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University of California Berkeley 

From the book collection of 

bequeathed by him 
or donated by his wife 

Mildred S. Bronson 








Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by 
LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY, in the Clerk's Office of the 
District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 







INTRODUCTION. Robin Hood vii 

1. Robin Hood and the Monk 1 

2 a. Robin Hood and the Potter 17 

2 b. Robin Hood and the Butcher 33 

3. Robyn and Gandelyn 38 

4. A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode 42 

6. Adam Bel, Clym of the Cloughe, and Wyllyam of 

Cloudesle" 124 

6. Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne 159 

7. The Birth of Robin Hood 170 

8 a. Rose the Red, and White Lilly 173 

8 b. The Wedding of Robin Hood and Little John 184 

9 a. Robin Hood and the Beggar 187 

9 b. The Jolly Finder of Wakefield, with Robin Hood, 

Scarlet, and John , 204 

9 c. Robin Hood and the Ranger 207 

9 d. Robin Hoods Delight 211 

9 e. Robin Hood and Little John 216 

9 f. Robin Hood and the Tanner 223 

9 g. Robin Hood and the Tinker 230 

9 h. Robin Hood and the Shepherd 238 

9 i. Robin Hood and the Peddlers 243 

9 k. The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood 248 

9 1. Robin Hood and the Beggar, Part 1 251 

10 a. Robin Hood and the Beggar, Part U 255 

10 b. Robin Hood and the Old Man.. . . . 257 



10 c. Robin Hood rescuing the Widows three Sons 261 

10 d. Robin Hood rescuing the three Squires 267 

11. Robin Hood and the Curtail Fryer 271 

12. Robin Hood and Allin-a-Dale 278 

13. Robin Hoods rescuing Will Stutly 283 

14. Robin Hoods Progress to Nottingham 290 

15. Robin Hood and the Bishop of Hereford 294 

16. Robin Hood and the Bishop 298 

17. Robin Hoods Golden Prize 303 

18. Robin Hoods Death and Burial 308 

19. Robin Hood and Queen Katherine 312 

20. Robin Hoods Chase 320 

21. Little John and the Four Beggers 325 

22. The Noble Fisherman, or, Robin Hoods Preferment 329 

23. Robin Hood and the Tanners Daughter 334 


1. Robin Hood's Birth, Breeding, Valour, and Marriage, 343 

2. A True Tale of Robin Hood 353 

3. Robin Hood and Maid Marian 372 

4. The Kings Disguise and Friendship with Robin Hood 376 

5. Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow 383 

6. Robin Hood and the Valiant Knight 388 

7. The Birth of Robin Hood 392 

8. Rose the Red, and White Lillie 396 

9. Robin Hood and the Stranger 404 

10. Robin Hood and the Scotchman 418 

11. The Playe of Robyn Hode 420 

12. Fragment of an Interlude (?) of Robin Hood 428 

13. By Landsdale hey ho 431 

14. In Sherwood livde stout Robin Hood 433 

15. The Song of Robin Hood and his Huntesmen 434 

GLOSSARY ,. 437 


VOL. V. 


THERE is no one of the royal heroes of Eng 
land that enjoys a more enviable reputation than 
the bold outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood. 
His chance for a substantial immortality is at least 
as good as that of stout Lion Heart, wild Prince 
Hal, or merry Charles. His fame began with 
the yeomanry full five hundred years ago, was 
constantly increasing for two or three centuries, 
has extended to all classes of society, and, with 
some changes of aspect, is as great as ever. Bish 
ops, sheriffs, and game-keepers, the only enemies 
he ever had, have relinquished their ancient 
grudges, and Englishmen would be almost as 
loath to surrender his exploits as any part of the 
national glory. His free life in the woods, his un 
erring eye and strong arm, his open hand and love 
of fair-play, his never-forgotten courtesy, his re 
spect for women and devotion to Mary, form a 
picture eminently healthful and agreeable to the 
imagination, and commend him to the hearty favor 
of all genial minds. 


But securely established as Robin Hood is in 
popular esteem, his historical position is by no 
means well ascertained, and his actual existence 
has been a subject of shrewd doubt and discus 
sion. " A tale of Robin Hood " * is an old 
proverb for the idlest of stories, yet all the 
materials at our command for making up an 
opinion on these questions are precisely of this 
description. They consist, that is to say, in a 
few ballads of unknown antiquity. These ballads, 
or others like them, are clearly the authority upon 
which the statements of the earlier chroniclers 
who take notice of Robin Hood are founded. 
They are also, to all appearances, the original 
source of the numerous and widespread tradi 
tions concerning him ; which, unless the contrary 
can be shown, must be regarded, after what we 
have observed in similar cases, as having been 
suggested by the very legends to which, in the 
vulgar belief, they afford an irresistible confirma 

Various periods, ranging from the time of Rich 
ard the First to near the end of the reign of Ed 
ward the Second, have been selected by different 
writers as the age of Robin Hood ; but (excepting 
always the most ancient ballads, which may possi 
bly be placed within these limits) no mention what- 

i " This is a tale indeed of Robin Hood, 

Which to beleeve might show my wits but weake." 

Harington's Ariosto, p. 391, as cited by Ritson. 


ever is made of him in literature before the latter 
half of the reign of Edward the Third. Rhymes 
of Robin Hood" 1 are then spoken of by the author 
of Piers Ploughman, (assigned to about 1362,) as 
better known to idle fellows than pious songs, and 
from the manner of the allusion it is a just infer 
ence that such rhymes were at that time no 
novelties. The next notice is in Wyntown's 
Scottish Chronicle, written about 1420, where the 
following lines occur without any connection, and 
in the form of an entry under the year 1283. 

" Lytil Jhon and Robyne Hude 
Waythmen ware commendyd gude : 
In Yngilwode and Barnysdale 
Thai oysyd all this time thare trawale." 2 

At last we encounter Robin Hood in what may 
be called history ; first of all in a passage of the 

1 Sloth says : 

" I kan noght parfitly my pater-noster, 
As the preest it syngeth, 
But I kan rymes of Robyn Hood, 
And Randolf erl of Chestre." 

Wright's ed. v. 3275-8. 

2 A writer in the Edinburgh Review, (July, 1847, p. 134,) 
has cited an allusion to Robin Hood, of a date intermediate 
between the passages from Wyntown, and the one about to 
be cited from Bower. In the year 1439, a petition was pre 
sented to Parliament against one Piers Venables of Aston, in 
Derbyshire, " who having no liflode, ne sufficeante of goodes, 
gadered and assembled unto him many misdoers, beynge of 
his clothynge, and, in manere of insurrection, wente into 
the wodes in that countrie, like as it hadde be Itobyn Hode 
ind his meyne. Rot. Parl. v. 16. 


Scotichromcon, often quoted, and highly curious as 
containing the earliest theory upon this subject. 
The Scotichronicon was written partly by For- 
dun, canon of Aberdeen, between 1377 and 1384, 
and partly by his pupil Bower, abbot of St. 
Columba, about 1450. Fordun has the character 
of a man of judgment and research, and any 
statement or opinion delivered by him would be 
entitled to respect. Of Bower, not so much can 
be said. He largely interpolated the work of his 
master, and sometimes with the absurdest fictions. 1 
Among his interpolations? and forming, it is im 
portant to observe, no part of the original text, is 
a passage translated as follows. 8 It is inserted 
immediately after Fordun's account of the defeat 
of Simon de Montfort, and the punishments 
inflicted on his adherents. 

"At this time, (sc. 1266,) from the number of 
those who had been deprived of their estates, arose 
the celebrated bandit Robert Hood (with Little 
John and their accomplices) whose achievements 
the foolish vulgar delight to celebrate in comedies 
and tragedies, while the ballads upon his adven 
tures sung by the jesters and minstrels are pre 
ferred to all others. 

"Some things to his honor are also related, 

1 " Legendis non raro incredibilibus aliisque plusquara 
anilibus neniis." Hearne, Scotichronicon, p. xxix. 

2 Hearne. Mr. Hunter agrees to this. 
Hearne, p. 774. 


as appears from this. Once on a time, when, 
having incurred the anger of the king and the 
prince, he could hear mass nowhere but in Barns- 
dale, while he was devoutly occupied with the 
service, (for this was his wont, nor would he ever 
suffer it to be interrupted for the most pressing 
occasion,) he was surprised by a certain sheriff 
and officers of the king, who had often troubled 
him before, in the secret place in the woods where 
he was engaged in worship as aforesaid. Some 
of his men, who had taken the alarm, came to him 
and begged him to fly with all speed. This, out 
of reverence for the host, which he was then most 
devoutly adoring, he positively refused to do. But 
while the rest of his followers were trembling for 
their lives, Robert, confiding in him whom he 
worshipped, fell on his enemies with a few who 
chanced to be with him, and easily got the better 
of them ; and having enriched himself with their 
plunder and ransom, he was led from that time 
forth to hold ministers of the church and masses 
in greater veneration than ever, mindful of the 
common saying that 

" God hears the man who often hears the mass." 

In another place Bower writes to the same 
effect: "In this year (1266) the dispossessed 
barons of England and the royalists were engaged 
in fierce hostilities. Among the former, Roger 
Mortimer occupied the Welsh marches, and John 


Daynil the Isle of Ely. Robert Hood was now 
living in outlawry among the woodland copses and 
thickets." 1 

Mair, a Scottish writer of the first quarter of 
the 16th century, the next historian who takes 
cognizance of our hero, and the only other that 
requires any attention, has a passage which may 
be considered in connection with the foregoing. 
In his Historia Majoris Brittanice, he remarks, 
under the reign of Richard the First : " About 
this time [1189-99], as I conjecture, the notorious 
robbers Robert Hood of England and Little John 
lurked in the woods, spoiling the goods only of 
rich men. They slew nobody but those who at 
tacked them, or offered resistance in defence of 
their property. Robert maintained by his plun 
der a hundred archers, so skilful in fight that 
four hundred brave men feared to attack them. 
He suffered no woman to be maltreated, and 
never robbed the poor, but assisted them abun 
dantly with the wealth which he took from 

It appears then that contemporaneous history 
is absolutely silent concerning Robin Hood ; that, 
excepting the casual allusion in Piers Ploughman, 
he is first mentioned by a rhyming chronicler, who 
wrote one hundred years after the latest date at 
which he can possibly be supposed to have lived, 
and then by two prose chroniclers, who wrote about 
1 Scotichronicon, ed. Goodall, ii. 104. 


one hundred and twenty-live years and two hun 
dred years respectively after that date ; and it is 
further manifest that all three of these chroniclers 
had no other authority for their statements than 
traditional tales similar to those which have 
come down to our day. 1 When, therefore, Thierry, 
relying upon these chronicles and kindred popular 
legends, unhesitatingly adopts the conjecture of 
Mair, and describes Robin Hood as the hero of the 
Saxon serfs, the chief of a troop of Saxon banditti 
that continued, even to the reign of Coeur de Lion, 
a determined resistance against the Norman inva 
ders, 2 and when another able and plausible writer 
accepts and maintains, with equal confidence, the 
hypothesis of Bower, and exhibits the renowned 
outlaw as an adherent of Simon de Montfort, who,, 
after the fatal battle of Evesham, kept up a vig 
orous guerilla warfare against the officers of the 
tyrant Henry the Third, and of his successor, 8 we 
must regard these representations which were 
conjectural three or four centuries ago, as conjec- 

1 A comparison of the legends concerning William Tell, 
as they appear in any of the recent discussions of the sub 
ject, (e. g. Ideler's Sage von dem Schuss des Tell, Berlin, 
1836,) with those of Robin Hood and Adam Bell, will be 
found interesting and instructive. 

2 In his Histoire de la Conquete de 1' Angleterre par les Nor- 
mands, 1. xi. Thierry was anticipated in his theory by Barry, 
in a dissertation cited by Mr. Wright in his Essays : These de 
Litterature sur les Viccissitudes et les Transformations du Cycle 
populaire de Robin Hood. Paris, 1832. 

3 London and Westminster Review, vol. xxxiii. p. 424. 


tures still, and even as arbitrary conjectures, unless 
one or the other can be proved from the only author 
ities we have, the ballads, to have a peculiar 
intrinsic probability. That neither of them pos 
sesses this intrinsic probability may easily be 
shown, but first it will be advisable to notice 
another theory, which is more plausibly founded 
on internal evidence, and claims to be confirmed 
by documents of unimpeachable validity. 

This theory has been propounded by the Rev. 
John Hunter, in one of his Critical and Historical 
Tracts. 1 Mr. Hunter admits that Robin Hood 
" lives only as a hero of song ; " that he is not 
found in authentic contemporary chronicles ; and 
that, when we find him mentioned in history, " the 
information was derived from the ballads, and is 
not independent of them or correlative with them." 
While making these admissions, he accords a con 
siderable degree of credibility to, the ballads, and 
particularly to the Lytell Geste, the last two jits 
of which he regards as giving a tolerably accurate 
account of real occurrences. 

In this part of the story, King Edward is repre 
sented as coming to Nottingham to take Robin 
Hood. He traverses Lancashire and a part of 
Yorkshire, and finds his forests nearly stripped of 
their deer, but can get no trace of the author of 
these extensive depredations. At last, by the 
advice of one of his foresters, assuming with sev- 

i No. 4. The Ballad Hero, Robin Hood. June, 1852. 


eral of his knights the dress of a monk, he pro 
ceeds from Nottingham to Sherwood, and there 
soon encounters the object of his search. He 
submits to plunder as a matter of course, and then 
announces himself as a messenger sent to invite 
Robin Hood to the royal presence. The outlaw 
receives this message with great respect. There 
is no man in the world, he says, whom he loves 
so much as his king. The monk is invited to re 
main and dine ; and after the repast, an exhibition 
of archery is ordered, in which a bad shot is to be 
punished by a buffet from the hand of the chief 
tain. Robin having once failed of the mark re 
quests the monk to administer the penalty. He 
receives a staggering blow, which rouses his sus 
picions, recognizes the king on an attentive con 
sideration of his countenance, entreats grace for 
himself and his followers, and is freely pardoned 
on condition that he and they shall enter into 
the king's service. To this he agrees, and for 
fifteen months resides at court. At the end 
of this time he has lost all his followers but two, 
and spent all his money, and feels that he shall 
pine to death with sorrow in such a life. He 
returns accordingly to the green wood, collects his 
old followers around him, and for twenty-two years 
maintains his independence in defiance of the 
power of Edward. 

Without asserting the literal verity of all the 
particulars of this narrative, Mr. Hunter attempts 


to show that it contains a substratum of fact. 
Edward the First, he informs us, was never in 
Lancashire after he became king, and if Edward 
the Third was ever there at all, it was not in the 
early years of his reign. But Edward the Sec 
ond did make one single progress in Lancashire, 
and this in the year 1323. During this pro 
gress the king spent some time at Nottingham, 
and took particular note of the condition of his 
forests, and among these of the forest of Sher 
wood. Supposing now that the incidents detailed 
in the Lytell Geste really took place at this time, 
Robin Hood must have entered into the royal ser 
vice before the end of the year 1323. It is a sin 
gular, and in the opinion of Mr. Hunter a very 
pregnant coincidence, that, in certain Exchequer 
documents containing accounts of expenses in the 
king's household, the name of Robyn Hode (or 
Robert Hood) is found several times, beginning 
with the 24th of March, 1324, among the "por 
ters of the chamber " of the king. He received, 
with Simon Hood and others, the wages of three 
pence a day. In August of the following year 
Robin Hood suffers deduction from his pay for 
non-attendance, his absences grow frequent, and, 
on the 22d of November, he is discharged with a 
present of five shillings, "poar cas qil ne poait 
pluis travaiUer. 1 

It remains still for Mr. Hunter to account for the 
1 Hunter, p. 28, p. 35-38. 


existence of a band of seven score of outlaws in 
the reign of Edward the Second, in or about 
Yorkshire. The stormy and troublous reigns of 
the Plantagenets make this a matter of no diffi 
culty. Running his finger down the long list of 
rebellions and commotions, he finds that early in 
1322 England was convulsed by the insurrection 
of Thomas Earl of Lancaster, the king's near 
relation, supported by many powerful noblemen. 
The Earl's chief seat was the castle of Pontefract, 
in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He is said to 
have been popular, and it would be a fair inference 
that many of his troops were raised in this part of 
England. King Edward easily got the better of 
the rebels and took exemplary vengeance upon 
them. Many of the leaders were at once put to 
death, and the lives of all their partisans were in 
danger. Is it impossible then, asks Mr. Hunter, 
that some who had been in the army of the Earl, 
secreted themselves in the woods and turned their 
skill in archery against the king's subjects or the 
king's deer ; " that these were the men who for 
so long a time haunted Barnsdale and Sherwood, 
and that Robin Hood was one of them, a chief 
amongst them, being really of a rank originally 
somewhat superior to the rest ? " 

We have then three different hypotheses con 
cerning Robin Hood, one placing him in the reign of 
Richard the First, another in that of Henry the 


Third, and the last under Edward the Second, and 
all describing him as a political foe to the establish 
ed government. To all of these hypotheses there 
are two very obvious and decisive objections. The 
first is that Robin Hood, as already remarked, is 
not so much as named in contemporary history. 
Whether as the unsubdued leader of the Saxon 
peasantry, or insurgent against the tyranny of 
Henry or Edward, it is inconceivable that we 
should not hear something of him from the 
chroniclers. If, as Thierry says, " he had chosen 
Hereward for his model," it is unexplained and 
inexplicable why his historical fate has been so 
different from that of Hereward. The hero of the 
Camp of Refuge fills an ample place in the annals 
of his day ; his achievements are also handed down 
in a prose romance which presents many points 
of resemblance to the ballads of Robin Hood. It 
would have been no wonder if the vulgar legends 
about Hereward had utterly perished, but it is 
altogether anomalous * that a popular champion 
who attained so extraordinary a notoriety in song, 
a man living from one hundred to two hundred 
and fifty years later than Hereward, should be 
passed over without one word of notice from any 

1 Mr. Hunter thinks it necessaiy to prove that it was 
formerly a usage in England to celebrate real events in popu 
lar song. We submit that it has been still more customary 
to celebrate them in history, when they were of public im 
portance. The case of private and domestic stories is dif 


authoritative historian. 1 That this would not be 
so, we are most fortunately able to demonstrate 
by reference to a real case which furnishes a 
singularly exact parallel to the present, that of 
the famous outlaw, Adam Gordon. In the year 
1267, says the continuator of Matthew Paris, a 
soldier by the name of Adam Gordon, who had 
lost his estates with other adherents of Simon de 
Montfort, and refused to seek the mercy of the 
king, established himself with others in like cir 
cumstances near a woody and tortuous road be 
tween the village of Wilton and the castle of 
Farnham, from which position he made forays into 
the country round about, directing his attacks es 
pecially against those who were of the king's party. 
Prince Edward had heard much of the prowess 
and honorable character of this man, and desired to 
have some personal knowledge of him. He suc 
ceeded in surprising Gordon with a superior 
force, and engaged him in single combat, forbid 
ding any of his own followers to interfere. They 
fought a long time, and the prince was so filled 
with admiration of the courage and spirit of his 
antagonist that he promised him life and fortune on 
condition of his surrendering. To these terms Gor- 

1 Most remarkable of all would this be, should we adopt 
the views of Mr. Hunter, because we know from the inci 
dental testimony of Piers Ploughman, that only forty years 
after the date fixed upon for the outlaw's submission, " rhymes 
of Robin Hood," were in the mouth of every tavern lounger; 
and yet no chronicler can spare him a word. 


don acceded, his estates were restored, and Edward 
found him ever after an attached and faithful 
servant. 1 The story is romantic, and yet Adam 
Goixion was not made the subject of ballads. 
Caruit vote sacro. The contemporary his 
torians, however, all have a paragraph for him. 
He is celebrated by Wikes, the Chronicle of 
Dunstaple, the Waverley Annals, and we know 
not where else besides. 

But these theories are open to an objection 
stronger even than the silence of history. They 
are contradicted by the spirit of the ballads. 
No line of these songs breathes political ani 
mosity. There is no suggestion or reminiscence 
of wrong, from invading Norman, or from the 
established sovereign. On the contrary, Robin 
loved no man in the world so well as his king. 
What the tone of these ballads would have been, 
had Robin Hood been any sort of partisan, we 
may judge from the mournful and indignant 
strains which were poured out on the fall of De 
Montfort. We should have heard of the fatal 
field of Hastings, of the perfidy of Henry, of the 
sanguinary revenge of Edward, and not of 
matches at archery and encounters at quarter- 
staff, the plundering of rich abbots, and squabbles 
with the sheriff. The Robin Hood of our ballads 
is neither patriot under ban, nor proscribed rebel. 
An outlaw indeed he is, but an " outlaw for veny- 

1 Matthew Paris, London, 1640, p. 1002. 


son," like Adam Bell, and one who superadds to 
deer-stealing the irregularity of a genteel highway 

Thus much of these conjectures in general. To 
recur to the particular evidence by which Mr. Hun 
ter's theory is supported, this consists principally 
in the name of Robin Hood being found among 
the king's servants shortly after Edward II. re 
turned from his visit to the north of his dominions. 
But the value of this coincidence depends entirely 
upon the rarity of the name. 1 Now Hood, as 
Mr. Hunter himself remarks, is a well-established 
hereditary name in the reigns of the Edwards. 
We find it very frequently in the indexes to the 
Record Publications, and this although it does not 
belong to the higher class of people. That Robert 
was an ordinary Christian name requires no proof, 
and if it was, the combination of Robert Hood must 
have been frequent also. We have taken no extra 
ordinary pains to hunt up this combination, for 
really the matter is altogether too trivial to justify 
the expense of time ; but since to some minds 
much may depend on the coincidence in question, 

1 Mr. Hunter had previously instituted a similar argument 
in the case of Adam Bell, and doubtless the reasoning might 
be extended to Will Scathlock and Little John. With a little 
more rummaging of old account-books we shall be enabled to 
" comprehend all vagrom men." It is a pity that the Sheriff 
of Nottingham could not have availed himself of the services 
of our " detective." The sagacity that has identified the 
Porter might easily, we imagine, have unmasked the Potter. 

VOL. V. C 


we will cite several Robin Hoods in the reign of 
the Edwards. 

28th Ed. I. Robert Hood, a citizen of London, 
says Mr. Hunter, supplied the king's household 
with beer. 

30th Ed. I. Robert Hood is sued for three 
acres of pasture land in Throckley, Northumber 
land. (Rot. Orig. Abbrev.) 

7th Ed. II. Robert Hood is surety for a 
burgess returned for Lostwithiel, Cornwall. (Par 
liamentary Writs.) 

9th Ed. II. Robert Hood is a citizen of Wake- 
field, Yorkshire, whom Mr. Hunter (p. 47) " may 
be justly charged with carrying supposition too 
far " by striving to identify with Robin the porter. 

10th Ed. III. A Robert Hood, of Howden, 
York, is mentioned in the Calendarium Rot. 

Adding the Robin Hood of the 17th Ed. II. 
we have six persons of that name mentioned 
within a period of less than forty years, and this 
circumstance does not dispose us to receive with 
great favor any argument that may be founded 
upon one individual case of its occurrence. But 
there is no end to the absurdities which flow 
from this supposition. We are to believe that the 
weak and timid prince that had severely punished 
his kinsman and his nobles, freely pardoned a 
yeoman, who, after serving with the rebels, had for 
twenty months made free with the king's deer 


and robbed on the highway, and not only pardoned 
him, but received him into service near his person. 
We are further to believe that the man who had 
led so daring and jovial a life, and had so gener 
ously dispensed the pillage of opulent monks, will 
ingly entered into this service, doffed his Lincoln 
green for the Plantagenet plush, and consented to 
be enrolled among royal flunkies for three pence a 
day. And again, admitting all this, we are finally 
obliged by Mr. Hunter's document to concede that 
the stalwart archer (who, according to the ballad, 
maintained himself two and twenty years in the 
wood) was worn out by his duties as " proud por 
ter" in less than two years, and was discharged a 
superannuated lackey, with five shillings in his 
pocket, "poar cas qil ne poait pirns travailler." 

To those who are well acquainted with ancient 
popular poetry, the adventure of King Edward 
and Robin Hood, will seem the least eligible por 
tion of this circle of story for the foundation of 
an historical theory. The ballad of King Ed 
ward and Robin Hood is but one version of an 
extremely multiform legend, of which the tales of 
King JSdward and the Shepherd and King Edward 
and the Hermit are other specimens ; and any 
one who will take the trouble to examine will be 
convinced that all these stories are one and the 
same thing, the personages being varied for the 
sake of novelty, and the name of a recent or of the 
reigning monarch substituted in successive ages 


for that of a predecessor. (See King Edward 
the Fourth and the Tanner of Tamworth.) 

Rejecting, then, as nugatory every attempt to 
assign Robin Hood a definite position in history, 
what view shall we adopt ? Are all these tradi 
tions absolute fictions, and is he himself a pure 
creation of the imagination ? Might not the ballads 
under consideration have a basis in the exploits 
of a real person, living in the forests, somewhere 
and at some time ? Or, denying individual exist 
ence to Robin Hood, and particular truth to the 
adventures ascribed to him, may we not regard 
him as the ideal of the outlaw class, a class so 
numerous in all the countries of Europe in the 
middle ages ? We are perfectly contented to form 
no opinion upon the subject ; but if compelled to 
express one, we should say that this last sup 
position (which is no novelty) possessed decidedly 
more likelihood than any other. Its plausibility 
will be confirmed by attending to the apparent sig 
nification of the name Robin Hood. The natural 
refuge and stronghold of the outlaw was the woods. 
Hence he is termed by Latin writers silvaticus, by 
the Normans forestier. The Anglo-Saxon robber 
or highwayman is called a wood-rover, wealdgenga, 
and the Norse word for outlaw is exactly equiva 
lent. 1 It has been often suggested that Robin Hood 

i See Wright's Essays, ii. 207. " The name of Witikind, 
the famous opponent of Charlemagne, who always fled before 
his sight, concealed himself in the forests, and returned again 


is a corruption, or dialectic form, of Robin of the 
Wood, and when we remember that wood is pro 
nounced hood in some parts of England, 1 (as 
whoop is pronounced hoop everywhere,) and that 
the outlaw bears in so many languages a name 
descriptive of his habitation, this notion will not 
seem an idle fancy. 

Various circumstances, however, have disposed 
writers of learning to look further for a solution 
of the question before us. Mr. Wright propounds 
an hypothesis that Robin Hood was " one among 
the personages of the early mythology of the 
Teutonic peoples ; " and a German scholar, 2 in an 

in his absence, is no more than iritu chint, in Old High Dutch, 
and signifies the son of the wood, an appellation which he 
could never have received at his birth, since it denotes an 
exile or outlaw. Indeed, the name Witikind, though such 
a person seems to have existed, appears to be the representa 
tive of all the defenders of his country against the invaders." 
(Cf. the Three Tells.) 

1 Thus, in Kent, the Hobby Horse is called liooden, i. e. 
wooden. It is curious that Orlando, in As You Like It, (who 
represents the outlaw Gamelyn in the Tale of Gamelyn, a 
tale which clearly belongs to the cycle of Robin Hood,) should 
be the son of Sir Rowland de Bois. Robin de Bois (says a 
writer in Notes and Queries, vi. 597) occurs in one of 
Sue's novels "as a well-known mythical character, whose 
name is employed by French mothers to frighten their 

2 Kuhn, in Haupt's Zeitschrift fur deutsches Alterthum, v. 
472. The idea of a northern myth will of course excite the 
alarm of all sensible patriotic Englishmen, (e. g. Mr. Hunter, 
at page 3 of his tract,) and the bare suggestion of Woden 
will be received, in the same quarters, with an explosion 


exceedingly interesting article which throws much 
light on the history of English sports, has en 
deavored to show specifically that he is in name 
and substance one with the god Woden. The 
arguments by which these views are supported, 
though in their present shape very far from con 
vincing, are entitled to a respectful considera 

The most important of these arguments are 
those which are based on the peculiar connection 
between Robin Hood and the month of May. 
Mr. Wright has justly remarked, that either an 
express mention of this month, or a vivid descrip 
tion of the season, in the older ballads, shows that 
the feats of the hero were generally performed 
during this part of the year. Thus, the adventure 
of Robin Hood and the Monk befell on " a morning 
of May." Robin Hood and the Potter, and Robin 
Hood and Guy of Gisborne begin, like Robin Hood 
and the Monk, with a description of the season 
when leaves are long, blossoms are shooting, and 
the small birds are singing, and this season, though 
called summer, is at the same time spoken of as 
May in Robin Hood and the Monk, which, from 
the description there given, it needs must be. 

of scorn. And yet we find the famous shot of Eigill, one of 
the mythical personages of the Scandinavians, (and perhaps 
to be regarded as one of the forms of Woden,) attributed in 
the ballad of Adam Bel to William of Cloudesly, who may be 
considered as Robin Hood under another name. See the 
preface to Adam Bel. 


The liberation of Cloudesly by Adam Bel and 
Clym of the Clough is also achieved " on a merry 
morning of May." 

Robin Hood is moreover intimately associated 
with the month of May through the games which 
were celebrated at that time of the year. The 
history of these games is unfortunately very de 
fective, and hardly extends beyond the beginning 
of the 16th century. By that time their primitive 
character seems to have been corrupted, or at 
least their significance was so far forgotten, that 
distinct pastimes and ceremonials were capriciously 
intermixed. At the beginning of the 16th cen 
tury the May sports in vogue were, besides a 
contest of archery, four pageants, the Kingham, 
or election of a Lord and Lady of the May, other 
wise called Summer King and Queen, the Morris 
Dance, the Hobby Horse, and the " Robin Hood." 
Though these pageants were diverse in their origin, 
they had, at the epoch of which we write, begun to 
be confounded ; and the Morris exhibited a ten 
dency to absorb and blend them all, as, from its 
character, being a procession interspersed with 
dancing, it easily might do. We shall hardly find 
the Morris pure and simple in the English May- 
game ; but from a comparison of the two earliest 
representations which we have of this sport, the 
Flemish print given by Douce in his Illustrations 
of Shakespeare, and Tollett's celebrated painted 
window, (described in Johnson and Steevens's 


Shakespeare,*) we may form an idea of what was 
essential and what adventitious in the English 
spectacle. The Lady is evidently the central per 
sonage in both. She is, we presume, the same as 
the Queen of May, who is the oldest of all the 
characters in the May games, and the apparent 
successor to the Goddess of Spring in the Roman 
Floralia. In the English Morris she is called 
simply The Lady, or more frequently Maid Ma 
rian, a name which, to our apprehension, means 
Lady of the May, and nothing more. A fool and 
a taborer seem also to have been indispensable ; 
but the other dancers had neither names nor pe 
culiar offices, and were unlimited in number. The 
Morris then, though it lost in allegorical sig 
nificance, would gain considerably in spirit and 
variety by combining with the other shows. Was 
it not natural, therefore, and in fact inevitable, 
that the old favorites of the populace, Robin Hood, 
Friar Tuck, and Little John, should in the course 
of time displace three of the anonymous perform 
ers in the show ? This they had pretty effectually 
done at the beginning of the 16th century, and the 
Lady, who had accepted the more precise designa 
tion of Maid Marian, was after that generally 
regarded as the consort of Robin Hood, though 
she sometimes appeared in the Morris without 
him. In like manner, the Hobby Horse was 
quite early adopted into the Morris, of which it 
formed no original part, and at last even a Dragon 


was annexed to the company. Under these cir 
cumstances we cannot be surprised to find the 
principal performers in the May pageants passing 
the one into the other; to find the May King, 
whose occupation was gone when the fascinating 
outlaw had supplanted him in the favor of the 
Lady, assuming the part of the Hobby Horse, 1 
Robin Hood usurping the title of King of the 
May, 2 and the Hobby Horse entering into a 
contest with the Dragon, as St. George. 

We feel obliged to regard this interchange of 
functions among the characters in the English 
May pageants as fortuitous, notwithstanding the co 
incidence of the May King sometimes appearing 
on horseback in Germany, and notwithstanding 
our conviction that Kuhn is right in maintain 
ing that the May King, the Hobby Horse, and 
the Dragon-slayer, are symbols of one mythical 
idea. This idea we are compelled by want of 
space barely to state, with the certainty of doing 
injustice to the learning and ingenuity with which 
the author has supported his views. Kuhn has 
shown it to be extremely probable, first, that the 
Christmas games, which both in Germany and 
England have a close resemblance to those of 
Spring, are to be considered as a prelude to the 
May sports, and that they both originally symbol- 

1 As in Tollett's window. 

2 In Lord Hailes's Extracts from the Book of the Universal 


ized the victory of Summer over Winter, 1 which, 
beginning at the winter solstice, is completed in the 
second mouth of Spring ; secondly, that the con 
quering Summer is represented by the May King, 
or by the Hobby Horse (as also by the Dragon- 
slayer, whether St. George, Siegfried, Apollo, or 
the Sanskrit Indras) ; and thirdly, that the Hobby 
Horse in particular represents the god Woden, 
who, as well as Mars 2 among the Romans, is the 
god at once of Spring and of Victory. 

The essential point, all this being admitted, is 
now to establish the identity of Robin Hood and 
the Hobby Horse. This we think we have shown 
cannot be done by reasoning founded on the early 
history of the games under consideration. Kuhn 
relies principally upon two modern accounts of 
Christmas pageants. In one of these pageants there 
is introduced a man on horseback, who carries in 

1 More openly exhibited in the mock battle between Sum 
mer and Winter celebrated by the Scandinavians in honor of 
May, a custom still retained in the Isle of Man, where the 
month is every year ushered in with a contest between the 
Queen of Summer, and the Queen of Winter. (Brand's 
Antiquities, by Ellis, i. 222, 257.) A similar ceremony in 
Germany, occurring at Christmas, is noticed by Kuhn, p. 478. 

