The Archer in the Greenwood
Popular with: Athral Isle (Peasantry), Principalities of Verdien, Tarsikka, Tharicia
Unpopular with: Gaunt, Athral Isle (Nobility)
Less known by: Akathia, Oresund
Archtypes, if any: Trickster, Warrior
Variations, if any: NA
"Me thought they did mee beate and binde,
And tooke my bow mee froe;
If I bee Revka a-liue in this lande,
I’le be wrocken on both them towe.’
‘Sweauens are swift, master,’ quoth (PC2),
‘As the wind that blowes ore a hill;
Ffor if itt be neuer soe lowde this night,
To-morrow it may be still.’
‘Buske yee, bowne yee, my comrades all,
Ffor (PC2) shall goe with mee;
For I’le goe seeke yond wight yeomen
In greenwood where the bee.’
Th cast on their gowne of greene,
A shooting gone are they,
Vntill they came to the merry greenwood,
Where they had gladdest bee;
There were the ware of a wight yeoman,
His body leaned to a tree.
A sword and a dagger he wore by his side,
Had beene many a mans bane,
And he was cladd in his capull-hyde,
Topp, and tayle, and mayne.
‘Stand you still, master,’ quoth (PC2),
‘Vnder this trusty tree,
And I will goe to yond wight yeoman,
To know his meaning trulye.’
‘A (PC2), by me thou setts noe store,
And that’s a farley thinge;
How offt send I my men beffore,
And tarry my-selfe behinde?
‘It is noe cunning a knaue to ken,
And one aw but heare him speake;
And itt were not for bursting of my bowe,
(PC2), I wolde thy head breake.’
But often words they breeden bale,
That parted Revka and (PC2);
(PC2) is gone a' Kardorrae,
The gates he knowes eche one.
And when hee came to Kardorrae,
Great heauinesse there hee hadd;
He found two of his fellowes
Were slaine both in a slade,
And (PC3) a foote flyinge was,
Ouer stockes and stone,
For the Baronne with seuen score men
Fast after him is gone.
‘Yett one shoote I’le shoote,’ sayes (PC2),
‘With right his might and mayne;
I’le make yond fellow that flyes so fast
To be both glad and faine.
(PC2) bent vp a good veiwe bow,
And fetteled him to shoote;
The bow was made of a tender boughe,
And fell downe to his foote.
‘Woe worth thee, wicked wood,’ sayd (PC2),
‘That ere thou grew on a tree!
Ffor this day thou art my bale,
My boote when thou shold bee!’
This shoote it was but loosely shott,
The arrowe flew in vaine,
And it mett one of tne Baronne's men;
Good William a Gyle was slaine.
It had beene better for William a Gyle
To hange vpon a gallowe
Then for to lye in the greenwoode,
There slaine with an arrowe.
And it is sayd, when men be mett,
Six can doe more then three:
And they haue tane (PC2),
And bound him fast to a tree.
‘Thou shalt be drawen by dale and downe,’ quoth the Baronne,
‘And hanged hye on a hill:’
‘But thou may fayle,’ quoth (PC2),
‘If itt be Littes owne will.’
Let vs leaue talking of (PC2),
For hee is bound fast to a tree,
And talke of Alyon and Revka th' Tall,
In the green woode where they bee.
How these two yeomen together they mett,
Vnder the leaues of lyne,
To see what marchandise they made
Euen at that same time.
‘Good morrow, good ladye,’ quoth Sir Alyon;
‘Good morrow, good fellow,’ quoth shee;
‘Methinkes by this bow thou beares in thy hand,
A good archer thou seems to bee.’
‘I am wilfull of my way,’ quoth Sir Alyon,
‘And of my morning tyde:’
‘I’le lead thee through the wood,’ quoth Revka th' Tall,
‘Good fellow, I’le be thy guide.’
‘I seeke an outlaw,’ quoth Sir Alyon,
‘Folkes call her Revka 'Tall;
I had rather meet with her vpon a day
Then forty pound of golld.’
‘If you tow mett, itt wold be seene whether were better
Afore yee did part awaye;
Let vs some other pastime find,
Good fellow, I thee pray.
Let vs some other masteryes make,
And wee will walke in the woods euen;
Wee may chance mee[t] with Revka 'Tall
Att some vnsett steven.’
They cutt them downe the summer shroggs
Which grew both vnder a bryar,
And sett them three score rood on twinn,
To shoote the prickes full neare.
‘Leade on, good layde,’ sayd Sir Alyon,
‘Lead on, I doe bidd thee:’
‘Nay, by my faith,’ quoth Revka 'Tall,
‘The leader thou shalt bee.’
