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And if the house be foul,
With platter, dish, or bowl,
Up stairs we nimbly creep,

And find the sluts asleep :
There we pinch their armes and thighes;
None escapes, nor none espies

But if the house be swept,
And from uncleanness kept,
We praise the household maid,

And duly she is paid;
For we use before we goe,
To drop a tester in her shoe.

Upon a mushroom's head
Our table-cloth we spread;
A grain of rye or wheat

Is manchet which we eat;
Pearly drops of dew we drink
In acorn cups fillid to the brink.

The brains of nightingales,
With unctuous fat of snails,
Between two cockles stew'd,

Is meat that's easily chew'd;
Tailes of wormes, and marrow of mice,
Do make a dish that's wonderous nice.

The grasshopper, gnat, and fly
Serve for our minstrelsie;
Grace said, we dance awhile,

And so the time beguile:
And if the moone doth hide her head,
The gloe-worm lights us home to bed.

On tops of dewie grasse
So nimbly we do passe,
The young and tender stalk

Ne'er bends when we do walk;
Yet in the morning may be seene
Where we the night before have beene.

Anonymous, about the year 1600. THE MERRY PRANKS OF ROBIN GOOD-FELLOW.

From Oberon, in fairy land,

The king of ghosts and shadowes there,
Mad Robin, I, at his command,
Am sent to viewe the night-sports here.

What revell rout

Is kept about
In every corner where I go,

I will o'ersee

And merrie be,
And make good sport with ho, ho, ho !

More swift than lightning can I flye

About the aery welkin soone,
And in a minute's space descrye
Each thing that's done belowe the moone.

There's not a hag

Or ghost shall wag,
Or cry 'ware goblins ! where I go,

But Robin, I,

Their feates will spy,
And send them home with ho, ho, ho !

Whene'er such wanderers I meete,

As from their night-sports they trudge home,
With counterfeiting voice I greete,
And call them on with me to roame.

Thro’ woods, thro' lakes,

Thro' bogs, thro' brakes ;
Or else, unseene, with them I go,

All in the nicke,

To play some tricke,
And frolick it with ho, ho, ho !

Sometimes I meete them like a man;

Sometimes an ox, sometimes a hound,
And to a horse I turn me can,
To trip and trot about them round,

But, if to ride,

My backe they stride,
More swift than wind away I goe,

O'er hedge and lands,

Thro' pools and ponds,
I whirry, laughing ho, ho, ho

When lads and lasses merry be,

With possets, and with junkets fine;
Unseene of all the company,
I eat their cakes and sip their wine ;

And to make sport

I fume and snort,
And out the candles I do blow :

The maids I kiss,
They shrieke, Who's this?
I answer nought but ho, ho, ho !

Yet now and then, the maids to please,

At midnight I card up their wooll; And while they sleepe and take their ease, With wheel, to threads their flax I pull.

I grind at mill,

Their malt up still ;
I dress their hemp, I spin their tow.

If any wake,

And would me take,
I wend me laughing ho, ho, ho !

When house or hearth doth sluttish lye,

I pinch the maidens black and blue, The bedd-clothes from the bedd pull I, And in their ear I bawl too-whoo!

"Twixt sleepe and wake

I do them take,
And on the clay-cold floor them throw,

If out they cry,

Then forth I fly,
And loudly laugh out ho, ho, ho!

When any need to borrow ought,

We lend them what they do require, And for the use demand we nought, Our owne is all we do desire.

I to repay,

They do delay,
Abroad amongst them then I go,

And night by night,

I them affright, With pinchings, dreams, and ho, ho, ho ! When lazie queans have nought to do,

But study how to cog and lye,

To make debate and mischief too, 'Twixt one another secretly

I marke their gloze,

And it disclose,
To them whom they have wronged so.

When I have done,

I get me gone
And leave them scolding, ho, ho, ho !

When men do traps and engines set

In loope holes, where the vermine creepe,
Who from their foldes and houses get
Their duckes and geese, and lambes and sheepe;

I spy the gin,

And enter in,
And seeme a vermin taken so;

But when they there

Approach me neare,
I leap out laughing ho, ho, ho

By wells and rills, in meadowes green,

We nightly dance our hey-day guise ;
And to our fairye kinge and queene
We chaunt our moon-lighte minstrelsies.

When larkes gin singe,

Away we flinge ;
And babes new-born steale as we go,

And shoes in bed

We leave instead,
And wend us laughing ho, ho, ho!

From hag-bred Merlin's time have I

Thus nightly revell’d to and fro : And for my prankes, men call me by The name of Robin Good-Fellow.

Friends, ghosts, and sprites

Who haunt the nightes,
The hags and goblins do me know,

And beldames old

My feates have told, So vale, vale, ho, ho, ho !

Anonymousattributed to BEN Joxson, about 1600. SLAVIC.


The maiden went for water

To the well o'er the meadow away; She there could draw no water,

So thick the frost it lay. The mother she grew angry,

She had it long to bemoan; “O daughter mine, 0 daughter mine,

I would thou wert a stone !" The maiden's water-pitcher

Grew marble instantly,
And she herself, the maiden,

Became a maple tree.
There came one day two lads,

Two minstrels young they were ; “ We've traveled far, my brother,

Such a maple we saw nowhere.
Come let us cut a fiddle,

One fiddle for me and you,
And from the same fine maple,

For each one, fiddlesticks two."

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