Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough, and William of Cloudesle.

Adam Bell. William. Clim of the Clough.

Printed at London by Richard Cotes, and are to be sold by Francis Grove dwelling upon Snow-hill. 1648.

Adam Bell.

MErry it was in the gréene forrest,
among the leaves gréene:
Whereas men hunt east and west,
with bowes and arrowes kéene.
To raise the déere out of their den,
such sights have not oft béene séene:
As by thrée yeomen in the North Country,
by them it is I meane.
The one of them height Adam Bell,
another Clim of the Clough,
The third was William of Cloudesle,
an Archer good enough.
They were outlawed for Uenison,
these yeomen every chone:
They swore them brethren on a day,
to English wood for to gone.
Now lith and listen Gentlemen,
that of mirth loveth to heare:
Two of them single men,
the third had a wedded fere.
William was the wedded man,
much more then was his care:
He said to his brethren on a day,
to Carlile he would fare,
There to speake with faire Alice his wife,
and with his children thrée:
By my troth said Adam Bell,
not by the counsell of me:
For if we goe to Carlile brother,
and from this wild wood wend,
If that the Iustice do you take,
your life is at an end.
[Page]If that I come not to morrow brother,
by prime to you againe:
Trust you then that I am taken,
or else that I am slaine.
He tooke his leave of his brethren two,
and to Carlile he is gone:
There he knocked at his owne window,
shortly and anon.
Where be you faire Alice he said,
my wife and children three?
Lightly let in thine owne husband,
William of Cloudesle.
Alas then said faire Alice,
and sighed very sore:
This place hath béene beset for you,
full halfe a yeare and more.
Now I am here said Cloudesle,
I would that in we were:
Now fetch us meate and drinke enough,
and let us make good chéere
She fetcht him meate and drinke plenty,
like a true wedded wife,
And pleased him with what she had,
whom she loved as her life.
There lay an old wife in that place,
a little before the fire:
Which William had found of charity,
more then seven yéere.
Up she rose▪ and forth she goes,
evill might she speed therefore:
For she had set no foote on ground,
in seven yéeres before.
She went into the Iustice hall,
as fast as she could hie:
This night she said is come to towne,
[Page] William of Cloudesle.
Thereat the Iustice was full faine,
and so the Sheriffe also.
Thou shalt not travell hither for nought,
thy méed thou shalt have ere thou goe.
They gave to her a right good gowne,
of Scarlet it was I heard saine:
She tooke the gift and home she went,
and couched her downe againe.
They raised the towne of merry Carlile,
in all the hast they can:
And thronging fast unto the house,
as fast as they might gan,
There they beset the good yeoman,
about on everyside:
William heard great noise of the folke,
that thither-ward fast hide.
Alice opened a backe window,
and looked all about:
She was ware of the Iustice and Sheriffe,
and with them a great rout.
Alas treason, then cryed Alice,
ever woe may thou be:
Goe into my chamber, husband shée said,
sweete William of Cloudesle.
He tooke his sword and his buckler,
his bow and children thrée:
And went into the strongest chamber,
where he thought surest to be.
Faire Alice like a Lover true,
with a Pollax in her hand:
Said, he shall dye that commeth in
this doore, while I may stand.
Cloudesle bent a right good bow,
that was of a trusty trée:
[Page]He smote the Iustice on the brest,
that his arrow burst in thrée.
Gods curse of his heart said William,
this day thy coate did on.
If it had beene no better than mine,
it had béene néere the bone.
Yéeld thée Cloudesle said the Iustice,
and thy bow and thy arrowes thée fro:
Gods curse on his heart, said faire Alice,
that my husband counselleth so.
Set fire on the house said the Sheriffe,
sith no better it will be:
And burne we therein William he saith,
his wife and children thrée.
They fired the house in many a place,
the fire flew on hye:
Alas then said faire Alice,
I sée we here shall dye.
William opened a backe window,
that was in his Champer hie:
And there with shéets he did let downe,
his wife and children thrée:
For Christs love doe them no harme,
but wreake you all on me.
William shot so wondrous well,
till his arrowes were all gone:
And fire so fast about him fell,
that his bow string brent in two.
The sparkles brent and fell upon
good William of Cloudesle:
But then was he a woefull man,
and said, this is a Cowards death to me.