2 Hence the Spring begins with March. The connection 
with Mars suggests a possible etymology for the Morris 
which is usually explained, for want of something better, as a 
Morisco or Moorish dance. There is some resemblance 
between the Morris and the Salic dance. The Salic games 
are said to have been instituted by the Veian king Morrius, 
a name pointing to Mars, the divinity of the Salii. Kuhn, 


his hands a bow and arrows. The other furnishes 
nothing peculiar except a name : the ceremony is 
called a hoodenmg, and the hobby horse a hooden. 
In the rider with bow and arrows, Kuhn sees 
Robin Hood and the Hobby Horse, and in the 
name hooden (which is explained by the authority 
he quotes to mean wooden) he discovers a pro 
vincial form of wooden which connects the out 
law and the divinity. 1 It will be generally 
agreed that these slender premises are totally in 
adequate to support the weighty conclusion that 
is rested upon them. 

Why the adventures of Robin Hood should be 
specially assigned, as they are in the old ballads, 
to the month of May, remains unexplained. We 
have no exquisite reason to offer, but we may 
perhaps find reason good enough in the delicious 
stanzas with which some of these ballads begin. 

In summer when the shawes be sheen, 

And leaves be large and long, 
It is full merry in fair forest 

To hear the fowles song ; 
To see the deer draw to the dale, 

And leave the hilles hee, 
And shadow them in the leaves green 

Under the green- wood tree. 

The poetical character of the season affords all the 
explanation that is required. 

i The name Robin also appears to Kuhn worthy of notice, 
since the horseman in the May pageant is in some parts of 
Germany called Ruprecht (Rupert, Robert). 


Nor need the occurrence of exhibitions of archery 
and of the Robin Hood plays and pageants, at 
this time of the year, occasion any difficulty. 
Repeated statutes, from the 13th to the 16th cen 
tury, enjoined practice with the bow, and ordered 
that the leisure time of holidays should be em 
ployed for this purpose. Under Henry the Eighth 
the custom was still kept up, and those who par 
took in this exercise often gave it a spirit by assum 
ing the style and character of Robin Hood and 
his associates. In like manner the society of 
archers in Elizabeth's time, took the name of 
Arthur and his knights : all which was very 
natural then and would be now. None of all the 
merrymakings in merry England surpassed the 
May festival. The return of the sun stimulated 
the populace to the accumulation of all sorts of 
amusements. In addition to the traditional and 
appropriate sports of the season, there were, as 
Stowe tells us, divers warlike shows, with good 
archers, morris-dancers, and other devices for pas 
time all day long, and towards the evening stage- 
plays and bonfires in the streets. A Play of 
Robin Hood was considered " very proper for a 
May-game," but if Robin Hood was peculiarly 
prominent in these entertainments, the obvious 
reason would appear to be that he was the hero of 
that loved green-wood to which all the world 
resorted, when the cold obstruction of winter was 
broken up, " to do observance for a morn of May." 


We do not therefore attribute much value to the 
theory of Mr. Wright, that the May festival was, 
in its earliest form, "a religious celebration, 
though, like such festivals in general, it possessed 
a double character, that of a religious ceremony, 
and of an opportunity for the performance of war 
like games ; that, at such festivals, the songs would 
take the character of the amusements on the 
occasion, and would most likely celebrate warlike 
deeds perhaps the myths of the patron whom 
superstition supposed to preside over them ; that, 
as the character of the exercises changed, the 
attributes of the patron would change also, and he 
who was once celebrated as working wonders with 
his good axe or his elf-made sword, might after 
wards assume the character of a skilful bowman ; 
that the scene of his actions would likewise change, 
and the person whose weapons were the bane of 
dragons and giants, who sought them in the wil 
dernesses they infested, might become the enemy 
only of the sheriff and his officers, under the 
* grene-wode lefe.' " It is unnecessary to point out 
that the language we have quoted contains, beyond 
the statement that warlike exercises were anciently 
combined with religious rites, a very slightly 
founded surmise, and nothing more. 

Another circumstance which weighs much with 
Mr. Wright, goes but a very little way with us in 
demonstrating the mythological character of Robin 
Hood. This is the frequency with which his 


name is attached to mounds, wells, and stones, such 
as in the popular creed are connected with fairies, 
dwarfs, or giants. There is scarcely a county in 
England which does not possess some mon 
ument of this description. " Cairns on Blackdown 
in Somersetshire, and barrows near to Whitby in 
Yorkshire and Ludlow in Shropshire, are termed 
Robin Hood's pricks or butts ; lofty natural 
eminences in Gloucestershire and Derbyshire are 
Robin Hood's hills ; a huge rock near Matlock is 
Robin Hood's Tor; ancient boundary stones, as 
in Lincolnshire, are Robin Hood's crosses ; a pre 
sumed loggan, or rocking-stone, in Yorkshire, is 
Robin Hood's penny-stone ; a fountain near Not 
tingham, another between Doncaster and Wake- 
field, and one in Lancashire, are Robin Hood's 
wells ; a cave in Nottinghamshire is his stable ; 
a rude natural rock in Hope Dale is his chair ; a 
chasm at Chatsworth is his leap ; Blackstone Edge, 
in Lancashire, is his bed." 1 In fact, his name bids 
fair to overrun every remarkable object of the 
sort which has not been already appropriated to 
King Arthur or the Devil ; with the latter of 
whom, at least, it is presumed that, however 
ancient, he will not dispute precedence. 

"The legends of the peasantry," quoth Mr. 
Wright, "are the shadows of a very remote anti 
quity." This proposition, thus broadly stated, we 
deny. Nothing is more deceptive than popular 
1 Edinburgh Eeview, vol. 86, p. 123. 


legends ; and the " legends," we speak of, if they 
are to bear that name, have no claim to antiquity 
at all. They do not go beyond the ballads. They 
are palpably of subsequent and comparatively re 
cent origin. It was absolutely impossible that they 
should arise while Robin Hood was a living reality 
to the people. The archer of Sherwood who could 
barely stand King Edward's buffet, and was 
felled by the Potter, was no man to be playing 
with rocking stones. This trick of naming must 
have begun in the decline of his fame, for there 
was a time when his popularity drooped, and his 
existence was just not doubted; not elaborately 
maintained by learned historians, and antiquarians 
deeply read in the Public Records. And what 
do these names prove ? The vulgar passion for 
bestowing them is notorious and universal. We 
Americans are too young to be well provided with 
heroes that might serve this purpose. We have 
no imaginative peasantry to invent legends, no 
ignorant peasantry to believe them. But we have 
the good fortune to possess the Devil in common 
with the rest of the world ; and we take it upon us 
to say, that there is not a mountain district in the 
land, which has been opened to summer travellers, 
where a " Devil's Bridge," a " Devil's Punch 
bowl," or some object with the like designation, 
will not be pointed out. 1 

1 See some sensible remarks in the Gentleman's Magazine for 
March, 1793, by D. H., that is, says the courteous Ritson, by 


We have taken no notice of the later fortunes 
of Robin Hood in his true and original character 
of a hero of romance. Towards the end of the 
16th century, Anthony Munday attempted to re 
vive the decaying popularity of this king of good 
fellows, who had won all his honors as a simple 
yeoman, by representing him in the play of The 
Downfall of Robert Earl of Himtington, as a 
nobleman in disguise, outlawed by the machina 
tions of his steward. This pleasing and success 
ful drama is Robin's sole patent to that title of 
Earl of Huntington, in confirmation of which, 
Dr. Stukeley fabricated a pedigree that transcends 
even the absurdities of heraldry, and some un 
known forger an epitaph beneath the skill of a 
Chatterton. Those who desire a full acquaintance 
with the fabulous history of Robin Hood, will seek 
it in the well-known volumes of Ritson, or in those 
of his recent editor, Gutch, who does not make up 
by superior discrimination for his inferiority in 
other respects to that industrious antiquary. 

Gough, " the scurrilous and malignant editor of that degraded 


THIS excellent ballad, which appears to be the old 
est of the class preserved, and is possibly as old as 
the reign of Edward II. (see Wright's Essays, &c., ii. 
174), is found in a manuscript belonging to the public 
library of the University of Cambridge (Ff. 5, 48). 
It was first printed by Jamieson, Popular Ballads, 
ii. 54, afterwards in Hartshorne's Metrical Tales, p. 179, 
and is here given from the second edition of Ritson's 
Robin Hood, (ii. 221,) as collated by Sir Frederic 

The story is nearly the same in Adam Bel, Clym of 
the Cloughe, and Wyllyam of Cloudesle. 

IN somer when the shawes be sheyne, 

And leves be large and longe, 
Hit is full mery in feyre foreste 

To here the foulys song. 

To se the dere draw to the dale, ^ 

And leve the hilles hee, 
And shadow hem in the leves grene, 

Vndur the grene-wode tre. 

VOL. Y. 1 


Hit befell on Whitsontide, 

Erly in a may mornyng, * 

The son vp fayre can shyne, 

And the briddis niery can syng. 

" This is a mery mornyng," seid Litulle Johne, 

" Be hym that, dyed on tre ; 
A more mery man then I am one 1 

Lyves not in Cristiante." 

"Pluk vp.thi hert, my dere mayster," 

Litulle Johne can sey, 
" And thynk hit is a fulle fayre tyme 

In a mornynge of may." 

" Ze on thynge greves me," seid Robyne, 

" And does my hert mych woo, 
That 1 may not so solem day 

To mas nor matyns goo. 

" Hit is a fourtnet and more," seyd hee, * 

" Syn I my Sauyour see ; 
To day will I to Notyngham," seid Robyn, 

" With the myght of mylde Mary." 

Then spake Moche the mylner sune, 

Euer more wel hym betyde, ' 

" Take xii of thi wyght zemen 
Well weppynd be thei side. 
32. MS. ther. 


Such on wolde thi selfe slon 
That xii dar not abyde." 

" Off alle my rnery men," seid Robyne, 
" Be my feithe I wil non haue ; 

But Litulle Johne shall beyre my bow 
Til that me list to drawe. 

" Thou shalle beyre thin own," seid Litulle Jon, 
" Maister, and I wil beyre myne, 40 

And we wille shete a peny," seid Litulle Jon, 
" Vnder the grene wode lyne." 

" I wil not shete a peny," seyde Robyn Hode, 
" In feith, Litulle Johne, with thee, 

But euer for on as thou shetes," seid Robyn, 
" In feith I holde the thre." 

Thus shet thei forthe, these zemen too, 

Bothe at buske and brome, 
Til Litulle Johne wan of his maister 

Y s. to hose and shone. BO 

A ferly strife fel them betwene, 

As they went bi the way ; 
Litull Johne seid he had won v shyllyngs, 

And Robyn Hode seid schortly nay. 
39. MS. th' now. 


With that Robyn Hode lyed Litul Jone, ss 

And smote hym with his honde ; 
Litul John waxed wroth therwith, 

And pulled out his bright bronde. 

" Were thou not my maister," seid Litulle Johne, 
" Thou shuldis by hit ful sore ; eo 

Get the a man where thou wilt, Robyn, 
For thou getes me no more." 

Then Robyn goes to Notyngham, 

Hymselfe mornynge allone, 
And Litulle Johne to mery Scherewode, &"> 

The pathes he knowe alkone. 

Whan Robyn came to Notyngham, 

Sertenly withoutene layne, 
He prayed to God and myld Mary 

To brynge hym out saue agayne. TO 

He gos into seynt Mary chirche, 
And knelyd downe before the rode ; 

Alle that euer were the churche within 
Beheld wel Robyne Hode. 

Beside hym stode a gret-hedid munke, 

I pray to God woo he be ; 
Ful sone he knew gode Robyn 

As sone as he hym se. 


Out at the durre he ran 

Ful sone and anon ; so 

Alle the zatis of Notyngham 

He made to be sparred euerychone. 

" Rise vp," he seid, " thou prowde schereff, 

Buske the and make the bowne ; 
I haue spyed the kynges felone, > 

For sothe he is in this towne. 

" I haue spyed the false felone, 

As he stondes at his masse ; 
Hit is longe of the," seide the munke, 

" And euer he fro vs passe. oo 

" This trayturfs] name is Robyn Hode ; 

Vnder the grene vvode lynde, 
He robbyt me onys of a C pound, 

Hit shalle neuer out of my mynde." 

Vp then rose this prowd schereff, 95 

And zade towarde hym zare ; 
Many was the modur son 

To the kyrk with him can fare. 

In at the durres thei throly thrast 

With staves ful gode ilkone, 106 

Alas, alas," seid Robin Hode, 

" Now mysse I Litulle Johne." 

93. See the Fourth Fit of the Lyttell Geste. 
100. MS. gode wone. 


But Robyne toke out a toohond sworde 

That hangit down be his kne ; 
Ther as the schereff and his men stode thyck- 

USt, 103 

Thidurward wold he. 

Thryes thorow at them he ran, 

Then for sothe as I yow say, 
And wouridyt many a modur sone, 

And xii he slew that day. no 

Hys sworde vpon the schireff hed 

Sertanly he brake in too ; 
" The smyth that the made," seid Robyn, 

"I pray God wyrke hym woo. 

" For now am I weppynlesse," seid Robyne, 115 

" Alasse, agayn my wylle ; 
But if I may fle these traytors fro, 

I wot thei wil me kylle." 

Robyns men to the churche ran 

Throout hem euerilkon ; 120 

Sum fel in swonyng as thei were dede, 

And lay still as any stone. 

Non of theym were in her mynde 
But only Litulle Jon. 


" Let be your dule," seid Litulle Jon, 125 

" For his luf that dyed on tre ; 
Ze that shulde be duzty men, 

Hit is gret shame to se. 

" Oure maister has bene hard bystode, 

And zet scapyd away ; iao 

Pluk up your hertes and leve this mone, 
And herkyn what I shal say. 

" He has seruyd our lady many a day. 

And zet wil securly ; 
Therefore I trust in her specialy iss 

No wycked deth shal he dye. 

" Therfor be glad," seid Litul Johne, 

" And let this mournyng be, 
And I shall be the munkes gyde, 

With the myght of mylde Mary. 140 

" And I mete hym," seid Litull Johne, 
" We wille go but we too 

" Loke that ze kepe wel our tristil tre 

Vnder the levys smale, 
And spare non of this venyson 

That gose in thys vale." 
125. MS. rule. 


Forthe thei went these zemen too, 

Litul Johne and Moche onfere, 
And lokid on Moche emys hows 

The hyeway lay fitlle nere. iso 

Litul John stode at a window in the mornynge, 

And lokid forth at a stage ; 
He was war wher the munke came ridynge, 

And with hym a litul page. 

" Be my feith," seid Litul Johne to Moche, iss 

" I can the tel tithyngus gode ; 
I se wher the munk comys rydyng, 

I know hym be his wyde hode." 

Thei went into the way these zemen bothe, 
As curtes men and hende. iso 

Thei spyrred tithyngus at the munke, 
As thei hade bene his frende. 

u Fro whens come ze," seid Litul Johne ; 

" Tel vs tithyngus, I yow pray, 
Off a false owtlay [called Robyn Hode], its 

Was takyn zisturday. 

" He robbyt me and my felowes bothe 

Of xx marke in serten ; 
If that false owtlay be takyn, 

For sothe we wolde be fayne." no 


" So did he me," seid the munke, 

" Of a C pound and more ; 
I layde furst hande hym apon, 

Ze may thonke me therfore." 

" I pray God thank e yow," seid Litulle Johne, m 

" And we wil when we may ; 
We wil go with yow, with your leve, 

And brynge yow on your way. 

" For Robyn Hode hase many a wilde felow, 
I telle yow in certen ; iao 

If thei wist ze rode this way, 
In feith ze shulde be slayn." 

As thei went talkyng be the way, 

The munke and Litulle Johne, 
Johne toke the munkes horse be the hede ise 

Ful sone and anone. 

Johne toke the munkes horse be the hed, 

For sothe as I yow say, 
So did Muche the litulle page, 

For he shulde not stirre away. 190 

Be the golett of the hode 

Johne pulled the munke downe ; 
Johne was nothynge of hym agast, 

He lete hym falle on his crowne. 


Li tulle Johne was sore agrevyd, 195 

And drew out his swerde in hye ; 

The munke saw he shulde be ded, 
Lowd mercy can he crye. 

" He was my maister," seid Litulle Johne, 
" That thou hase browzt in bale ; aw 

Shalle thou neuer cum at oure kynge 
For to telle hym tale." 

John smote of the munkes hed, 

No longer wolde he dwelle ; 
So did Moche the litulle page, eos 

For ferd lest he wold tell. 

Ther thei beryed hem both 

In nouther mosse nor lynge, 
And Litulle Johne and Muche infere 

Bare the letturs to oure kyng. 210 

He kneled down vpon his kne, 

" God zow saue, my lege lorde, 
" Jesus yow saue and se. 

" God yow saue, my lege kyng," 
To speke Johne was fulle bolde ; 

He gaf hym the letturs in his hond, 
The kyng did hit unfold. 
195. MS. so. 


The kyng red the letturs anon, 

And seid, " so mot I the, 
Ther was neuer zoman in mery Inglond 220 

I longut so sore to see. 

"Wher is the munke that these shuld haue 

Oure kynge gan say ; 
" Be my trouthe," seid Litull Jone, 

" He dyed aftur the way." 22* 

The kyng gaf Moche and Litul Jon 

xx pound in sertan, 
And made theim zemen of the crowne, 

And bade theim go agayn. 

He gaf Johne the seel in hand, 230 

The scheref for to bere, 
To brynge Robyn hym to, 

And no man do hym dere. 

Johne toke his leve at oure kyng, 

The sothe as I yow say ; 235 

The next way to Notyngham 

To take he zede the way. 

When Johne came to Notyngham 

The zatis were sparred ychone ; 
Johne callid vp the porter, 240 

He answerid sone anon. 


" What is the cause," seid Litul John, 
" Thou sparris the zates so fast ? " 

" Because of Robyn Hode," seid [the] porter, 
In depe prison is cast - 2 

" Johne, and Moche, and Wylle Scathlok, 

For sothe as I yow say, 
Thir slew oure men vpon oure wallis, 

And sawtene vs euery day." 

Litulle Johne spyrred aftur the schereff, 250 

And sone he hym fonde ; 
He oppyned the kyngus prive seelle, 

And gaf hym in his honde. 

When the schereff saw the kyngus seelle, 
He did of his hode anon ; 255 

" Wher is the munke that bare the letturs ? " 
He seid to Litulle Johne. 

" He is so fayn of hym," seid Litulle Johne, 

" For sothe as I yow sey, 
He has made hym abot of Westmynster, * 

A lorde of that abbay." 

The scheref made John gode chere, 

And gaf hym wine of the best ; 
At nyzt thei went to her bedde, 

And euery man to his rest. 265 


Whea the scheref was on-slepe 

Dronken of wine and ale, 
Litul Johne and Moche for sothe 

Toke the way vnto the jale. 

Litul Johne callid vp the jayler, 270 

And bade hym ryse anon ; 
He seid Robyn Hode had brokyn preson, 

And out of hit was gon. 

The portere rose anon sertan, 

As sone as he herd John calle ; 275 

Litul Johne was redy with a swerd, 

And bare hym to the walle. 

" Now will I be porter," seid Litul Johne, 
" And take the keyes in honde ; " 

He toke the way to Robyn Hode, 2so 

And sone he hym vnbonde. 

He gaf hym a gode swerd in his hond, 

His hed with for to kepe, 
And ther as the walle was lowyst 

Anon down can thei lepe. s 

Be that the cok began to crow, 

The day began to sprynge, 
The scheref fond the jaylier ded, 

The comyn belle made he rynge. 
269, gale. 


He made a crye thoroowt al the tow[n], ssc 

Whedur he be zoman or knave > 
That cowthe brynge hym Robyn Hode, 

His warisone he shuld haue. 

" For I dar neuer," said the scheref, 

" Cum before oure kynge, 295 

For if I do, I wot serten, 
For sothe he wil me henge." 

The scheref made to seke Notyngham, 

Bothe be strete and stye, 
And Robyn was in mery Scherwode 301 

As lizt as lef on lynde. 

Then bespake gode Litulle Johne, 

To Robyn Hode can he say, 
" I haue done the a gode turne for an euylle, 

Quyte me whan thou may. 305 

" I haue done the a gode turne," said Litulle 

" For sothe as I you saie ; 
I haue brouzt the vnder grene wode lyne ; 

Fare wel, and haue gode day." 

" Nay, be my trouthe," seid Robyn Hode, m 
" So shalle hit neuer be ; 

305. MS. Quyte the. 


I make the maister," seid Robyn Hode, 
" Off alle my men and me." 

" Nay, be my trouthe," seid Litulle Johne, 
" So shall hit neuer be, sis 

But lat me be a felow," seid Litulle Johne, 
" Non odur kepe I'll be." 

Thus Johne gate Robyn Hode out of prisone, 

Sertan withoutyn layne ; 
When his men saw hym hoi and sounde, 820 

For sothe they were ful fayne. 

They filled in wyne, and made him glad, 

Vnder the levys smale, 
And zete pastes of venysone, 

That gode was with ale. 32.5 

Than worde came to oure kynge, 

How Robyn Hode was gone, 
And how the scheref of Notyngham 

Durst neuer loke hyme vpone. 

Then bespake oure cumly kynge, sao 

In an angur hye, 
" Litulle Johne hase begyled the schereff, 

In faith so hase he me. 

" Litulle Johne has begyled vs bothe, 

And that fulle wel I se, sss 


Or ellis the schereff of Notyngham 
Hye hongut shuld he be. 

" I made hem zemen of the crowne, 

And gaf hem fee with my bond, 
I gaf hem grithe," seid oure kyng, 340 

" Thorowout alle mery Inglond. 

" I gaf hem grithe," then seide oure kyng, 

" I say, so mot I the, 
For sothe soche a zeman as he is on 

In alle Ingland ar not thre. " 

" He is trew to his maister," seide oure kynge, 

" I sey, be swete seynt Johne ; 
He louys bettur Robyn Hode, 

Then he dose vs ychone. 

" Robyne Hode is euer bond to him, ^o 

Bothe in strete and stalle ; 
Speke no more of this matter," seid oure 

" But John has begyled vs alle." 

Thus endys the talkyng of the munke 

And Robyne Hode i-wysse ; 
God, that is euer a crowned kyng, 

Bryng vs alle to his blisse. 
352. MS. mere. 



From Ritson's RoUn Hood, i. 81. " This curious, and 
hitherto unpublished, and even unheard of old piece," 
remarks that editor, " is given from a manuscript among 
Bishop More's collections, in the Public Library of the 
University of Cambridge (Ee. 4. 35). The writing, 
which is evidently that of a vulgar and illiterate per 
son, appears to be of the age of Henry VIL, that is, 
about the year 1500 ; but the composition (which he 
has irremediably corrupted) is probably of an earlier 
period, and much older, no doubt, than The Play of 
Robyn Hode, which seems allusive to the same story." 

Mr. Wright thinks the manuscript is proved to be of 
the time of Henry VI. by a memorandum on one 
page, setting forth the expenses of the feast on the 
marriage of the king with Margaret : " Thys ys ex- 
spences of fflesche at the mariage of my ladey Marg*et, 
that sche had owt off Eynglonde." But this memoran 
dum is more likely to apply to Margaret, daughter of 
Henry VII., who was married " out of England," that 
is, in Scotland, to James IV., than to the Margaret 
who was married in England to Henry VI. {Ed. Rev. 
Ixxxvi. 126.) 

The adventure in the first part of this story, the 
encounter between Robin Hood and a sturdy fellow 
who proves his match or his superior forms the sub 
ject of a large number of this circle of ballads, the 
antagonist being in one case a beggar, in another a 
tanner, a tinker, the pinder of Wakefield, &c. (See 
the preface to Robin Hood and the Beggar, p. 188.) 

VOL. V. 2 


The story of the second part is found again in Robin 
Hood and the Butcher, and, with considerable differ 
ences, in the third fit of the Lytell Geste. 

It is in the disguise of a potter that the Saxon Here- 
ward penetrates into the Norman court, and that 
Eustace the Monk eludes the vengeance of the Count 
of Boulogne. Eustace also drew his enemy into an 
ambush by nearly the same stratagem which Bobin 
employs to entice the sheriff of Nottingham into the 
forest. (See the romances abridged in Wright's Es 
says, ii. 108, 133, 135, 184.) 

IN schomer, when the leves spryng, 

The bloschems on every bowe, 
So merey doyt the berdys syng 

Yn wodys merey now. 

Herkens, god yemen, 5 

Comley, corteysse, and god, 
On of the best that yever bar bou, 

Hes name was Roben Hode. 

Roben Hood was the ye mans name, 

That was boyt corteys and fre ; 10 

For the loffe of owr ladey, 
All wemen werschep he. 

Bot as the god yemen stod on a day, 

Among hes mery maney, 
He was war of a provvd potter, u 

Cam dryfyng owyr the ley. 

MS. 6, cortessey. 12, ye. 16, lefe. 


" Yonder comet a prod potter," seyde Roben, 
" That long hayt hantyd this wey ; 

He was never so corteys a man 

On peney of pawage to pay." a> 

" Y met hem bot at Wentbreg,"seyde Ly tyll John, 

" And therfbr yeffell mot he the, 
Seche thre strokes he me gafe, 

Yet they cleffe by my seydys. 

" Y ley forty shillings," seyde Lytyll John, M 

" To pay het thes same day, 
Ther ys nat a man among hus all 

A wed schall make hem ley." 

" Her ys forty shillings," seyde Roben, 

" Mor, and thow dar say, * 

That y schall make that prowde potter, 
A wed to me schall he ley." 

Ther thes money they leyde, 

They toke het a yeman to kepe ; 
Roben befor the potter he breyde, ^ 

And bad hem stond stell. 

Handys apon hes horse he leyde, 
And bad the potter stonde foil stell ; 

The potter schorteley to hem seyde, 

" Felow, what ys they well ? " 41 

MS. 17, 21, syde. 28, leffe. 36, A. 


" All thes thre yer, and mor, potter," he seyde, 

" Thow hast hantyd thes wey, 
Yet wef tow never so cortys a man 

One peney of pauage to pay." 

" What ys they name," seyde the potter, v 

" For pauage thow ask of me ? " 
" Roben Hod ys mey name, 

A wed schall thow leffe me." 

" Wed well y non leffe," seyde the potter, 
" Nor pavag well y non pay ; 

Awey they honde fro mey horse, 
Y well the tene eyls, be mey fay." 

The potter to hes cart he went, 

He was not to seke ; 
A god to-hande staffe therowt he hent, 55 

Befor Roben he lepe. 

Roben howt with a swerd bent, 
A bokeler en hes honde [therto] ; 

The potter to Roben he went, 

And seyde, " Felow, let mey horse go." 

Togeder then went thes two yemen, 

Het was a god seyt to se ; 
Therof low Robyn hes men, 

Ther they stod onder a tre. 
MS. 56, leppyd. 


Leytell John to hes felowhes seyde, <x 

" Yend potter welle steffeley stonde : " 

The potter, with an acward stroke, 
Smot'the bokeler owt of hes honde ; 

And ar Roben meyt get hem agen 

Hes bokeler at hes fette, TO 

The potter yn the neke hem toke, 

To the gronde sone he yede. 

That saw Roben hes men, 

As thay stode ender a bow ; 
" Let us helpe owr master," seyed Lytell John, r 

" Yonder potter els well hem sclo." 

Thes yemen went with a breyde, 

To ther master they cam. 
Leytell John to hes master seyde, 

" Ho haet the wager won ? 8c 

" Schall y haff yowr forty shillings," seyde 
Lytel John, 

" Or ye, master, schall haffe myne ? " 
" Yeff they wer a hundred," seyde Roben, 

" Y feythe, they ben all theyne." 

" Het ys fol ley tell cortesey," seyde the potter, 
" As y haffe harde weyse men saye, 

MS. 65, felow he. 67, a caward. 69, A. 76, seyde liels. 
f7, went yemen. 78, thes. 


Yeff a por yeman com drywyng ower the wey, 
To let hem of hes gorney." 

" Be mey trowet, thow seys soyt," seyde Roben, 
" Thow seys god yemenrey ; iw 

And thow dreyffe forthe yevery day, 
Thow schalt never be let for me. 

" Y well prey the, god potter, 

A felischepe well thow haffe ? 
Geffe me they clothyng, and thow schalt hafe 
myne ; 95 

Y well go to Notynggam." 

u Y grant therto," seyde the potter, 

" Thow schalt feynde me a felow gode ; 

Bot thow can sell mey pottes well, 

Come ayen as thow yode." 100 

" Nay, be mey trowt," seyde Roben, 

" And then y bescro mey hede 
Yeffe y bryng eney pottes ayen, 

And eney weyffe well hem chepe." 

Than spake Leytell John, 105 

And all hes felowhes heynd, 
"Master, be well war of the screffe of Not 
For he ys leytell howr frende." 

MS. 90, yemerey. 97, grat. 100, yede. 


" Heyt war howte," seyde Roben, 

" Felowhes, let me alone ; no 

Thorow the helpe of howr ladey, 

To Notynggam well y gon." 

Robyn went to Notynggam, 

Thes pottes for to sell ; 
The potter abode with Robens men, us 

Ther he fered not eylle. 

Tho Roben droffe on hes wey, 

So merey ower the londe : 
Heres mor and affter ys to saye, 

The best ys beheynde. iao 


WHEN Roben cam to Notynggam, 

The soyt yef y scholde saye, 
He set op hes horse anon, 

And gaffe hem hotys and haye. 

Yn the medys of the towne, 125 

Ther he schowed hes war ; 
" Pottys ! pottys ! " he gan crey foil sone, 

" Haffe hansell for the mar/' 

109-112. These lines stand in the MS. in the order 3, 
2, 1, 4. 113-116. This stanza is wrongly placed in the MS. 
after v. 96. It should be either in the place where it stands, 
or else begin the next fit. 


Foil effen agenest the screffeys gate 

Schovved he hes chaffar ; 130 

Wey fifes and wedowes abowt hem drow, 
And chepyd fast of hes war. 

Yet, " Pottys, gret chepe ! " creyed Royn, 
" Y loflfe yeffell thes to stonde ; " 

And all that saw hem sell, w 

Seyde he had be no potter long. 

The pottys that wer werthe pens feyffe, 

He sold tham for pens thre ; 
Preveley seyde man and weyfife, 

" Ywnder potter schall never the." no 

Thos Roben solde foil fast, 

Tell he had pottys bot feyffe ; 
Op he hem toke of his car, 

And sende hem to the screffeys weyffe. 

Therof sche was foil fayne, 145 

" Gramarsey, sir," than seyde sche ; 

" When ye com to thes centre ayen, 

Y schall bey of they pottys, so mot y the." 

" Ye schall haffe of the best," seyde Roben, 
And swar be the treneyte ; wo 

Foil corteysley she gan hem call, 

" Com deyne with the screfe and me." 

MS. 135, say. 146, Gereamarsey, sir, seyde sche s'than. 
148, the. 161, he. 


" Godamarsey," seyde Roben, 

" Yowr bedyng schalle be doyn ; 
A mayden yn the pottys gan ber, 155 

Roben and the screffe weyffe folowed anon. 

Whan Roben ynto the hall cam, 

The screffe sone he met ; 
The potter cowed of corteysey, 

And sone the screffe he gret. ieo 

" Loketh what thes potter hayt geffe yow and me ; 

Feyffe pottys smalle and grete ! " 
" He ys fol wellcom," seyd the screffe, 

" Let os was, and go to mete." 

As they sat at her methe, ies 

With a nobell cher, 
Two of the screffes men gan speke 

Off a gret wager, 

Was made the thother daye, 

Off a schotyng was god and feyne, iro 

Off forty shillings, the soyt to saye, 

Who scholde thes wager wen. 

MS. 161, loseth. 164, to to. 

164. This ceremony [of washing,] which, in former times, 
was constantly practised as well before as after meat, seems 
to have fallen into disuse on the introduction of forks, about 
the year 1620; as before that period our ancestors supplied 
the place of this necessary utensil with their fingers. RITSON. 

169, 170, transposed in MS. 


Styll than sat thes prowde potter, 

Thos than thowt he ; 
" As y am a trow Cerstyn man, i" 

Thes schotyng well y se." 

Whan they had fared of the best. 

With bred and ale and weyne, 
To the bottys they made them prest, 

With bowes and boltys foil feyne. 1*5 

The screffes men schot foil fast, 

As archares that weren godde ; 
Ther cam non ner ney the marke 

Bey halfe a god archares bowe. 

Stell then stod the prowde potter, is* 

Thos than seyde he ; 
" And y had a bow, be the rode, 

On schot scholde yow se." 

" Thow schall haffe a bow," seyde the screffe, 
" The best that thow well cheys of thre ; is 

Thou semyst a stalward and a stronge, 
Asay schall thow be." 

The screffe commandyd a yeman that stod hem 

Affter bowhes to wende ; 

MS. 179, pottys the. 180, bolt yt. 191, senyst. 


The best bow that the yeman browthe ias 

Roben set on a stryng. 

" Now schall y wet and thow be god, 

And polle het op to they ner ; " 
" So god me helpe," seyde the prowde potter, 

" Thys ys bot rygzt weke ger." 200 

To a quequer Roben went, 

A god bolt owthe he toke ; 
So ney on to the marke he went, 

He fayled not a fothe. 

All they schot abowthe agen, so* 

The screffes men and he ; 
Off the marke he welde not fayle, 

He cleffed the preke on thre. 

The screffes men thowt gret schame, 

The potter the mastry wan ; 210 

The screffe lowe and made god game, 
And seyde, " Potter, thow art a man ; 

Thow art worthey to ber a bowe, 
Yn what plas that thow gang." 

"Yn mey cart y haffe a bowe, 21.5 

Forsoyt," he seyde, " and that a godde ; 

Yn mey cart ys the bow 

That I had of Robyn Hode." 

MS. 214, goe, 218, Robyng gaffe me. 


"Knowest thow Robyn Hode?" seyde the 

" Potter, y prey the tell thou me ; " 220 

u A hundred torne y haffe schot with hem, 

Under hes tortyll tree." 

u Y had lever nar a hundred ponde," seyde the 


And swar be the trenite, 

["Y had lever nar a hundred ponde," he 
seyde,] 225 

That the fals owtelawe stod be me. 

