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Willie and Earl Richard’s Daughter

No: 102; variant: 102B

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:
  5. '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.'
  6. '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.'
  7. '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?'
  8. '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.'
  9. 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.
  10. With slowly steps these couple walkd, About miles scarcely three. When this lady, being sair wearied out, Lay down beneath a tree.
  11. 'O for a few of yon junipers, To cheer my heart again, And likewise for a gude midwife, To ease me of my pain!'
  12. '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.'
  13. '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.
  14. '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.
  15. '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.'
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. The sweet young babe that she had born Right lively seemed to be; 'Ohon, alas!' said young Archibald, 'A mournful scene to me!
  20. 'Altho my sweet babe is alive, This does increase my woe; How to nourish a motherless babe Is mair than I do know.'
  21. He looked east, he looked west, To see what he could see, Then spied the Earl o Huntingdon, And mony a man him wi.
  22. 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.
  23. The earl straight thro the greenwood came, Unto the green oak tree, And there he saw his daughter dead, Her living child her wi.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Ye'se hae all kinds of nourishment, And likewise nurses three; If I knew where the fause knave were, High hanged should he be.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.