Lever had I said William,
[Page]with my sword in the rout to run:
Then here amongst mine enemies wood,
so cruelly to burne.
He tooke his sword and his buckler thou,
and among them all he ran:
Where the people thickest were,
he smote downe many a man.
There might no man abide his strokes,
so fiercely on them he ran:
Then they threw windowes and doores on him,
and so tooke that yeoman.
There they him bound hand and foote,
and in a déepe dungeon him cast.
Now Cloudesle then said the Iustice,
thou shalt be hangd in hast.
One vow shall I make said the Sheriffe,
a paire of new gallowes thou shalt have,
And all the gates of Carlile shall be shut,
there shall no man come in thereat.
There shall not helpe Clim of the Clough,
nor yet Adam Bell,
Though they come with a thousand moe,
nor all the devills in hell.
Earely in the morning the Iustice arose,
to the gates fast ga [...] he gone:
And commanded to shut close,
lightly every chone.
Then went to the Market place,
as fast as he could hie:
A paire of new gallowes there did he set up,
beside the Pillory.
A little boy stood them among,
and askt what meant that gallow trée:
They said to hang a good yeoman,
called William of Cloudesle.
[Page]That little Boy was towne Swine-heard,
and kept faire Alice swine:
Full oft he had séene Cloudesle in the wood,
and gave him there to dine,
He went out of a crevice of the wall,
and lightly to the wood he ron:
There he met with these weighty yeomen,
shortly and anon.
Alas then said the little boy,
you tarry here all too long▪
Cloudesle is tane and doomd to death,
and ready to be hangd.
Alas then said good Adam Bell,
that ever we saw this day:
He might have tarryed here with us,
so oft we did him pray.
He might have dwelt in gréene Forrest,
under those shadowes shéene:
And kept both him and us at rest,
out of trouble and teene.
Adam bent a right good bow,
a great hart soone he had flaine:
Take that child he said to thy dinner,
and bring me mine arrow againe.
Now we goe hence said these iolly yeomen,
tarry we no longer here:
We shall him borrow by Gods grace,
though we buy it full déere.
To Ca [...]lile went those good yeomen,
in a merry morning of May:
Here is a fit of Cloudesle,
and another is for to say.
ANd when they came to merry Carlile,
in a faire morning tide:
[Page]They found the gates shut them unto,
round about on every side.
Alas then said good Adam Bell,
that ever we were made men,
These gates are shut so wondrous well,
that we may not come therein.
Then spake Clim of the Clough,
with a wile we will us in bring;
Let us say we be messengers,
straight come from the King.
Adam said I have a Letter, well
let us wisely warke:
We will say we have the Kings seale,
I hold the Porter no Clarke.
Then Adam Bell beate at the gate,
with strokes great and strong:
The Porter heard such a noise thereat,
and to the gates he throng,
Who is there said the Porter,
that maketh all this knocking?
We be two messengers said they then,
be come right from the King.
We have a Letter said Adam Bell,
to the Iustice we must it bring:
Let us in our message to doe,
that we were againe to the King,
Here commeth none in sayd the Porter,
by him that dyed of a trée:
Till that a false théefe be hangd,
cald William of Cloudesle.
Then spake Clim of the Clough,
and swore by Mary frée:
If that we stand long without,
like a théefe hangd shalt thou be.
Loe here we have the Kings seale:
[Page]what Lurden art thou wood?
The Porter wéend it had béene so,
and lightly did off his hood.
Welcome is my Lords seale he said,
for that you shall come in:
He opened the gates full shortly,
an ev [...]ll opening for him.
Now are we in sayd Adam Bell,
whereof we are right faine:
But Christ he knowes assuredly,
how we shall out again.
Had we the keyes sayd Clim of the Clough,
right well then should we spéed:
Then might we come out well enough,
when we sée time and néede.
They called the Porter to counsell,
and wrung his neck in two:
And cast him in a déepe dungeon,
and tooke the keyes him fro.
Now am I Porter said Adam Bell,
sée brother the keyes we have here.
The worst Porter in merry Carlile,
that came this hundred yéere.
Now we will our bowes bend,
into the towne will we goe:
For to deliver our deare brother,
that lyeth in care and woe.