"And ye well do afftyr mey red," seyde the 

"And boldeley go with me, 
And to morow, or we het bred, 

Roben Hode wel we se." 230 

" Y well queyt the," kod the screffe, 

And swer be god of meythe ; 
Schetyng thay left, and horn they went, 

Her scoper was redey deythe. 

Upon the morow, when het was day, 23,- 

He boskyd hem forthe to reyde ; 
The potter hes carte forthe gan ray, 

And wolde not [be] leffe beheynde. 

232, mey they. 


He toke leffe of the screffys wyffe, 

And thankyd her of all thyng : am 

" Dam, for mey loffe, and ye well thys wer, 

Y geffe yow her a golde ryng." 

" Gramarsey," seyde the weyffe, 

Sir, god eylde het the ; " 
The screffes hart was never so leythe, 24.5 

The feyr forest to se. 

And when he cam ynto the foreyst, 

Yonder the leffes grene, 
Berdys ther sange on bowhes prest, 

Het was gret joy to sene. 

" Her het ys merey to be," seyde Roben, 
" For a man that had hawt to spende ; 

Be mey home we schall awet 

Yeff Koben Hode be ner hande." 

Eoben set hes home to hes mowthe, 256 

And blow a blast that was foil god, 

That herde hes men that ther stode, 
Fer downe yn the wodde ; 

" I her mey master " seyde Ley tell John ; 
They ran as thay wer wode. ? ! 

Whan thay to thar master cam, 
Leytell John wold not spar ; 

MS. 250, goy. 251, se. 254, he. 
255, her. 259. For, 


" Master, how haffe yow far yn Notynggam ? 
How haffe yow solde yowr war ? " 

; ' Ye, be mey trowthe, Leytyll John, an 

Loke thow take no car ; 
Y haffe browt the screffe of Notynggam, 

For all howr chaffar." 

" He ys foil wellcom," seyde Lytyll John, 
" Thes tydyng ys foil godde ; 270 

The screffe had lever nar a hundred ponde 
[He had never sene Roben Hode.] 

" Had I west that beforen, 

At Notynggam when we wer, 
Thow scholde not com yn feyr forest 275 

Of all thes thowsande eyr." 

" That wot y well/' seyde Roben, 

" Y thanke god that ye be her ; 
Therfor schall ye leffe yowr horse with hos, 

And all your hother ger." sso 

" That fend I godys forbode," kod the screffe, 

" So to lese mey godde ;" 
" Hether ye cam on horse foil hey, 

And horn schall ye go on fote ; 
And gret well they weyffe at home, ?& 

The woman ys foil godde. 

MS. 265, I leyty. 273, He had west. 283, y. 


" Y schall her sende a wheyt palffrey, 

Het hambellet as the weynde ; 
Ner for the loffe of yowr weyfFe, 

OiF mor sorow scholde yow seyng." 290 

Thes parted Robyn Hode and the screffe, 
To Notynggam he toke the waye ; 

Hes weyffe feyr welcomed hem horn, 
And to hem gan sche saye : 

" Seyr, how haffe yow fared yn grene foreyst ? 

Haffe ye brovvt Roben horn ? " 290 

u Dam, the deyell spede him, bothe bodey and 

Y haffe hade a foil grete skorne. 

" Of all the god that y haffe lade to grene 

He hayt take Let fro me, soo 

All bot this feyr palffrey, 

That he hayt sende to the." 

With that sche toke op a lowde lawhyng, 
And swhar be hem that deyed on tre, 

" Now haffe yow payed for all the pottys w 
That Roben gaffe to me. 

287. The MS. repeats this line after the following: Het 
urabellet be mey sey. 


" Now ye be com horn to Notynggam, 

Ye schall haffe god ynowe ; " 
Now speke we of Roben Hode, 

And of the pottyr onder the grene bowhe. 310 

" Potter, what was they pottys worthe 
To Notynggam that y ledde with me ? " 

" They wer worth two nobellys," seyd he, 
" So mot y treyffe or the ; 

So cowde y had for tham, sw 

And y had ther be." 

" Thow schalt hafe ten ponde," seyde Roben, 

" Of money feyr and fre ; 
And yever whan thou comest to grene wod, 

Wellcom, potter to me." sao 

Thes partyd Robyn, the screffe, and the potter, 

Ondernethe the grene-wod tre ; 
God haffe mersey on Robyn Hodys solle. 

And saffe all god yemanrey ! 

MS. 310, bowhes. 316, be ther. 



Ritson's Robin Hood, ii. 27. Printed from an old 
black-letter copy in the collection of Anthony a 
Wood. The story is the same as in the second part 
of Robin Hood and the Potter. 

COME, all you brave gallants, and listen awhile, 
With hey down, down, an a down, 

That are in the bowers within ; 
For of Robin Hood, that archer good, 

A song I intend for to sing. 

Upon a time it chanced so, 

Bold Robin in forrest did 'spy 
A jolly butcher, with a bonny fine mare, 

With his flesh to the market did hye. 

" Good morrow, good fellow," said jolly Robin, 
" What food hast [thou] ? tell unto me ; 10 

Thy trade to me tell, and where thou dost dwell, 
For I like well thy company." 

The butcher he answer'd jolly Robin, 

" No matter where I dwell ; 
For a butcher I am, and to Nottingham is 

I am going, my flesh to sell." 

VOL. V. 3 


"What's [the] price of thy flesh?" said jolly 

" Come, tell it soon unto me ; 
And the price of thy mare, be she never so dear, 

For a butcher fain would I be." 20 

" The price of my flesh," the butcher repli'd, 

" I soon will tell unto thee ; 
With my bonny mare, and they are not too dear. 

Four mark thou must give unto me." 

" Four mark I will give thee," saith jolly 
Robin, as 

" Four mark it shall be thy fee ; 
The mony come count, and let me mount, 

For a butcher I fain would be." 

Now Robin he is to Nottingham gone, 

His butchers trade to begin ; so 

With good intent to the sheriff he went, 
And there he took up his inn. 

When other butchers did open their meat, 

Bold Robin he then begun ; 
But how for to sell he knew not well, 

For a butcher he was but young. 

When other butchers no meat could sell, 
Robin got both gold and fee ; 
17. What is price. 


For he sold more meat for one peny 

Then others could do for three. 

But when he sold his meat so fast, 

No butcher by him could thrive ; 
For he sold more meat for one peny 

Than others could do for five. 

Which made the butchers of Nottingham 45 

To study as they did stand, 
Saying, " Surely he ' is ' some prodigal, 

That hath sold his fathers land." 

The butchers stepped to jolly Robin, 

Acquainted with him for to be ; 50 

" Come, brother," one said, " we be all of one trade, 

" Come, will you go dine with me ? " 

"Accurst of his heart," said jolly Robin, 

" That a butcher doth deny ; 
I will go with you, my brethren true, M 

As fast as I can hie." 

But when to the sheriffs house they came, 

To dinner they hied apace, 
And Robin Hood he the man must be 

Before them all to say grace. oo 

" Pray God bless us all," said jolly Robin, 
"And our meat within this place ; 


A cup of sack so good will nourish our blood, 
And so do I end my grace. 

" Come fill us more wine," said jolly Robin, n 
" Let us be merry while we do stay ; 

For wine and good cheer, be it never so dear, 
I vow I the reck'ning will pay. 

" Come, * brothers,' be merry," said jolly Robin, 
" Let us drink, and never give ore ; 70 

For the shot I will pay, ere I go my way, 
If it cost me five pounds and more." 

" This is a mad blade," the butchers then said ; 

Saies the sheriff, " He is some prodigal, 
That some land has sold for silver and gold, rs 

And now he doth mean to spend all. 

" Hast thou any horn beasts," the sheriff repli'd, 

" Good fellow, to sell unto me ? " 
" Yes, that I have, good master sheriff, 

I have hundreds two or three ; so 

"And a hundred aker of good free land, 

If you please it to see : 
And lie make you as good assurance of it, 

As ever my father made me." 

The sheriff he saddled his good palfrey, & 

And, with three hundred pound in gold, 


Away he went with bold Robin Hood, 
His horned beasts to behold. 

Away then the sheriff and Robin did ride, 

To the forrest of merry Sherwood ; so 

Then the sheriff did say, " God bless us this 

From a man they call Robin Hood ! " 

But when a little farther they came, 

Bold Robin he chanced to spy 
A hundred head of good red deer, 95 

Come tripping the sheriff full nigh. 

" How like you my horn'd beasts, good master 

They be fat and fair for to see ; " 
"I tell thee, good fellow, I would I were gone, 

For I like not thy company." 100 

Then Robin set his horn to his mouth, 

And blew but blasts three ; 
Then quickly anon there came Little John, 

And all his company. 

"What is your will, master?" then said Little John, 
" Good master come tell unto me ; " 105 

" I have brought hither the sheriff of Notting 
This day to dine with thee." 


" He is welcome to me," then said Little John, 
" I hope he will honestly pay ; iw 

I know he has gold, if it be but well told, 
Will serve us to drink a whole day." 

Then Robin took his mantle from his back, 

And laid it upon the ground : 
And out of the sheriffs portmantle " 5 

He told three hundred pound. 

Then Robin he brought him thorow the wood, 

And set him on his dapple gray ; 
" have me commended to your wife at home ; " 

So Robin went laughing away. 120 


This interesting ballad (derived from a manuscript 
of the 15th century,) belongs to the cycle of Robin 
Hood, as Mr. Wright remarks, " at least by its sub 
ject, if not by the person whose death it celebrates." 
It was first printed by Ritson in his Ancient Songs 
and Ballads, (i. 81,) and has been again printed by 
Mr. Wright in a little black-letter volume of Songs 
and Caroh (No. X) ; from which we take our copy. 

The similarity of the name Gandelyn to the Game- 
lyn of the Cook's Tale, attributed to Chaucer, and the 
affinity of that story to the Robin Hood ballads, are 


alluded to by the last-named editor. Is it not possible 
that this name reappears again in the " Young Gam- 
well " of Robin Hood and the Stranger ? 

The dialect of this piece is proved by an incidental 
coincidence, says Mr. Wright, to be that of War 

I HERDE a carpyng of a clerk 

Al at zone wodes ende, 
Of gode Robyn and Gandeleyn 

Was ther non other thynge. 

Robynn lyth in grene wode bowndyn. 

Stronge tlieuys wern tho chylderin non, s 

But bowmen gode and liende : 
He wentyn to wode to getyn hem fleych, 

If God wold it hem sende. 

Al day wentyn tho chylderin too, 

And fleych fowndyn he non, 10 

Til it were ageyn euyn, 

The chylderin wold gon horn : 

Half a bonder id of fat falyf der 

He comyn azon, 
And all he wern fayr and fat inow, is 

But markyd was ther non. 
" Be dere Gode," seyde gode [Robyn], 

" Hereof we xul haue on." 

4, MS. gynge. 


Robyn bent his joly bowe, 

Therin he set a flo, 20 

The fattest der of alle [the herd] 

The herte he clef a-to. 

He hadde not the der islawe 

Ne half out of the hyde, 
There cam a schrewde arwe out of the west, 25 

That felde Roberts pryde. 

Gandeleyn lokyd hym est and west 

Be euery syde ; 
" Hoo hat myn mayster slayin, 

Ho hat don this dede ? 

Xal I neuer out of grene wode go, 

Ti[l] I se [his] sydis blede." 

Gandeleyn lokyd hym est and lokyd west, 

And sowt vnder the sunne, 
He saw a lytil boy ** 

He clepyn Wrennok of Doune : 

A good bowe in his hond, 

A brod arewe therine, 
And fowre and xx goode arwys 

Trusyd in a thrumme. *> 

" Be war the, war the, Gandeleyn, 

Herof thu xalt han summe : 

19, MS. went. 24, cut of, Ritson. 


" Be war the, war the, Gandeleyn, 

Herof thu gyst plente." 
" Euere on for an other," seyde Gandeleyn, 45 

" Mysaunter haue he xal fle." 

" Qwerat xal our marke be ? " 

Seyde Gandeleyn : 
" Eueryche at otheris herte," 

Seyde Wrennok ageyn. .w 

" Ho xal zeue the ferste schote? " 

Seyde Gandeleyn : 
" And I xal zeue the on beforn," 

Seyd Wrennok ageyn. 

Wrennok schette a ful good schote, 55 

And he schet not too hye ; 
Throw the sanchothis of his bryk, 

It towchyd neyther thye. 

" Now hast thu zouyn me on beforn," 

Al thus to Wrennok seyde he, 6 

" And throw the myzt of our lady 
A bettere I xal zeue the." 

Gandeleyn bent his goode bowe, 

And set therin a flo, 
He schet throw his grene certyl, cs 

His herte he clef on too. 
61, MS. thu. 


" Now zalt thu neuer zelpe, Wrennok, 

At ale ne at wyn, 
That thu hast slawe goode Robyn 

And his knaue Gandeleyn. 

" Now xalt thu neuer zelpe, Wrennok, 

At wyn ne at ale, 
That thu hast slawe goode Robyn 

And Gandeleyyn his knave." 

Robyn lyzth in grene wode bow[_n~\dyn. 


THREE complete editions of this highly popular 
poem are known, all without date. The earliest, 
(perhaps not later than 1520,) is by Wynken de 
Worde, and has this title : Here beginneth a mery 
geste of Robyn Hode and his meyne, and of the proude 
shcryfe of Notyngham. A second is by William Cop 
land, and is apparently made from the former. A 
third was printed from Copland's, for Edward White, 
and though without date is entered in the Stationers 1 
Registers in 1594. Portions have been preserved of 
two other editions, earlier than any of these three. 
Ritson had in his hands a few leaves of an "old 
4to. black-letter impression," by Wynken de Worde, 
"probably in 1489." The Gest of Robyn Hode was 
also printed at Edinburgh, in 1508, by Chepman and 

74, MS. knawe. 


Myllar, who in the same year issued a considerable 
number of poetical tracts. A volume of these, con 
taining a large fragment of the piece in question, was 
most fortunately recovered towards the end of the last 
century, and has been reprinted in fac simile by the 
Messrs. Laing, Edinburgh, 1827. 

The Lytell Geste is obviously to be regarded as an 
heroic poem, constructed, partly or entirely, out of 
previously existing unconnected " rhymes of Robin 
Hood." The earlier ballads employed for this pur 
pose have not been handed down to us in their prim 
itive form. Whatever this may have been, they were 
probably very freely treated by the rhapsodist that 
strung them together, who has indeed retold the 
ancient stories with such skill as might well cause 
the ruder originals to be forgotten. Nevertheless, the 
third fit of our little epic is indisputably of common 
derivation with the last part of the older ballad of 
Robin Hood and the Potter, and other portions of this 
tale occur separately in ballads, which, though mod 
ern in their structure, may have had a source inde 
pendent of the Lytell Geste. 

It will be observed that each fit of this piece does 
not constitute a complete story. Mr. Hunter has cor 
rectly enough indicated the division into ballads as 
follows : The first ballad is comprised in the first two 
fits, and may be called Robin Hood and the Knight ; 
the second ballad is the third fit, and may be called 
Little John and the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire ; in 
the fourth fit we have the ballad of Robin Hood 
and the Monks of St. Mary ; in the fifth and sixth, 
Robin Hood, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and the 
Knight ; the seventh and part of the eighth contain 


the ballad of Robin Hood and the King; and the 
remaining stanzas of the eighth the Death of Robin 

Concerning the imagined historical foundation of 
the Lytell Geste, see the general remarks on Robin 
Hood prefixed to this volume. 

LITHE and lysten, gentylmen, 

That be of frebore blode ; 
I shall you tell of a good yeman, 

His name was Robyn Hode. 

Robyn was a proude outlawe, 

Whyles he walked on grounde ; 
So curteyse an outlawe as he was one 

Was never none yfounde. 

Robyn stode in Bernysdale, 

And lened hym to a tre, 10 

9 Barnsdale is a tract of country, four or five miles broad, 
in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It was, we are told, wood 
land until recent inclosures, and is spoken of by Leland as a 
"woody and famous forest" in the reign of Henry the 
Eighth. From the depths of this retreat to Doncaster the 
distance is less than ten miles, and to Nottingham, in a 
straight line, about fifty. A little to the north of Barnsdale 
is Pontefract, and a little to the northwest is Wakefield, and 
beyond this the Priory of Kirklees. Mr. Hunter, whom we 
follow here, has shown by contemporary evidence that Barns- 
dale was infested by robbers in the days of the Edwards. 
" In the last year of the reign of King Edward the First, the 
bishops of St. Andrew's and Glasgow, and the Abbot of 
Scone were conveyed, at the King's charge, from Scotland 
to Winchester. In this journey they had a guard, sometimes 


And by hym stode Lytell Johan, 
A good yeman was he ; 

And also dyde good Scathelock, 

And Much the millers sone ; 
There was no ynche of his body, is 

But it was worthe a grome. 

Than bespake hym Lytell Johan 

All unto Robyn Hode, 
" Mayster, yf ye wolde dyne betyme, 

It wolde do you moch good." 20 

Then bespake good Robyn, 

" To dyne I have no lest, 
Tyll I have some bolde baron, 

Or some unketh gest, 

" [Or els some byshop or abbot] 2* 

That may paye for the best ; 
Or some knyght or some squyere 

That dwelleth here by west." 

of eight archers, sometimes of twelve ; but when they had 
got as far south as Daventry, they had no archers at all in 
attendance, and proceeded without a guard, in three days 
from thence to Winchester. But when they passed from 
Pontefract to Tickhill, the guard had been increased to the 
number of twenty archers, and the reason given in the ac 
count of the expenses of their journey, for this addition to 
the cost of the conveyance, is given in the two words, prvpter 

22. lust, Kitson. 


A good maner than had Robyn, 

In londe where that he were, 
Every daye or he woulde dyne 

Thre messes wolde he here : 

The one in the worshyp of the fader, 

The other of the holy goost, 
The thyrde was of our dere lady, 

That he loved of all other moste. 

Robyn loved our dere lady ; 

For doute of dedely synne, 
Wolde he never do company harme 

That ony woman was ynne. 

" Mayster," than sayd Lytell Johan, 
" And we our borde shall sprede, 

Tell us whether we shall gone, 
And what lyfe we shall lede ; 

" Where we shall take, where we shall leve, 
Where we shall abide behynde, 

Where we shall robbe, where we shall reve, 
Where we shall bete and bynde." 

" Therof no fors," said Robyn, 

" We shall do well ynough ; 
But loke ye do no housbonde harme 

That tylleth with his plough ; 


" No more ye shall no good yeman, 
That walketh by grene wode shawe, 

Ne no knyght, ne no squyer, ss 

That wolde be a good felawe. 

" These byshoppes, and thyse archebysshoppes, 

Ye shall them bete and bynde ; 
The hye sheryfe of Notynghame, 

Hym holde in your mynde." > 

"This worde shall be holde," sayd Lytyil 

" And this lesson shall we lere ; 
It is ferre dayes, god sende us a gest, 

That we were at our dynere." 

"Take thy good bowe in thy hande," said 
Robyn, 65 

" Let Moche wende with the, 
And so shall Wyllyam Scathelocke, 

And no man abyde with me : 

" And walke up to the Sayles, 

And so to Watlynge-strete, 70 

69, 70. " The Sayles," is a place no longer known, but it is 
certain that there was formerly a place of the name in Barns- 
dale or near it. " It was a very small tenancy of the manor 
of Pontefract, being not more than the tenth of a knight's 
fee" (Hunter). Watling Street stands here for the great 
North Road, probably a Roman highway, which crosses 


And wayte after some unketh gest, 
Up-chaunce ye mo we them mete. 

" Be he erle or ony baron, 

Abbot or ony knyght, 
Brynge hym to lodge to me, 

Hys dyner shall be dyght." 

They wente unto the Sayles, 

These yemen all thre, 
They loked est, they loked west, 

They myght no man see. 

But as they loked in Barnysdale, 

By a derne strete, 
Then came there a knyght rydynge, 

Full sone they gan hym mete. 

All dreri then was his semblaunte, 

And lytell was hys pryde, 
Hys one fote in the sterope stode, 

That other waved besyde. 

Hys hode hangynge over hys eyen two. 

He rode in symple aray ; 
A soryer man than he was one 

Rode never in somers-day. 

Lytell Johan was curteyse, 
And set hym on his kne : 
85. all his. PCC. 


" Welcome be ye, gentyll knyght, as 

Welcome are you to me. 

" Welcome be thou to grene wood, 

Hende knyght and fre ; 
My mayster hath abyden you fastynge, 

Syr, all these oures thre." i*> 

" Who is your mayster ? " sayd the knyght. 

Johan sayde, " Robyn Hode." 
" He is a good yeman," sayd the knyght, 

" Of hym I have herde moch good. 

" I graunte," he sayd, " with you to wende, ios 

My brethren, all in-fere ; 
My purpose was to have deyned to day 

At Blythe or Dankastere." 

Forthe than went this gentyll knyght, 

With a carefull chere ; no 

The teres out of his eyen ran, 
And fell downe by his lere. 

They brought hym unto the lodge dore ; 

When Robyn gan hym se, 
Full curteysly dyde of his hode, 115 

And set hym on his kne. 

106, so R. (ed. 1489) : all three, W. C. (de Worde & Copland). 
109, this, R. that, W. C. 112, ere, R. 

VOL. V. 4 


" Welcome, syr knyglit," then said Robyn, 

" Welcome thou arte to me, 
I haue abyde you fastynge, syr, 

All these houres thre." lao 

Then answered the gentyll knyglit, 

With wordes fayre and fre, 
" God the save, good Robyn, 

And all thy fayre meyne." 

They washed togyder and wyped bothe, 125 

And set tyll theyr dynere ; 
Brede and wyne they had ynough, 

And nombles of the dere. 

Swannes and fesauntes they had full good, 
And foules of the revere ; iao 

There fayled never so lytell a byrde, 
That ever was bred on brere. 

" Do gladly, syr knyght," sayd Robyn ; 

" Gramercy, syr," sayd he, 
" Such a dyner had I not IM 

Of all these wekes thre. 

" If I come agayne, Robyn, 

Here by this countre, 
As good a dyner I shall the make, 

As thou hast made to me." i*> 


" Gramercy, knyght," sayd Robyn ; 

" My dyner whan I have, 
I was never so gredy, by dere worthy god, 

My dyner for to crave. 

44 But pay or ye wende," sayd Robyn, i 

" Me thynketh it is good ryght ; 
It was never the maner, by dere worthy god, 

A yeman to pay for a knyght." 

" I have nought in my cofers," sayd the knyght, 
" That I may prefer for shame ; " iso 

" Lytell Johan, go loke," sayd Robyn, 
" Ne let not for no blame. 

Tell me trouth," sayd Robyn, 

" So god have parte of the ; " 
" I have no more but ten shillings," sayd the 
knyght, 155 

" So god have parte of me." 

" Yf thou have no more," sayd Robyn, 

" I wyll not one peny ; 
And yf thou have nede of ony more, 

More shall I len the. w 

" Go now forth, Lytell Johan, 
The trouthe tell thou me ; 

148, to pay, R. pay, W. C. 

161, Robyn, R, Robyn Hoode, W. C. 


Yf there be no more but ten shillings, 
Not one peny that I se." 

Lytell Johan spred downe his mantell, IGS 

Full fayre upon the grounde, 
And there he found in the knyghtes cofer 

But even halfe a pounde. 

Lytyll Johan let it lye full styll, 

And went to his mayster full lowe : iro 

" What tydynge, Johan ? " sayd Robyn : 

" Syr, the knyght is trewe inough." 

" Fyll of the best wyne," sayd Robyn, 

" The knyght shall begynne ; 
Moch wonder thynketh me ITS 

Thy clothynge is so thynue. 

" Tell me one worde," sayd Robyn, 

" And counsell shall it be ; 
I trowe thou were made a knyght of forse, 

Or elles of yemanry ; iso 

. " Or elles thou hast ben a sory housband, 
And leved in stroke and stryfe ; 

179. " This stanza is remarkable for containing a reference 
to one of the old grievances of the people of England. In 
the reign of Henry the Third, and his son, and grandson, the 
compelling persons, some of them of no great estate, to take 
upon them the honour of knighthood, or pay a large sum to 
be excused, was felt as a heavy oppression." HUNTER. 


An okerer, or elles a lechoure," sayd Robyn, 
" With wronge hast thou lede thy lyfe." 

" I am none of them," sayd the knyght, iss 

" By god that made me ; 
An hondreth wynter here before, 

Myne aunsetters knyghtes have be. 

" But ofte it hath befal, Robyn, 

A man hath be dysgrate ; 190 

But god that syteth in heven above 

May amend his state. 

" Within two or thre yere, Robyn," he sayd, 

" My neyghbores well it kende, 
Foure hondreth pounde of good money ias 

Full wel than myghte I spende. 

" Now have I no good," sayd the knyght, 
" But my chyldren and my wyfe ; 

God hath shapen such an ende, 

Tyll god may amende my lyfe." 200 

" In what maner," sayd Robyn, 

" Hast thou lore thy riches ? " 
" For my grete foly," he sayd, 

" And for my kindenesse. 

193, two yere, E. 194, knowe, OCC. 200, it may amende, 



" I had a sone, for soth, Robyn, 205 

That sholde have ben my eyre, 
When he was twenty wynter olde, 

In felde wolde juste full feyre. 

" He slewe a knyght of Lancastshyre, 

And a squyre bolde ; 210 

For to save hym in his ryght, 
My goodes beth sette and solde. 

"My londes beth set to wedde, Robyn, 

Untyll a certayne daye, 
To a ryche abbot here besyde, 215 

Of Saynt Mary abbay." 

" What is the somme ? " sayd Robyn, 

" Trouthe than tell thou me ; " 
" Syr," he sayd, " foure hondred pounde, 

The abbot tolde it to me." 220 

" Now, and thou lese thy londe," sayd Robyn, 
. What shall fall of the ? " 
" Hastely I wyll me buske," sayd the knyght, 
" Over the salte see, 

" And se where Cryst was quycke and deed 225 

On the mounte of Caluare : 
Fare well, frende, and have good daye, 

It may noo better be." 

209, lancasesshyre, K. 228, not W. C. 


Teeres fell out of his eyen two, 

He wolde haue gone his waye : 230 

" Farewell, frendes, and have good day, 

I ne have more to pay." 

" Where be thy friendes ? " sayd Robyn : 

" Syr, never one wyll me know ; 
Whyle I was ryche inow at home, ass 

Grete bost then wolde they blowe. 

" And now they renne awaye fro me, 

As bestes on a rowe ; 
They take no more heed of me 

Then they me never sawe." 240 

For ruthe then wepte Lytell Johan, 

Scathelocke and Much in fere : 
" Fyll of the best wyne," sayd Robyn, 

" For here is a symple chere. 

" Hast thou ony frendes," sayd Robyn, 2*5 

" Thy borowes that wyll be ? " 
" I have none," then sayd the knyght, 

" But god that dyed on a tree." 

" Do waye thy japes," sayd Robyn, 

** Therof will I right none ; 250 

233, by W. C. 234. So R. knowe me, W. C. The fragment 
of de Worde's older ed. ends with v. 239. 242, also, PCC. for 
4 in fere.' 243. Wyme, PCC. 


Wenest thou I wyll have god to borowe, 
Peter, Poule, or Johan ? 

" Nay, by hym that me made, 

And shope both sonne and mone ; 

Fynde a better borowe," sayd Robyn, ^ 

" Or mony getest thou none." 

"I have none other," sayd the knyght, 

" The sothe for to say, 
But yf it be our dere lady, 

She fayled me never or this day." 200 

" By dere worthy god," sayd Robyn, 
" To seche all England thoro'we, 

Yet founde I never to my pay 
A moch better borowe. 

u Come now forthe, Lytell Johan, ass 

And goo to my tresoure, 
And brynge me foure hondred pounde, 

And loke that it well tolde be." 

Forthe then wente Lytell Johan, 

And Scathelocke went before, ^0 

He tolde out foure houndred pounde, 

By eyghtene score. 

272. I. e. by so many score to the hundred. It is certainly 
a very hyperbolical expression, but he measures the cloth in 
the same way. RITSON. ^ 


Is this well tolde ? " said lytell Much. 

Johan sayd, " What greveth the ? 
It is almes to helpe a gentyll knyght ar 

That is fall in poverte." 

" Mayster," than said Lytell Johan, 

" His clothynge is full thynne ; 
Ye must gyve the knyght a lyveray 

To lappe his body ther in. 280 

" For ye have scarlet and grene, mayster, 

And many a ryche aray ; 
There is no marchaunt in mery Englonde, 

So ryche, I dare well saye." 

" Take hym thre yerdes of every coloure, aw 

And loke that well mete it be : " 
Lytell Johan toke none other mesure 

But his bowe tre. 

And of every handfull that he met 

He lept ouer fotes thre : . 290 

" What devilkyns draper," sayd litell Much, 

" Thynkyst thou to be?" 

Scathelocke stoode full styll and lough, 

And sayd, " By god allmyght, 
Johan may gyve hym the better mesure ; 295 

By god, it cost him but lyght." 
280, helpe, W. wrappe, C. 


" Mayster," sayd Lytell Johan, 

All unto Robyn Hode, 
" Ye must gyve that knight an hors, 

To lede home al this good." aoo 

"Take hym a gray courser," sayd Robyn, 

" And a sadell newe ; 
He is our ladyes messengere, 

God lene that he be true." 

" And a good palfraye," sayd lytell Moch, 305 
" To mayntayne hym in his ryght : " 

" And a payre of botes," sayd Scathelocke, 
" For he is a gentyll knyght." 

"What shalt thou gyve him, Lytel Johan?" 
sayd Robyn. 

" Syr, a payre of gylte spores clene, 310 

To pray for all this company : 

"God brynge hym out of tene ! " 

" Whan shall my daye be," sayd the knyght, 

" Syr, and your wyll be ? " 
" This daye twelve moneth," sayd Robyn, sis 

" Under this grene wode tre." 

u It were grete shame," sayd Robyn, 
" A knyght alone to ryde, 

304. leue, W. lende, C 


Without squyer, yeman, or page, 

To walke by hys syde. 320 

" I shall the lene Lytyll Johan my man, 

For he shall be thy knave ; 
In a yemans steed he may the stonde, 

Yf thou grete nede have." 


NOWE is the knyght went on his way, 
This game hym thought full good ; 

When he loked on Bernysdale, 
He blyssed Robyn Hode ; 

And whan he thought on Bernysdale, * 

On Scathelock, Much, and Johan, 

He blyssed them for the best company 
That ever he in come. 

Then spake that gentyll knyght, 

To Lytel Johan gan he saye, 10 

" To-morrowe I must to Yorke toune, 

To Saynt Mary abbay ; 

" And to the abbot of that place 
Foure hondred pounde I must pay ; 

And but I be there upon this nyght M 

My londe is lost for ay." 

1, Eitson, this way. 2, hym, sic Ch. & M. 


The abbot sayd to his covent, 

There he stode on grounde, 
" This day twelfe moneth came there a knyght 

And borowed foure hondred pounde. 20 

" [He borowed foure hondred pounde J 

Upon all his londe fre, 
But he come this ylke day 

Dysheryte shall he be." 

" It is full erely," sayd the pryoure, as 

" The day is not yet ferre gone ; 

I had lever to pay an hondred pounde, 
And lay it downe anone. 

" The knight is ferre beyond e the see, 

In Englonde is his ryght, 30 

And suffreth honger and colde, 
And many a sory nyght. 

" It were grete pyte," said the pryoure, 

" So to have his londe ; 
And ye be so lyght of your conseyence, " 

Ye do to him moch wronge." 

" Thou art euer in my berde," sayd the abbot, 
" By god and saynt Rycharde ; " 

25. The prior, in an abbey, was the officer immediately 
under the abbot; in priories and conventual cathedrals he 
was the superior. RITSON. 


With that cam in a fat-heded monke, 

The heygh selerer. -tc 

" He is dede or hanged," sayd the monke, 

" By god that bought me dere, 
And we shall have to spende in this place 

Foure hondred pounde by yere." 

The abbot and the hy selerer, 45 

Sterte forthe full bolde, 
The high justyce of Englonde 

The abbot there dyde holde. 

The hye justyce and many mo 

Had take into their honde 

Holy all the knyghtes det, 

To put that knyght to wronge. 

They denied the knyght wonder sore, 

The abbot and hys meyne : 
" But he come this ylke day m 

Dysheryte shall he be." 

" He wyll not come yet," sayd the justyce, 

" I dare well undertake ; " 
But in sorowe tyme for them all 

The knyght came to the gate. w 

Than bespake that gentyll knyght 
Untyll hys meyne, 


" Now put on your symple wedes 
That ye brought fro the see." 

[They put on their symple wedes,] < 

And came to the gates anone ; 
The porter was redy hymselfe, 

And welcomed them everychone. 

" Welcome, syr knyght," sayd the porter, 
" My lorde to mete is he, ro 

And so is many a gentyll man, 
For the love of the." 

The porter swore a full grete othe, 

" By god that made me, 
Here be the best coresed hors, 75 

That ever yet sawe I me. 

" Lede them into the stable," he sayd, 

" That eased might they be : " 
" They shall not come therin," sayd the knyght, 

" By god that dyed on a tre." so 

Lordes were to mete isette 

In that abbotes hall ; 
The knyght went forth and kneled downe, 

And salued them grete and small. 

" Do gladly, syr abbot," sayd the knyght, 86 
" I am come to holde my day : " 


The fyrst word the abbot spake, 
" Hast thou brought my pay ? " 

" Not one peny," sayd the knyght, 

" By god that maked me ; " so 

" Thou art a shrewed dettour," sayd the 
abbot ; 

" Syr justyce, drynke to me. 

" What doost thou here," sayd the abbot, 
" But thou haddest brought thy pay ? " 

" For god," than sayd the knyght, y 

" To pray of a lenger daye." 

" Thy daye is broke," sayd the justyce, 

" Londe getest thou none : " 
" Now, good syr justyce, be my frende, 

And fende me of my fone." iw 

" I am holde with the abbot," sayd the justyce, 

" Bothe with cloth and fee : " 
" Now, good syr sheryf, be my frende : " 

" Nay for god," sayd he. 

