Robyn and Gandeleyn

No: 115; variant: 115A

  1. I HERDE a carpyng of a clerk, Al at yoone wodes ende, Of gode Robyn and Gandeleyn; Was ther non other thynge. Robynn lyth in grene wode bowndyn
  2. Stronge theuys wern tho chylderin non, But bowmen gode and hende; He wentyn to wode to getyn hem fleych, If God wold it hem sende.
  3. Al day wentyn tho chylderin too, And fleych fowndyn he non, Til it were a-geyn euyn; THe chylderin wold gon hom.
  4. Half an honderid of fat falyf der He comyn a-yoon, And alle he wern fayr and fat i-now, But markyd was ther non: ‘Be dere God,’ seyde gode Robyn, ‘Here of we xul haue on.’
  5. Robyn bent his joly bowe, ther in he set a flo; THe fattest der of alle THe herte he clef a to.
  6. He hadde not the der i-flawe, Ne half out of the hyde, There cam a schrewde arwe out of the west, that felde Robertes pryde.
  7. Gandeleyn lokyd hym est and west, Be euery syde: ‘Hoo hat myn mayster slayin? Ho hat don this dede? Xal I neuer out of grene wode go Til I se [his] sydis blede.’
  8. Gandeleyn lokyd hym est and lokyd west, And sowt vnder the sunne; He saw a lytil boy He clepyn Wrennok of Donne.
  9. A good bowe in his hond, A brod arwe ther ine, And fowre and twenti goode arwys, Trusyd in a thrumme: ‘Be war the, war the, Gandeleyn, Her-of thu xalt han summe.
  10. ‘Be war the, war the, Gandeleyn, Her of thu gyst plente:’ ‘Euer on for an other,’ seyde Gandeleyn; ‘Mysaunter haue he xal fle.
  11. ‘Qwer-at xal our marke be?’ Seyde Gandeleyn: ‘Eueryche at otheris herte,’ Seyde Wrennok ageyn.
  12. Ho xal yoeue the ferste schote?’ Seyde Gandeleyn: ‘And I xul yoeue the on be-forn,’ Seyde Wrennok ageyn.
  13. Wrennok schette a ful good schote, And he schet not to hye; THrow the sanchothis of his bryk; It towchyd neyther thye.
  14. ‘Now hast thu yoouyn me on be-forn,’ Al thus to Wrennok seyde he, ‘And throw the myyot of our lady A bettere I xal yoeue the.’
  15. Gandeleyn bent his goode bowe, And set ther in a flo; He schet throw his grene certyl, His herte he clef on too.
  16. ‘Now xalt thu neuer yoelpe, Wrennok, At ale ne at wyn, that thu hast slawe goode Robyn, And his knaue Gandeleyn.
  17. ‘Now xalt thu neuer yoelpe, Wrennok, At wyn ne at ale, that thu hast slawe goode Robyn, And Gandeleyn his knaue.’ Robyn lyyoth in grene wode bowndyn