Then they bent their good yew bowes,
and looked their strings were round,
The Market place in merry Carlile
they beset in that stound,
And as they looked them beside,
a paire of new gallows there they sée,
And the Iustice with a Quest of Squires,
that iudgeth William hanged to be.
[Page]And Cloudesle lay ready there in a Cart,
fast bound both foot and hand:
And a strong rope about his neck,
already for to hang.
The Iustice call'd to him a lad,
Cloudesle cloath [...] he should have,
To take the measure of that yeoman,
and thereby to make him a grave.
I have séen as great marvail said Cloudesle,
as between this and Prin;
He that maketh a grave for me,
himself may lie therein.
Thou speakest proudly said the Iustice,
I will thee hang with my hand:
Full well heard this his brethren two,
there still as they did stand.
Then William cast his eye aside,
and saw his two brethren,
At the corner of the market-place well prepar'd,
ready the Iustice to chase.
I see comfort, said Cloudesle,
yet hope I well to fare:
If I might have my hands let frée,
right little might I care.
Then spake good Adam Bell,
to Clim of the Clough so frée:
Brother, sée you mark the Iustice well,
lo yonder you may him see.
At the Sheriff shoot I will
strongly with an arrow kéen:
A better shot in merry Carlile,
this seven yéers was not séen,
They loosed their arrows both at once,
of no man they had dread.
[Page]The one hit the Iustice, the other the Sheriffe,
that both their sides gan bléed,
All men voyded that stood them nye,
when the Iustice fell to the ground:
And the Sheriffe nye him by,
either had his deaths wound.
All the Cittizens fast gan flée,
they durst no longer abide;
There lightly they loosed Cloudesle,
where he with ropes lay tyde.
William stept to an Officer of the Towne▪
his axe out of his hand he wrung:
On each side he smote them downe,
him thought he tarried all too long.
William sayd to his brethren two,
this day let us live and dye:
If ever you have néed as I have now,
the same shall you find by me.
They shot so well that tide
for their strings were of silk sure,
That they kept the stréete on every side,
the battle did long endure.
They fought together like brethren true,
like hardy men and bold:
Many a man to the ground they threw,
and made many a heart cold.
But when their arrowes were all gone,
men pressed on them full fast:
They drew their swords then anon,
and their bowes from them cast.
They went lightly on their way,
with swords and bucklers round:
By that it were mid of the day,
they made many a wound,
Many an out horne in Carlile was blowne,
[Page]and the Bels backward did ring:
Many a woman said alas,
and many their hands did wring,
The Maior of Carlile forth come was,
and with him a full great rout:
These yeomen dread him full sore,
for of their lives they were in great doubt.
The Maior came armed a full great pace,
with a Poller in his hand:
Many a strong man with him was,
within that store to stand.
The Maior smot at Cloudesle with his bill,
his bucklor brast in two:
Full many a yeoman with great evill,
alas treason they cryed [...]or woe.
Kéepe wée the gates fast they bad,
that these Traytors thereout not goe:
But all for nought was that they wrought,
for so fast downe they were layd;
Till they all thrée that so manfully fought,
were gotten out of a braid▪
Have here your keyes said Adam Bell,
my office here I forsake:
If you doe by my counsell,
a new Porter doe you make.
He threw the keyes at their heads,
and bad them evill to thrive;
And all that letteth any good yeoman,
to come and comfort his wife.
Thus be the good yeomen gone to the woo [...]
as lightly as leafe on linde;
They laugh and be merry in their moode,
their enemies were farre behinde.
When they came to English wood,
under the trusty trée;
[Page]There they found bowes full good,
and arrowes great plenty.
So God me helpe sayd Adam Bell,
and Clim of the Clough so frée.
I would we were in merry Carlile,
before that faire many.
Then sate they downe and made good chéere,
and eate and drunke full well:
Here is a fit of these wight yeomen,
another I will you tell.
AS they sate in English wood,
under their trusty trée:
They thought they heard a woman wéepe,
but her they could not sée▪
Sore then sighed faire Alice,
that ever I saw this day:
For now is my déere husband slaine,
alas and wel away.
Might I have spoke with his déere brethren,
or with either of them twaine,
To shew to them what him befell,
my heart were out of paine.