101, 2. I. e., the Chief Justice had been retained for the 
abbot by robe and fee. A writer in Notes and Queries, (vol. 
vi. p. 479,) quotes statutes of Edward I. and Edward III. 
against maintenance, in which the abuse of robes and fees is 
mentioned, and cites the following clause from the oath re 
quired to be taken by justices : " And that ye will take no fee 
so long as ye shall be justices, nor robes, of any man great or 
email, except of the king himself." 


" Now, good syr abbot, be my frende, ire 

For thy curteyse, 
And holde my londes in thy honde 

Tyll I have made the gree ; 

" And I wyll be thy true servaunte, 

And trewely serve the, no 

Tyl ye have foure hondred pounde 

Of money good and free." 

The abbot sware a full grete othe, 

" By god that dyed on a tree, 
Get the londe where thou may, 115 

For thou getest none of me." 

" By dere worthy god," then sayd the knyght, 

" That all this worlde wrought, 
But I have my londe agayne 

Full dere it shall be bought. 120 

" God, that was of a mayden borne, 

Lene us well to spede ! 
For it is good to assay a frende 

Or that a man have nede." 

The abbot lothely on him gan loke, i-'- 

And vylaynesly hym gan call ; 
"Out," he sayd, "thou false knyght, 

Spede the out of my hall ! " 
122, leue, "W. Lende us, C. 126, loke (for call), W. C. 


" Thou lyest," then sayd the gentyll kn yght, 
" Abbot in thy hal ; iso 

False knyght was I never, 
By god that made us all." 

Up then stode that gentyll knyght, 

To the abbot sayd he, 
" To suffre a knyght to knele so longe 135 

Thou canst no curteysye. 

" In joustes and in tournement 

Full ferre than have I be, 
And put myselfe as ferre in prees 

As ony that ever I se." 140 

" What wyll ye gyve more," said the justyce, 
" And the knyght shall make a releyse ? 

And elles dare I safly swere 

Ye holde never your londe in pees." 

" An hondred pounde," sayd the abbot ; HS 
The justyce said, " Gyve him two ; " 

" Nay, be god," said the knyght, 
" Yet gete ye it not soo. 

" Though ye wolde gyve a thousande more, 
Yet were ye never the nere ; 1.50 

Shall there never be myn eyre, 
Abbot, justyse, ne frere." 

148, grete, W. get, C. 150, thou. POC. 

VOL. V. 5 


He sterte hym to a borde anone, 

Tyll a table rounde, 
And there he shoke out of a bagge 155 

Even foure hondred pounde. 

"Have here thy golde, syr abbot," sayd the 

" Which that thou lentest me ; 
Haddest thou ben curteys at my comynge, 

Rewarde sholdest thou have be." ieo 

The abbot sat styll, and ete no more, 

For all his ryall chere ; 
He caste his hede on his sholder, 

And fast began to stare. 

" Take me my golde agayne," sayd the abbot, i6 

" Syr justyce, that I toke the ; " 
" Not a peny," sayd the justyce, 

" By god, that dyed on a tree." 

" Syr abbot, and ye men of lawe, 

Now have I holde my daye, iro 

Now shall I have my londe agayne, 

For ought that you can saye." 

The knyght stert out of the dore, 

Awaye was all his care, 
And on he put his good clothynge, iw 

The other he lefte there. 


He wente hym forthe full mery syngynge, 

As men have tolde in tale, 
His lady met hym at the gate, 

At home in Uterysdale. wo 

" Welcome, my lorde," sayd his lady ; 

" Syr, lost is all your good ? " 
" Be mery, dame," sayd the knyght, 

" And praye for Robyn Hode, 

" That ever his soule be in blysse ; iss 

He holpe me out of my tene ; 
Ne had not be his kyndenesse, 

Beggers had we ben. 

u The abbot and I acordyd ben, 

He is served of his pay, 100 

The good yeman lent it me, 

As I came by the way." 

This knyght than dwelled fayre at home, 

The soth for to say, 
Tyll he had got foure hondreth pounde, 195 

All redy for too paye. 

He purveyed hym an hondred bowes, 
The strenges welle [y-]dyght, 

180. This is a place unknown. There is a forest in 
Lancashire, observes Kitson, of the name of Wierysdale, but 
it appears subsequently that the knight's castle was in Not 


An hondred shefe of arowes good, 

The hedes burnyshed full bryght. 200 

And every arowe an elle longe, 

With pecocke well ydyght, 
Inocked all with whyte sylver, 

It was a semly syght. 

He purveyed hym an hondreth men, ar> 

Well harneysed in that stede, 
And hymselfe in that same sete, 

And clothed in whyte and rede. 

He bare a launsgay in his honde, 

And a man ledde his male, 210 

And reden with a lyght songe 

Unto Bernysdale. 

As he went at brydge ther was a wrastelyng, 

And there taryed was he, 
And there was all the best yemen, 215 

Of all the west countree. 

A full fayre game there was upset ; 

A whyte bull up ipyght, 
A grete courser with sadle and brydil, 

With golde burneyshed full bryght ; 290 

A payre of gloves, a rede golde rynge, 
A pype of wyne, in good fay ; 
207, sute, C. 218, 1 up pyght, W. up ypyght, C. 


What man bereth him best, i-wys, 
The pryce shall bere away. 

There was a yeman in that place, 225 

And best worthy was he, 
And for he was ferre and frend bestad, 

Islayne he sholde have be. 

The knyght had reuth of this yeman, 

In place where that he stode, 230 

He said that yoman sholde have no harme, 
For love of Robyn Hode. 

The knyght presed into the place, 

An hondred folowed hym fre, 
With bowes bent, and arowes sharpe, 286 

For to shende that company. 

They sholdred all, and made hym rome, 

To wete what he wolde say ; 
He toke the yeman by the honde, 

And gave hym all the playe. 240 

He gave hym fyve marke for his wyne, 

There it laye on the molde, 
And bad it sholde be sette a broche, 

Drynke who so wolde. 

Thus longe taryed this gentyll knyght, 245 

Tyll that playe was done, 

234, fere, W. in fere, C. 


So longe abode Robyn fastynge, 
Thre houres after the none. 


Lyth and lysten, gentyll men, 

All that now be here, 
Of Lytell Johan, that was the knyghtes man, 

Good myrthe ye shall here. 

It was upon a mery day, 

That yonge men wolde go shete, 
Lytell Johan fet his bo we anone, 

And sayd he wolde them mete. 

Thre tymes Lytell Johan shot about, 

And always cleft the wande ; 10 

The proude sheryf of Notyngham 
By the markes gan stande. 

The sheryf swore a full grete othe, 

By hym that dyed on a tre, 
This man is the best archere is 

That yet sawe I me. 

" Say me now, wyght yonge man, 

What is now thy name ? 
In what countre were thou born, 

And where is thy wonnynge wane ? " ao 

6, shote, W. 10, he sleste, W. 19, thou wast, C. wast 
thou, Wh. 20, wane, Ch. & M. wan, K. 


" In Holdernesse I was bore, 

I-wys all of my dame ; 
Men call me Reynolde Grenelefe, 

Whan I am at hame." 

" Say me, Reynaud Grenelefe, as 

Wolte thou dwell with m'e ? 
And every yere I wyll the gyve 

Twenty marke to thy fee." 

" I have a mayster," sayd Lytell Johan, 

" A curteys knight is he ; so 

May ye gete leve of hym, 
The better may it bee." 

The sheryfe gate Lytell Johan 

Twelve monethes of the knyght ; 
Therfore he gave him ryght anone 

A good hors and a wyght. 

Now is Lytel Johan the sheryffes man, 

God gyve us well to spede, 
But alway thought Lytell Johan 

To quyte hym well his mede. 40 

" Now so god me helpe," sayd Lytel Johan, 

" And be my trewe lewte, 
I shall be the worste servaunte to hym 

That ever yet had he." 

41. He, Ritson. Ge. W. f. God. 


It befell upon a Wednesday, 

The sheryfe on hontynge was gone, 

And Lytel Johan lay in his bed, 
And was foryete at home. 

Therfore he was fastynge 

Tyl it was past the none ; 

" Good syr stuard, I pray the, 

Geve me to dyne," sayd Lytel Johan. 

" It is to long for Grenelefe, 

Fastynge so long to be ; 
Therfore I pray the, stuarde, 55 

My dyner gyve thou me." 

" Shalt thou never ete ne drynke," said the 


" Tyll my lord be come to towne ; " 
" I make myn avowe to god," sayd Lytell 

" I had lever to cracke thy crowne." > 

The butler was full uncurteys, 

There he stode on flore ; 
He sterte to the buttery, 

And shet fast the dore. 

Lytell Johan gave the buteler such a rap, ' 
His backe yede nygh on two ; 


Tho he lyved an hundreth wynter, 
The wors he sholde go. 

He sporned the dore with his fote, 

It went up wel and fyne, 70 

And there he made a large lyveray 

Both of ale and wyne. 

" Syth ye wyl not dyne," sayd Lytel Johan, 

" I shall gyve you to drynke, 
And though ye lyve an hondred wynter, 75 

On Lytell Johan ye shall thynk." 

Lytell Johan ete, and Lytell [Johan] dronke, 

The whyle that he wolde ; 
The sheryfe had in hys kechyn a coke, 

A stoute man and a bolde. so 

" I make myn avowe to god," sayd the coke, 

" Thou arte a shrewde hynde, 
In an householde to dwel, 

For to ask thus to dyne." 

And there he lent Lytel Johan 85 

Good strokes thre ; 
" I make myn avowe," said Lytell Johan, 

" These strokes lyketh well me. 

" Thou arte a bolde man and an hardy 
And so thynketh me ; 

70, Ch. & M. open. 


And or I passe fro this place, DO 

Asayed better shalt thou be." 

Lytell Johan drewe a good swerde, 
The coke toke another in honde ; 

They thought nothynge for to fle, 96 

But styfly for to stonde. 

There they fought sore togyder, 

Two myle way and more ; 
Myght neyther other harrne done, 

The mountenaunce of an houre. , r_ 100 

" I make myn avowe to god," sayd Lytell Johan, 

" And be my trewe lewte, 
Thou art one of the best swerdemen, 

That ever yet sawe I me. 

" Coowdest thou shote as well in a bowe, 105 
To grene wood thou sholdest with me, 

And two tymes in the yere thy clothynge 
Ichaunged sholde be ; 

" And every yere of Robyn Hode 

Twenty marke to thy fee : " 110 

" Put up thy swerde," sayd the coke, 

" And felowes wyll we be." 

Then he fette to Lytell Johan 
The numbles of a doo, 


Good brede and full good wyne ; us 

They ete and dranke therto. 

And whan they had dronken well, 
Ther trouthes togyder they plyght, 

That they wolde be with Robyn 

That ylke same day at nyght. 120 

They dyde them to the tresure-hous, 

As fast as they myght gone ; 
The lockes, that were of good stele, 

They brake them everychone. 

They toke away the sylver vessel!, 125 

And all that they myght get, 
Peces, masars, and spones 

Wolde they non forgete. 

Also they toke the good pence, 

Thre hondred pounde and three, iso 

And dyde them strayt to Robyn Hode, 

Under the grene wode tre. 

" God the save, my dere mayster, 

And Cryst the save and se ; " 
And than sayd Robyn to Lytell Johan, 135 

" Welcome myght thou be ; 

" And also be that fayre yeman 
Thou bryngest there with the. 
121, hyed, C. 


What tydynges fro Notyngham ? 

Lytell Johan, tell them me." no 

" Well the greteth the proude sheryfe, 

And sende the here by me 
His coke and his sylver vessell, 

And thre hondred pounde and thre." 

" I make myn avow to god," sayd Robyn, i 

" And to the trenyte, 
It was never by his good wyll 

This good is come to me." 

Lytell Johan hym there bethought 

On a shrewed wyle ; w 

Fyve myle in the forest he ran, 

Hym happed at his wyll. 

Than he met the proud sheryf, 

Huntynge with hounde and home ; 

Lyteli Johan coud his curteysye, IM 

And kneled hym beforne. 

" God the save, my dere mayster, 

And Cryst the save and se ; " 
" Raynolde Grenelefe," sayd the sheryfe, 

" Where hast thou no we be ? " i f > 

" I have be in this forest, 
A fayre syght can I se ; 

150, whyle, W. 


It was one of the fayrest syghtea 
That ever yet sawe I me. 

" Yonder I se a ryght fayre hart, iu 

His coloure is of grene ; 
Seven score of dere upon an herde 

Be with hym all bedene. 

" His tynde are so sharp, mayster, 

Of sexty and well mo, ire 

That I durst not shote for drede 

Lest they wolde me sloo." 

" I make myn avowe to god," sayd the sheryf, 

" That syght wolde I fayn se ; " 
" Buske you thyderwarde, my dere mayster, ire 

Anone, and wende with me." 

The sheryfe rode, and Lytell Johan 

Of fote he was full smarte ; 
And when they came afore Robyn, 

" Lo, here is the mayster harte ! " m 

Styll stode the proud sheryf, 

A sory man was he : 
" Wo worthe the, Raynolde Grenelefe ! 

Thou hast now betrayed me." 

" I make myn avowe to god," sayd Lytell Johan, 
" Mayster, ye be to blame, ISG 

163, syght, W. sightes, C. 183, wo the worth, W. 


I was mysserved of my dynere, 
When I was with you at hame." 

Soone he was to super sette, 

And served with sylver whyte ; wo 

And whan the sheryf se his vessell, 

For sorowe he myght not ete. 

" Make good chere," sayd Robyn Hode, 

" Sheryfe, for charyte, 
And for the love of Lytell Johan, iflc 

Thy lyfe is graunted to the." 

When they had supped well, 

The day was all agone, 
Robyn commaunded Lytell Johan 

To drawe of his hosen and his shone, a 

His kyrtell and his cote-a-pye, 

That was furred well fyne, 
And take him a grene mantell, 

To lappe his body therin. 

Robyn commaunded his wyght young men, aw 

Under the grene wood tre, 
They shall lay in that same sorte, 

That the sheryf myght them se. 

All nyght laye that proud sheryf 

In his breche and in his sherte ; 210 


No wonder it was in grene wode, 
Tho his sydes do smerte. 

" Make glad chere," sayd Robyn Hode, 

" Sheryfe, for charyte, 
For this is our order i-wys, 215 

Under the grene wood tre." 

" This is harder order," sayd the sheryfe, 

" Than ony anker or frere ; 
For al the golde in mery Englonde, 

I wolde not longe dwell here." 220 

" All these twelve monethes," sayd Robyn, 

" Thou shalte dwell with me ; 
I shall the teche, proud sheryfe, 

An outlawe for to be." 

" Or I here another nyght lye," sayd the sheryfe, 
" Robyn, nowe I pray the, aae 

Smyte of my hede rather to-morne, 
And I forgyve it the. 

" Lete me go," then sayd the sheryf, 

" For saynt Charyte, 230 

And I wyll be the best frende 
That ever yet had ye." 

" Thou shalte swere me an othe," sayd Robyn, 
" On my bryght bronde, 

232, ye, Ch. & M. the, R. 


Thou shalt never awayte me scathe, 
By water ne by londe ; 

" And if thou fynde ony of my men, 

By nyght or by day, 
Upon thyne othe thou shalt swere 

To helpe them that thou may." 

Now hathe the sheryf iswore his othe, 
And home he began to gone ; 

He was as full of grene wode 
As ever was hepe of stone. 


The sheryf dwelled in Notynghame, 

He was fayne that he was gone, 
And Robyn and his mery men 

Went to wode anone. 

" Go we to dyner," sayd Lytell Johan ; 

Robyn Hode sayd, " Nay ; 
For I drede our lady be wroth with me, 

For she sent me not my pay." 

" Have no dout, mayster," sayd Lytell Johan, 
" Yet is not the sonne at rest ; i<> 

For I dare saye, and saufly swere, 
The knyght is trewe and trust." 
241, have, R. hathe, Ch. & M, 


" Take thy bowe in thy hande," sayd Robyn, 

" Let Moche wende with the, 
And so shall Wyllyam Scathelock, is 

And no man abyde with me. 

" And walk up into the Sayles, 

And to Watlynge-strete, 
And wayte after some unketh gest ; 

Up-chaunce ye may them mete. 20 

" Whether he be messengere, 

Or a man that myrthes can, 
Or yf he be a pore man, 

Of my good he shall have some." 

Forth then stert Lytel Johan, as 

Half in tray and tene, 
And gyrde hym with a full good swerde, 

Under a mantel of grene. 

They went up to the Sayles, 

These yemen all thre ; ao 

They loked est, they loked west, 

They myght no man se. 

But as he loked in Bernysdale, 

By the hye waye, 
Than were they ware of two blacke monkes, ss 

Eche on a good palferay. 
19, such, W. 
VOL. V. 6 


Then bespake Lytell Johan, 

To Much he gan say, 
" I dare lay my lyfe to wedde, 

That these monkes have brought our pay. w 

" Make glad chere," sayd Lytell Johan, 

" And frese our bovves of ewe, 
And loke your hertes be seker and sad, 

Your strynges trusty and trewe. 

" The monke hath fifty two men, 45 

And seven somers full stronge ; 
There rydeth no bysshop in this londe 

So ryally, I understond. 

" Brethern," sayd Lytell Johan, 

" Here are no more but we thre ; BO 

But we brynge them to dyner, 

Our mayster dare we not se. 

" Bende your bowes," sayd Lytell Johan, 

" Make all yon prese to stonde ; 
The formost monke, his lyfe and his deth M 

Is closed in my honde. 

" Abyde, chorle monke," sayd Lytell Johan, 

" No ferther that thou gone ; 
Yf thou doost, by dere worthy god, 

Thy deth is in my honde. eo 

54, you, W. Make you yonder preste, C. 


" And evyll thryfte on thy hede," sayd Lytell 

" Ryght under thy hattes bonde, 
For thou hast made our mayster wroth, 

He is fastynge so longe." 

" Who is your mayster ? " sayd the monke ; as 
Lytell Johan sayd " Robyn Hode ; " 

" He is a stronge thefe," sayd the monke, 
" Of hym herd I never good." 

" Thou lyest," than sayd Lytell Johan, 

" And that shall rewe the ; ro 

He is a yeman of the forest, 
To dyne he hath bode the." 

Much was redy with a bolte, 

Redly and anone, 
He set the monke to fore the brest, ?a 

To the grounde that he can gone. 

Of fyfty two wyght yonge men 

There abode not one, 
Saf a lytell page, and a grome, 

To lede the somers with Johan. so 

They brought the monke to the lodge dore, 

Whether he were loth or lefe, 
For to speke with Robyn Hode, 

Maugre in theyr tethe. 

77, yemen, C. 80, Lytell Johan. 0. CC. 


Robyn dyde adowne his hode, K 

The monke whan that he se ; 
The monke was not so curteyse, 

His hode then let he be. 

" He is a chorle, mayster, by dere worthy god," 
Than said Lytell Johan : w 

" Thereof no force," sayd Robyn, 
" For curteysy can he none. 

" How many men," sayd Robyn, 

" Had this monke, Johan ? " 
" Fifty and two whan that we met, 95 

But many of them be gone." 

" Let blowe a home," sayd Robyn, 
" That felaushyp may us knowe ; " 

Seven score of wyght yemen, 

Came pryckynge on a rowe. 100 

And everych of them a good mantell 

Of scarlet and of raye ; 
All they came to good Robyn, 

To wyte what he wolde say. 

They made the monke to washe and wype, i< 

And syt at his denere, 
Robyn Hode and Lytel Johan 

They served him bothe in fere. 
108, them bothe, 0. CO. 


" Do gladly, monke," sayd Robyn. 

" Gramercy, syr," said he. no 

" Where is your abbay, whan ye are at home, 

And who is your avowe ? " 

" Saynt Mary abbay," sayd the monke, 

" Though I be symple here." 
" In what offyce ? " sayd Robyn : us 

" Syr, the hye selerer." 

" Ye be the more welcome,' 7 sayd Robyn, 

" So ever mote I the : 
Fyll of the best wyne," sayd Robyn, 

" This monke shall drynke to me. 120 

" But I have grete mervayle," sayd Robyn, 

" Of all this longe day ; 
I drede our lady be wroth with me, 

She sent me not my pay." 

" Have no doute, mayster," sayd Lytell Johan, 
" Ye have no nede I saye ; 126 

This monke it hath brought, I dare well 

For he is of her abbay." 

" And she was a borowe," sayd Robyn, 

" Betwene a knyght and me, iso 

Of a lytell money that I hym lent, 
Under the grene wode tree. 


" And yf thou hast that sylver ibroughte, 

I pray the let me se ; 
And I shall helpe the eftsones, 135 

Yf thou have nede of me." 

The monke swore a full grete othe, 

With a sory chere, 
" Of the borowehode thou spekest to me, 

Herde I never ere." i 

" I make myn avowe to god," sayd Robyn, 

" Monke, thou art to blame ; 
For god is holde a ryghtwys man, 

And so is his dame. 

" Thou toldest with thyn owne tonge, i 

Thou may not say nay, 
How thou arte her servaunt, 

And servest her every day. 

" And thou art made her messengere, 

My money for to pay ; iw 

Therefore I can the more thanke, 
Thou arte come at thy day. 

" What is in your cofers ? " sayd Robyn, 

" Trewe than tell thou me : " 
" Syr," he sayd, " twenty marke, i 

Al so mote I the." 

136, to, W. 149, nade, W. not in C. 


" Yf there be no more," sayd Robyn, 

" I wyll not one peny ; 
Yf thou hast rayster of ony more, 

Syr, more I shall lende to the ; ieo 

" And yf I fynde more," sayd Robyn, 

" I-wys thou shalte it forgone ; 
For of thy spendynge sylver, monk, 

Thereof wyll I ryght none. 

" Go nowe forthe, Lytell Johan, iss 

And the trouth tell thou me ; 
If there be no more but twenty marke, 

No peny that I se." 

Lytell Johan spred his man tell downe, 

As he had done before, iro 

And he tolde out of the monkes male 
Eyght hundreth pounde and more. 

Lytell Johan let it lye full styll, 
And went to his mayster in hast ; 

" Syr," he sayd, " the monke is trewe ynowe, us 
Our lady hath doubled your cost." 

" I make myn avowe to god," sayd Robyn, 

" Monke, what tolde I the ? 
Our lady is the trewest woman 

That ever yet founde I me. i**> 

172. Eyght pounde, W. 


" By dere worthy god," said Robyn, 
" To seche all England thorowe, 

Yet founde I never to my pay 
A moche better borowe. 

" Fyll of the best wyne, do hym drynke," said 
Robyn, iss 

" And grete well thy lady hende, 
And yf she have nede of Robyn Hode, 

A frende she shall hym fynde. 

" And yf she nedeth ony more sylver, 

Come thou agayne to me, 190 

And, by this token she hath me sent, 
She shall have such thre." 

The monke was going to London ward, 

There to holde grete mote, 
The knyght that rode so hye on hors, 1*5 

To brynge hym under fote. 

" Whether be ye away ? " sayd Robyn. 

" Syr, to maners in this londe, 
Too re ken with our reves, 

That have done moch wronge." 200 

" Come now forth, Lytell Johan, 

And harken to my tale ; 
A better yemen I knowe none, 

To seke a monkes male." 
187, to, W. 


"How much is in yonder other cofer?" said 
Robyn, 205 

" The soth must we see : " 
" By our lady," than sayd the monke, 

" That were no curteysye, 

" To bydde a man to dyner, 

And syth hym bete and bynde." 210 

" It is our olde maner," sayd Robyn, 

" To leve but lytell behynde." 

The monke toke the hors with spore, 

No lenger wolde he abyde : 
" Aske to drynke," than sayd Robyn, 215 

" Or that ye forther ryde." 

" Nay, for god," than sayd the monke, 

" Me reweth I cam so nere ; 
For better chepe I myght have dyned 

In Ely the or in Dankestere." 220 

" Grete well your abbot," sayd Robyn, 

" And your pryour, I you pray, 
And byd hym send me such a monke 

To dyner every day." 

Now lete we that monke be styll, 225 

And speke we of that knyght : 
Yet he came to holde his day, 

Whyle that it was lyght. 

205, corser, W. courser, C. 


He dyde him streyt to Bernysdale, 

Under the grene wode tre, 230 

And he founde there Robyn Hode, 

And all his mery meyne. 

The knyght lyght downe of his good palfray ; 

Robyn whan he gan see, 
So curteysly he dyde adoune his hode, 235 

And set hym on his knee. 

" God the save, good Robyn Hode, 

And al this company : " 
" Welcome be thou, gentyll knyght, 

And ryght welcome to me." a 

Than bespake hym Robyn Hode, 

To that knyght so fre, 
" What nede dry veth the to grene wode ? 

I pray the, syr knyght, tell me. 

" And welcome be thou, gentyl knyght, 215 

Why hast thou be so longe ? " 
" For the abbot and the hye justyce 

Wolde have had my londe." 

" Hast thou thy londe agayne ? " sayd Robyn ; 

" Treuth than tell thou me." 250 

Ye, for god," sayd the knyght, 

" And that thanke I god and the. 
249, gayne, W. 


" But take not a grefe, I have be so longe ; 

I came by a wrastelynge, 
And there I dyd holpe a pore yeman, 255 

With wronge was put behynde." 

" Nay, for god," sayd Robyn, 
" Syr knyght, that thanke I the ; 

What man that helpeth a good yeman, 

His frende than wyll I be." sso 

" Have here foure hondred pounde," than sayd 
the knyght, 

" The which e ye lent to me ; 
And here is also twenty marke 

For your curteysy." 

" Nay, for god," than sayd Robyn, MS 

" Thou broke it well for ay ; 
For our lady, by her selerer, 

Hath sent to me my pay. 

" And yf I toke it twyse, 

A shame it were to me : aro 

But trewely, gentyll knyght, 

Welcom arte thou to me." 

Whan Robyn had tolde his tale, 
He leugh and had good chere : 

253. But take not a grefe, sayd the knyght, 

That I have be so longe. 0. CO. 
269. I twyse, W. 


" By my trouthe," then sayd the knyght. 275 
" Your money is redy here." 

" Broke it well," sayd Robyn, 

" Thou gentyll knyght so fre ; 
And welcome be thou, gentill knyght, 

Under my trystell tree. aw 

u But what shall these bowes do ? " sayd Robyn, 
" And these arowes ifedered fre ? " 

By god," than sayd the knyght, 
" A pore present to the." 

" Come now forth, Lytell Johan, ass 

And go to my treasure, 
And brynge me there foure hondred pounde, 

The monke over-tolde it me. 

" Have here foure hondred pounde, 

Thou gentyll knyght and trewe, 290 

And bye hors and harnes good, 
And gylte thy spores all newe. 

" And yf thou fayle ony spendynge, 

Com to Robyn Hode, 
And by my trouth thou shalt none fayle, 296 

The whyles I have any good. 

u And broke well thy four hundred pound, 
Whiche I lent to the, 

280, thi trusty, C. 


And make thy selfe no more so bare, 

By the counsell of me." sou 

Thus than holpe hym good Robyn, 

The knyght all of his care : 
God, that sytteth in heven hye, 

Graunte us well to fare. 


Now hath the knyght his leve itake, 

And wente hym on his way ; 
Robyn Hode and his mery men 

Dwelled styll full many a day. 

Lyth and lysten, gentilmen, a 

And herken what I shall say, 
How the proud sheryfe of Notyngham 

Dyde crye a full fayre play ; 

That all the best archers of the north 

Sholde come upon a daye, -10 

And he that shoteth altherbest 
The game shall bere away. 

He that shoteth altherbest 
Furthest fayre and lowe, 

302, this care, W. 

303, syt, W. 

11. And that shoteth al ther best, W. And they that shote 
al of the best, C. 
13, al theyre, W. al of the, C. 


At a payre of fynly buttes, u 

Under the grene wode shawe, 

A ryght good arowe he shall have, 

The shaft of sylver whyte, 
The heade and the feders of ryche rede golde, 

In Englond is none lyke. 20 

This then herde good Robyn, 

Under his trystell tre : 
" Make you redy, ye wyght yonge men ; 

That shotynge wyll I se. 

" Buske you, my mery yonge men, as 

Ye shall go with me ; 
And I wyll wete the shryves fayth, 

Trewe and yf he be." 

Whan they had theyr bowes ibent, 

Theyr takles fedred fre, so 

Seven score of wyght yonge men 

Stode by Kobyns kne. 

Whan they cam to Notyngham, 
The buttes were fayre and longe ; 

Many was the bolde archere 35 

That shoted with bowes stronge. 

" There shall but syx shote with me ; 
The other shal kepe my hede. 


And stande with good bowes bent, 

That I be not desceyved." 40 

The fourth outlawe his bowe gan bende, 

And that was Robyn Hode, 
And that behelde the proude sheryfe, 

All by the but he stode. 

Thryes Robyn shot about, 

And alway he slist the wand, 
And so dyde good Gylberte 

With the whyte hande. 

Lytell Johan and good Scatheloke 

Were archers good and fre ; BO 

Lytell Much and good Reynolde, 

The worste wolde they not be. 

Whan they had shot aboute, 

These archours fayre and good, 
Evermore was the best, M 

Forsoth, Robyn Hode. 

Hym was delyvered the goode arow, 

For best worthy was he ; 
He toke the yeft so curteysly, 

To grene wode wolde he. eo 

They cryed out on Robyn Hode, 
And great homes gan they blowe : 
46, they slist, W. he clefte, C. 


" Wo worth the, treason ! " sayd Robyn, 
"Full evyl thou art to knowe. 

" And wo be thou, thou proud sheryf, 65 

Thus gladdynge thy gest ; 
Other wyse thou behote me 
In yonder wylde forest. 

" But had I the in grene wode, 

Under my trystell tre, 70 

Thou sholdest leve me a better wedde 

Than thy trewe lewte." 

Full many a bowe there was bent. 

And arowes let they glyde, 
Many a kyrtell there was rent, 75 

And hurt many a syde. 

The outlaws shot was so stronge, 
That no man myght them dryve, 

And the proud sheryfes men 

They fled away full blyve. so 

Robyn sawe the busshement to-broke, 
In grene wode he wolde have be ; 

Many an arowe there was shot 
Amonge that company. 

Lytell Johan was hurte full sore, K 

With an arowe in his kne, 
80, belyve, C. 


That he myght neyther go nor ryde ; 
It was full grete pyte. 

" Mayster," then sayd Lytell Johan, 

" If ever thou lovest me, w 

And for that ylke lordes love, 
That dyed upon a tre, 

" And for the medes of my servyce, 

That I have served the, 
Lete never the proude sheryf 9* 

Alyve now fynde me. 

" But take out thy browne swerde, 

And smyte all of my hede, 
And gyve me woundes dede and wyde, 

No lyfe on me be lefte." 100 

" I wolde not that," sayd Robyn, 

" Johan, that thou were slawe, 
For all the golde in mery Englond, 

Though it lay now on a rawe." 

" God forbede," sayd lytell Much, m 

" That dyed on a tre, 
That thou sholdest, Lytell Johan, 

Parte our company." 

100. That I after eate no bread, C. 
VOL. V. 7 


Up he toke him on his backe, 

And bare hym well a myle ; 110 

Many a tyme he layd hym downe, 

And shot another whyle. 

Then was there a fayre castell, 

A lytell within the wode, 
Double-dyched it was about, 115 

And walled, by the rode. 

And there dwelled that gentyll knyght, 

Syr Richard at the Lee, 
That Robyn had lent his good, 

Under the grene wode tree. 120 

In he toke good Robyn, 

And all his company ; 
" Welcome be thou, Robyn Hode, 

Welcome arte thou me ; 

"And moche [I] thanke the of thy comfort, 125 

And of thy curteysye, 
And of thy grete kyndenesse, 

Under the grene wode tre. 

" I love no man in all this worlde 

So much as I do the ; 130 

For all the proud sheryf of Notyngham, 

Ryght here shalt thou be. 


" Shyt the gates, and drawe the bridge, 

And let no man com in ; 
And arme you well, and make you redy, m 

And to the walle ye wynne. 

" For one thyng, Robyn, I the behote, 

I swere by saynt Quyntyn, 
These twelve dayes thou wonest with me, 

To suppe, ete, and dyne." no 

Bordes were layed, and clothes spred, : 

Reddely and anone ; 
Robyn Hode and his mery men 

To mete gan they gone. 


Lythe and lysten, gentylmen, 

And herken unto your songe, 
How the proude sheryfe of Notyngham, 

And men of armes stronge, 

Full faste came to the hye sheryfe, 

The countre up to rout, 
And they beset the knyghts castell, 

The walles all about. 

The proude sheryfe loude gan crye, 

And sayd, " Thou traytour knyght, 10 

Thou kepeste here the kynges enemye, 
Agayne the lawes and ryght." 


'* Syr, I wjll avowe that I have done, 

The dedes that here be dyght, 
Upon all the londes that I have, 

As I am a trewe knyght. 

" Wende forthe, syrs, on your waye, 

And doth do more to me, 
Tyll ye wytte our kynges wyll, 

What he woll say to the." 

The sheref thus had his answere, 

With out ony leasynge ; 
Forthe he yode to London toune, 

All for to tel our kynge. 

There he tolde hym of that knyght, 

And eke of Robyn Hode, 
And also of the bolde archeres, 

That noble were and good. 

" He wolde avowe that he had done, 
To mayntayne the outlawes stronge, 

He wolde be lorde, and set you at nought, 
In all the north londe." 

" I woll be at Notyngham," sayd the kynge, 

" Within this fourtynyght, 
And take I wyll Robyn Hode, 

And so I wyll that knyght. 

14, thou, W. 


" Go home, thou proud sheryf, 

And do as I bydde the, 
And ordayne good archeres inowe 

Of all the wyde countree." 40 

The sheryf had his leve itake, 

And went hym on his way ; 
And Robyn Hode to grene wode [went] 

Upon a certayn day. 

And Lytell Johan was hole of the arowe, 

That shote was in his kne, 
And dyde hym strayte to Robyn Hode, 

Under the grene wode tre. 

