Allen-a-Dale has no fagot for burning,
Allen-a-Dale has no furrow for turning,
Allen-a-Dale has no fleece for the spinning,
Yet Allen-a-Dale has red gold for the winning.
Come, read me my riddle! come, hearken my tale!
And tell me the craft of bold Allen-a-Dale.
The Baron of Ravensworth prances in pride,
And he views his domains upon Arkindale side;
The mere for his net, and the land for his game;
The chase for the wild and the park for the tame;
Yet the fish of the lake, and the deer of the vale,
Are less free to Lord Dacre than Allen-a-Dale!
Allen-a-Dale was ne'er belted a knight,
Though his spur be as sharp, and his blade be as bright;
Allen-a-Dale is no baron or lord,
Yet twenty tall yeomen will draw at his word,
And the best of our nobles his bonnet will vail
Who at Rere-cross on Stanmore meets Allen-a-Dale!
Allen-a-Dale to his wooing is come;
The mother, she ask'd of his household and home;
"Though the castle of Richmond stand fair on the hill,
My hall," quoth bold Allen, "shows gallanter still;
'T is the blue vault of heaven, with its crescent so pale,
And with all its bright spangles," said Allen-a-Dale.
The father was steel, and the mother was stone;
They lifted the latch, and they bade him begone;
But loud on the morrow, their wail and their cry;
He had laugh'd on the lass with his bonny black eye,
And she fled to the forest to hear a love-tale,
And the youth it was told by was Allen-a-Dale!
—SIR WALTER SCOTT.