro gude greenwood,
And hunt the deer and roe.
- ‘You will stay in gude greenwood,
And with the chase go on,
Until yon white hind pass you by,
Then straight to me ye’ll come.’
- He’s girt his sword then by his side,
His buckler and his bow,
And he is on thro gude greenwood,
To hunt the deer and roe.
- And in the greenwood he did stay,
And with the chase gaed on,
Until the white hind passd him by,
Then to his love he came.
- He girt his sword then by his side,
Fast thro greenwood went he,
And there he found his love lie dead,
Beneath the green oak tree.
- The sweet young babe that she had born
Right lively seemed to be;
‘Ohon, alas!’ said young Archibald,
‘A mournful scene to me!
- ‘Altho my sweet babe is alive,
This does increase my woe;
How to nourish a motherless babe
Is mair than I do know.’
- He looked east, he looked west,
To see what he could see,
Then spied the Earl o Huntingdon,
And mony a man him wi.
- Then Archibald fled from the earl’s face,
Among the leaves sae green,
That he might hear what might be said,
And see, and nae be seen.
- The earl straight thro the greenwood came,
Unto the green oak tree,
And there he saw his daughter dead,
Her living child her wi.
- Then he’s taen up the little boy,
Rowed him in his gown-sleeve;
Said, Tho your father’s to my loss,
Your mother’s to me leave.
- And if ye live until I die,
My bowers and lands ye’se heir;
You are my only daughter’s child;
But her I never had mair.
- Ye’se hae all kinds of nourishment,
And likewise nurses three;
If I knew where the fause knave were,
High hanged should he be.
- His daughter he buried in gude church-yard,
All in a mournful mood,
And brought the boy to church that day,
And christend him Robin Hood.
- This boy was bred in the earl’s ha
Till he became a man,
But loved to hunt in gude greenwood,
To raise his noble fame.