Anonymous Olde English

Robin Hood And The Potter - Poem by Anonymous Olde English

Fitt I.
In schomer, when the leves spryng,
The bloschoms on every bowe,
So merey doyt the berdys syng
Yn wodys merey now.

Herkens, god yemen,
Comley, corteys, and god,
On of the best that yever bare bowe,
Hes name was Roben Hode.

Roben Hood was the yemans name,
That was boyt corteys and fre;
For the loffe of owre ladey,
All wemen werschepyd he.

Bot as the god yeman stod on a day,
Among hes mery maney,
He was ware of a prowd potter,
Cam dryfyng owyr the leye.

'Yonder comet a prod potter,' seyde Roben,
'That long hayt hantyd this wey;
He was never so corteys a man
On peney of pawage to pay.'

'Y met hem bot at Wentbreg,' seyde Lytyll John,
'And therefore yeffell mot he the!
Seche thre strokes he me gafe,
Yet by my seydys cleffe they.

Y ley forty shillings,' seyde Lytyll John,
'To pay het thes same day,
Ther ys nat a man among hus all
A wed schall make hem leye.'

'Here ys forty shillings,' seyde Roben,
'More, and thow dar say,
That Y schall make that prowde potter,
A wed to me schall he ley.'

There thes money they leyde,
They toke het a yeman to kepe;
Roben beffore the potter he breyde,
And bad hem stond stell.

Handys apon hes hors he leyde,
And bad the potter stonde foll stell;
The potter schorteley to hem seyde,
'Felow, what ys they well?'

'All thes thre yer, and more, potter,' he seyde,
'Thow hast hantyd thes wey,
Yet were tow never so cortys a man
On peney of pavage to pay.'

'What ys they name,' seyde the potter,
'For pavage thow aske of me?'
'Roben Hod ys mey name,
A wed schall thow leffe me.'

'Wed well y non leffe,' seyde the potter,
'Nor pavag well Y non pay;
Awey they honde fro mey hors!
Y well the tene eyls, be mey fay.'

The potter to hes cart he went,
He was not to seke;
A god to-hande staffe therowt he hent,
Beffore Roben he leppyd.

Roben howt with a swerd bent,
A bokeler en hes honde;
The potter to Roben he went,
And seyde, 'Felow, let mey hors go.'

Togeder then went thes to yemen,
Het was a god seyt to se;
Thereof low Robyn hes men,
There they stod onder a tre.

Leytell John to hes felow he seyde,
'Yend potter well steffeley stonde':
The potter, with an acward stroke,
Smot the bokeler owt of hes honde.

And ar Roben meyt get het agen
Hes bokeler at hes fette,
The potter yn the neke hem toke,
To the gronde sone he yede.

That saw Roben hes men,
As they stod onder a bow;
'Let us helpe owre master,' seyde Lytell John,
'Yonder potter,' seyde he, 'els well hem slo.'

Thes wight yemen with a breyde,
To thes master they cam.
Leytell John to hes master seyde,
'Ho haet the wager won?

'Schall Y haffe yowre forty shillings,' seyde Lytl John,
'Or ye, master, schall haffe myne?'
'Yeff they were a hundred,' seyde Roben,
'Y feythe, they ben all theyne.'

'Het ys fol leytell cortesey,' seyde the potter,
'As I hafe harde weyse men sye,
Yeffe a pore yeman com drywyng over the way,
To let hem of hes gorney.'

'Be mey trowet, thow seys soyt,' seyde Roben,
'Thow seys god yemenrey;
And thow dreyffe forthe yevery day,
Thow schalt never be let for me.'

'Y well prey the, god potter,
A felischepe well thow haffe?
Geffe me they clothyng, and thow schalt hafe myne;
Y well go to Notynggam.'

'Y grant thereto,' seyde the potter,
'Thow schalt feynde me a felow gode;
Bot thow can sell mey pottys well,
Com ayen as thow yede.'

'Nay, be mey trowt,' seyde Roben,
'And then Y bescro mey hede,
Yeffe Y bryng eney pottys ayen,
And eney weyffe well hem chepe.'

