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Old Robin of Portingale

No: 80; variant: 80

  1. GOD let neuer soe old a man Marry soe yonge a wiffe As did Old Robin of Portingale; He may rue all the dayes of his liffe.
  2. Ffor the maiors daughter of Lin, God wott, He chose her to his wife, And thought to haue liued in quiettnesse With her all the dayes of his liffe.
  3. They had not in their wed-bed laid, Scarcly were both on sleepe, But vpp shee rose, and forth shee goes To Sir Gyles, and fast can weepe.
  4. Saies, Sleepe you, wake you, faire Sir Gyles? Or be not you within? . . . . . . . . . .
  5. 'But I am waking, sweete,' he said, 'Lady, what is your will?' 'I haue vnbethought me of a wile, How my wed lord we shall spill.
  6. 'Four and twenty knights,' she sayes, 'That dwells about this towne, Eene four and twenty of my next cozens, Will helpe to dinge him downe.'
  7. With that beheard his litle foote-page, As he was watering his masters steed; Soe s . . . . . His verry heart did bleed.
  8. He mourned, sikt, and wept full sore; I sweare by the holy roode, That teares he for his master wept Were blend water and bloude.
  9. With that beheard his deare master, As [he] in his garden sate; Says, Euer alacke, my litle page, What causes thee to weepe?
  10. 'Hath any one done to thee wronge, Any of thy fellowes here? Or is any of thy good friends dead, Which makes thee shed such teares?
  11. 'Or if it be my head-kookes-man, Greiued againe he shalbe, Nor noe man within my howse Shall doe wrong vnto thee.'
  12. 'But it is not your head-kookes-man, Nor none of his degree; But [f]or to morrow, ere it be noone, You are deemed to die.
  13. 'And of that thanke your head-steward, And after, your gay ladie:' 'If it be true, my litle foote-page, Ile make thee heyre of all my land.'
  14. 'If it be not true, my deare master, God let me neuer thye:' 'If it be not true, thou litle foot-page, A dead corse shalt thou be.'
  15. He called downe his head-kookes-man, Cooke in kitchen super to dresse: 'All and anon, my deare master, Anon att your request.'
  16. . . . . . . . . . . 'And call you downe my faire lady, This night to supp with mee.'
  17. And downe then came that fayre lady, Was cladd all in purple and palle; The rings that were vpon her fingers Cast light thorrow the hall.
  18. 'What is your will, my owne wed lord, What is your will with mee?' 'I am sicke, fayre lady, Sore sicke, and like to dye.'
  19. 'But and you be sicke, my owne wed lord, Soe sore it greiueth mee; But my fiue maydens and my selfe Will goe and make your bedd.
  20. '!and at the wakening of your first sleepe You shall haue a hott drinke made, And at the wakening of your next sleepe Your sorrowes will haue a slake.'
  21. He put a silke cote on his backe, Was thirteen inches folde, And put a steele cap vpon his head, Was gilded with good red gold.
  22. And he layd a bright browne sword by his side, And another att his ffeete, And full well knew Old Robin then Whether he shold wake or sleepe.
  23. And about the middle time of the night Came twenty four good knights in; Sir Gyles he was the formost man, Soe well he knew that ginne.
  24. Old Robin, with a bright browne sword, Sir Gyles head he did winne; Soe did he all those twenty four, Neuer a one went quicke out [agen].
  25. None but one litle foot-page, Crept forth at a window of stone, And he had two armes when he came in, And [when he went out he had none].
  26. Vpp then came that ladie light, With torches burning bright; Shee thought to haue brought Sir Gyles a drinke, But shee found her owne wedd knight.
  27. And the first thinge that this ladye stumbled vpon Was of Sir Gyles his ffoote; Sayes, Euer alacke, and woe is me, Here lyes my sweete hart-roote!
  28. And the second thing that this ladie stumbled on Was of Sir Gyles his head; Sayes, Euer alacke, and woe is me, Heere lyes my true-loue deade!
  29. Hee cutt the papps beside he[r] brest, And bad her wish her will; And he cutt the eares beside her heade, And bade her wish on still.
  30. 'Mickle is the mans blood I haue spent, To doe thee and me some good;' Sayes, Euer alacke, my fayre lady, I think that I was woode!
  31. He calld then vp his litle foote-page, And made him heyre of all his land, . . . . . . . . . .
  32. And he shope the crosse in his right sholder, Of the white flesh and the redd, And he went him into the holy land, Wheras Christ was quicke and dead.