Robyn Hode walked in the fbreste, 

Under the leves grene ; w 

The proud sheryfe of Notyngham, 

Therfore he had grete tene. 

The sheryf there fayled of Robyn Hode, 

He myght not have his pray ; 
Then he awayted that gentyll knyght, 55 

Bothe by nyght and by daye. 

Ever he awayted that gentyll knyght, 

Syr Ry chard at the Lee ; 
As he went on haukynge by the ryver syde 

And let his haukes flee, eo 

38, the bydde, OCC. 


Toke he there this gentyll knyght, 

With men of armes stronge, 
And lad hym home to Notyngham warde, 

Ibonde both fote and honde. 

The sheryf swore a full grete othe, &"> 

By hym that dyed on rode, 
He had lever than an hondrede pounde, 

That he had Robyn Hode. 

Then the lady, the knyghtes wyfe, 

A fayre lady and fre, 70 

She set her on a gode palfray, 

To grene wode anon rode she. 

When she came to the forest, 

Under the grene wode tre, 
Founde she there Robyn Hode, 75 

And all his fayre meyne. 

" God the save, good Robyn Hode, 

And all thy company ; 
For our dere ladyes love, 

A bone graunte thou me. so 

" Let thou never my wedded lorde 
Shamfully slayne to be ; 

64, honde and fote, W. foote and hande, C. 66, on a tre, 
R. rode, Ch. & M. 77. God the good Robyn, W. 
79, lady, W. 81. Late. 82. Shamly I slayne be, W. 


He is fast ibounde to Notyngham warde, 
For the love of the." 

Anone then sayd good Robyn, & 

To that lady fre, 
" What man hath your lorde itake ? " 

" The proude shirife," than sayd she. 

[" The proude sheryfe hath hym itake] 

Forsoth as I the say ; *> 

He is not yet thre myles 
Passed on his waye." 

Up then sterte good Robyn, 

As a man that had be wode ; 
" Buske you, my mery young men, 95 

For hym that dyed on a rode. 

"And he that this sorowe forsaketh, 

By hym that dyed on a tre, 
And by him that al thinges maketh, 

No lenger shall dwell with me." 100 

Sone there were good bowes ibent, 
Mo than seven score, 

88. Forsoth as I the say, W. 92, your wave, W. You may 
them over take, C. 

99, 100. Shall he never in grene wode be, 
Nor longer dwell with me. W. 


Hedge ne dyche spared they none, 
That was them before. 

" I make myn avowe to god," sayd Robyn, i<w 

" The sheryf wolde I fayn se, 
And yf I may hym take, 

Iquyt than shall he bee." 

And whan they came to Notyngham, 

They walked in the strete, 110 

And with the proud sheryf, i-wys, 
Sone gan they mete. 

" Abyde, thou proud sheryf," he sayd, 

"Abyde and speake with me, 
Of some tydynges of our kynge, us 

I wolde fayne here of the. 

" This seven yere, by dere worthy god, 

Ne yede I so fast on fote ; 
I make myn avowe to god, thou proude 

That is not for thy good." iao 

Robyn bent a good bo we, 

An arrowe he drewe at his wyll, 
He hyt so the proud sheryf, 

Upon the ground he lay full styll. 

106, sherif, Ch. & M. knyght, R. 108, it, W. 120. At, W. 
That, C. boote for good, Wh. 


And or he myght up aryse, 125 

On his fete to stonde, 
He smote of the sheryves hede, 

With his bryght bronde. 

" Lye thou there, thou proude sheryf, 

Evyll mote thou thryve ; 13 

There myght no man to the trust, 
The whyles thou were alyve." 

His men drewe out theyr bryght swerdes, 

That were so sharpe and kene, 
And layde on the sheryves men, 135 

And dryved them downe bydene. 

Robyn stert to that knyght, 

And cut a two his bonde, 
And toke hym in his hand a bowe, 

And bade hym by hym stonde. 140 

" Leve thy hors the behynde, 

And lerne for to renne ; 
Thou shalt with me to grene wode, 

Through myre, mosse, and fenne. 

" Thou shalt with me to grene wode, i 

Without ony leasynge, 
Tyll that I have gete us grace 

Of Edwarde, our comly kynge." 

138, hoode, W. bande, C. 



The kynge came to Notynghame, 

With knyghtes in grete araye. 
For to take that gentyll knyght 

And Robyn Hode, yf he may. 

He asked men of that countre, B 

After Robyn Hode, 
And after that gentyll knyght, 

That was so bolde and stout. 

Whan they had tolde hym the case 

Our kynge understonde ther tale, 10 

And seased in his honde 

The knyghtes londes all. 

All the passe of Lancasshyre 

He went both ferre and nere : 
Tyll he came to Plomton parke, i* 

He faylyd many of his dere. 

There our kynge was wont to se 

Herdes many one, 
He coud unneth fynde one dere, 

That bare ony good home. 20 

4, and yf, W. 

15. Not in Cumberland, as Kitson states, but, says Hunter, 
a part of the forest of Knaresborough, in Yorkshire. 


The kynge was wonder wroth wit-hall, 

And swore by the trynyte, 
" I wolde I had Robyn Hode, 

With eyen I myght hym se. 

"And he that wolde smyte of the knyghtes hede, 
And brynge it to me, a? 

He shall have the knyghtes londes, 
Syr Rycharde at the Le. 

" I gyve it hym with my charter, 

And sele it with my honde, 30 

To have and holde for ever-more, 

In all mery Englonde." 

Than bespake a fayre olde knyght, 

That was treue in his fay, 
" A, my lege lorde the kynge, M 

One worde I shall you say ; 

" There is no man in this countre 

May have the knyghtes londes, 
Whyle Robyn Hode may ryde or gone, 

And bere a bowe in his hondes, 40 

" That he ne shall lese his hede, 
That is the best ball in his hode : 

Give it no man, my lorde the kynge, 
That ye wyll any good." 


Half a yere dwelled our comly kynge 
In Notyngham, and well more ; 

Coude he not here of Robyn Hode, 
In what countre that he were. 

But alway went good Robyn 

By halke and eke by hyll, 
And alway slewe the kynges dere, 

And welt them at his wyll. 

Than bespake a proude fostere, 
That stode by our kynges kne, 

" If ye wyll se good Robyn, 
Ye must do after me. 

" Take fyve of the best knyghtes 

That be in your lede, 
And walk downe by yon abbay, 

And gete you monkes wede. 

" And I wyll be your ledes man, 

And lede you the way, 
And or ye come to Notyngham, 

Myn hede then dare I lay, 

" That ye shall mete with good Robyn, 

On lyve yf that he be ; 
Or ye come to Notyngham, 

With eyen ye shall hym se." 

59, your, OCC. 


Full Lastly our kynge was dyght, 

So were his knyghtes fyve, TO 

Everych of them in monkes wede, 

And hasted them thyder blyve. 

Qur kynge was grete above his cole, 

A brode hat on his crowne, 
Ryght as he were abbot-lyke, 75 

They rode up in-to the towne. 

Styf botes our kynge had on, 

Forsoth as I you say ; 
He rode syngynge to grene wode, 

The covent was clothed in graye. so 

His male hors and his grete somers 

Folowed our kynge behynde, 
Tyll they came to grene wode, 

A myle under the lynde. 

There they met with good Robyn, s& 

Stondynge on the waye, 
And so dyde many a bolde archere, 

For soth as I you say. 

Robyn toke the kynges hors, 

Hastely in that stede, ' 

And sayd, " Syr abbot, by your leve, 

A whyle ye must abyde. 

72, blyth, Kitson. 


" We be yemen of this foreste, 

Under the grene wode tre ; 
We lyve by our kynges dere, 95 

Other shyft have not we. 

" And ye have chyrches and rentes both, 

And gold full grete plente ; 
Gyve us some of your spendynge, 

For saynt Charyte." 100 

Than bespake our cumly kynge, 

Anone than sayd he, 
" I brought no more to grene wode, 

But forty pounde with me. 

" I have layne at Notyngham, 105 

This fourtynyght with our kynge, 

And spent I have full moche good, 
On many a grete lordynge. 

" And I have but forty pounde, 

No more than have I me ; no 

But yf I had an hondred pounde, 

I would geve if to the." 

Robyn toke the forty pounde, 

And departed it in two partye, 
Halfendell he gave his mery men, iw 

And bad them mery to be. 

96. Under the grene wode tre, W. 
112. I vouche it halfe on the, W. 


Full curteysly Robyn gan say, 

" Syr, have this for your spendyng ; 

We shall mete another day." 

" Gramercy," than sayd our kynge; 120 

" But well the greteth Edwarde our kynge, 

And sent to the his seale, 
And byddeth the com to Notyngham, 

Both to mete and mele." 

He toke out the brode tarpe, 125 

And sone he lete hym se ; 
Robyn coud his courteysy, 

And set hym on his kne. 

" I love no man in all the worlde 

So well as I do my kynge. iao 

Welcome is my lordes seale ; 

And, monke, for thy tydynge, 

" Syr abbot, for thy tydynges, 

To day thou shalt dyne with me, 
For the love of rny kynge, 135 

Under my trystell tre." 

Forth he lad our comly kynge, 

Full fayre by the honde ; 
Many a dere there was slayne, 

And full fast dyghtande. 140 

125, seale, C. 


Robyn toke a full grete home, 

And loude he gan blowe ; 
Seven score of wyght yonge men 

Came redy on a rowe. 

All they kneeled on theyr kne, iv> 

Full fayre before Robyn : 
The kynge sayd hymselfe untyll, 

And swore by saynt Austyn, 

" Here is a wonder semely syght ; 

Me thynketh, by goddes pyne, iw 

His men are more at his byddynge. 

Then my men be at myn." 

Full hastly was theyr dyner idyght, 

And therto gan they gone ; 
They served our kynge with al theyr myght, 155 

Both Robyn and Lytell Johan. 

Anone before our kynge was set 

The fatte venyson, 
The good whyte brede, the good red wyne, 

And therto the fyne ale browne. IGO 

" Make good chere," said Robyn, 

" Abbot, for charyte ; 
And for this ylke tydynge, 

Blyssed mote thou be. 

160, and browne, W. 


" Now shalte them se what life we lede, IBS 

Or thou hens wende ; 
Than thou may enfourme our kynge, 

Whan ye togyder lende." 

Up they sterte all in hast, 

Theyr bowes were smartly bent ; 170 

Our kynge was never so sore agast, 

He wende to have be shente. 

Two yerdes there were up set, 

There to gan they gange ; 
By fifty pase, our kynge sayd, iro 

The merkes were to longe. 

On every syde a rose garlonde, 

They shot under the lyne : 
"Who so fayleth of the rose garlonde," sayd 

" His takyll he shall tyne, iso 

" And yelde it to his mayster, 

Be it never so fyne ; 
For no man wyll I spare, 

So drynke I ale or wyne ; 

" And bere a buffet on his hede, iss 

I-wys right all bare : " 

186. A wys, W. For that shall be his fyne, C. 
VOL. V. 8 


And all that fell in Robyns lote, 
He smote them wonder sare. 

Twyse Robyn shot aboute, 

And ever he cleved the wande, i 

And so dyde good Gylberte 

With the Whyte Hand. 

Lytell Johan and good Scathelocke, 

For nothynge wolde they spare, 
When they fayled of the garlonde, iw 

Robyn smote them full sare. 

At the last shot that Robyn shot, 

For all his frendes fare, 
Yet he fayled of the garlonde, 

Thre fyngers and mare. 200 

Than bespake good Gylberte, 

And thus he gan say ; 
" Mayster," he sayd, " your takyll is lost, 

Stand forth and take your pay." 

" If it be so," sayd Robyn, 205 

" That may no better be ; 
Syr abbot, I delyver the myn arowe, 

I pray the, syr, serve thou me." 

" It falleth not for myn order," sayd our kynge, 
" Robyn, by thy leve, 210 

192, good whyte, W. lilly white, C. 


For to smyte no good yeman, 
For doute I sholde hym greve." 

" Smyte on boldely," sayd Robyn, 

" I give the large leve : " 
Anone our kynge, with that worde, SIR 

He folde up his sieve, 

And sych a buffet he gave Robyn, 

To grounde he yede full nere. 
" I make myn avowe to god," sayd Robyn, 

" Thou arte a stalworthe frere. 220 

" There is pith in thyn arme," sayd Robyn, 
" I trowe thou canst well shote ; " 

Thus our kynge and Robyn Hode 
Togeder than they met. 

Robyn behelde our comly kynge 225 

Wystly in the face, 
So dyde syr Richarde at the Le, 

And kneled downe in that place ; 

And so dyde all the wylde outlawes, 

Whan they se them knele : 2,% 

" My lorde the kynge of Englonde, 
Now I knowe you well. 

" Mercy," then Robyn sayd to our kynge, 
Under his trystyll tre, 

234. Your, Eitson. 


" Of thy goodnesse and thy grace, 
For my men and me ! 

" Yes, for god," sayd Robyn, 

" And also god me save ; 
I aske mercy, my lorde the kynge, 

And for my men I crave." 

" Yes, for god," than sayd our kynge, 

" Thy peticion I graunt the, 
With that thou leve the grene wode, 

And all thy company ; 

" And come home, syr, to my courte, 

And there dwell with me." 
" I make myn avowe to god," sayd Robyn, 

" And ryght so shall it be. 

" I wyll come to your courte, 

Your servyse for to se, 
And brynge with me of my men 

Seven score and thre. 

" But me lyke well your servyse, 

I come agayne full soone, 
And shote at the donne dere, 

As I am wonte to done." 

246. And therto sent I me, W. 



" Haste thou ony grene cloth," sayd our kynge, 
" That thou wylte sell now to me ? " 

" Ye, for god," sayd Robyn, 
" Thyrty yerdes and thre." 

" Robyn," sayd our kynge, 

" Now pray I the, 
To sell me some of that cloth, 

To me and my meyne." 

" Yes, for god," then sayd Robyn, 

" Or elles I were a fole ; w 

Another day ye wyll me clothe, 

I trowe, ayenst the Yole." 

The kynge kest of his cote then, 

A grene garment he dyde on, 
And every knyght did so, i-wys, is 

They clothed them full soone. 

Whan they were clothed in Lyncolne grene, 
They kest away theyr graye ; 

9, good, OCC, 

11, 12. " This alludes to the usual issue of winter robes 
from the king's wardrobe to the officers of his household." 


15, had, Kitson. 

16. Another had full sone, W. 


" Now we shall to Notyngham," 

All thus our kynge gan say. ao 

Theyr bowes bente and forth they went, 

Shotynge all in-fere, 
Towarde the towne of Notyngham, 

Outlawes as they were. 

Our kynge and Robyn rode togyder, 25 

For soth as I you say, 
And they shote plucke-buffet, 

As they went by the way. 

And many a buffet our kynge wan 

Of Robyn Hode that day ; 

And nothynge spared good Robyn 

Our kynge in his pay. 

" So god me helpe," sayd our kynge, 

" Thy game is nought to lere ; 
I sholde not get a shote of the, 

Though I shote all this yere." 

All the people of Notyngham 

They stode and behelde ; 
They sawe nothynge but mantels of grene 

That covered all the felde. 40 

Than every man to other gan say, 
" I drede our kynge be slone ; 


Come Robyn Hode to the towne i-wys, 
On lyve he leveth not one." 

Full hastly they began to fle, 

Both yemen and knaves, 
And olde wyves that myght evyll goo, 

They hypped on theyr staves. 

The kynge loughe full fast, 

And commanded theym agayne ; so 

When they se our comly kynge, 

I-wys they were full fayne.. 

They ete and dranke, and made them glad, 

And sange with notes hye ; 
Than bespake our comly kynge 

To syr Rycharde at the Lee. 

He gave hym there his londe agayne, 

A good man he bad hym be ; 
Robyn thanked our comly kynge, 

And set hym on his kne. so 

Had Robyn dwelled in the kynges courte 

But twelve monethes and thre, 
That he had spent an hondred pounde, 

And all his mennes fe. 

In every place where Robyn came & 

Evermore he layde downe, 

44. Lefte never one, W. 49, lughe, W. 


Both for knyghtes and for squyres, 
To gete hym grete renowne. 

By than the yere was all agone 
He had no man but twayne, 

Lytell Johan and good Scathelocke, 
Wyth hym all for to gone. 

Robyn sawe yonge men shote, 

Full fayre upon a day ; 
" Alas ! " than sayd good Robyn, 

" My welthe is went away. 

" Somtyme I was an archere good, 
A styffe and eke a stronge ; 

I was commytted the best archere 
That was in mery Englonde. 

" Alas ! " then sayd good Robyn, 

" Alas and well a woo ! 
Yf I dwele lenger with the kynge, 

Sorowe wyll me sloo." 

Forth than went Robyn Hode 

Tyll he came to our kynge ; 
" My lorde the kynge of Englonde, 

Graunte me myn askynge. 

" I made a chapell in Bernysdale, 
That semely is to se, 

74, ferre, W. 75, commended for, C. 


It is of Mary Magdalene, 
And thereto wolde I be. 

" I myght never in this seven nyght 

No tyme to slepe ne wynke, 
Nother all these seven dayes & 

Nother ete ne drynke. 

" Me longeth sore to Bernysdale, 

I may not be therfro ; 
Barefote and wolwarde I have hyght 

Thyder for to go." 100 

" Yf it be so," than sayd our kynge, 

" It may no better be ; 
Seven nyght I gyve the leve, 

No lengre, to dwell fro me." 

" Gramercy, lorde," then sayd Robyn, 105 

And set hym on his kne ; 
He toke his leve full courteysly, 

To grene wode then went he. 

Whan he came to grene wode, 

In a mery mornynge, no 

There he herde the notes small 

Of byrdes mery syngynge. 

'* It is ferre gone," sayd Robyn, 
" That I was last here ; 


Me lyste a lytell for to shote 

At the donne dere." 

Robyn slewe a full grete harte, 

His borne than gan he blow, 
That all the outlawes of that forest, 

That home coud they knowe 120 

And gadred them togyder, 

In a lytell throwe ; 
Seven score of wight yonge men 

Came redy on a rowe, 

And fayre dyde of theyr hodes, 123 

And set them on theyr kne : 
" Welcome," they sayd, " our mayster, 

Under this grene wode tre." 

Robyn dwelled in grene wode 

Twenty yere and two ; * 

For all drede of Edwarde our kynge, 

Agayne wolde he not goo. 

Yet he was begyled, i-wys, 

Through a wycked woman, 
The pryoresse of Kyrkesly, 135 

That nye was of hys kynne ; 

135. The little convent of Kirklees lay between Wake- 
field and Halifax. HUNTER. 


For the love of a knyght, 

Syr Roger of Donkester, 
That was her owne special!, 

Full evyll mote they fare. no 

They toke togyder theyr counsell 

Robyn Hode for to sle, 
And how they myght best do that dede, 

His banis for to be. 

Than bespake good Robyn, i 

In place where as he stode, 
" Tomorow I muste to Kyrkesley, 

Craftely to be leten blode." 

Syr Roger of Donkestere, 

By the pryoresse he lay, no 

And there they betrayed good Robyn Hode, 

Through theyr false playe. 

Cryst have mercy on his soule, 

That dyed on the rode ! 
For he was a good outlawe, IM 

And dyde pore men moch god. 

138, donkesley, W. 
140, the, OCC. 



THIS favorite and delightful ballad was printed by 
William Copland, without date, but probably not far 
from 1550. Only a single copy of this edition is 
known to be preserved. There is another edition by 
James Roberts, printed in 1605, with a second part 
entitled Young Cloudeslee, " a very inferior and servile 
production," says Eltson. Mr. Payne Collier has re 
cently recovered a fragment of an excellent edition 
considerably older than Copland's. 

Adam Bell, frc., was also entered at Stationers' Hall 
in 1557-8, as licensed to John King. Another entry 
occurs in the same registers under 1582, and in 1586 
mention is made of " A ballad of Willm. Clowdisley 
never printed before." No one of these three im 
pressions is known to be extant. 

Percy inserted this piece in his Reliques, (i. 158,) 
following Copland's edition, with corrections from his 
folio manuscript. Ritson adhered to Copland's text 
with his usual fidelity, (Pieces of Popular Poetry, 
p. 1.) We have printed the ballad from Ritson, with 
some important improvements derived from a transcript 
of Mr. Collier's fragment most kindly furnished by 
that gentleman. This fragment extends from the 7th 
verse of the second fit to the 55th of the third, but is 
somewhat mutilated. 

" Allane Bell " is mentioned by Dunbar in company 


with Robin Hood, Guy of Gisborne, and others. The 
editor of the Reliques has pointed out several allusions 
to the ballad in our dramatic poets, which show the 
extreme popularity of the story. " Shakespeare, in 
his comedy of Much Ado about Nothing, act i. makes 
Benedick confirm his resolves of not yielding to love, 
by this protestation : ' If I do, hang me in a bottle 
like a cat, and shoot at me, and he that hits me, let 
him be clapt on the shoulder, and called Adam : ' 
meaning Adam Bell, as Theobald rightly observes, 
who refers to one or two other passages in our old 
poets, wherein he is mentioned. The Oxford editor 
has also well conjectured, that ' Abraham Cupid,' in 
Romeo and Juliet, act ii. sc. 1 , should be 'Adam Cupid,' 
in allusion to our archer. Ben Jonson has mentioned 
Clym o' the Clough in his Alchemist, act i. sc. 2. And 
Sir William Davenant, in a mock poem of his, called 
The Long Vacation in London, describes the attorneys 
and proctors as making matches to meet in Finsbury 

' With loynes in canvas bow-case tyde, 
Where arrowes stick with mickle pride ; 
Like ghosts of Adam Bell and Clymme ; 
Sol sits for fear they'l shoot at him.' 

Works, 1673, fol. p. 291." 

The place of residence ascribed in the present ballad 
to these outlaAvs is Englewood or Ingle wood, a forest 
in Cumberland sixteen miles in length, and extending 
from Carlisle to Penrith, which, according, to Wyntown, 
was also frequented by Robin Hood, (Cronykil, vii. 
10, 431.) By the author of the ballad of Robin Hood's 
Birth, Breeding, Valour, and Marriage, they are made 
contemporary with Robin Hood's father. 


" The father of Robin a forrester was, 
And he shot in a lusty strong bow 
Two north-country miles and an inch at a shot, 
As the Finder of Wakefield does know. 

For he brought Adam Bell, and Clim of the Clugh, 

And William of Clowdesle 
To shoot with our forrester for forty mark, 

And the forrester beat them all three." 

A state paper cited by Mr. Hunter exhibits a person 
of the name of Adam Bell in connection with another 
of Robin Hood's haunts, and is thought by that gentle 
man to afford a clue to the real history of one of the 
actors in the story. 

" King Henry the Fourth, by letters enrolled in the 
Exchequer, in Trinity Term, in the seventh year of 
his reign [1406], and bearing date the 14th day of 
April, granted to one Adam Bell an annuity of 41. 10s. 
issuing out of the fee-farm of Clipston, in the forest of 
Sherwood, together with the profits and advantages 
of the vesture and herbage of the garden called the 
Halgarth, in which the manor-house of Clipston is 

" Now, as Sherwood is noted for its connection with 
archery, and may be regarded also as the patria of 
much of the ballad poetry of England, and the name 
of Adam Bell is a peculiar one, this might be almost 
of itself sufficient to show that the ballad had a 
foundation in veritable history. But we further find 
that this Adam Bell violated his allegiance by ad 
hering to the Scots, the King's enemies ; whereupon 
this grant was virtually resumed, and the sheriff of 
Nottinghamshire accounted for the rents which would 
have been his. In the third year of King Henry the 


Fifth [1416], the account was rendered by Thomas 
Hercy, and in the fourth year by Simon Leak. The 
mention of his adhesion to the Scots, leads us to the 
Scottish border, and will not leave a doubt in the mind 
of the most sceptical (!) that we have here one of the 
persons, some of whose deeds (with some poetical 
license, perhaps) are come down to us in the words of 
one of our popular ballads." New Illustrations of the 
Life, Studies, and Writings of Shakespeare, i. 245. 

It must be confessed that Mr. Hunter is easily satis 
fied. The Bells were one of the most notorious of the 
marauding tribes of the Marches, and as late as 1593, 
are grouped with the Graemes and Armstrongs, in a 
memorial of the English Warden, as among " the bad 
and more vagrant of the great surnames of the 
border." (Rymer's Fcedera, xvi. 183, 2d ed.) Adam 
was a very common prcenomen among these people, 
and is borne by two other familiar ballad heroes, Adam 
Gordon and Adam Car. The combination of Adam 
Bell must have been anything but a rarity ; * nor 
could it have been an unfrequent occurrence, for a 
Scottish freebooter who had entered into the pay of 
the English King, to return to his natural connections, 
when a tempting opportunity offered itself, or for any 
Border mercenary to change sides as often as this 
seemed to be for his interest. 

The rescue of William of Cloudesly by Adam Bell 
and Clym of the Clough, in the second fit, resembles 
in all the main points the rescue of Robin Hood by 

1 Thus, in the Parliamentary Writs, we have two Adam 
Bells (possibly only one) contemporary with Mr. Hunter's 
Robin Hood, and both resident in Yorkshire. 

1315, Adam Belle, manucaptor of a burgess for Scarborough. 

1324, Adam Bole, manucaptor for citizens returned for York. 


Little John and Much, in Robin Hood and the Monk. 
The incident of the shot at the apple, in the third fit, 
for a long time received as a part of the genuine his 
tory of William Tell, is of great antiquity, and may be 
traced northward from Switzerland through the various 
Gothic nations to the mythical legends of Scandinavia. 
The exploit is first narrated in the Wilkina Saga of 
the archer Eigill, who, at Nidung's command, proves 
his skill at the bow by shooting an apple from his 
son's head. Eigill had selected three arrows, and on 
being questioned as to the purpose of the other two, 
replied that they were destined for Nidung in case the 
first had caused the death of his child. This form of 
the legend is of the 10th or llth century. In the 
12th century, Saxo Grammaticus tells this story of 
Toko and King Harald. The resemblance to Tell is 
in Toko's case stronger than in any ; for, besides 
making the same speech about the reserved arrow, he 
distinguishes himself in a sea-storm, and shoots the 
king, this last feat being historical, and dated 992. 
Similar achievements are ascribed in Norwegian sagas 
to St. Olaf (died, 1030), and to King Haraldr Sigur- 
tharson (died, 1066), and in Schleswig Holstein, to 
Heming Wolf, who having, in 1472, been outlawed for 
taking part with a rebel against King Christian, and 
falling into the hands of his enemies, was obliged to 
exhibit his skill at the risk of his son's life. Again, in 
Sprenger's Malleus Maleficarum, a work of the 15th 
century, the story is related of one Puncher, a ma 
gician of the Rhine country ; and finally, about two 
hundred years after the formation of the Swiss con 
federacy, this famous exploit is imputed to Tell, 
though early chroniclers have not a word to say 


either about him or his archery. (See Grimm's ' 
Deutxche Mythologie, ed. 1842, pp. 353-5, p. 1214: 
Nork's Mythologie der Volkssagen, in Scheible's Klos- 
ter, vol. 9, p. 105, seqq. Many of the documents that 
bear upon this question are cited at length in Ideler's 
Schuss des Tell, Berlin, 1836.) 

MERY it was in grene forest. 

Amonge the leues grene, 
Wher that men walke east and west, 

With bowes and arrowes kene, 

To ryse the dere out of theyr denne, 

Such sightes hath ofte bene sene, 

As by thre yemen of the north countrey, 
By them it is I meane. 

The one of them hight Adam Bel, 

The other Clym of the Clough, 10 

The thyrd was William of Cloudesly, 
An archer good ynough. 

i Grimm refers to the tradition by which Eustathius 
accounts for Sarpedon's being king of the Lycians, which 
involves a story of his two rival uncles proposing to shoot 
through a ring placed on the breast of a child, and of Sarpe 
don's being offered for that purpose by his mother; and also 
mentions a manuscript he had seen of travels in Turkey, 
which contained a picture of a man shooting at an apple 
placed on a child's head. 

6, as hath. 7, the. 8, as I. 

10, 11. Clym of the Clough means, as Percy says, Clement 
of the valley; and Cloudesle, suggests Kitson, seems to be the 
same with Clodsley. 

VOL. V. 9 


They were outlawed for venyson, 

These yemen everechohe ; 
They swore them brethren upon a day, 

To Englysshe-wood for to gone. 

Now lith and lysten, gentylmen, 
That of myrthes loveth to here : 

Two of them were single men, 
The third had a wedded fere. 

Wyllyam was the wedded man, 
Muche more then was hys care : 

He sayde to hys brethren upon a day, 
To Carelel he would fare, 

For to speke with fayre Alse hys wife, 

And with hys chyldren thre. 
" By my trouth," sayde Adam Bel, 

" Not by the counsell of me. 

" For if ye go to Caerlel, brother, 
And from thys wylde wode wende, 

If the justice mai you take, 
Your lyfe were at an ende." 

" If that I come not tomorowe, brother, 

By pryme to you agayne, 
Truste not els but that I am take, 

Or else that I am slayne." 
18. And that. 


He toke hys leave of his brethren two, 

And to Carlel he is gon ; 
There he knocked at hys owne windowe, 

Shortlye and anone. *o 

" Where be you, fayre Alyce, my wyfe, 

And my chyldren three ? 
Lyghtly let in thyne owne husbande, 

Wyllyam of Cloudesle." 

" Alas ! " then sayde fayre Alyce, 

And syghed wonderous sore, 
" Thys place hath ben besette for you, 

Thys half yere and more." 

" Now am I here," sayde Cloudesle, 

" I woulde that I in were : so 

Now feche us meate and drynke ynoughe. 
And let us make good chere." 

She fetched him meat and drynke plenty, 

Lyke a true wedded wyfe, 
And pleased hym wyth that she had, M 

Whome she loved as her lyfe. 

There lay an old wyfe in that place, 

A lytle besyde the fyre, 
Whych Wyllyam had found, of cherytye, 

More then seven yere. eo 

41, your. 50, In woulde. 


Up she rose and walked full styll, 

Evel mote she spede therefoore, 
For she had not set no fote on ground 

In seven yere before 

She went unto the justice hall, es 

As fast as she could hye ; 
" Thys nyght is come unto this town 

Wyllyam of Cloudesle." 

Thereof the Justice was full fayne, 

And so was the shirife also ; ro 

"Thou shalt not travaile hether, dame, for 

Thy meed thou shalt have or thou go." 

They gave to her a ryght good goune, 
Of scarlat it was, as I heard sayne ; 

She toke the gyft and home she wente, i& 

And couched her downe agayne. 

They rysed the towne of mery Carlel, 

In all the hast that they can, 
And came thronging to Wyllyames house, 

As fast as they myght gone. so 

Theyr they besette that good yeman, 

Round about on every syde, 
Wyllyam hearde great noyse of folkes, 

That heytherward they hyed. 

62, spende. 71, fore. 

74, saye. Percy reads, Of scarlate and of graine. 


Alyce opened a shot-wyndow, ss 

And loked all about, 
She was ware of the justice and shirife bothe, 

Wyth a full great route. 

" Alas ! treason," cry'd Aleyce. 

" Ever wo may thou be ! so 

Go into my chambre, my husband," she sayd, 

" Swete Wyllyam of Cloudesle." 

He toke hys sweard and hys bucler, 
Hys bow and hy[s] chyldren thre, 

And wente into hys strongest chamber, 95 

Where he thought surest to be. 

Fay re Alice folowed him as a lover true, 

With a pollaxe in her hande ; 
" He shal be dead that here cometh in 

Thys dore, whyle I may stand." 100 

Cloudesle bent a wel good bowe, 

That was of trusty tre, 
He smot the justise on the brest, 

That hys arrowe brest in thre. 

" God's curse on his hartt," saide William, 105 

" Thys day thy cote dyd on ; 
If it had ben no better then myne, 

It had gone nere thy bone." 

85, shop. Percy reads back window. 88, great full great. 
91, Gy. 


f Yelde the, Cloudesle," sayd the justise, 

" And thy bowe and thy arrowes the fro : " no 

" Gods curse on hys hart," sayde fair Alice, 
" That my husband councelleth so." 

" Set fyre on the house," saide the sherife, 

" Syth it wyll no better be, 
And brenne we therin William," he saide, us 

" Hys wyfe and chyldren thre." 

They fyred the house in many a place, 

The fyre flew up on hye ; 
" Alas ! " then cryed fayr Alice, 

" I se we here shall dy." 120 

William openyd hys backe wyndow, 
That was in hys chambre on hye, 
And wyth shetes let hys wyfe downe, 
And hys chyldren thre. 

" Have here my treasure," sayde William, 125 
" My wyfe and my chyldren thre, 

For Christes love do them no harme, 
But wreke you all on me." 

Wyllyam shot so wonderous well, 

Tyll hys arrowes were all ygo, iao 

And the fyre so fast upon hym fell, 

That hys bowstryng brent in two. 
122, was on. 130, gon. 


The spercles brent and fell hym on, 

Good Wyllyam of Cloudesle ! 
But than wax he a wofull man, 135 

And sayde, " thys is a cowardes death to me. 

" Leuer I had," sayde Wyllyam, 

" With my sworde in the route to renne, 

Then here among myne ennemyes wode, 

Thus cruelly to bren." 140 

He toke hys sweard and hys buckler, 

And among them all he ran ; 
Where the people were most in prece, 

He smot downe many a man. 

There myght no man stand hys stroke, 145 

So fersly on them he ran ; 
Then they threw wyndowes and dores on him, 

And so toke that good yeman. 

There they hym bounde both hande and fote, 
And in depe dongeon hym cast ; iso 

" Now, Cloudesle," sayd the hye justice, 
" Thou shalt be hanged in hast." 

" One vow shal I make," sayd the sherife, 
" A payre of newe galowes shall I for the 

And the gates of Caerlel shal be shutte, iss 
There shall no man come in therat. 


" Then shall not helpe Clim of the Cloughe, 

Nor yet shall Adam Bell, 
Though they came with a thousand mo, 

Nor all the devels in hell." 