Than spake Leytell John,
And all hes felowhes heynd,
'Master, be well ware of the screffe of Notynggam,
For he ys leytell howr frende.'

'Thorow the helpe of Howr Ladey,
Felowhes, let me alone.
Heyt war howte!' seyde Roben,
'To Notynggam well Y gon.'

Robyn went to Notynggam,
Thes pottys for to sell;
The potter abode with Robens men,
There he fered not eylle.

Tho Roben droffe on hes wey,
So merey ower the londe:
Her es more, and affter ys to saye,
The best ys beheynde.

Fitt 2

When Roben cam to Notynggam,
The soyt yef Y scholde saye,
He set op hes hors anon,
And gaffe hem hotys and haye.

Yn the medys of the towne,
There he schowed hes ware;
'Pottys! pottys!' he gan crey foll sone,
'Haffe hansell for the mare!'

Foll effen agenest the screffeys gate
Schowed he hes chaffare;
Weyffes and wedowes abowt hem drow,
And chepyd fast of hes ware.

Yet 'Pottys, gret chepe!' creyed Robyn,
'Y loffe yeffell thes to stonde.'
And all that say hem sell
Seyde he had be no potter long.

The pottys that were worthe pens feyffe,
He solde tham for pens thre;
Preveley seyde man and weyffe,
'Ywnder potter schall never the.'

Thos Roben solde foll fast,
Tell he had pottys bot feyffe;
Op he hem toke of hes car,
And sende hem to the screffeys weyfe.

Thereof sche was foll fayne,
'Gereamarsey,' seyde sche, 'sir, than,
When ye com to thes contré ayen,
Y schall bey of the pottys, so mo Y the.'

'Ye schall haffe of the best,' seyde Roben,
And sware be the Treneyté';
Foll corteysley sche gan hem call,
'Com deyne with the screfe and me.'

'God amarsey,' seyde Roben,
'Yowre bedyng schall be doyn.'
A mayden yn the pottys gan bere,
Roben and the screffe weyffe folowed anon.

Whan Roben yn to the hall cam,
The screffe sone he met;
The potter cowed of corteysey,
And sone the screffe he gret.

'Lo, ser, what thes potter hayt geffe yow and me,
Feyffe pottys smalle and grete!'
'He ys foll wellcom,' seyd the screffe,
'Let os was, and to mete.'

As they sat at her methe,
With a nobell chere,
To of the screffes men gan speke
Of a gret wager,

Of a schotyng, was god and feyne,
Was made the tother daye,
Of forty shillings, the soyt to saye,
Who scholde thes wager gayne.

Styll than sat thes prowde potter,
Thos than thowt he,
As Y am a trow Cerstyn man,
Thes schotyng well Y se.

Whan they had fared of the best,
With bred and ale and weyne,
To the bottys the made them prest,
With bowes and boltys foll feyne.

The screffes men schot foll fast,
As archares that weren prowe,
There cam non ner ney the marke
Bey halffe a god archares bowe.

Stell then stod the prowde potter,
Thos than seyde he;
'And Y had a bow, be the Rode,
On schot scholde yow se.'

'Thow schall haffe a bow,' seyde the screffe,
'The best that thow well cheys of thre;
Thou semyst a stalward and a stronge,
Asay schall thow be.'

The screffe commandyd a yeman that stod hem bey
After bowhes to weynde;
The best bow that the yeman browthe
Roben set on a stryng.

'Now schall Y wet and thow be god,
And polle het op to they nere.'
'So god me helpe,' seyde the prowde potter,
'Thys ys bot ryght weke gere.'

To a quequer Roben went,
A god bolt owthe he toke;
So ney on to the marke he went,
He fayled not a fothe.

All they schot a bowthe agen,
The screffes men and he;
Off the marke he welde not fayle,
He cleffed the preke on thre.

The screffes men thowt gret schame
The potter the mastry wan;
The screffe lowe and made god game,
And seyde, 'Potter, thow art a man.
Thow art worthey to bere a bowe
Yn what plas that thow goe.'

'Yn mey cart Y haffe a bow,
For soyt,' he seyde, 'and that a godde;
Yn mey cart ys the bow
That gaffe me Robyn Hode.'