Cloudesle walkt a little aside,
and look under the gréen-wood linde,
He saw his wife and children thrée,
full woe in heart and minde;
Welcome wife, the [...] said William,
under this trusty trée:
I had wéend yesterday by swéet S. Iohn,
thou shouldst me never see.
Now well is me she said that ye be here,
my heart is out of woe:
Dame, he said, Be merry and glad,
and thank my brethren two.
[Page]Hereof to speak said Adam Bell,
I wis it is no boote:
The meat that we must sup withall,
yet resteth [...]ast on foote.
Then went they downe unto the lawnd,
these Noblemen all thrée:
Each of them slew a Hart of Gréece,
the best they could there sée.
Have here the best Alice my wife,
said William of Cloudesle:
Because yée so boldly stood by me,
when I was slaine full nye.
Then they went to supper,
with such meate as they had:
And thanked God for their fortune,
they were merry and glad,
And when they had supped well,
certaine without any lease,
Cloudesle sayd we will to our King,
to get us a Charter of peace.
Alice shall be at our soiourning,
in a Nunnery here beside:
My two sons shall with her goe,
and there they shall abide.
My eldest sonne shall goe with me,
for him I have no care:
And he shall bring you word againe,
how that we doe fare.
Thus be these good yeomen to London gon,
as fast as they may hye;
Till they came to the Kings palace,
where they would néeds be.
And when they came to the Kings Court,
unto the palace gate:
Of no man would they aske leave.
[Page]but boldly went in thereat,
They procéeded present into the hall,
of no man they had dread:
The Porter came after, and did them call,
and with them gan to chide.
The Usher said, yeomen what would you have
I pray you tell to me?
You might have Officers shent,
good sirs from whence be yée?
Sir, we be Outlawes of the Forrest▪
certaine without any lease:
And hither we be come to the King,
to get us a charter of peace.
And when they came before the King,
as it was the Law of the Land:
They knéeled downe without letting,
and each held up his hand.
They said, Lord we beséech thée here,
that ye will grant us grace:
For we have slaine your fat fallow Déere,
in many a sundry place.
What be your names then said the King,
anon that you tell me:
Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough,
and William of Cloudesle.
Be yée those théeves sayd the King,
that men have told to me:
Here to God I make a vow,
yée shall be hangd all thrée,
Ye shall be dead without mercy,
as I am King of this Land:
He commanded his Officers every chone,
fast on them to lay hand.
Therefore they tooke these good yeomen,
and acrested them all thrée:
[Page]So may I thrive said Adam Bell,
this game liketh not me.
But good Lord we beséech you [...],
that ye will grant us grace,
Insomuch as we do to you come,
or else that we may [...] you passe,
With such weapons as we ha [...]e here,
till we be out of your place:
And if we live this hundreth yéere,
we will aske of you no grace,
Ye speake proudly sayd the King.
ye shall be hanged all th [...]e:
That were great pity said the Quéene,
if any grace might be.
My Lord when I came [...]st into this Land
to be your wedded [...],
The first boone that I would aske,
you would grant me bel [...]:
And I asked ye never none till now,
therefore good Lord grant it me.
Now aske it Madam said the King,
and granted shall it be.
Then good Lord I you beséech,
these yeomen grant ye me:
Madam ye might have asked a boone,
that should have béene wor [...] them all three;
Ye might have asked towres and townes,
Parkes and Forrests plenty:
None so pleasant to my pay she said,
nor none so léefe to me.
Madam, sith it is your desire,
your asking granted [...]
But I had lever [...] given you,
good Market [...].
The Quéene was a glad woma [...]
[Page]and said, Lord gramercy.
I dare undertake for them,
that true men they shall be:
But good Lord speake some merry word,
that they might comfort sée.
I grant you grace then said the King.
wash fellowes and to mea [...] goe ye.
They had not sitten but a while,
certaine without leasing:
There come two messengers out of the North,
with letters to the King:
And when they came before the King,
they knéeled downe upon their knée:
And said your Officers gréete you well,
of Carlile in the North Country▪
How fareth my Iustice (said the King)
and my Sheriffe also:
Sir they be staine without leasing,
and many an Officer moe.
Who hath them flaine, said the King▪
anon that you tell me:
Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough,
and William of Cloudesle.
Alas for ruth then said the King,
my heart is wondroussore:
I had lever then a thousand pound,
I had knowne this before,
For I have granted them grace,
and that forethinketh me:
But had I knowne all this before,
they had béene hanged all thrée▪
The King opened the Letter a [...]on,
himselfe he read it tho.
