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ROBIN GOODFELLOW
From Oberon, in fairy land,
The king of ghosts and shadows there,
Mad Robin, I, at his command,
Am sent to view the night sports here.
What revel rout
Is kept about
In every corner where I go,
I will o’ersee
And merry be,
And make good sport, with ho, ho, ho!
More swift than lightning can I fly
About this airy welkin soon;
And, in a minute’s space, descry
Each thing that’s done below the moon.
There’s not a hag
Or ghost shall wag
84Or cry, ‘ware goblins! where I go;
But, Robin, I,
Their feats will spy
And send them home with ho, ho, ho!
Whene’er such wanderers I meet,
As from their night sports they trudge home,
With counterfeiting voice I greet,
And call them on with me to roam;
Through woods, through lakes,
Through bogs, through brakes,
Or else, unseen, with them I go,
All in the nick
To play some trick,
And frolic it, with ho, ho, ho!
Sometimes I meet 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 back they stride,
More swift than wind away I go,
O’er hedge and lands
Through pools and ponds
I hurry laughing, ho, ho, ho!
85By wells and rills in meadows green
We nightly dance our heyday guise;
And to our fairy King and Queen
We chant our moonlight minstrelsies.
When larks ‘gin sing
Away we fling;
And babes new born steal as we go;
And elf in bed,
We leave instead,
And wend us, laughing ho, ho, ho!
From hag-bred Merlin’s time have I
Thus nightly revel’d to and fro;
And for my pranks men call me by
The name of Robin Goodfellow.
Fiends, ghosts, and sprites
Who haunt the nights,
The hags and goblins do me know;
And beldames old
My feats have told,
So vale, vale, ho, ho, ho!


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