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Robin Hoode's Puzzlementes
Robine Hoodes mannes, oar ye so-cawled
Robardes knaves, in monasterium were sated,
Somme few drast in ye grene cloths of Lincon,
Whan wone morn ye Grekes fram Constantinople and all aboute
Whoo fleed upwards fram ye Viccinges camed,
Teling uis owt all aboute Troyes fyr and on
Homere whoo wrate hit all downe.
A, broy wase thure boistrous tauk,
Wyld wase thir braynes. Vche of thaytt crowd
Becamme uche lorde themselvne in thowt.
Vayn braynes ful of Grek wordes!
Than hit fell owt thyatt en goode speker of tham Greks
Staundede up and sayd, Iy se by youre manneres
Yowe be goode housts too povere wanderres
Lyke uis arre becom, fram fleing ye Viccinges
Wham berned ower homes and walles and payed
Uis no goulde. Att thaytt his whole men
Sayd, Amen, and lowdly.
Than en Abottess nonne in ye nonnes house near bye
Camed. Iy woode lyke to here youre storyes of oulde
Sayntes, goode Grekes, befor Iy goe bak to my nonnery
This aveninge, Be yowe boulde to tauk
Muchel nowe, shi sayd.
Bot en bigge of Robardes mannes rowsed up. He sayd,
Nathere goode hooly lady, by providencium, we arre here
In sanctuarye this daye. An yowre Greke sayntes have no
Grene springe-tyme tauk lyk him chaser aftere
Fowles, Litel Johne Thorntone, hire has, ar ye thre Friare
Parlematines awn ye bencches over there, whoo tel goode
Jestes awso, tho they be chaste hooly clerkesmen too.
Grekemen, tel whoo
Mayde thaytt Greke horsse, sa bigge hit myte hold uis?
Is thayre en boulde Robard in Grecia?
Ye Greke sayd, Helas, we arre bot ffresh fram Frenchia.
Say whoo is Robard hire nowe? We woode lyke to here
Hem speke for ye goode of ye hooly Abottess. Ar whoo
Litel Thornton, iff he speke lyke ffresh springe?
An ye wind blawed stronge owtsyde thare eeting hall
Than came en of ye menn of Robardes clan naymed Perse
To tell en oulde sarmon abowt
En birde thyatt flewe into ay roome fram ye cold clowdes,
Bot hit stayed nat long tyme and flewe owt
Onse morre, and howe ye King Alfread whoo sawe
Hit was downe cast whan en of his lordes
Spoke of thaytt birdes gowing owt
Lyke en sineres lyfe.
Vgh, sayd thare hooly
Abottess, tel me nat of deth nore any sich thinge.
Hit is nowe winter tyme. Iy woode thaytt a story of Sayntes
Llove for uche othere on pilgrimauge in sommer
Be told, sayd she.
Oo nat, sayd Robard himselvne. Iy love nat Sayntes thyat
Goe in this werlde whan hit maykes them evill. Thay arre
Nat Sayntes whoo arre nat nonnes ar preestes. Iy knowe hit
Nowe Robard was en chief of a band of goode and hoolylyke
Theeves. Him ye Sheriffes looked fore everywhare fore
Stealing deeres. He hadde en mayd Marriane in his band,
Whoo was goode to looke upone, bot cleverre besyde.
Ye Abottess spoke on hir, saying, Lady, yowe seemes to me to
Be en goode women. Whyatt thinke yowe abowt Sayntes and
Mayd Marriane sayd wid smiles, Yowe judg me too easie,
Iy am nat goode lyke a Saynt, bot am frend to all Sayntes
In Englond ar whomever. Yet Iy think love is goode, even
With uis whoo arre nat Sayntes. Swete Abottess, listenye
To goode Robarde hire,
And his quhestiens of the Grekes.
