The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 407 pages of information about The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.

“Thinkest thou so?” said the King with somewhat of sternness in his voice.  “Now I tell thee that but for three things, to wit, my mercifulness, my love for a stout woodsman, and the loyalty thou hast avowed for me, thine ears, mayhap, might have been more tightly closed than ever a buffet from me could have shut them.  Talk not lightly of thy sins, good Robin.  But come, look up.  Thy danger is past, for hereby I give thee and all thy band free pardon.  But, in sooth, I cannot let you roam the forest as ye have done in the past; therefore I will take thee at thy word, when thou didst say thou wouldst give thy service to me, and thou shalt go back to London with me.  We will take that bold knave Little John also, and likewise thy cousin, Will Scarlet, and thy minstrel, Allan a Dale.  As for the rest of thy band, we will take their names and have them duly recorded as royal rangers; for methinks it were wiser to have them changed to law-abiding caretakers of our deer in Sherwood than to leave them to run at large as outlawed slayers thereof.  But now get a feast ready; I would see how ye live in the woodlands.”

So Robin bade his men make ready a grand feast.  Straightway great fires were kindled and burned brightly, at which savory things roasted sweetly.  While this was going forward, the King bade Robin call Allan a Dale, for he would hear him sing.  So word was passed for Allan, and presently he came, bringing his harp.

“Marry,” said King Richard, “if thy singing match thy looks it is fair enough.  Prythee, strike up a ditty and let us have a taste of thy skill.”

Then Allan touched his harp lightly, and all words were hushed while he sang thus: 

 “’Oh, where has thou been, my daughter? 
     Oh, where hast thou been this day
          Daughter, my daughter?’
 ’Oh, I have been to the river’s side,
 Where the waters lie all gray and wide,
 And the gray sky broods o’er the leaden tide,
     And the shrill wind sighs a straining.’

 “’What sawest thou there, my daughter? 
     What sawest thou there this day,
          Daughter, my daughter?’
 ’Oh, I saw a boat come drifting nigh,
 Where the quivering rushes hiss and sigh,
 And the water soughs as it gurgles by,
     And the shrill wind sighs a straining.’

 “’What sailed in the boat, my daughter? 
     What sailed in the boat this day,
          Daughter, my daughter?’
 ’Oh, there was one all clad in white,
 And about his face hung a pallid light,
 And his eyes gleamed sharp like the stars at night,
     And the shrill wind sighed a straining.’

 “’And what said he, my daughter? 
     What said he to thee this day,
          Daughter, my daughter?’
 ’Oh, said he nought, but did he this: 
 Thrice on my lips did he press a kiss,
 And my heartstrings shrunk with an awful bliss,
     And the shrill wind sighed a straining.’

Project Gutenberg
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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