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"Hast thou any horn beasts," the sheriff repli'd, "Good fellow, to sell unto me?" "Yes, that I have, good master sheriff, I have hundreds two or three,
"And a hundred aker of good free land, If you please it to see:
And Ile make you as good assurance of it, father made me."
As ever my
The sheriff he saddled his good palfrèy,
And, with three hundred pound in gold,
Away then the sheriff and Robin did ride,
Then the sheriff did say, "God save us this day,
But when a little farther they came,
Come tripping the sheriff full nigh.
"How like you my horn'd beasts, good master sheriff?
They be fat and fair for to see."
"I tell thee, good fellow, I would I were gone, For I like not thy company."
Then Robin set his horn to his mouth,
And blew but blasts three;
Then quickly anon there came Little John,
"What is John,
your will, master ?" then said Little
"Good master, come tell unto me."
"I have brought hither the sheriff of Notingham
This day to dine with thee."
"He is welcome to me," then said Little John, "I hope he will honestly pay;
I know he has gold, if it be but well told,
Then Robin took his mantle from his back,
Then Robin he brought him thorow the wood,
"O have me commended to your wife at home:" So Robin went laughing away.
The Beath of Keeldar.
UP rose the sun o'er moor and mead,
The palfrey sprung with sprightly bound,
Man, hound, and horse, of higher fame To wake the wild deer never came, Since Alnwick's earl pursued the game On Cheviot's rueful day :
Keeldar was matchless in his speed; Than Tarras ne'er was stancher steed ; A peerless archer Percy Rede;
And right dear friends were they.
The chase engross'd their joys and woes;
And oft when evening skies were red,
Now is the thrilling moment near
The game's afoot! Halloo! halloo !
And ill betide the faithless yew!
The stag bounds scatheless o'er the dew And gallant Keeldar's life-blood true
Has drench'd the grey-goose wing!
The noble hound-he dies, he diesDeath, death has glazed his fixed eyes, Stiff on the bloody heath he lies,
Without a groan or quiver;
Now day may break and bugle sound,
Dilated nostrils, staring eyes,
Mark the poor palfrey's mute surprise,
His aspect hath expression drear
But he that bent the fatal bow
"And if it be, the shaft be bless'd,
And you may have a fleeter hound,
And to his last stout Percy rued
E'en with his dying voice he cried,
[The story on which the following ballad is founded is related in Mrs. Jameson's "Lives of Female Sovereigns."]
Oн, fair was Countess Isadoure,
And she unto her highest tower,
Swept on the stony ground.
1 The above poem appeared in the "Gem" for 1829. The Editor, Thomas Hood, thus introduces it:-"To Sir Walter Scott, not merely a literary feather in my cap, but a whole plume of them, I owe, and with the hand of my heart acknowledge. A poem from his pen is likely to confer on the book that contains it, if not perpetuity, at least a very 'Old Mortality.'"