Early in the mornyng the justice uprose, 

To the gates first gan he gon, 
And commaundede to be shut full cloce 

Lightile everychone. 

Then went he to the market place, 

As fast as he coulde hye ; 
A payre of new gallous there did he up set, 

Besyde the pyllory. 

A lytle boy stod them amonge, 

And asked what meaned that gallow tre ; 
They sayde, " to hange a good yeaman, 

Called Wyllyam of Cloudesle," 

That lytle boye was the towne swyne-heard, 

And kept fayre Alyce swyne, 
Oft he had scene Cloudesle in the wodde, 

And geuen hym there to dyne. 

He went out att a creves in the wall, 
And lightly to the wood dyd gone ; 

There met he with these wight yonge men, 
Shortly and anone. 

174, there. 


" Alas ! " then sayde that lytle boye, 

" Ye tary here all to longe ; 
Cloudesle is taken and dampned to death, 

All readye for to honge." 

" Alas ! " then sayde good Adam Bell, iss 

" That ever we see thys daye ! 
He myght her with us have dwelled, 

So ofte as we dyd him praye ! 

" He myght have taryed in grene foreste, 
Under the shadowes sheene, 190 

And have kepte both hym and us in reaste, 
Out of trouble and teene ! " 

Adam bent a ryght good bow, 
A great hart sone had he slayne ; 

" Take that, chylde," he sayde, " to thy dynner, 
And bryng me myne arrowe agayne." i* 

" Now go we hence," sayed these wight yong 

" Tary we no lenger here ; 
We shall hym borowe, by gods grace, 

Though we bye it full dere." 200 

To Caerlel went these good yemen, 

On a mery mornyng of Maye : 
Here is a fyt of Cloudesli, 

And another is for to saye. 
201, Cyerlel. 



AND when they came to mery Caerlell, 

In a fayre mornyng tyde, 
They founde the gates shut them untyll, 

Round about on every syde. 

" Alas ! " .than sayd good Adam Bell, 6 

" That ever we were made men ! 

These gates be shut so wonderly wel, 
That we may not come here in." 

Then spake him Clym of the Clough, 

" Wyth a wyle we wyl us in bryng ; 10 

Let us saye we be messengers, 
Streyght comen from our king." 

Adam said, " I have a letter written wel, 

Now let us wysely werke ; 
We wyl saye we have the kinges scale, i 

I holde the portter no clerke." 

Then Adam Bell bete on the gate, 

With strokes great and strong ; 
The porter herde suche noyse therat, 

And to the gate faste he throng. 20 

7, wonder-oils. K. (RITSON.) 12, come no we. R. 15, scales. 
R. 20, R. omits faste. 


* Who is there nowe," sayde the porter, 
" That maketh all thys knocking ? 

" We be tow messengers," sayde Clim of the 

" Be comen streyght from our kyng." 

" We haue a letter," sayd Adam Bel, as 

" To the justice we must it bryng ; 

Let us in, our messag to do, 

That we were agayne to our kyng." 

" Here commeth no man in," sayd the porter, 
" By hym that dyed on a tre, so 

Tyll a false thefe be hanged, 
Called Wyllyam of Cloudesle." 

Then spake the good yeman Clym of the Clough, 

And swore by Mary fre, 
" And if that we stande longe wythout, 35 

Lyke a thefe hanged shalt thou be. 

" Lo here we have the kynges seale ; 

What ! lordeyne, art thou wode ? " 
The porter went it had ben so, 

And lyghtly dyd of hys hode. 40 

" Welcome be my lordes seale," he saide, 
" For that ye shall come in : " 

24, come ryght. K. 26, me. 

29, none. K. 30, Be ... upon. R. 


He opened the gate full shortlye, 
An evyl openyng for him. 

" Now are we in," sayde Adam Bell, 45 

" Thereof we are full faine, 
But Christ knoweth that harowed hell, 

How we shall com out agayne." 

" Had we the keys," said Glim of the Clough, 
" Ryght wel then shoulde we spede ; so 

Then might we come out wel ynough, 
When we se tyme and nede." 

They called the porter to a counsell, 

And wrange hys necke in two, 
And caste him in a depe dongeon, K 

And toke hys keys hym fro. 

" Now am I porter," sayde Adam Bel, 
" Se, brother, the keys haue we here ; 

The worst porter to merry Caerlel, 

That ye had thys hundred yere. eo 

" And now wyll we our bowes bend, 

Into the towne wyll we go, 
For to delyver our dere brother, 

That lyveth in care and wo." 

[And thereupon] they bent theyr bowes, es 
And loked theyr stringes were round ; 
47, knows, R. 50, shatilde. 53, a, C. (COLLIER.) 


The market place of mery Caerlel, 
They beset in that stound. 

And as they loked them besyde, 

A paire of new galowes ther thei see, 
And the justice with a quest of swerers, 

That had judged Cloudesle there hanged 
to be. 

And Cloudesle hymselfe lay redy in a carte, 
Faste bounde both fote and hand, 

And a stronge rop about hys necke, 75 

All readye for to be hangde. 

The justice called to him a ladde, 
Cloudesle [s] clothes should he have, 

To take the measure of that good yeman, 
And therafter to make hys grave. 80 

" I have seen as great a mearveile," said 

" As betwyene thys and pryme, 
He that maketh thys grave for me, 

Himselfe may lye therm." 

" Thou speakest proudli," saide the justice, & 
" I shall the hange with my hande : " 

67, in, K. 68, in, C. 71, they. 

72, squyers, R. 74, bounde, C. 
76, to hang, E. 79, good, C. 


Full wel that herd hys brethren two, 
There styll as they dyd stande. 

Then Cloudesle cast hys eyen asyde, 

And saw hys to brethren stande, w 

At a corner of the market place, 

With theyr good bows bent in ther hand. 

" I se good comfort," sayd Cloudesle, 

" Yet hope I well to fare ; 
If I might haue my handes at wyll, & 

Eyght lytle wolde I care." 

Then spake good Adam Bell, 

To Clym of the Clough so free, 
" Brother, se ye marke the justyce wel, 

Lo yonder ye may him see. 100 

" And at the shyrife shote I wyll, 

Strongly with an arrowe kene ; 
A better shote in mery Caerlel 

Thys seven yere was not sene." 

They lowsed their arrowes both at once, iw 
Of no man had they dread ; 

87, that, C. 89, Claudesle. 

90, brethen; Copland omits stande. 91, marked. 

92. Here the old edition adds, 

' Redy the justice for to chaunce', (chase, C.) 

93, Copland omits good. 94, will. 102, ,an, C. 105, thre. 


The one hyt the justice, .the other the sheryfe, 
That both theyr sides gan blede. 

All men voyded, that them stode nye, 

When the justice fell downe to the grounde, 

And the sherife fell nyghe hym by, i 

Eyther had his deathes wounde. 

All the citezens fast gan flye, 

They durst no longer abyde ; 
Then lyghtly they loused Cloudesle, us 

When he with ropes lay tyde. 

Wyllyam sterte to an officer of the towne, 
Hys axe out of hys hande he wronge, 

On eche syde he smote them downe, 

Hym thought he taryed all to long. 120 

Wyllyam sayde to hys brethren two, 

" Thys daye let us'togyder lyve and dye ; 

If ever you have nede as I have now, 
The same shall you fynde by me." 

They shot so well in that tyde, m 

For theyr stringes were of silke full sure, 

That they kept the stretes on every side : 
That batayle dyd longe endure. 

108, sedes. 115, then. 121, brethen. 

122, togyder, C. 127, sede. 


The[y] fought together as brethren tru, 

Lyke hardy men and bolde ; iao 

Many a man to the ground they thrue, 
And many a herte made colde. 

But when their arrowes were all gon, 

Men preced on them full fast ; 
They drew theyr swordes then anone, 135 

And theyr bowes from them cast. 

They went lyghtlye on theyr way, 
Wyth swordes and buclers round ; 

By that it was the myddes of the day, 

They had made maui a wound. HO 

There was many an out-home in Caerlel 

And the belles bacward did they ryng ; 
Many a woman sayd alas, 

And many theyr handes dyd wryng. 

The mayre of Caerlel forth com was, 143 

And with hym a ful great route ; 

These thre yemen dred him full sore, 

For of theyr lyues they stode in great doute. 

The mayre came armed a full great pace, 
With a pollaxe in hys hande ; iso 

132, made many a herte. 134, on, C. 139, was myd, R. 
140, had, C. 141, many, C. 142, they, C. 147, thre, C. 


Many a strong man with him was, 
There in that stowre to stande. 

The mayre smot at Cloudesle with his bil, 

Hys bucler he brust in two ; 
Full many a yeman with great yll, iss 

" Alas, treason ! " they cryed for wo. 
" Kepe we the gates fast " they bad, 

" That these traytours thereout not go." 

But al for nought was that they wrought, 

For so fast they downe were layde, ieo 

Tyll they all thre, that so manfulli fought, 
Were gotten without at a braide. 

" Have here your keys," sayd Adam Bel, 

" Myne office I here forsake ; 
Yf you do by my councell, m 

A new porter do ye make." 

He threw the keys there at theyr heads, 

And bad them evell to thryve, 
And all that letteth any good yeman 

To come and comfort hys wyfe. 170 

Thus be these good yemen gon to the wod, 
As lyght as lefe on lynde ; 

155, evyll, R. 160, to. 162, abraide, R. 166, we. 
167, theyr keys at, R. 172, And lyghtly as, R. 
VOL. V. 10 


They lough and be mery in theyr mode, 
Theyr ennemyes were ferre behynd. 

When they came to Englyshe wode, 

Under the trysty tre, 
There they found bowes full good, 

And arrowes full great plentye. 

" So God me help," sayd Adam Bell, 
And Clym of the Clough so fre, 

" I would we were nowe in mery Caerlel, 
Before that fayre meyny." 

They set them downe and made good chere, 
And eate and drank full well : 

Here is a fet of these wyght yong men, 
And another I shall you tell. 


As they sat in Englyshe-wood, 

Under theyr trysty tre, 
Them thought they herd a woman wepe, 

But her they mought not se. 

Sore then syghed the fayre Alyce, 

And sayde, " Alas that ever I sawe this daye ! 

176, trusty, R. 177, there, C. 181, nowe, C. 184, drynke, 
R. 186. Another I wyll, R. 2, trusty, R. 3, they, R. 


For now is my dere husband slayne, 
Alas and wel a way ! 

" Myght I have spoken wyth hys dere 

Or with eyther of them twayne, 10 

[To let them know what him befell] 

My hart were out O/ payne ! " 

Cloudesle walked a lytle besyde, 

And loked under the grenewood linde ; 

He was ware of hys wife and chyldren thre, u 
Full wo in hart and mynde. 

" Welcome, wife," then sayde Wyllyam, 

" Under this trysty tre ; 
I had wende yesterday, by swete saynt John, 

Thou shulde me never have se." 20 

" Now well is me," she sayde, " that ye be here, 

My hart is out of wo : " 
" Dame," he sayde, " be mery and glad, 

And thank my brethren two." 

" Hereof to speake," sayd Adam Bell, 25 

" I-wis it is no bote ; 
The meat that we must supp withall 

It runneth yet fast on fote." 

9, brethen. 11, supplied from a modern edition. 

12, put out, E. 18, thus, trusty, K. 20, had. 24, brethen. 


Then went they down into a launde, 

These noble archares all thre, so 

Eche of them slew a hart of greece, 
The best they could there se. 

" Have here the best, Alyce my wife," 

Sayde Wyllyam of Cloudesle, 
" By cause ye so bouldly stod by me, H 

When I was slayne full nye." 

Then went they to supper, 

Wyth suche meat as they had, 
And thanked God of ther fortune ; 

They were both mery and glad. 40 

And when they had supped well, 

Certayne without any leace, 
Cloudesle sayd, " We wyll to our kyng, 

To get us a charter of peace. 

"Alyce shall be at sojournyng, 

In a nunry here besyde ; 
My tow sonnes shall wyth her go, 

And ther they shall abyde. 

" Myne eldest son shall go wyth me, 

For hym have I no care, so 

And he shall breng you worde agayn 
How that we do fare." 

31, graece. 37, whent. 45, at our, R. 51, you breng, R. 


Thus be these yemen to London gone, 

As fast as they might hye, 
Tyll they came to the kynges pallace, 55 

Where they woulde nedes be. 

And whan they came to the kynges courte, 

Unto the pallace gate, 
Of no man wold they aske no leave, 

But boldly went in therat. oo 

They preced prestly into the hall, 

Of no man had they dreade ; 
The porter came after and dyd them call, 

And with them began to chyde. 

The ussher sayed, " Yemen, what wold ye haue ? 

I pray you tell me ; ec 

You myght thus make offycers shent : 

Good syrs, of whence be ye ? " 

" Syr, we be outlawes of the forest, 

Certayne without any leace, 70 

And hether we be come to our kyng, 

To get us a charter of peace." 

And whan they came before the kyng, 

As it was the lawe of the lande, 
The[y] kneled downe without lettyng, n 

And eche held up his hand. 


The[y] sayed, " Lord, we beseche the here, 

That ye wyll graunt us grace, 
For we haue slaine your fat falow der, 

In many a sondry place." so 

" What be your nam[e]s ? " then said our king, 

"Anone that you tell me : 
They sayd, "Adam Bel, Clim of the Clough, 

And Wyllyam of Cloudesle." 

" Be ye those theves," then sayd our kyng, & 
" That men have tolde of to me ? 

Here to god I make a vowe, 
Ye shal be hanged al thre. 

" Ye shal be dead without mercy, 

As I am kynge of this lande." so 

He commanded his officers everichone 

Fast on them to lay hand. 

There they toke these good yemen, 

And arested them all thre : 
" So may I thryve," sayd Adam Bell, as 

" Thys game lyketh not me. 

" But, good lorde, we beseche you now, 

That you graunt vs grace, 
Insomuche as we be to you comen, 

Or els that we may fro you passe, ia 


" With such weapons as we have here, 

Tyll we be out of your place ; 
And yf we lyve this hundreth yere, 

We wyll aske you no grace." 

" Ye speake proudly," sayd the kynge, 105 

" Ye shall be hanged all thre : " 
" That were great pitye," then sayd the quene, 

" If any grace myght be. 

" My lorde, whan I came fyrst into this lande, 
To be your wedded wyfe, no 

The fyrst bowne that I wold aske, 
Ye would graunt it me belyfe ; 

"And I asked never none tyll now, 
Therefore, good lorde, graunte it me." 

" Now aske it, madam," sayd the kynge, iw 
"And graunted shall it be." 

" Then, my good lord, I you beseche, 

These yemen graunt ye me : " 
" Madame, ye myght have asked a bowne 

That shuld have ben worth them all thre. 120 

" Ye myght have asked towres and town[es], 

Parkes and forestes plenty." 
" None so pleasaunt to mi pay." she said, 

" Nor none so lefe to me." 


" Madame, sith it is your desyre, la 

Your askyng graunted shal be ; 
But I had lever have geven you 

Good market townes thre." 

The quene was a glad woman, 

And sayd, " Lord, gramarcy ; 130 

I dare undertake for them, 

That true men shal they be. 

" But, good lord, speke som mery word, 

That comfort they may se." 
" I graunt you grace," then said our king, 135 

" Wasshe, felos, and to meate go ye." 

They had not setten but a whyle, 

Certayne without lesynge, 
There came messengers out of the north, 

With letters to our kynge. i 

And whan the[y] came before the kynge, 
. They kneled downe vpon theyr kne, 
And sayd, " Lord, your ofFycers grete you wel, 
Of Caerlel in the north cuntre." 

* How fare[s] my justice," sayd the kyng, i 

"And my sherife also ? " 
" Syr, they be slayne, without leasynge, 

And many an officer mo." 


" Who hath them slayne ? " sayd the kyng, 
" Anone thou tell me : " iso 

" Adam Bel, and Clime of the Clough, 
And Wyllyam of Cloudesle." 

" Alas for rewth ! " then sayd our kynge, 

" My hart is wonderous sore ; 
I had leuer [th]an a thousand pounde, >M 

I had knowne of thys before. 

" For I have graunted them grace, 

And that forthynketh me, 
But had I knowne all thys before, 

They had been hanged all thre." i< 

The kyng opened the letter anone, 

Hymselfe he red it th[r]o, 
And founde how these thre outlawes had 

Thre hundred men and mo. 

Fyrst the justice and the sheryfe, its 

And the mayre of Caerlel towne ; 

Of all the constables and catchipolles 
Alyve were left not one. 

The baylyes and the bedyls both, 

And the sergeauntes of the law, tfo 

And forty fosters of the fe, 

These outlawes had yslaw, 


And broke his parks, and slaine his dere ; 

Over all they chose the best ; 
So perelous outlawes as they were, 

Walked not by easte nor west. 

When the kynge this letter had red, 
In hys harte he syghed sore ; 

" Take vp the table anone," he bad, 
" For I may eate no more." 

The kyng called hys best archars, 
To the buttes with hym to go ; 

"I wylle se these felowes shote," he sayd, 
In the north have wrought this wo." 

The kynges bowmen buske them blyve, 
And the quenes archers also, 

So dyd these thre wyght yemen, 
Wyth them they thought to go. 

There twyse or thryse they shote about, 

For to assay theyr hande ; 
There was no shote these yemen shot, 

That any prycke might them stand. 

Then spake Wyllyam of Cloudesle, 

" By him that for me dyed, 
I hold hym never no good archar 

That shuteth at buttes so wyde." 


" Wherat ? " then sayd our kyng, 

" I pray thee tell me : " 
" At such a but, syr," he sayd, 

" As men use in my countree." 200 

Wyllyam went into a fyeld, 

And his to brethren with him, 
There they set vp to hasell roddes, 

Twenty score paces betwene. 

" I hold him an archar," said Cloudesle, 205 
" That yonder wande cleveth in two : " 

" Here is none suche," sayd the kyng, 
" Nor none that can so do." 

" I shall assaye, syr," sayd Cloudesle, 

" Or that I farther go : " 210 

Cloudesle, with a bearyng arow, 
Clave the wand in to. 

" Thou art the best archer," then said the 

" Forsothe that ever I se : " 
" And yet for your love," said Wylliam, yis 

" I wyll do more maystry. 

" I have a sonne is seven yere olde, 
He is to me full deare ; 

197. At what a butte now, wold ye shot. PERCY. 


I wyll hym tye to a stake, 
All shall se that be here ; 

" And lay an apele upon hys head, 
And go syxe score paces hym fro, 

And I myselfe, with a brode arow, 
Shall cleve the apple in two. 



" Now haste the," then sayd the kyng, 225 

" By him that dyed on a tre ; 
But yf thou* do not as thou hast sayde, 

Hanged shalt thou be. 

" And thou touche his head or gowne, 

In syght that men may se, 291 

By all the sayntes that be in heaven, 
I shall hange you all thre." 

" That I have promised," said William, 

" I wyl it never forsake ; " 
And there even before the kynge, *w 

In the earth he droue a stake, 

And bound therto his eldest sonne, 

And bad hym stande styll therat, 
And turned the childes face fro him, 

Because he shuld not sterte. , 240 

An apple upon his head he set, 
And then his bowe he bent ; 
227, best. 


Syxe score paces they were out met, 
And thether Cloudesle went. 

There he drew out a fayr brode arrowe, 245 

Hys bowe was great and longe, 
He set that arrowe in his bowe, 

That was both styffe and stronge. 

He prayed the people that was there, 

That they would styll stande, 2 ~o 

" For he that shooteth for such a wager, 
Behoveth a stedfast hand." 

Muche people prayed for Cloudesle, 

That hys lyfe saved myght be, 
And whan he made hym redy to shote, 255 

There was many a weping eye. 

Thus Cloudesle clefte the apple in two, 

That many a man myght se ; 
" Over gods forbode," sayde the kynge, 

" That thou shote at me ! ceo 

" I geve the xviii. pence a day, 

And my bowe shalt thou beare, 
And over all the north countre, 

I make the chyfe rydere." 

217-258. For remarks upon this passage in the story, 
see the preface to the ballad. 
258. His son he did not nee. PERCY. 


" And I geve the xvii. pence a day," said the 
quene, aes 

" By god and by my fay ; 
Come feche thy payment when thou wylt, 

No man shall say the nay. 

" Wyllyam, I make the a gentelman, 

Of clothyng and of fe, 270 

And thi two brethren yemen of my chambre, 
For they are so semely to se. : 

" Your sonne, for he is tehdre of age, 

Of my wyne-seller shall he be, 
And whan he commeth to mannes estate, 275 

Better avaunced shall he be. 

" And, Wylliam, bring me your wife," said 
the quene, 

Me longeth her sore to se ; 
She shal be my chefe gentelwoman, 

To governe my nursery." 280 

The yemen thanketh them full curteously, 
And sayde, " To some bysshop wyl we wend. 

Of all the synnes that we have done 
To be assoyld at his hand." 

So forth be gone these good yemen, 28,5 

As fast as they myght hye, 


And after came and dwelled with the kynge, 
And dyed good men all thre. 

Thus endeth the lives of these good yemen, 
God send them eternall blysse, ax 

And all that with hande bowe shoteth, 
That of heaven may never mysse ! 


THIS ballad was derived from the Percy Manuscript, 
and is printed in the Reliques, i. 84 (ed. 1794), with 
some alterations by the Editor. 

" As for Guy of Gisborne," says Ritson, " the only 
further memorial which has occurred concerning him 
is in an old satirical piece by William Dunbar, a cele 
brated Scottish poet of the fifteenth century, on one 
" Sohir Thomas Nory," (MS. Maitland, p. 3, MMS. 
More, LI. 5, 10,) where he is named along with our 
hero, Adam Bell, and other worthies, it is conjectured 
of a similar stamp, but whose merits have not, less 
fortunately, come to the knowledge of posterity. 

" Was nevir WEILD ROBEINE under bewch, 
Nor yitt Koger of Clekkinslewch, 

So bauld a bairne as he ; 
GY OF GYSBURNE, na Allane Bell, 
Na Simones sones of Quhynsell, 

Off thocht war nevir so slie." 

" Gisborne is a market town in the west riding of 
the county of York, on the borders of Lancashire." 


WHEN shaws beene sheene, and shradds full 

And leaves both large and longe, 
Itt is merrye walkyng in the fayre forrest, 

To heare the small birdes songe. 

The woodweele sang, and wold not cease, 5 

Sitting upon the spraye, 
Soe lowde, he wakened Robin Hood, 

In the greenwood where he lay. 

" Now, by my faye," sayd jollye Robin, 

" A sweaven I had this night ; 10 

I dreamt me of tow wight yemen, 
That fast with me can fight. 

" Methought they did mee beate and binde, 

And tooke my bowe mee froe ; 
Iff I be Robin alive in this lande, is 

He be wroken on them towe." 

" Sweavens are swift, master," quoth John, 
" As the wind that blowes ore a hill ; 

For iff itt be never so loude this night, 

To-morrow itt may be still." 20 

" Buske yee, bowne yee, my merry men all, 

And John shall goe with mee, 
For lie goe seeke yond wight yeomen, 

In greenwood where they bee." 

MS. 1, shales, for shaws. 11, wighty. 24, the. 


Then they cast on their gownes of grene, 25 
And tooke theyr bowes each one ; 

And they away to the greene forrest 
A shooting forth are gone ; 

Until they came to the merry greenwood, 
Where they had gladdest bee ; so 

There were they ware of a wight yeoman, 
His body leaned to a tree. 

A sword and a dagger he wore by his side, 

Of manye a man the bane ; 
And he was clad in his capull hyde, 35 

Topp and tayll and mayne. 

" Stand you still, master," quoth ,Litle John, 

" Under this tree so grene, 
And I will go to yond wight yeoman, 

To know what he doth meane." <o 

" Ah ! John, by me thou settest noe store, 

And that I farley finde : 
How offt send I my men beffore, 

And tarry my selfe behinde ? 

" It is no cunning a knave to ken, * 

And a man but heare him speake ; 

And itt were not for bursting of my bowe, 
John, I thy head wold breake." 

27, 31, the. 
VOL. V. 11 


As often wordes they breeden bale, 
So they parted Robin and John ; 

And John is gone to Barnesdale ; 
The gates he knoweth eche one. 

But when he came to Barnesdale, 
Great heavinesse there hee hadd, 

For he found tow of his owne fellowes, 
Were slaine both in a slade. 

And Scarlette he was flying a-foote 

Fast over stocke and stone, 
For the sheriffe with seven score men 

Fast after him is gone. 

" One shoote now I will shoote," quoth John, 
" With Christ his might and mayne ; 

He make yond fellow that flyes soe fast, 
To stopp he shall be fayne." 

Then John bent up his long bende-bowe, 

And fetteled him to shoote : 
The bowe was made of tender boughe, 

And fell downe to his foote. 

" Woe worth, woe worth thee, wicked wood, 

That ere thou grew on a tree ! 
For now this day thou art my bale, 

My boote when thou shold bee." 


His shoote it was but loosely shott, 
Yet flewe not the arrowe in vaine, 

For itt mett one of the sheriffes men, 75 

Good William a Trent was slaine. 

It had bene better of William a Trent 
To have bene abed with sorrowe, 

Than to be that day in the greenwood slade 
To meet with Little Johns arrowe. so 

But as it is said, when men be mett 

Fyve can doe more than three, 
The sheriffe hath taken Little John, 

And bound him fast to a tree. 

" Thou shalt be drawen by dale and downe, as 
And hanged hye on a hill ; " [John, 

" But thou mayst fayle of thy purpose," quoth 
" If itt be Christ his will." 

Lett us leave talking of Little John, 

And thinke of Robin Hood, so 

How he is gone to the wight yeoman, 
Where under the leaves he stood. 

" Good morrowe, good fellowe," sayd Robin so 

" Good morrowe, good fellow, quoth he : 
Methinkes by thisbowe thou beares in thy hande, 

A good archere thou sholdst bee." 96 


" I am wilfulle of my waye," quo' the yeman, 

" And of my morning tyde : " 
" He lead thee through the wood," sayd Robin, 

" Good, fellow, He be thy guide." 100 

" I seeke an outlawe," the straunger sayd, 

" Men call him Robin Hood : 
Rather lid meet with that proud outlawe 

Than fortye pound soe good." 

" Now come with me, thou wight yeman, ire 
And Robin thou soone shalt see ; 

But first let us some pastime find 
Under the greenwood tree. 

" First let us some masterye make 

Among the woods so even j no 

"We may chance to meet with Robin Hood 

Here att some unsett steven." 

They cutt them downe two summer shroggs, 

That grew both under a breere, 
And sett them threescore rood in twaine, us 

To shoote the prickes y-fere. 

" Leade on, good fellowe," quoth Robin Hood, 

" Leade on, I do bidd thee ; " 
" Nay, by my faith, good fellowe," hee sayd, 

" My leader thou shalt bee." i 

105, wighty. 


The first time Robin shot at the pricke, 

He mist but an inch it fro ; 
The yeoman was an archer good, 

But he cold never shoote soe. 

The second shoote had the wighte yeman, 125 

He shote within the garlande ; 
But Robin he shott far better than hee, 

For he clave the good pricke-wande. 

" A blessing upon thy heart," he sayd, 

" Good fellowe, thy shooting is goode ; 130 

For an thy hart be as good as thy hand, 
Thou wert better then Robin Hoode. 

" Now tell me thy name, good fellowe," sayd he, 

" Under the leaves of lyne ; " 
<k Nay, by my faith," quoth bolde Robin, 135 

" Till thou have told me thine." 

" I dwell by dale and downe," quoth hee, 
" And Robin to take Ime sworne ; 

And when I am called by my right name, 
I am Guye of good Gisbdrne." no 

" My dwelling is in this wood," sayes Robin, 

" By thee I set right nought : 
I am Robin Hood of Barnesdale, 

Whom thou so long hast sought." 
125, wightye. 


He that had nether beene kithe nor kin 145 
Might have scene a full fayre fight, 

To see how together these yeomen went 
With blades both browne and bright : 

To see how these yeomen together they fought 
Two howres of a summers day, iw 

Yett neither Robin Hood nor sir Guy 
Them fettled to flye away. 

Robin was reachles on a roote, 

And stumbled at that tyde ; 
And Guy was quicke and nimble withall, 155 

And hitt him ore the left side. 

"Ah, deere Ladye," sayd Robin Hood tho, 
" Thou art both mother and may ; 

I think it was never mans destinye 

To dye before his day." iw 

Robin thought on our ladye deere, 

And soone leapt up againe, 
And strait he came with an awkwarde stroke, 

And he sir Guy hath slayne. 

He took sir Guys head by the hayre, iss 

And sticked itt on his bowes end : 

" Thou hast beene a traytor all thy liffe, 
Which thing must have an end." 


Robin pulled forth an Irish kniffe, 

And nicked sir Guy in the face, iro 

That he was never on woman born 

Cold tell whose head it was. 

Saves, " Lye there, lye there now, sir Guye, 

And with me be not wrothe ; 
Iff thou have had the worse strokes at my hand, 

Thou shalt have the better clothe." m 

Robin did off his gowne of greene, 

And on sir Guy did it throwe, 
And hee put on that capull hyde, 

That cladd him topp to toe. iso 

" The bowe, the arrowes, and litle home, 

Now with me I will beare ; 
For I will away to Barnesdale, 

To see how my men doe fare." 

Robin Hood sett Guyes home to his mouth, iss 

And a loud blast in it did blow : 
That beheard the sheriffs of Nottingham, 

As he leaned under a lowe. 

" Hearken, hearken," sayd the sheriffe, 

" I heare nowe tydings good, i 

For yonder I heare sir Guyes home blowe, 
And he hath slaine Robin Hoode. 


" Yonder I heare sir Guyes home blowe, 

Itt blowes soe well in tyde, 
And yonder comes that wight yeoman, 195 

Cladd in his capull hyde. 

" Come hyther, come hyther, thou good sir Guy, 

Aske what thou wilt of mee : " 
" O I will none of thy gold," sayd Robin, 

" Nor I will none of thy fee. 200 

" But now I have slaine the master," he sayes, 

" Let me goe strike the knave ; 
This is all the rewarde I aske, 

Nor noe other will I have." 

" Thou art a madman," said the sheriffe, ans 
" Thou sholdest have had a knights fee ; 

But seeing thy asking hath beene soe bad, 
Well granted it shale be." 

When Litle John heard his master speake, 
Well knewe he it was his steven ; 210 

" Now shall I be looset," quoth Litle John, 
"With Christ his might in heaven." 

Fast Robin hee hyed him to Little John, 

He thought to loose him belive : 
The sheriffe and all his companye 215 

Fast after him did drive. 

195, wightye. 


" Stand abacke, stand abacke," sayd Robin, 

" Why draw you mee soe neere ? 
It was never the use in our country e, 

Ones shrift another shold heere." 220 

But Robin pulled forth an Irysh knife, 

And losed John hand and foote, 
And gave him sir Guyes bow into his hand, 

And bade it be his boote. 

Then John he took Guyes bow in his hand, 223 
His boltes and arrowes eche one : 

When the sheriffe saw Little John bend his bow, 
He fettled him to be gone. 

Towards his house in Nottingham towne 

He fled full fast away, 230 

And soe did all the companye, 
Not one behind wold stay. 

But he cold neither runne soe fast, 

Nor away soe fast cold ryde, 
But Litle John with an arrowe soe broad '.ss 

He shott him into the backe-syde. 



" THE following ballad was taken down by the Ed 
itor from the recitation of Mrs. Brown, and is here 
given without the alteration of a single word." Jamie- 
son, Popular Ballads, ii. 44. 

Another version of the same is printed in the Ap 
pendix from Buchan's collections. 

O WILLIE'S large o' limb and lith, 

And come o' high degree ; 
And he is gone to Earl Richard 

To serve for meat and fee. 

Earl Richard had but ae daughter, 

Fair as a lily flower ; 
And they made up their love-contract 

Like proper paramour. 

It fell upon a simmers nicht, 

Whan the leaves were fair and green, 10 

That Willie met his gay ladie 

Intil the wood alane. 

" O narrow is my gown, Willie, 

That wont to be sae wide ; 
And gane is a' my fair colour, is 

That wont to be my pride. 


" But gin my father should get word 

What's past between us twa, 
Before that he should eat or drink, 

He'd hang you o'er that wa. 30 

" But ye'le come to my bower, Willie, 

Just as the sun goes down ; 
And kep me in your arms twa, 

And latna me fa' down." 

O whan the sun was now gane down, 25 

He's doen him till her bower ; 
And there, by the lee licht o' the moon, 

Her window she lookit o'er. 

Intill a robe o' red scarlet 

She lap, fearless o' harm ; 30 

And Willie was large o' lith and limb, 

And keepit her in his arm. 

And they've gane to the gude green-wood, 

And ere the night was deen, 
She's borne to him a bonny young son, 35 

Amang the leaves sae green. 

Whan night was gane, and day was come, 

And the sun began to peep, 
Up and raise the Earl Richard 

Out o' his drowsy sleep. *> 


He's ca'd upon his merry young men, 
By ane, by twa, and by three, 

" O what's come o' my daughter dear, 
That she's nae come to me ? 

" I dreamt a dreary dream last night, 

God grant it come to gude ! 
I dreamt I saw my daughter dear 

Drown in the saut sea flood. 

" But gin my daughter be dead or sick, 

Or yet be stown awa, 
I mak a vow, and I'll keep it true, 

I'll hang ye ane and a ! " 

They sought her back, they sought her fore, 
They sought her up and down ; 

They got her in the gude green wood, 
Nursing her bonny young son. 

He took the bonny boy in his arms, 

And kist him tenderlie ; 
Says, " Though I would your father hang. 

Your mother's dear to me." 

He kist him o'er and o'er again ; 

" My grandson I thee claim ; 
And Robin Hood in gude green wood, 

And that shall be your name." 


And mony ane sings o' grass, o' grass, 65 

And mony ane sings o' corn ; 
And mony ane sings o' Robin Hood, 

Kens little whare he was born. 

It was na in the ha', the ha', 

Nor in the painted bower ; 70 

But it was in the gude green wood, 

Amang the lily flower. 


Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iii. 208. 

THIS legend and the preceding are placed in this 
volume solely on account of the names given to the 
personages who figure in them. In character they 
have no affinity with the recognized circle of Robin 
Hood ballads. The story is of a more ancient cast, 
and also of a type common to the northern nations, 
and we have no doubt that Robin Hood and Little 
John were in the day of their popularity made to dis 
place heroes of immemorial prescription, in order to 
give eclat to an old tale. 

Of Rose the Red, and White Lilly, three versions 
have been published. The present is that of Scott, 
given " chiefly " from Mrs. Brown's manuscript. Kin- 
loch's is subjoined, and another, furnished by Buchan, 
is printed in the Appendix. 


O ROSE the Red, and White Lilly, 

Their mother deir was dead ; 
And their father has married an ill woman, 

Wish'd them twa little guid. 

But she had twa as gallant sons 

As ever brake mans bread ; 
And the tane o' them lo'ed her, White Lilly, 

And the tother Rose the Red. 

O bigged hae they a bigly bour, 

Fast by the roaring strand ; 10 

And there was mair mirth in the ladyes bour, 

Nor in a' their fathers land. 

But out and spak their step-mother, 

As she stood a little forebye 
" T hope to live and play the prank ,i 

Sail gar your loud sang lie." 

She's call'd upon her eldest son, 

" Cum here, my son, to me : 
It fears me sair, my Bauld Arthur, 

That ye maim sail the sea." ao 

" Gin sae it maun be, my deir mother, 

Your bidding I maun dee ; 
But, be never waur to Rose the Red, 

Than ye hae been to me." 


She's called upon her youngest son, 25 

" Cum here, my son, to me : 
It fears me sair, my Brown Robin, 

That ye maun sail the sea." 

" Gin it fear ye sair, my mother deir, 

Your bidding I shall dee ; 

But, be never waur to White Lilly, 
Than ye hae been to me." 

" Now haud your tongues, ye foolish boys, 

For small sail be their part : 
They ne'er again sail see your face, ss 

Gin their very hearts suld break." 

Sae Bauld Arthur's gane to our king's court, 

His hie chamberlain to be ; 
But Brown Robin, he has slain a knight, 

And to grene-woode he did flee. 40 

When Rose the Red, and White Lilly, 

Saw their twa loves were gane, 
Sune did they drop the loud loud sang, 

Took up the still mourning. 

And out then spake her White Lilly ; 

" My sister, we'll be gane : 
Why suld we stay in Barnisdale, 

To mourn our bour within ? " 


O cutted hae they their green cloathing, 

A little abune their knee, 
And sae hae they their yellow hair, 

A little abune their bree. 

And left hae they that bonny bour, 

To cross the raging sea ; 
And they hae ta'en to a holy chapel, 

Was christened by Our Ladye. 

And they hae changed their tvva names, 

Sae far frae ony toun ; 
And the tane o' them's hight Sweet Willie, 

And the tother's Rouge the Rounde. 

Between the twa a promise is, 
And they hae sworn it to fulfil ; 

Whenever the tane blew a bugle-horn, 
The tother suld cum her till. 

Sweet Willie's gane to the kings court, 

Her true love for to see ; 
And Rouge the Rounde to gude grene-wood, 

Brown Robin's man to be. 

O it fell anes, upon a time, 

They putted at the stane ; 
And seven foot ay out them a', 

Brown Robin's gar'd it gang. 


She lifted the heavy putting-stane, 

And gave a sad " Ohon ! " 
Then out bespake him, Brown Robin, 7s 

"But that's a woman's moan ! " 

" O kent ye by my rosy lips ? 

Or by my yellow hair ? 
Or kent ye by my milk-white breast, 

Ye never yet saw bare ? " so 

" I kent na by your rosy lips ; 

Nor by your yellow hair ; 
But, cum to your bour whaever likes, 

They'll find a ladye there." 

" gin ye come my bour within, as 

Through fraud, deceit, or guile, 
Wi' this same brand, that's in my hand, 

I vow I will thee kill." 

" Yet durst I cum into your bour, 

And ask nae leave," quo' he ; 90 

" And wi' this same brand, that's in my hand, 

Wave danger back on thee." 

About the dead hour o' the night, 

The ladye's bour was broken ; 
And, about the first hour o' the day, as 

The fair knave bairn was gotten. 
VOL. v. 12 


"When days were gane, and months were come, 

The ladye was sad and wan ; 
And aye she cried for a bour woman, 

For to wait her upon. 100 

Then up and spake him, Brown Robin, 
"And what needs this ? " quo' he ; 

" Or what can woman do for you, 
That canna be done by me ? " 

" 'Twas never my mothers fashion," she said, ios 

" Nor shall it e'er be mine, 
That belted knights should e're remain 

While ladyes dree'd their pain. 

" But gin ye take that bugle-horn, 

And wind a blast sae shrill, no 

I hae a brother in yonder court, 

Will come me quickly till." 

" O gin ye hae a brother on earth, 

That ye lo'e mair than me, 
Ye may blow the horn yoursell," he says, m 

" For a blast I winna gie." 

She's ta'en the bugle in her hand, 
And blawn baith loud and shrill ; 

Sweet William started at the sound, 

And came her quickly till. 120 


O up and starts him, Brown Robin, 

And swore by Our Ladye, 
" No man shall come into this bour, 

But first maun fight wi' me." 

O they hae fought the wood within, 125 

Till the sun was going down ; 
And drops o' blood frae Rose the Red 

Came pouring to the ground. 

She leant her back against an aik, 

Said, " Robin, let me be ; i 

For it is a ladye, bred and born, 

That has fought this day wi' thee." 

O seven foot he started back, 

Cried, "Alas and woe is me ! 
For I wished never, in all my life, IM 

A woman's bluid to see : 

"And that all for the knightly vow 

I swore to Our Ladye ; 
But mair for the sake o' ae fair maid, 

Whose name was White Lilly." no 

Then out and spake her Rouge the Rounde, 

And leugh right hertilie, 
" She has been wi' ye this year and mair, 

Though ye wistna it was she." 


Now word is gane through all the land, 145 

Before a month was gane, 
That a foresters page, in gude grene-wood, 

Had born a bonny son. 

Tbe marvel gaed to the kings court, 

And to the king himsell ; i#> 

" Now, by my fae," the king did say, 
" The like was never heard tell ! " 

Then out and spake him Bauld Arthur, 
And laugh'd right loud and hie 

" I trow some may has plaid the lown, IK 

And fled her ain countrie." 

" Bring me my steid," the King can say, 

" My bow and arrows keen ; 
And I'll gae hunt in yonder wood, 

And see what's to be seen," ieo 

" Gin it please your grace," quo' Bauld Arthur, 

" My liege, III gang you wi', 
And see gin I can meet a bonny page, 

That's stray'd awa frae me." 

And they hae chased in gude green-wood, iss 

The buck but and the rae, 
Till they drew near Brown Robin's hour, 

About the close o' day. 


Then out an' spake the king himsell, 

Says, "Arthur, look and see, no 

Gin yon be not your favourite page, 
That leans against yon tree." 

Arthur's ta'en a bugle-horn, 
And blawn a blast sae shrill ; 

Sweet Willie started to her feet, w 

And ran him quickly till. 

" O wanted ye your meat, Willie, 

Or wanted ye your fee ? 
Or gat ye e'er an angry word, 

That ye ran awa frae me ? " iso 

" I wanted nought, my master dear ; 
To me ye aye was good : 

1 cam to see my ae brother, 
That wons in this grene-wood." 

Then out bespake the King again, iss 

" My boy, now tell to me, 
Who dwells into yon bigly bour, 

Beneath yon green aik tree ? " 

" O pardon me," said sweet Willy, 

" My liege, I darena tell ; 190 

And gangna near yon outlaw's bour, 

For fear they suld you kill." 


" baud your tongue, my bonny boy, 

For I winna be said nay ; 
But I will gang yon bour within, 195 

Betide me weal or wae." 

They have lighted frae their milk-white steids, 

And saftlie entered in ; 
And there they saw her, White Lilly, 

Nursing her bonny young son. 200 

" Now, by the mass," the King he said, 

" This is a comely sight ; 
I trow, instead of a forester's man, 

This is a ladye bright ! " 

O out and spake her, Rose the Red, 205 

And fell low on her knee : 
" pardon us, my gracious liege, 

And our story I'll tell thee. 

" Our father is a wealthy lord, 

Lives into Barnisdale ; 210 

But we had a wicked step-mother, 

That wrought us meikle bale. 

" Yet had she twa as fu' fair sons 

As e'er the sun did see ; 
And the tane o' them lo'ed my sister deir, 215 

And the tother said he lo'ed me." 


Then out and cried him Bauld Arthur, 

As by the King he stood, 
" Now, by the faith of my body, 

This suld be Rose the Red ! " 220 

The king has sent for robes o' green, 

And girdles o j shining gold ; 
And sae sune have the ladyes busked them 

Sae glorious to behold. 

Then in and came him, Brown Robin, 225 

Fra hunting o' the King's deer, 
But when he saw the King himsell, 

He started back for fear. 

The King has ta'en Robin by the hand, 

And bade him nothing dread, 230 

But quit for aye the gude grene-wood, 
And come to the court wi' speed. 

The King has ta'en White Lill/s son, 

And set him on his knee ; 
Says, " Gin ye live to wield a brand, 235 

My bowman thou sail be." 

Then they have ta'en them to the holy chapelle, 

And there had fair wedding ; 
And when they cam to the King's court, 

For joy the bells did ring. aio 



From Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 69. 

THE King has wedded an ill woman, 

Into some foreign land ; 
His daughters twa, that stood in awe, 

They bravely sat and sang. 

Then in be-came their step-mother, 

Sae stately step pin' ben ; 
" O gin I live and bruik my life, 

I'll gar ye change your tune." 

" O we sang ne'er that sang, ladie, 

But we will sing again ; 
And ye ne'er boor that son, ladie, 

We wad lay .our love on. 

" But we will cow our yellow locks, 

A little abune our bree ; 
And we will on to gude green-wud, 

And serve for meat and fee. 


" And we will kilt our gay claithing 

A little below the knee ; 
And we will on the glide green-wud, 

Gif Robin Hood we see. 20 

" And we will change our ain twa names, 

When we gae frae the toun, 
The tane we will call Nicholas, 

The tither Rogee Roun." 

Then they hae cow'd their yellow locks, 25 

A little abune their bree ; 
And they are on to gude green-wud 

To serve for meat and fee. 

And they hae kilt their gay claithing 

A little below their knee, so 

And they are on to gud green-wud, 
Gif Robin Hood they see. 

And they hae chang'd thair ain twa names, 
When they gaed frae the toun ; 

The tane they've called Nicholas, 35 

The tither Rogee Roun. 

And they hae staid in gude green-wud, 

And never a day thoucht long, 
Till it fell ance upon a day, 

That Rogee sang a sang. 40 


" When we were in our fathers bouer, 
"We sew'd the silken seam ; 

But now we walk the gude green-wud, 
And bear anither name. 

" When we were in our fathers ha', 

We wore the beaten gold ; 
But now we wear the shield sae sharp, 

Alas ! we'll die with cold ! " 

Then up bespake him Robin Hood, 

As he to them drew near ; 
" Instead of boys to carry the bow, 

Twa ladies we've got here." 

So they had not been in gud green-wud, 

A twalmonth and a day, 
Till Rogee Roun was as big wi' bairn 

As onie lady could gae. 

" wae be to my stepmother, 
That garr'd me leave my name, 

For I'm wi' bairn to Robin Hood, 
And near nine month is gane. 

" O wha will be my bouer-woman ? 

Na bouer-woman is here ! 
O wha will be my bouer-woman, 

Whan that sad time draws near ? 


The tane was wedded to Robin Hood, 65 

And the tither to Little John ; 
And it was a' owing to their step-mother 

That garr'd them leave their hame. 


" ROBIN HOOD and his fellow, Little John," says 
Motherwell, " were popular with the minstrels of Scot 
land as they were with those of England. Our early 
poets and historians never tired of alluding to songs 
current in their own times, relative to these waithmen 
and their merry men. Even to this day there are 
fragments of songs regarding them, traditionally ex 
tant in Scotland, which have not yet found their way 
into any printed collection of ballads commemorative 
of these celebrated outlaws. Were they carefully 
gathered they would form an interesting addition to 
Ritson's Robin Hood. In that collection, the ballad 
of RoUn Hood and the Beggar is evidently the pro 
duction of a Scottish minstrel, pretty early stall copies 
of which were printed both at Aberdeen and Glas 
gow." Minstrelsy, p. xliii. 

Ritson printed this ballad (Robin Hood, ii. 97,) from 
a modern copy printed at Newcastle. He remarks 
that a similar story may be found in Le Moyen de par- 
venir, (i. 304, ed. 1739, Comment un moine se debar- 
asse des voleurs.) 

We have adopted a superior version given by Gutch, 


which was from an Aberdeen copy in the Ashmolean 
Museum, without date. (Gutch's Robin Hood, ii. 233.) 
Robin Hood and the Beggar, with the nine pieces 
which are now immediately subjoined, the first part of 
the tenth, (which has the same title as the present,) and 
the first part of Robin Hood and the Stranger, in the 
Appendix, contains a story essentially the same with 
the first part of the ancient ballad of Robin Hood and 
the Potter, p. 1 7. 

LYTH and listen, gentlemen, 

That's come of high born blood, 

I'll tell you of a brave booting 
That befel Robin Hood. 

Robin Hood upon a day, & 

He went forth alone ; 
And as he came from Barnesdale 

Into fair evening, 

He met a beggar on the way, 

Who sturdily could gang ; 10 

He had a pike-staff in his hand 

That was baith stark and strang. 

A clouted cloak about him was, 

That held him frae the cold ; 
The thinnest bit of it, I guess, is 

Was more then twenty fold. 

His meal-pock hang about his neck, 
Into a leathern fang, 


Well fasten'd with a broad buckle, 

That was baith stark and strang. 20 

He had three hats upon his head, 

Together sticked fast, 
He car'd neither for wind nor weet, 

In lands where'er he past. 

Good Robin coost him in his way, as 

To see what he might be, 
If any beggar had money, 

He thought some part had he. 

" Tarry, tarry," good Robin says, 

" Tarry, and speak with me ; " so 

He heard him as he heard him not, 

And fast on his way can hie. 

" It be's not so," says good Robin, 

" Nay, thou must tarry still ; " 
" By my troth," said the bold beggar, as 

" Of that I have no will. 

" It is far to my lodging house, 

And it is growing late ; 
If they have supt e'er I come in 

I will look wondrous blate." *o 

" Now, by my truth," says good Robin, 
" I see well by thy fare, 


If thou chear well to thy supper, 
Of mine thou takes no care ; 

" Who wants my dinner all this day, 

And wots not where to lie, 
And should I to the tavern go, 

I want money to buy. 

" Sir, thou must lend me some money 

Till we two meet again : " so 

The beggar answer'd cankerdly, 
" I have no money to lend. 

" Thou art as young a man as I, 

And seems to be as sweir; 
If thou fast till thou get from me, 55 

Thou shalt eat none this year." 

" Now, by my truth," says good Robin, 

" Since we are 'sembled so, 
If thou have but a small farthing, 

I'll have it e'er thou go. eo 

" Therefore, lay down thy clouted cloak, 

And do no longer stand, 
And loose the strings of all thy pocks, 

I'll ripe them with my hand. 

" And now to thee I make a vow, es 

If thou make any din, 


I shall see if a broad arrow, 
Can pierce a beggar's skin." 

The beggar smil'd, and answer made, 

" Far better let me be ; ro 

Think not that I will be afraid 
For thy nip crooked tree. 

" Or that I fear thee any whit 

For thy curn nips of sticks ; 
I know no use for them so meet 75 

As to be pudding-pricks. 

" Here I defy thee to do me ill, 

For all thy boisterous fare ; 
Thou'st get nothing from me but ill, 

Would'st thou seek evermair." so 

Good Robin bent his noble bow, 

He was an angery man, 
And in it set a broad arrow ; 

Yet erst was drawn a span, 

The beggar, with his noble tree, 95 

Reach'd him so round a rout, 
That his bow and his broad arrow 

In flinders flew about. 

Good Robin bound him to his brand, 

But that prov'd likewise vain, 90 


The beggar lighted on his hand 
With his pike-staff again. 

I wot he might not draw a sword 

For forty days and mair ; 
Good Robin could not speak a word, 95 

His heart was never so sair. 

He could not fight, he could not flee, 

He wist not what to do ; 
The beggar with his noble tree 

Laid lusty flaps him to. KW 

He paid good E-obin back and side, 

And beft him up and down, 
And with his pike-staff still laid on hard, 

Till he fell in a swoon. 

" Fy, stand up, man," the beggar said, 105 

" 'Tis shame to go to rest ; 
Stay still till thou get my money, 

I think it were the best. 

" And syne go to the tavern house, 

And buy both wine and ale ; no 

Hereat thy friends will crack full crouse, 
Thou hast been at a dale." 

Good Robin answer'd never a word, 
But lay still as a stane ; 


His cheeks were white as any clay, 115 

And closed were his eyen. 

The beggar thought him dead but fail, 

And boldly bown'd away ; 
I would you had been at the dale, 

And gotten part of the play. 120 


Now three of Robin's men, by chance, 

Came walking by the way, 
And found their master in a trance, 

On ground where he did lay. 

Up have they taken good Robin, 5 

Making a piteous beir, 
Yet saw they no man there at whom 

They might the matter speir. 

They looked him all round about, 

But wounds on him saw none, 10 

Yet at his mouth came bocking out 
The blood of a good vein. 

Cold water they have taken syne, 

And cast into his face ; 
Then he began to lift his eyne, 15 

And spake within short space. 
VOL. Y. 13 


" Tell us, dear master," said his men, 
" How with you stands the case ? " 

Good Robin sigh'd e'er he began 
To tell of his disgrace. 

" I have been watchman in this wood 

Near hand this forty year, 
Yet I was never so hard bestead 

As you have found me here. 

" A beggar with a clouted cloak, 

In whom I fear'd no ill, 
Hath with his pike-staff claw'd my back, 

I fear 'twill never be well. 

See, where he goes o'er yonder hill, 

With hat upon his head ; 
If e'er you lov'd your master well, 

Go now revenge this deed. 

" And bring him back again to me, 

If it lie in your might, 
That I may see, before I die, 

Him punisht in my sight. 

" And if you may not bring him back, 

Let him not go loose on ; 
For to us all it were great shame 

If he escap't again." 


" One of us shall with you remain, 

Because you're ill at ease, 
The other two shall bring him back, 

To use him as you please." 

" Now, by my troth," says good Robin, 45 

" I trow there's enough said ; 
If he get scouth to wield his tree, 

I fear you'll both be paid." 

" Be ye not fear'd, our good master, 

That we two can be dung 50 

With any blutter base beggar, 
That has nought but a rung. 

" His staff shall stand him in no stead ; 

That you shall shortly see ; 
But back again he shall be led, x> 

And fast bound shall he be, 
To see if ye will have him slain, 

Or hanged on a tree." 

" But cast you slily in his way, 

Before he be aware, so 

And on his pike-staff first hands lay, 

You'll speed the better far." 

Now leave we Robin with his man, 

Again to play the child, 
And learn himself to stand and gang 65 

By haulds, for all his eild. 


Now pass we to the bold beggar 

That raked o'er the hill, 
Who never mended his pace no more 

Nor he had done no ill. ?c 

The young men knew the country well, 

So soon where he would be, 
And they have taken another way, 

Was nearer by miles three. 

They rudely ran with all their might, ~s 

Spared neither dub nor mire, 
They started neither at laigh nor hight, 

No travel made them tire. 

Till they before the beggar wan, 

And coost them in his way ; so 

A little wood lay in a glen, 

And there they both did stay. 

They stood up closely by a tree, 

In ilk side of the gate, 
Until the beggar came them to, & 

That thought not of such fate. 

And as he was betwixt them past, 

They leapt upon him baith ; 
The one his pike-staff gripped fast, 

They feared for its scaith. 30 

72, 73. Wanting in the original, and restored from the Aber- 
ieen copy. GUTCH. 


The other he held in his sight 

A drawen dirk to his breast, 
And said, " False carl, quit thy staff, 

Or I shall be thy priest." 

His pike-staff they have taken him frae, M 

And stuck it in the green, 
He was full loath to let gae, 

If better might have been. 

The beggar was the feardest man 

Of one that ever might be ; 100 

To win away no way he can, 

Nor help him with his tree. 

He wist not wherefore he was tane, 

Nor how many was there ; 
He thought his life-days had been gane, 105 

He grew into despair. 

" Grant me my life," the beggar said, 

" For him that died on tree, 
And take away that ugly knife, 

Or then for fear I'll die. no 

" I griev'd you never in all my life, 

Nor late nor yet by ayre, 
Ye have great sin, if ye would slay 

A silly poor beggar." 


" Thou lies, false lown," they said again, us 

" By all that may be sworn ; 
Thou hast near slain the gentlest man 

That ever yet was born. 

" And back again thou shalt be led, 

And fast bound shalt thou be, I'M 

To see if he will have thee slain, 
Or hanged on a tree." 

The beggar then thought all was wrong ; 

They were set for his wrack ; 
He saw nothing appearing then, 125 

But ill upon worse back. 

Were he out of their hands, he thought, 

And had again his tree, 
He should not be had back for nought. 

With such as he did see. iso 

Then he bethought him on a wile, 

If it could take effect, 
How he the young men might beguile, 

And give them a begeck. 

Thus for to do them shame or ill, IM 

His beastly breast was bent ; 
He found the wind grew something shril, 

To further his intent. 


He said, " Brave gentlemen, be good, 

And let the poor man be ; wo 

When ye have taken a beggar's blood, 
It helps you not a flea. 

" It was bat in my own defence, 

If he hath gotten skaith ; 
But I will make a recompense, 145 

Much better for you baith. 

" If ye w ill set me safe and free, 

And do me no danger, 
An hundred pounds I will you give, 

And much more good silver, iso 

" That I have gather'd this many years, 

Under this clouted cloak, 
And hid up [wonder] privately, 

In bottom of my pock." 

The young men to a council yeed, 155 

And let the beggar gae ; 
They wist full well he had no speed 

From them to run away. 

They thought they would the money take, 
Come after what so may ; ieo 

And then they would not bring him back, 
But in that place him slay. 

153, wonder. RITSON. 


By that good Robin would not know 

That they had gotten coin ; 
It would content him for to show i 

That there they had him slain. 

They said, " False carl, soon have done, 

And tell forth thy money ; 
For the ill turn that thou hast done 

'Tis but a simple fee. 170 

" And yet we will not have thee back, 

Come after what so may, 
If thou will do that which thou spake, 

And make us present pay." 

O then he loos'd his clouted cloak, 175 

And spread it on the ground, 
And thereon laid he many a pock, 

Betwixt them and the wind. 

He took a great bag from his base, 

It was near full of meal, we 

Two pecks in it at least there was, 
And more I wot full well. 

Upon his cloak he laid it down, 

The mouth he open'd wide, 
To turn the same he made him bown, iss 

The young men ready spy'd. 


In every hand he took a nook 

Of that great leathern meal, 
And with a fling the meal he shook, 

Into their faces hail : iw 

Wherewith he blinded them so close, 

A stime they could not see ; 
And then in heart he did rejoice, 

And clapt his lusty tree. 

He thought if he had done them wrong, 195 

In mealing of their cloaths, 
For to strike off the meal again 

With his pike-staff he goes. 

Or any of them could red their eyne, 

Or could a gliinm'ring see, 200 

Ilk one of them a dozen had 
Well laid on with the tree. 

The young men were right swift of foot, 

And boldly ran away, 
The beggar could them no more hit, 205 

For all the haste he may. 

" What ails this haste ? " the beggar said, 

" May ye not tarry still, 
Until your money be received ? 

I'll pay you with good will. 210 


" The shaking of my pocks, I fear, 

Hath blown into your eyne ; 
But I have a good pike-staff here 

Can ripe them out full clean." 

The young men answer'd never a word, 215 

They were dumb as a stane ; 
In the thick wood the beggar fled, 

E'er they riped their eyne. 

And syne the night became so late, 

To seek him was in vain : 220 

But judge ye, if they looked blate, 
When they came home again. 

Good Robin spear'd how they had sped ; 

They answer'd him, Full ill : " 
" That cannot be," good Robin says, 225 

" Ye have been at the mill. 

" The mill it is a meatrif place, 
They may lick what they please ; 

Most like ye have been at that art, 

Who would look to your cloaths." 230 

They hang'd their heads, they droped down, 

A word they could not speak : 
Robin said, " Because I fell a-swoon, 

I think you'll do the like. 


" Tell on the matter, less or more, 235 

And tell me what and how 
Ye have done with the bold beggar, 

I sent you for right now." 

And when they told him to an end, 

As I have said before, 2*0 

How that the beggar did them blind, 
What misters process more, 

And how he lin'd their shoulders broad 

With his great trenchen tree, 
And how in the thick wood he fled, 245 

E'er they a stime could see, 

And how they scarcely could win home, 

Their bones were beft so sore, 
Good Robin cry'd, " Fy ! out, for shame ! 

We're shain'd for evermore." 230 

Altho' good Robin would full fain 

Of his wrong revenged be, 
He smil'd to see his merry young men 

Had gotten a taste of the tree. 

236, where. 

243, 244. These two lines are restored from the Aberdeen 
ballad. G. 



Ritson's Robin Hood, ii. 18. 

" FROM an old black-letter copy, in A. h Wood's 
collection, compared with two others in the British 
Museum, one in black-letter. 

" Several lines of this ballad are quoted in the two 
old plays of the Downfall and Death of Robert earle of 
Huntington, 1601, 4to. b. 1. but acted many years be 
fore. It is also alluded to in Shakespeare's Merry 
Wives of Windsor, act i. scene 1, and again in his 
Second Part of King Henry IV., act v. scene 3. 

" In 1557 certain * ballets' are entered on the books 
of the Stationers' Company, ' to John Wallye and 
Mrs. Toye,' one of which is entitled Of Wakefylde 
and a grene ; meaning apparently the ballad here re 
printed." RITSON. 

IN Wakefield there lives a jolly pinder, 
In Wakefield all on a green, 
In Wakefield all on a green. 


" There is neither knight nor squire," said the 


" Nor baron that is so bold, s 

Nor baron that is so bold, 
Dare make a trespass to the town of Wake- 
But his pledge goes to the pinfold," &c. 

All this beheard three wighty yeomen, 

'Twas Robin Hood, Scarlet and John ; 10 

With that they espy'd the jolly pinder, 
As he sat under a thorn. 

" Now turn again, turn again," said the pinder, 
" For a wrong way you have gone ; 

For you have forsaken the kings highway, is 
And made a path over the corn." 

" O that were a shame," said jolly Robin, 
" We being three, and thou but one : " 

The pinder leapt back then thirty good foot, 
'Twas thirty good foot and one. 20 

He leaned his back fast unto a thorn, 

And his foot against a stone, 
And there he fought a long summers day, 

A summers day so long, 
Till that their swords on their broad bucklers, "* 

Were broke fast into their hands. 
9, witty young men. RITSON 


"Hold thy hand, hold thy hand," said bold 
Robin Hood, 

" And my merry men stand aside ; 
For this is one of the best pinders, 

That with sword ever I tryed. ao 

" And wilt thou forsake thy pinders craft, 
And go to the greenwood with me ? 

Thou shalt have a livery twice in the year, 
Th' one greene, 'tither brown shall be." 

" At Michaelmas next my cov'nant comes out, 35 
When every man gathers his fee, 

Then I'le take my blew blade all in my hand, 
And plod to the green-wood with thee." 

" Hast thou either meat or drink," said Robin 

" For my merry men and me ? 40 

" I have both bread and beef," said the pinder, 

" And good ale of the best : " 
" And that is meat good enough," said Robin 

For such unbidden ' guest.' 

29. 30. This is the reading in one black-letter copy that 
has come under the Editor's notice, instead of 
" For this is one of the best pinders 

That ever I tried with sword." GUTCH. 
33, 34. From the same. 


" wilt thou forsake the pinder his craft, 43 
And go to the green-wood with me ? 

Thou shalt have a livery twice in the year, 
The one green, the other brown [shall be]." 

" If Michaelmas day was come and gone, 
And my master had paid me my fee, no 

Then would I set as little by him, 
As my master doth by me." 



" No ancient copy of this ballad having been met 
with, it is given from an edition of Robin Hood's Gar 
land, printed some years since at York. The tune is 
Arthur a Bland" RITSON'S Robin Hood, ii. 137. 

WHEN Phoebus had melted the i sickles ' of ice, 
With a hey down, fyc. 

And likewise the mountains of snow, 
Bold Robin Hood he would ramble away, 

To frolick abroad with his bow. 

He left all his merry men waiting behind, 
Whilst through the green vallies he pass'd, 

Where he did behold a forester bold, 

Who cry'd out, " Friend, whither so fast ?" 


" I am going," quoth Robin, " to kill a fat buck, 
For me and my merry men all ; 10 

Besides, ere I go, I'll have a fat doe, 
Or else it shall cost me a fall." 

" You'd best have a care," said the forester then, 
" For these are his majesty's deer ; 

Before you shall shoot, the thing I'll dispute, is 
For I am head forester here." 

" These thirteen long summers/' quoth Robin, 
" I'm sure, 

My arrows I here have let fly, 
Where freely I range ; inethinks it is strange, 

You should have more power than I. 20 

" This forest," quoth Robin, " I think is my own, 
And so are the nimble deer too ; 

Therefore I declare, and solemnly swear, 
I'll not be affronted by you." 

The forester he had a long quarter staff, 25 

Likewise a broad sword by his side ; 

Without more ado, he presently drew, 
Declaring the truth should be try'd. 

Bold Robin Hood had a sword of the best, 
Thus, ere he would take any wrong, so 

His courage was flush, he'd venture a brush, 
And thus they fell to it ding dong. 


The very first blow that the forester gave, 
He made his broad weapon cry twang ; 
'Twas over the head, he fell down for dead, 35 

that was a damnable bang ! 

But Robin he soon recovered himself, 

And bravely fell to it again ; 
The very next stroke their weapons they broke, 

Yet never a man there was slain. 40 

At quarter staff then they resolved to play, 
Because they would have the other bout ; 

And brave Robin Hood right valiantly stood, 
Unwilling he was to give out. 

Bold Robin he gave him very hard blows, 

The other returned them as fast ; 
At every stroke their jackets did smoke, 

Three hours the combat did last. 

At length in a rage the forester grew, 

And cudgell'd bold Robin so sore, so 

That he could not stand, so shaking his hand, 
He cry'd, " Let us freely give o'er. 

" Thou art a brave fellow ; I needs must con 

1 never knew any so good ; 

Thou art fitting to be a yeoman for me, 55 

And range in the merry green-wood. 
VOL. v. 14 


" 111 give thee this ring as a token of love, 
For bravely thou hast acted thy part ; 

That man that can fight, in him I delight, 

And love him with all my whole heart. <w 

Robin Hood set his bugle-horn to his mouth, 

A blast then he merrily blows ; 
His yeomen did hear, and strait did appear, 

A hundred with trusty long bows. 

Now Little John came at the head of them all, ss 
Cloath'd in a rich mantle of green ; 

And likewise the rest were gloriously drest, 
A delicate sight to be seen. 

" Lo, these are my yeomen," said bold Robin 

"And thou shalt be one of the train ; ro 

A mantle and bow, and quiver also, 

I give them whom I entertain." 

The forester willingly enter'd the list, 

They were such a beautiful sight ; 
Then with a long bow they shot a fat doe, 75 

And made a rich supper that night. 

What singing and dancing was in the green wood. 

For joy of another new mate ! 
With might and delight they spent all the night, 

And liv'd at a plentiful rate. so 


The forester ne'er was so merry before, 
As then he was with these brave souls, 

Who never would fail, in wine, beer, or ale, 
To take off their cherishing bowls. 

Then Robin Hood gave him a mantle of green, 85 
Broad arrows, and curious long bow : 

This done, the next day, so gallant and gay, 
He marched them all on a row. 

Quoth he, " My brave yeomen, be true to your 

And then we may range the woods wide : " ao 
They all did declare, and solemnly swear, 

They would conquer, or die by his side. 


OR, a merry combat fought between Robin Hood, 
Little John, and Will Scarelock, and three stout 
keepers in Sheerwood Forrest. 

Eobin was valiant and stout, 

So was Scarelock and John in the field, 
But these keepers stout did give them rout, 

And make them all for to yield. 
But after the battel ended was, 

Bold Eobin did make them amends, 
For claret and sack they did not lack, 

So drank themselves good friends. 


To the tune of Robin Hood and Queen Katherine ; 
or, Robin Hood and the Shepheard. 

" From an old black-letter copy in the collection of 
Anthony a Wood. RITSON'S Robin Hood, ii. 120. 

THERE'S some will talk of lords and knights, 

Doun, a doun, a doun, 
And some of yeomen good, 
But I will tell you of Will Scarlock, 
Little John, and Robin Hood. 

Doun, a doun, a doun, a doun. 

They were outlaws, 'tis well known, * 

And men of a noble blood ; 
And many a time was their valour shown 

In the forrest of merry Sheerwood. 

Upon a time it chanced so, 

As Robin Hood would have it be, 10 

They all three would a walking go, 

The pastime for to see. 

And as they walked the forest along, 

Upon a Midsummer day, 
There was they aware of three keepers, is 

Clad all in green aray. 

With brave long faucheons by their sides, 

And forrest-bills in hand, 
They call'd aloud to those bold outlkws, 

charged them to stand. 20 


" Why, who are you," cry'd bold Robin, 

" That speak so boldly here ? " 
" We three belong to King Henry, 

And are keepers of his deer." 

" The devil you are ! " sayes Robin Hood, 25 

" I am sure that it is not so ; 
We be the keepers of this forrest, 

And that you soon shall know. 

" Come, your coats of green lay on the 

And so will we all three, so 

And take your swords and bucklers round, 

And try the victory." 