'Knowest thow Robyn Hode?' seyde the screffe,
'Potter, Y prey the tell thow me.'
'A hundred torne Y haffe schot with hem,
Under hes tortyll-tre.'
'Y had lever nar a hundred ponde,' seyde the screffe,
And sware be the Trinity,
'That the fals outelawe stod be me.'

'And ye well do afftyr mey red,' seyde the potter,
'And boldeley go with me,
And to morow, or we het bred,
Roben Hode well we se.'

'Y well queyt the,' kod the screffe,
'And swere be God of meythe.'
Schetyng thay left, and hom they went,
Her soper was reddy deythe.

Fitt 3

Upon the morrow, when het was day,
He boskyd hem forthe to reyde;
The potter hes cart forthe gan ray,
And wolde not leffe beheynde.

He toke leffe of the screffys wyffe,
And thankyd her of all thyng:
'Dam, for mey loffe and ye well thys were,
Y geffe yow here a golde ryng.'

'Gramarsey,' seyde the weyffe,
'Sir, God eylde het the.'
The screffes hart was never so leythe,
The feyre foreyst to se.

And when he cam yn to the foreyst,
Under the leffes grene,
Berdys there sange on bowhes prest,
Het was gret goy to se.

'Here het ys merey to be,' seyde Roben,
'For a man that had hawt to spende;
Be mey horne ye schall awet
Yeff Roben Hode be here.'

Roben set hes horne to hes mowthe,
And blow a blast that was foll god;
That herde hes men that there stode,
Fer downe yn the wodde.
'I her mey master blow,' seyde Leytell John,
They ran as thay were wode.

Whan thay to thar master cam,
Leytell John wold not spare;
'Master, how haffe yow fare yn Notynggam?
How haffe yow solde yowre ware?'

'Ye, be mey trowthe, Leytyll John,
Loke thow take no care;
Y haffe browt the screffe of Notynggam,
For all howre chaffare.'

'He ys foll wellcom,' seyde Lytyll John,
'Thes tydyng ys foll godde.'
The screffe had lever nar a hundred ponde
He had never seen Roben Hode.

'Had I west that befforen,
At Notynggam when we were,
Thow scholde not com yn feyre forest
Of all thes thowsande eyre.'

'That wot Y well,' seyde Roben,
'Y thanke God that ye be here;
Thereffore schall ye leffe yowre hors with hos,
And all yowre hother gere.'

'That fend I Godys forbod,' kod the screffe,
'So to lese mey godde.'
'Hether ye cam on hors foll hey,
And hom schall ye go on fote;
And gret well they weyffe at home,
The woman ys foll godde.

'Y schall her sende a wheyt palffrey,
Het hambellet as the weynde,
Nere for the loffe of yowre weyffe,
Off more sorow scholde yow seyng.'

Thes parted Robyn Hode and the screffe;
To Notynggam he toke the waye;
Hes weyffe feyre welcomed hem hom,
And to hem gan sche saye:

'Seyr, how haffe yow fared yn grene foreyst?
Haffe ye browt Roben hom?'
'Dam, the deyell spede hem, bothe bodey and bon;
Y haffe hade a foll gret skorne.

'Of all the god that Y haffe lade to grene wod,
He hayt take het fro me;
All bot thes feyre palffrey,
That he hayt sende to the.'

With that sche toke op a lowde lawhyng,
And swhare be Hem that deyed on tre,
'Now haffe yow payed for all the pottys
That Roben gaffe to me.

'Now ye be com hom to Notynggam.
Ye schall haffe god ynowe.'
Now speke we of Roben Hode,
And of the pottyr ondyr the grene bowhe.

'Potter, what was they pottys worthe
To Notynggam that Y ledde with me?'
'They wer worthe to nobellys,' seyde he,
'So mot Y treyffe or the;
So cowde Y had for tham,
And Y had be there.'

'Thow schalt hafe ten ponde,' seyde Roben,
'Of money feyre and fre;
And yever whan thow comest to grene wod,
Wellcom, potter, to me.'

Thes partyd Robyn, the screffe, and the potter,
Ondernethe the grene wod tre;
God haffe mersey on Roben Hodys solle,
And saffe all god yemanrey!

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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