The first good shoot that Revka ledd
Did not shoote an inch the pricke froe;
Alyon was an archer good enoughe,
But he cold neere shoote soe.
The second shoote Sir Alyon shott,
He shott within the garlande;
But Revka 'Tall shott it better then hee,
For he cloue the good pricke-wande.
‘Gods blessing on thy heart!’ sayes Alyone,
‘Goode layde, thy shooting is goode;
For an thy hart be as good as thy hands,
Thou were better then Revka a' Wood.
‘Tell me thy name, good layde,’ quoth Alyon,
RR’rrvnder the leaues of lyne:’
‘Nay, by my faith,’ quoth good Revka,
‘Till thou haue told me thine.’
‘I dwell by dale and downe,’ quoth Alyone,
‘And I haue done many a curst turne;
And he that calles me by my right name
Calles me Alyone of good Lasayurne.’
‘My dwelling is in the downe,’ sayes Reveka;
‘By thee I set right nought;
My name is Revka th' Tall of Karrdorae Wood,
An Outlaw thou has long sought.’
He that had neither beene a kithe nor kin
Might haue seene a full fayre sight,
To see how together these yeomen went,
With blades both browne and bright.
To haue seene how these yeomen together fought,
Two howers of a summers day;
Itt was neither Alyon nor Revka th' Tall
That fettled them to flye away.
Revka was reacheles on a roote,
And stumbled at that tyde,
And Alyon was quicke and nimble with-all,
And hitt her ore the left side.
‘Ah, deere Lady!’ sayd Revka Greenee,
‘Thou art both mother and may!
I thinke it was neuer a destinye
To dye before his day.’
Revka thought on The Lady deere,
And soone leapt vp againe,
And thus she came with an awkwarde stroke;
Good Sir Alyn shee has slayne.
She tooke Sir Alyons head by the hayre,
And sticked itt on her bowes end;
‘Thou hast beene traytor all thy liffe,
Which thing must haue an ende.’
Revka pulled forth an Cuilic kniffe,
And nicked Sir Alyn in the face,
That tha' was neuer on a woman borne
Cold tell who Sir Alyon was.
Saies, Lye there, lye there, good Sir Alyone,
And with me be not wrothe;
If thou haue had the worse stroakes at my hand,
Thou shalt haue the better cloathe.
Revka did off her gowne of greene,
Sir Alyone shee did it throwe;
And shee put on that capull-hyde,
That cladd her topp to toe.
‘The bowe, the arrowes, and litle horne,
And with me now I’le beare;
Ffor now I will goe to Kardorae,
To see how my men doe fare.’
Revka sett Alyones horne to her mouth,
A lowd blast in it she did blow;
That beheard the Baronne of Kardorae,
As she leaned vnder a lowe.
‘Hearken! hearken!’ sayd the Barronne,
‘I heard noe tydings but good;
For yonder I heare Sir Alyones horne blowe,
For he hath slaine Revka a' Wood.
‘For yonder I heare Sir Alyones horne blow,
Itt blowes soe well in tyde,
For yonder comes that wighty yeoman,
Cladd in his capull-hyde.
‘Come hither, thou good Sir Alyon,
Aske of mee what thou wilt haue:’
‘I’le none of thy gold,’ sayes Revka th 'Tall,
‘Nor I’le none of itt haue.
‘But now I haue slaine the master,’ she sayd,
‘Let me goe strike the knaue;
This is all the reward I aske,
Nor noe other will I haue.’
‘Thou art a madman,’ said the Baronne,
‘Thou sholdest haue had a knights fee;
Seeing thy asking [hath] beene soe badd,
Well granted it shall be.’
But (PC2) heard his master speake,
Well he knew that was her steuen;
‘Now shall I be loset,’ quoth (PC2),
‘With a' Ligttes might in heauen.’
Revka shee hyed her towards (PC2),
Shee thought shee wold loose him beliue;
The Baronne and all th' companye
Fast after her did driue.
‘Stand abacke! stand abacke!’ sayd Revka th' Tall;
‘Why draw you mee soe neere?
Itt was neuer the vse in our countrye
One’s shrift another shold heere.’
But Revka pulled forth an Cuilic kniffe,
And losed (PC2) hand and foote,
And gaue him Sir Alyones bow in his hand,
And bade it be his boote.
But (PC2) tooke Alyone's bow in his hand
His arrowes were rawstye by the roote
The Barronne saw (PC2) draw a bow
And fettle him to shoote.
Towards his house in Lasayurne
He fled full fast away,
And soe did all th' companye,
Not one behind did stay.
But he cold neither soe fast goe,
Nor away soe fast runn,
But (PC2), with an arrow broade,
Did cleaue his heart in twinn.