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Robin Hood pulled off the bishop's coat,

And put it upon Little John ; * By the faith of my body,' then Robin said,

“This cloth doth make thee a man.'

When Little John went into the quire,

The people began to laugh;
He asked them seven times in the church,

Lest three times should not be enough.

Who gives me this maid ?' said Little John;

Quoth Robin Hood, “That do I,
And he that takes her from Allin a Dale,

Full dearly he shall her buy.'

And thus having end of this merry wedding,

The bride looked like a queen ; And so they returned to the merry greenwood, Amongst the leaves so green.

Old Ballad

XXXII

VIOLETS

Under the green hedges after the snow,
There do the dear little violets grow,
Hiding their modest and beautiful heads
Under the hawthorn in soft mossy beds.

Sweet as the roses, and blue as the sky,
Down there do the dear little violets lie;
Hiding their heads where they scarce may be seen,
By the leaves you may know where the violet hath
been.

7. Moultrie

XXXIII

THE PALMER

Open the door, some pity to show!

Keen blows the northern wind ! The glen is white with the drifted snow,

And the path is hard to find.

“No outlaw seeks your castle gate,

From chasing the king's deer, Though even an outlaw's wretched state

Might claim compassion here.

'A

weary Palmer worn and weak,

I wander for my sin;
O, open, for Our Lady's sake!

A pilgrim's blessing win!

“The hare is crouching in her form,

The hart beside the hind; An aged man, amid the storm,

No shelter can I find.

"You hear the Ettrick's sullen roar,

Dark, deep, and strong is he, And I must ford the Ettrick o'er,

Unless you pity me.

"The iron gate is bolted hard,

At which I knock in vain ;
The owner's heart is closer barr'd,

Who hears me thus complain.

E

6

Farewell, farewell ! and Heaven grant,

When old and frail you be, You never may the shelter want,

That's now denied to me!'

The Ranger on his couch lay warm,

And heard him plead in vain; But oft, amid December's storm,

He'll hear that voice again :

For lo, when through the vapours dank

Morn shone on Ettrick fair, A corpse, amid the alders rank, The Palmer welter'd there.

Sir W. Scott

XXXIV

THE FORSAKEN MERMAN

Come dear children, let us away ;

Down and away below.
Now my brothers call from the bay ;
Now the great winds shorewards blow;
Now the salt tides seawards flow;
Now the wild white horses play,
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.
Children dear, let us away.

This way, this way.

Call her once before you go.

Call once yet,
In a voice that she will know :

Margaret! Margaret!'

Children's voices should be dear
(Call once more) to a mother's ear:
Children's voices wild with pain.

Surely she will come again.
Call her once, and come away.

This way, this way.
Mother dear, we cannot stay.'
The wild white horses foam and fret,

Margaret ! Margaret !

Come dear children, come away down.

Call no more.
One last look at the white-walled town,
And the little grey church on the windy shore,

Then come down.
She will not come though you call all day.

Come away, come away.

Children dear, was it yesterday
We heard the sweet bells over the bay ?

In the caverns where we lay,

Through the surf and through the swell, The far-off sound of a silver bell ? Sand-strewn caverns cool and deep, Where the winds are all asleep; Where the spent lights quiver and gleam ; Where the salt weed sways in the stream ; Where the sea-beasts rang'd all round Feed in the ooze of their pasture ground; Where the sea-snakes coil and twine, Dry their mail and bask in the brine ; Where great whales come sailing by, Sail and sail, with unshut eye, Round the world forever and aye ?

When did music come this way?
Children dear, was it yesterday ?

and me,

Children dear, was it yesterday
(Call yet once) that she went away ?
Once she sat with

you
On a red gold throne in the heart of the sea.

And the youngest sat on her knee. She comb'd its bright hair, and she tended it well, When down swung the sound of the far-off bell, She sigh’d, she look'd up through the clear green sea, She said, “I must go, for my kinsfolk pray In the little grey church on the shore to-day. 'Twill be Easter-time in the world-ah me! And I lose my poor soul, Merman, here with thee.' I said : ‘Go up, dear heart, through the waves : Say thy prayer, and come back to the kind sea-caves.' She smiled, she went up through the surf in the bay,

Children dear, was it yesterday ?

Children dear, were we long alone ? 'The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan; Long prayers,' I said, “in the world they say.' • Come,' I said, and we rose through the surf in the

bay. We went up the beach in the sandy down Where the sea-stocks bloom, to the white-walled

town, Through the narrow paved streets, where all was

still To the little grey church on the windy hill. From the church came a murmur of folk at their

prayers, But we stood without in the cold blowing airs.

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