So Robard stood owt and sayd,
Yowe thayatt cawl me
Robynes ye Houd wid ye Merie Mannes,
Know yowe nat yett this trew poat
Whoo settes on yother bencche,
Perse is his naym. He shol
Tel yowe abowt my fyte wid ye Sheriff and shut alle thet.
Bot a litel later fore him, nowe. Goode Grekes, Iy am
Of all of the horsse. Were thyatt horsse mayd in Athennes?
Ar in Troye? Whatt war its color? Was hit browne ar
So ye Grekes tauked in thamselvnes a whyle untill
en knave of Athennes sayd to ye Abottess, Yowe
Shal nat goe away widout youre hooly Sayntes tale. And
Robard, yowe shal hire of thyatt lorde whoo mayd ye
Oulde horsse, bigge as hit were. Thay arre ye same
Wone mann, Iy tel yowe. He is Saynt Lysius whoo hate
Too many fytes and lovede pece and his wone son, Tall
Myccaeles, ye firste king of Lanteslond thyatt felle in
To ye se another tyme.
Nowe Saynt Lysius were a plowmann in oulde Grecia.
En daye he hired a war was brewinge in Troye whan ye
Plowinge was ygoing on, and thay came to Lysius to
Enrol hym in the Greke armee. He sot to forstal bye
Puting litel yonge Tall Myccaeles, yett en baybe in thot,
In ye plowes waye,
Soo thyatt they whoo came to hym fore war woode think hym
Helas, goode Saynt Lysius was wanten to foole them,
Bot ye plowe went too fast and ye Saynt nede stop.
Thyatt daye he thowt firste of a woode horsse thyatt
Cud stand in front of ye plowe bot nat goe so fast
Whan sodures comen to vizit.
Didde ye Saynt Lysius have en lovelady? aske ye Mayd
War his wyfe, and whare war shi anyhow? By whoose
Permiccioun did this so-cawled Saynt put thir bayb
In waye of ye plowe? Thyat seem a dumcappe thing to do,
Evenso Lysius sot to spoofe his baed and evill naybors.
Vary odde, Iy think.
Yea, thyatt were no blesse thing, sayd ye Abottess an ye
Thre friares, alle in en bunch.
Trew, hit seemed nat a Sayntly tricke, bot ye Goode Booke
Cownsels uis to be wyse as sarpants, an ne oonly gentil as
En kissinge dove birde, sayd nother
Greke, cawled Bazil, whoo ware en darke beerde under ye
Nose, an en bigge darke chin-beerde awso.
An than Litel John speke owt,
Birdes arre nat so polite!
An thay care nat whare they ssitte, even awn my hede whan
Iy let hit happen. Tho Iy do love prety birdes.
Bot Bazil sayd, Youre eegos, youre haukes, youre doves,
Arre bot fowlesbirdes,
Whoo for ye moste part can nat speke Greke nor other languag
Welle. Howe maye thay know nat to droppe hit
Down on to youre hede? Yowe
Ot to ware en wyde hhatt all daye, Iy saye, if yowe be
After en trew swete birde.
Bot Robarde Houd sayd, This es no goode horsse storye men,
Bot Horrse featheres, this of kkissede birde seats, et alia.
An ye hooly Abottess cryde owt,
Iy druther wont to hire bigge of youre Saynts! Yea, namore
Ye horrse manouveres!
So ye Grekes tauked
In themselvnes onse morre. An hit begane to grew dark
Owtsyde. Whiche wase nat goode, fore if en stourme camed
Up, than awll sortes of folk myte comen
Fore shelter fram ye fieldes
In to ye hooly monasterye an
Robardes hydy-hole woode be none secret namorre.
Bot ye sametymes wiccid Nottinghome Sharif wase comen bye
Theytt daye to pray and psalm mooch sacratly anyhowe
Fore his povere moutheres helth of sowl, an theze
UUet an snawy stourme guestes cud ownly hyde
Robbin alle ye morre.
S11 L2 was “Myccael of Athennes”