And there he found how these outlawes had slaine
thrée hundred men and m [...]e▪
[Page]First the Iustice and the Sheriffe,
and the Maior of Carlile towne,
Of all the Constables and Catchpoles,
alive he left not one.
The Bailiffes and the Beadles both,
and the Sergeants of the Law:
And forty Forresters of the fée,
these outlawes have yslaw,
And broke his Parks and slaine his déere,
of all they chose the best:
So perillous outlaws as they were,
walked not by East nor West.
When the King this Letter had read,
in heart he sighed full sore:
Take up the table then said he,
for I can eate no more.
The King then called his best Archers,
to the Buts with him to goe:
I will sée these fellows shoote said he
that in the North have wrought this woe.
The Kings Bowmen buskt them blith,
and the Quéens Archers also:
So did these wight yeomen,
with them they thought to goe.
There twice or thrice they shot about,
for to assay their hand:
There was no shot these yeomen shot,
that any p [...]icke might stand.
Then spake William of Cloudesle,
by him that for me dyed:
I hold him never a good Archer,
that shooteth at Buts so wide,
Whereat then said the King,
I pray thée tell to me:
At such a But sir he said,
[Page]as men use in my country.
William went into the field,
and his two brethren with him,
There they set up two hasell rods,
twenty score pace betwéene:
I hold him an Archer, said Cloudesle,
that yonder wand cleaveth in two;
Here is none such, said the King,
for no man can so doe.
I shall assay sir, said Cloudesle,
ere that I further go:
Cloudesle with a bearing arrow,
clave the wand in two.
Thou art the best Archer, said the King,
for sooth that ever I sée:
And yet for your love, said William,
I will do more mastery,
I have a sonne is seven yéere old,
he is to me full déere
I will tie him to a stake,
all shall sée him that be héere,
And lay an apple upon his head,
and goe six score pace him fro:
And I my selfe with a broad arrow,
shall cleave the apple in two.
Now hast thée then, said the King,
by him that dyed on a trée,
But if thou dost not as thou hast said,
hanged shalt thou be,
And if thou touch his head or gowne,
in sight that men may sée:
By all the saints that be in heaven,
I shall you hang all thrée.
That I have promised said William,
I never will for sake:
[Page]And there even before the King,
in the earth he drove a stake,
And bound there [...] [...] eldest sonne,
and bad him stand still thereat;
And turnd the childs face him fro,
because he should not start▪
An Apple upon his head he set,
and then his bow he bent:
Sixscore paces th [...]re were met,
and thither Cloudesle went.
There he drew out a faire broad arrow,
his bow was great [...] long:
He set that arrow in his bow,
that was both stiffe and strong,
He prayed the people that were there,
that they would still stand:
For he that shooteth for such a wager,
had néede of a steddy hand.
Much people prayed for Cloudesle,
that his life saved might be:
And when he made him ready to shoot
there was many a wéeping eye:
Thus Cloudesle clave the Apple in two,
as many a man might sée:
Now God forbid then said the King,
that thou shouldst shoote at me.
I give thée xviii. pence a day,
and my bow shalt thou beare:
And over all the North Country,
I make thée chiefe Rider,
And Ile give thée xiii. pence aday, said the Quéene,
by God, and by my fay,
Com fetch thy payment when thou wilt,
no man shall say thée nay.
William, I make thée a Gentleman,
[Page]of clothing and of sée:
And they two brethren yeom [...]n of my Chamber,
for they are lovely to sée▪
Your sonne for he is tender of age,
of my wine celler shall be,
And when he comes to mans estate,
better preferred shall he be▪
And William bring me your wife said the Queene.
I long full sore to see:
She shall be my cheefe Gentlewoman,
to governe my Nursery▪
The yeomen thanked them [...],
and said to some Bishop, we will [...],
Of all the sinnes that we ha [...]e done▪
to be assoyled at his hand.
So forth be gone these good yeomen,
as fast as they can hie.
And after came and lived with the King,
and died good yeomen all three.
Thus endeth the lives of these good yeomen,
God send them eterna [...] blisse▪
And all that with hand bow shoot [...]th,
that of heaven may never misse.

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