" We be content," the keepers said, 

" We be three, and you no less, 
Then why should we be of you afraid, 35 

As we never did transgress ? " 

" Why, if you be three keepers in this forrest, 

Then we be three rangers good, 
And will make you know before you do go, 

You meet with bold Robin Hood." 40 

" We be content, thou bold outlaw, 

Our valour here to try, 
And will make you know, before we do go, 

We will fight before we will fly. 


" Then, come draw your swords, you bold 
outlaws, 45 

No longer stand to prate, 
But let us try it out with blows, 

For cowards we do hate. 

" Here is one of us for Will Scarlock, 

And another for Little John, so 

And I myself for Robin Hood, 
Because he is stout and strong." 

So they fell to it hard and sore, 

It was on a Midsummers day ; 
From eight of the clock till two and past, 55 

They all shewed gallant play. 

There Robin, and Will, and Little John, 

They fought most manfully, 
Till all their winde was spent and gone, 

Then Robin aloud did cry : GO 

O hold, hold," cries bold Robin, 

" I see you be stout men ; 
Let me blow one blast on my bugle horn, 

Then He fight with you again." 

" That bargain's to make, bold Robin Hood, 

Therefore we it deny ; 
Thy blast upon the bugle horn 

Cannot make us fight or flv. 


" Therefore fall on, or else be gone, 

And yield to us the day : TO 

It never shall be said that we are afraid 

Of thee, nor thy yeomen gay." 

" If that be so," cries bold Robin, 

" Let me but know your names, 
And in the forrest of merry Sheerwood, 75 

I shall extol your fames." 

" And with our names," one of them said, 

" What hast thou here to do ? 
Except that thou wilt fight it out, 

Our names thou shalt not know." so 

" We will fight no more," sayes bold Robin, 

" You be men of valour stout ; 
Come and go with me to Nottingham, 

And there we will fight it out. 

" With a but of sack we will bang it about, as 

To see who wins the day ; 
And for the cost, make you no doubt 

I have gold enough to pay. 

" And ever hereafter, so long as we live, 

We all will brethren be ; oo 

For I love these men with heart and hand, 
That will fight and never flee." 


So away they went to Nottingham, 
With sack to make amends ; 

For three days they the wine did chase, 
And drank themselves good friends. 


BEING an account of their first meeting, their fierce 
encounter, and conquest. To which is added, their 
friendly agreement ; and how he came to be called 
Little John. To the tune of Arthur a Bland. 
From A Collection of Old Ballads, i. 75'. The same 

in RITSON'S Robin Hood. ii. 142. 

" This ballad is named in a schedule of such things 

under an agreement between W. Thackeray and 

others, in 1689 (Coll. Pepys, vol. v.)." RITSON. 

WHEN Robin Hood was about twenty years old, 
With a hey down, down, and a down, 

He happen'd to meet Little John, 
A jolly brisk blade, right fit for the trade, 

For he was a lusty young man. 

Tho' he was call'd Little, his limbs they were 

And his stature was seven foot high ; 6 

Where-ever he came, they quak'd at his name, 

For soon he would make them to fly. 


How they came acquainted, I'll tell you in brief, 
If you will but listen awhile ; 10 

For this very jest, amongst all the rest, 
I think it may cause you to smile. 

Bold Robin Hood said to his jolly bowmen, 
" Pray tarry you here in this grove ; 

And see that you all observe well my call, 15 

While thorough the forest I rove. 

" We have had no sport for these fourteen long 

Therefore now abroad will I go ; 
Now should I be beat, and cannot retreat, 

My horn I will presently blow." 20 

Then did he shake hands with his merry men all, 
And bid them at present good b'w'ye ; 

Then, as near a brook his journey he took, 
A stranger he chanc'd to espy. 

They happen'd to meet on a long narrow bridge, 25 
And neither of them would give way ; 

Quoth bold Robin Hood, and sturdily stood, 
"I'll show you right Nottingham play." 

With that from his quiver an arrow he drew, 
A broad arrow with a goose-wing. 30 

The stranger reply'd, " I'll liquor thy hide, 
If thou offer'st to touch the string." 


Quoth bold Robin Hood, " Thou dost prate like 
an ass, 

For were I to bend but my bow, 
I could send a dart quite thro' thy proud heart, as 

Before thou couldst strike me one blow." 

" Thou talk'st like a coward," the stranger reply'd ; 

" Well arm'd with a long bow you stand, 
To shoot at my breast, while I, I protest, 

Have nought but a staff in my hand." 40 

" The name of a coward," quoth Robin, " I scorn, 
Wherefore my long bow I'll lay by ; 

And now, for thy sake, a staff will I take, 
The truth of thy manhood to try." 

Then Robin Hood stept to a thicket of trees, 
And chose him a staff of ground oak ; 

Now this being done, away he did run 
To the stranger, and merrily spoke : 

" Lo ! see my staff, it is lusty and tough, 

Now here on the bridge we will play ; w 

Whoever falls in, the other shall win 
The battel, and so we'll away." 

" With all my whole heart," the stranger reply'd ; 

" I scorn in the least to give out ; " 
This said, they fell to't without more dispute, 55 

And their staffs they did nourish about. 


And first Robin he gave the stranger a bang, 
So hard that it made his bones ring : 

The stranger he said, " This must be repaid, 
I'll give you as good as you bring. so 

" So long as I'm able to handle my staff 
, To die in your debt, friend, I scorn : " 
Then to it each goes, and follow'd their blows, 
As if they had been threshing of corn. 

The stranger gave Robin a crack on the crown, 65 
Which caused the blood to appear ; 

Then Robin enrag'd, more fiercely engag'd, 
And follow'd his blows more severe. 

So thick and so fast did he lay it on him, 

With a passionate fury and ire, 70 

At every stroke he made him to smoke, 
As if he had been all on fire. 

O then into fury the stranger he grew, 

And gave him a damnable look, 
And with it a blow that laid him full low, 75 

And tumbl'd him into the brook. 

" I prithee, good fellow, O where art thou now ? " 
The stranger, in laughter, he cry'd. 

Quoth bold Robin Hood, "Good faith, in the 

And floating along with the tide. so 


" I needs must acknowledge thou art a brave soul ; 

With thee I'll no longer contend ; 
For needs must I say, thou hast got the day, 

Our battel shall be at an end." 

Then unto the bank he did presently wade, as 
And pull'd himself out by a thorn ; 

Which done, at the last, he blow'd a loud blast 
Straitway on his fine bugle-horn : 

The eccho of which through the vallies did fly, 
At which his stout bowmen appear'd, so 

All cloathed in green, most gay to be seen, 
So up to their master they steer'd. 

"O what's the matter?" quoth William Stutely; 

" Good master, you are wet to the skin." 
" No matter," quoth he ; " the lad which you see w 

In fighting hath tumbl'd me in." 

" He shall not go scot-free," the others reply'd ; 

So strait they were seizing him there, 
To duck him likewise ; but Robin Hood cries, 

" He is a stout fellow, forbear. 100 

" There's no one shall wrong thee, friend, be not 
afraid ; 

These bowmen upon me do wait ; 
There's threescore and nine ; if thou wilt be mine, 

Thou shalt have my livery strait : 


" And other accoutrements fit for a man ; 105 

Speak up, jolly blade, never fear. 
I'll teach you also the use of the bow, 

To shoot at the fat fallow-deer." 

" here is my hand," the stranger reply'd, 

" I'll serve you with all my whole heart ; no 

My name is John Little, a man of good mettle ; 
Ne'er doubt me, for I'll play my part." 

" His name shall be alter'd," quoth William 

" And I will his godfather be ; 
Prepare then a feast, and none of the least, us 

For we will be merry," quoth he. 

They presently fetch'd in a brace of fat does, 
With humming strong liquor likewise ; 

They lov'd what was good ; so, in the green-wood, 
This pretty sweet babe they baptize. 120 

He was, I must tell you, but seven foot high, 

And, may be, an ell in the waste ; 
A pretty sweet lad ; much feasting they had ; 

Bold Robin the christ'ning grac'd, 

With all his bowmen, which stood in a ring, 125 
And were of the Nottingham breed ; 

Brave Stutely comes then, with seven yeomen, 
And did in this manner proceed. 


" This infant was called John Little," quoth he ; 

" Which name shall be changed anon ; iso 

The words we'll transpose, so whereever he 

His name shall be call'd Little John." 

They all with a shout made the elements ring, 

So soon as the office was o'er ; 
To feasting they went, with true merriment, 135 

And tippl'd strong liquor gillore. 

Then Robin he took the pretty sweet babe, 
And cloath'd him from top to the toe 

In garments of green, most gay to be seen, 

And gave him a curious long bow. 140 

" Thou shalt be an archer as well as the best, 
And range in the green-wood with us ; 

Where we'll not want gold nor silver, behold, 
While bishops have ought in their purse. 

" We live here like 'squires, or lords of renown, i 

Without e'er a foot of free land ; 
We feast on good cheer, with wine, ale, and beer, 

And ev'ry thing at our command." 

Then music and dancing did finish the day ; 

At length, when the sun waxed low, iso 

Then all the whole train the grove did refrain, 

And unto their caves they did go. 


And so ever after, as long as he liv'd, 

Altho' he was proper and tall, 
Yet, nevertheless, the truth to express, iss 

Still Little John they did him call. 



A MERRY and pleasant song relating the gallant 
and fierce combat fought between Arthur Bland, a 
tanner of Nottingham, and Robin Hood, the greatest 
and most noblest archer of England. Tune is, Robin 
Hood and the Stranger. 

Ritson's Robin Hood, ii. 33, from an old black-letter 
copy in the collection of Anthony a Wood. 

There is a copy with a few unimportant variations 
in A Collection of Old Ballads, i. 83, from which a 
single reading has been admitted. 

IN Nottingham there lives a jolly tanner, 

With a hey down, down, a down, down, 

His name is Arthur-a-Bland ; 
There is nere a squire in Nottinghamshire, 

Dare bid bold Arthur stand. 

With a long pike-staff upon his shoulder, s 
So well he can clear his way ; 


By two and by three he makes them to flee, 
For he hath no list to stay. 

And as he went forth, in a summers morning, 
Into the forrest of merry Sherwood, 10 

To view the red deer, that range here and there, 
There met he with bold Robin Hood. 

As soon as bold Robin he did espy, 

He thought some sport he would make, 

Therefore out of hand he bid him to stand, 15 
And thus to him he spake : 

" Why, what art thou, thou bold fellow, 

That ranges so boldly here ? 
In sooth, to be brief, thou lookst like a thief, 

That comes to steal our kings deer. 20 

" For I am keeper in this forrest ; 

The king puts me in trust 
To look to his deer, that range here and there ; 

Therefore stay thee I must." 

" If thou beest a keeper in this forrest, 25 

And hast such a great command, 

Yet thou must have more partakers in store, 
Before thou make me to stand." 

" Nay, I have no more partakers in store, 
Or any that I do not need ; w 

13, did him. 


But I have a staff of another oke graff, 
I know it will do the deed. 

" For thy sword and thy bow I care not a 

Nor all thine arrows to boot ; 
If thou get'st a knop upon the bare scop, as 

Thou canst as well sh e as shoote." 

" Speak cleanly, good fellow," said jolly Robin, 

"And give better terms to me ; 
Else lie thee correct for thy neglect, 

And make thee more mannerly. 40 

" Marry gep with a wenion ! " quod Arthur-a- 

"Art thou such a goodly man ? 
I care not a fig for thy looking so big ; 

Mend thou thyself where thou can." 

Then Robin Hood he unbuckled his belt, 

And laid down his bow so long ; 
He took up a staff of another oke graff, 

That was both stiff and strong. 

" I'le yield to thy weapon," said jolly Robin, 
" Since thou wilt not yield to mine ; so 

For I have a staff of another oke graff, 
Not half a foot longer then thine. 

35. I get. KITSON. 
VOL. V. 15 


" But let me measure," said jolly Robin, 

" Before we begin our fray ; 
For I'le not have mine to be longer than thine, M 

For that will be counted foul play." 

" I pass not for length," bold Arthur reply'd, 

" My staff is of oke so free ; 
Eight foot and a half, it will knock down a calf, 

And I hope it will knock down thee." so 

Then Robin could no longer forbear ; 

He gave him such a knock, 
Quickly and soon the blood came down, 

Before it was ten a clock. 

Then Arthur he soon recovered himself, & 

And gave him such a knock on the crown, 

That from every side of bold Robin Hoods 

The blood came trickling down. 

Then Robin raged like a wild boar, 

As soon as he saw his own blood ; TO 

Then Bland was in hast, he laid on so fast, 
As though he had been cleaving of wood. 

And about, and about, and about they went, 

Like two wild bores in a chase ; 
Striving to aim each other to maim, is 

Leg, arm, or any other place. 


And knock for knock they lustily dealt, 
Which held for two hours and more ; 

That all the wood rang at every bang, 

They ply'd their work so sore. so 

Hold thy hand, hold thy hand," said Robin 

"And let thy quarrel fall ; 
For here we may thrash our bones all to mesh, 

And get no coyn at all. 

"And in the forrest of merry Sherwood 85 

Hereafter thou shalt be free : " 
" God-a-mercy for nought, my freedom I 
bought ; 

I may thank my staff, and not thee." 

" What tradesman art thou ? " said jolly Robin, 
" Good fellow, I prethee me show : 90 

And also me tell in what place thou dost 

For both of these fain would I know." 

" I am a tanner," bold Arthur reply'd, 
" In Nottingham long have I wrought ; 

And if thou'lt come there, I vow and swear, 95 
I will tan thy hide for nought." 

" God-a-mercy, good fellow," said jolly Robin, 
" Since thou art so kind and free ; 


And if thou wilt tan my hide for nought, 
I will do as much for thee. 100 

"And if thou'lt forsake thy tanners trade, 
And live in the green wood with me, 

My name's Robin Hood, I swear by the rood, 
I will give thee both gold and fee." 

" If thou be Robin Hood," bold Arthur reply 'd, 105 

"As I think well thou art, 
Then here's my hand, my name's Arthur-a- 

We two will never depart. 

"But tell me, O tell me, where is Little 

Of him fain would I hear ; no 

For we are alide by the mothers side, 

And he is my kinsman dear." 

Then Robin Hood blew on the beaugle horn, 

He blew full lowd and shrill, 
And quickly anon appear'd Little John, us 

Come tripping down a green hill. 

"O what is the matter?" then said Little 

" Master, I pray you tell ; 
Why do you stand with your staff in your hand ? 

I fear all is not well." 120 


" man I do stand, and he makes me stand, 
The tanner that stands thee beside ; 

He is a bonny blade, and master of his trade, 
For soundly he hath tan'd my hide." 

" He is to be commended," then said Little John, 
" If such a feat he can do ; 125 

If he be so stout, we will have a bout, 
And he shall tan my hide too." 

"Hold thy hand, hold thy hand," said Robin 

" For as I do understand, 130 

He's a yeoman good of thine own blood, 

For his name is Arthur-a-Bland." 

Then Little John threw his staff away, 

As far as he could it fling, 
And ran out of hand to Arthur-a-Bland, 135 

And about his neck did cling. 

With loving respect, there was no neglect, 

They were neither nice nor coy, 
Each other did face with a lovely grace, 

And both did weep for joy. 140 

Then Robin Hood took them both by the hands, 
And danc'd round about the oke tree ; 

" For three merry men, and three merry men, 
And three merry men we be. 


"And ever hereafter as long as we live, i 

We three will be as one ; 
The wood it shall ring, and the old wife sing, 

Of Robin Hood, Arthur, and John. 


Eitson's Kobin Hood, ii. 41. 

FROM an old black-letter copy in the library 'of 
Anthony a Wood. The full title is, 

A new song to drive away cold winter, 
Between Robin Hood and the jovial tinker: 

How Robin by a wile 

The Tinker he did cheat; 

But at the length, as you shall hear, 

The Tinker did him beat, 

Whereby the same they did then so agree, 

They after liv'd in love and unity. 

To the tune of, In Summer time. 

IN summer time, when leaves grow green, 

Down, a down, a down, 
And birds singing on every tree, 
Hey down, a down, a down, 
Robin Hood went to Nottingham, 

Down, a down, a down, 
As fast as hee could dree. 

Hey down, a down, a down. 


And as hee came to Nottingham, s 

A tinker he did meet, 
And seeing him a lusty blade, 

He did him kindly greet. 

" Where dost thou live ? " quoth Robin Hood, 
" I pray thee now mee tell : w 

Sad news I hear there is abroad, 
I fear all is not well." 

" What is that news ? " the tinker said ; 

" Tell mee without delay ; 
I am a tinker by my trade, u 

And do live in Banbura." 

" As for the news," quoth Robin Hood, 

" It is but as I hear, 
Two tinkers were set i'th' stocks, 

For drinking ale and beer." * 

If that be all," the tinker said, 

" As I may say to you, 
Your news is not worth a f t, 

Since that they all bee true. 

" For drinking of good ale and beer, * 

You will not lose your part : " 
"No, by my faith," quoth Robin Hood, 

" I love it with all my heart. 


" What news abroad ?" quoth Robin Hood, 
" Tell me what thou dost hear : 

Seeing thou goest from town to town, 
Some news thou need not fear." 

" All the news I have," the tinker said, 

" I hear it is for good, 
It is to seek a bold outlaw, 

Which they call Robin Hood. 

" I have a warrant from the king, 

To take him where I can ; 
If you can tell me where hee is, 

I will make you a man. 

" The king would give a hundred pound 

That he could but him see ; 
And if wee can but now him get, 

It will serve thee and mee." 

" Let me see that warrant," said Robin Hood, 

" He see if it bee right ; 
And I will do the best I can 

For to take him this night. 

" That will I not," the tinker said, 

" None with it I will trust ; 
And where hee is if you'll not tell, 

Take him by force I must." 


But Robin Hood perceiving well 

How then the game would go, 
" If you would go to Nottingham, w 

We shall find him I know." 

The tinker had a crab-tree staff, 
Which was both good and strong ; 

Robin hee had a good strong blade, 

So they went both along. eo 

And when they came to Nottingham, 

There they both tooke their inn ; 
And there they called for ale and wine, 

To drink it was no sin. 

But ale and wine they drank so fast, es 

That the tinker hee forgot 
What thing he was about to do ; 

It fell so to his lot, 

That while the tinker fell asleep, 

Robin made then haste away, 70 

And left the tinker in the lurch, 

For the great shot to pay. 

But when the tinker wakened, 

And saw that he was gone, 
He call'd then even for his host, ft 

And thus he made his moan : 


" I had a warrant from the king. 
Which might have done me good, 

That is to take a bold outlaw, 

Some call him Robin Hood. so 

" But now my warrant and mony's gone, 

Nothing I have to pay ; 
But he that promis'd to be my friend, 

He is gone and fled away." 

" That friend you tell on," said the host, & 

" They call him Robin Hood ; 
And when that first hee met with you, 

He ment you little good." 

" Had I but known it had been hee, 

When that I had him here, 90 

Th' one of us should have tri'd our might 
Which should have paid full dear. 

" In the mean time I will away, 

No longer here He bide, 
But I will go and seek him out, s 

Whatever do me betide. 

" But one thing I would gladly know, 

What here I have to pay ; " 
" Ten shillings just," then said the host ; 

"He pay without delay ; 100 


" Or elce take here my working-bag, 

And my good hammer too ; 
And if that I light but on the knave. 

I will then soon pay you." 

" The onely way," then said the host, va 

" And not to stand in fear, 
Is to seek him among the parks, 

Killing of the kings deer." 

The tinker hee then went with speed, 

And made then no delay, no 

Till he had found bold Robin Hood, 
That they might have a fray. 

At last hee spy'd him in a park, 

Hunting then of the deer ; 
What knave is that," quoth Robin Hood, iw 

" That doth come mee so near ? " 

" No knave, no knave," the tinker said, 

" And that you soon shall know ; 
Whether of us hath done any wrong, 

My crab-tree staff shall show." 120 

Then Robin drew his gallant blade, 

Made then of trusty steel ; 
But the tinker he laid on so fast, 

That he made Robin reel. 


Then Robins anger did arise : vx 

He fought right manfully, 
Until he had made the tinker 

Almost then fit to fly. 

With that they had a bout again, 

They ply'd their weapons fast ; iso 

The tinker threshed his bones so sore, 

He made him yeeld at last. 

" A boon, a boon," Robin hee cryes, 

" If thou will grant it mee ; " 
"Before I do it," the tinker said, 135 

" He hang thee on this tree." 

But the tinker looking him about, 

Robin his horn did blow ; 
Then came unto him Little John, 

And William Scadlock too. HO 

" What is the matter," quoth Little John, 

" You sit on th' highway side ? " 
" Here is a tinker that stands by, 

That hath paid well my hide." 

" That tinker then," said Little John, us 

" Fain that blade I would see, 
And I would try what I could do, 

If hee'l do as much for me." 


But Robin hee then wish'd them both 

They should the quarrel cease, 150 

" That henceforth wee may bee as one, 
And ever live in peace. 

" And for the jovial tinkers part, 

A hundred pounds He give 
In th' year to maintain him on, IK 

As long as he doth live. 

" In manhood he is a mettled man, 

And a mettle-man by trade ; 
Never thought I that any man 

Should have made mee so afraid. im 

" And if hee will bee one of us, 

We will take all one fare ; 
And whatsoever wee do get, 

He shall have his full share." 

So the tinker was content i 

With them to go along, 
And with them a part to take : 

And so I end my song. 



SHEWING how Robin Hood, Little John, and the 
Shepherd fought a sore combate. 

The shepherd fought for twenty pound, and Robin for bottle 

and bag, 
But the shepherd stout gave them the rout, so sore they 

could not wag. 

Tune is, Robin Hood and Queen Katherine. 

" From two old black-letter copies, one of them in 
the collection of Anthony a Wood, the other in that of 
Thomas Pearson, Esq.," [now in the British Museum.] 
Ritson's Robin Hood, ii. 55. 

The same story, with verbal coincidences, serves 
for the first part of King Alfred and the Shepherd. 

ALL gentlemen and yeomen good, 

Down, a down, a down, a down, 
I wish you to draw near ; 
For a story of gallant bold Robin Hood 
Unto you I will declare. 
Down, Sfc. 

As Robin Hood walkt the forrest along, 

Some pastime for to spie, 
There he was aware of a jolly shepherd, 

That on the ground did lie. 

" Arise, arise," cried jolly Robin, 

" And now come let me see 10 


What's in thy bag and bottle, I say, 
Come tell it unto me." 

" What's that to thee, thou proud fellow ? 

Tell me as I do stand ; 
What hast thou to do with my bag and bottle? 10 

Let me see thy command." 

" My sword, which hangeth by my side, 

Is my command I know ; 
Come, and let me taste of thy bottle, 

Or it may breed thy woe." 20 

" The devil a drop, thou proud fellow, 

Of my bottle thou shalt see, 
Until thy valour here be tried, 

Whether thou wilt fight or flee." 

What shall we fight for ? " cries Eobin Hood, 25 

" Come tell it unto me ; 
Here is twenty pound in good red gold, 

Win it, and take it thee." 

The shepherd stood all in a maze, 

And knew not what to say ; so 

" I have no money, thou proud fellow, 

But bag and bottle I'le lay." 

" I am content, thou shepherd swain, 
Fling them down on the ground ; 


But it will breed thee mickle pain, 
To win my twenty pound." 

" Come draw thy sword, thou proud fellow, 
Thou standest too long to prate ; 

This hook of mine shall let thee know, 
A coward I do hate." 

So they fell to it, full hard and sore ; 

It was on a summers day ; 
From ten till four in the afternoon 

The shepherd held him play. 

Robin's buckler proved his chiefest defence, 

And saved him many a bang, 
For every blow the shepherd gave 

Made Robins sword cry twang. 

Many a sturdie blow the shepherd gave, 

And that bold Robin found, 
Till the blood ran trickling from his head, 

Then he fell to the ground. 

" Arise, arise, thou proud fellow, 
And thou shalt have fair play, 

If thou wilt yield, before thou go, 
That I have won the day." 

" A boon, a boon," cry'd bold Robin, 
" If that a man thou be, 


Then let me take my beugle horn, 

And blow out blasts three." eo 

Then said the shepherd to bold Robin, 

" To that will I agree ; 
For if thou shouldst blow till to-morrow morn, 

I scorn one foot to flee." 

Then Robin he set his horn to his mouth, 65 

And he blew with mickle main, 
Until he espied Little John 

Come tripping over the plain. 

" O who is yonder, thou proud fellow, 

That comes down yonder hill ? " TO 

" Yonder is John, bold Robin Hoods man, 
Shall fight with thee thy fill." 

" What is the matter ? " saies Little John, 

" Master, come tell unto me : " 
" My case is bad," cries Robin Hood, 75 

" For the shepherd hath conquered me." 

" I am glad of that," cries Little John, 

" Shepherd turn thou to me ; 
For a bout with thee I mean to have, 

Either come fight or flee." so 

" With all my heart, thou proud fellow, 
For it never shall be said 

VOL. v. 16 


That a shepherds hook at thy sturdy look 
Will one jot be dismaied." 

So they fell to it, full hardy and sore, M 

Striving for victorie ; 
" I will know," says John, " ere we give o'er, 

Whether thou wilt fight or flee." 

The shepherd gave John a sturdie blow, 

With his hook under the chin ; so 

" Beshrew thy heart," said Little John, 
" Thou basely dost begin." 

" Nay, that is nothing," said the shepherd ; 

" Either yield to me the daie, 
Or I will bang thy back and sides, as 

Before thou goest thy way. 

" What, dost thou think, thou proud fellow, 

That thou canst conquer me ? 
Nay, thou shalt know, before thou go, 

I'll fight before Tie flee." 100 

Again the shepherd laid on him, 

' Just as he first begun ; ' 
Hold thy hand," cry'd bold Robin, 

" I will yield the wager won." 

" With all my heart," said Little John, IOB 

" To that I will agree ; 


For he is the flower of shepherd swains, 
The like I did never see." 

Thus have you heard of Robin Hood, 

Also of Little John, no 

How a shepherd swain did conquer them ; 
The like was never known. 


COMMUNICATED to Gutch by Mr. Payne Collier, 
and first published in Gutch's Robin Hood, ii. 351. 

WILL you heare a tale of Robin Hood, 

Will Scarlett, and Little John ? 
Now listen awhile, it will make you smile, 

As before it hath many a one. 

They were archers three, of hie degree, 5 

As good as ever drewe bowe ; 
Their arrowes were long and their armes were 

As most had cause to knowe. 

But one sommers day, as they toke their way 
Through the forrest of greene Sherwood, 10 

To kill the kings deare, you shall presently heare 
What befell these archers good. 


They were ware on the roade of three peddlers 
with loade, 

For each one had his packe, 
Full of all wares for countrie faires, is 

Trust up upon his backe. 

A good oke staffe, a yard and a halfe, 

Each one had in his hande ; 
And they were all boune to Nottingham toune, 

As you shall understand. ao 

" Yonder I see bolde peddlers three," 

Said Robin to Scarlett and John ; 
" Wele search their packes upon their backes 

Before that they be gone. 

" Holla, good fellowes ! " quod Robin Hood, 25 

" Whether is it ye doe goe ? 
Now stay and rest, for that is the best, 

'Tis well you should doe so." 

" Noe rest we neede, on our roade we speede, 
Till to Nottingham we get : " 

" Thou tellst a lowde lye," said Robin, " for I 
Can see that ye swinke and swet." 

The peddlers three crosst over the lee, 

They did not list to fight : 
" I charge ye tarrie," quod Robin, " for marry, 35 

This is my owne land by right. 


" This is my manner and this is my parke, 

I would have ye for to knowe ; 
Ye are bolde outlawes, I see by cause 

Ye are so prest to goe. ** 

The peddlers three turned round to see, 

Who it might be they herd ; 
Then again went on as they list to be gone, 

And never answered word. 

Then tooke Robin Hood an arrow so good, 

Which he did never lacke, 
And drewe his bo we, and the swift arrowe 

Went through the last peddlers packe. 

For him it was well on the packe it fell, 

Or his life had found an end ; eo 

And it pierct the skin of his backe within, 
Though the packe did stand his friend. 

Then downe they flung their packes each one, 

And stayde till Robin came. 
Quod Robin, " I saide ye had better stayde ; 55 

Good sooth, ye were to blame." 

" And who art thou ? by S. Crispin, I vowe, 

He quickly cracke thy head ! " 
Cried Robin, " Come on, all three, or one ; 

It is not so soone done as said. o 


" My name, by the roode, is Robin Hood, 

And this is Scarlett and John ; 
It is three to three, ye may plainelie see, 

Soe now, brave fellow es, laye on." 

The first peddlers blowe brake Robins bowe, w 

That he had in his hand ; 
And Scarlett and John, they eche had one 

That they unneath could stand. 

" Now holde your handes," cried Robin Hood, 
" For ye have oken staves ; n 

But tarie till wee can get but three, 
And a fig for all your braves." 

Of the peddlers the first, his name Kit o Thirske, 

Said, " We are well content ; " 
So eche tooke a stake for his weapon, to make re 

The peddlers to repent. 

Soe to it they fell, and their blowes did ring well 

Uppon the others backes ; 
And gave the peddlers cause to wish 

They had not cast their packes. so 

Yet the peddlers three of their blowes were so free, 

That Robin began far to rue ; 
And Scarlett, and John, had such loade laide on, 

It made the sunne looke blue. 


At last Kits oke caught Robin a stroke, 

That made his head to sound ; 
He staggerd, and reelde, till he fell on the 

And the trees with him went round. 

" Now holde your harides," cried Little John, 
And soe said Scarlett eke ; so 

" Our maister is slaine, I tell you plaine, 
He never more will speake." 

"Now, heaven forefend he come to that end," 

Said Kit, " I love him well ; 
But let him learne to be wise in turne, & 

And not with poore peddlers mell. 

" In my packe, God wot, I a balsame have got, 

That soone his hurts will heale ; " 
And into Robin Hoods gaping mouth 

He presentlie powrde some deale. 100 

" Now fare ye well, tis best not to tell, 

How ye three peddlers met ; 
Or if that ye doe, prithee tell alsoe, 

How they made ye swinke and swett." 

Poor Robin in sound they left on the ground, 105 

And hied them to Nottingham, 
Whilst Scarlett and John, Robin tended on, 

Till at length his senses came. 


No sooner, in haste, did Robin Hood taste 

The balsame he had tane, no 

Then he gan to spevve, and up he threwe 
The balsame all againe. 

And Scarlett, and John, who were looking on 

Their master as he did lie, 
Had their faces besmeared, both eies and beard, n 

Therewith most piteouslie. 

Thus ended that fray ; soe beware alwaye 

How ye doe challenge foes ; 
Looke well aboute they are not to stoute, 

Or you may have worst of the blowes. 120 


FROM Dixon's " Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs 
of the Peasantry of England" Percy Society, vol. 
xvii. p. 71. " An aged female in Bermondsey, Surrey, 
from whose oral recitation the editor took down the 
present version, informed him, that she had often heard 
her grandmother sing it, and that it was never in print ; 
but he has of late met with several common stall 

THERE chanced to be a pedlar bold, 
A pedlar bold he chanced to be, 


He rolled his pack all on his back, 
And he came tripping o'er the lee.' 

Down, a down, a down, a down, 
Down, a down, a down. 

By chance he met two troublesome blades, 

Two troublesome blades they chanced to be ; 

The one of them was bold Robin Hood, 
And the other was Little John so free. 

" Oh ! pedlar, pedlar, what is in thy pack, 

Come speedilie and tell to me ? " 10 

" I've several suits of the gay green silks, 
And silken bow-strings two or three." 

"If you have several suits of the gay green 

And silken bow-strings two or three, 
Then it's by my body," cries Little John, 15 

" One half your pack shall belong to me." 

" O nay, o nay," says the pedlar bold, 

" nay, o nay, that never can be ; 
For there's never a man from fair Nottingham 

Can take one half my pack from me." 20 

Then the pedlar he pulled off his pack, 

And put it a little below his knee, 
Saying, " If you do move me one perch from this, 

My pack and all shall gang with thee." 


Then Little John he drew his sword ; 25 

The pedlar by his pack did stand ; 
They fought until they both did sweat, 

Till he cried, " Pedlar, pray hold your hand." 

Then Robin Hood he was standing by, 

And he did laugh most heartilie ; so 

Saying, " I could find a man of a smaller scale, 
Could thrash the pedlar and also thee." 

" Go you try, master," says Little John, 
" Go you try, master, most speedilie, 

Or by my body," says Little John, 

" I am sure this night you will not know me." 

Then Robin Hood he drew his sword, 
And the pedlar by his pack did stand, 

They fought till the blood in streams did flow, 
Till he cried, " Pedlar, pray hold your hand ! 40 

" Pedlar, pedlar, what is thy name ? 

Come speedilie and tell to me : " 
" My name ! my name I ne'er will tell, 

Till both your names you have told to me." 

" The one of us is bold Robin Hood, 

And the other Little John so free : " 

" Now," says the pedlar, " it lays to my good 

Whether my name I chuse to tell to thee. 


" I am Gamble Gold of the gay green woods, 
And travelled far beyond the sea ; BO 

For killing a man in my father's land, 
From my country I was forced to flee." 

" If you are Gamble Gold of the gay green woods, 

And travelled far beyond the sea, 
You are my mother's own sister's son ; 5.5 

What nearer cousins then can we be ? " 

They sheathed their swords with friendly words, 

So merrilie they did agree, 
They went to a tavern and there they dined, 

And bottles cracked most merrilie. GO 


SHEWING how Robin Hood and the Beggar fought, 
and how he changed cloaths with the Beggar, and how 
he went a begging to Nottingham : and how he saved 
three brethren from being hang'd for stealing of deer. 
To the tune of Robin Hood and the Stranger. 

" From an old black-letter copy in the collection of 
Anthony k Wood." RITSON'S Robin Hood, ii. 126. 

The three pieces which follow are all different 
versions of what is called the Second Part of this 


COME and listen, you gentlemen all, 

Hey down, down, an a down, 

That mirth do love for to hear, 
And a story true He tell unto you, 

If that you will but draw near. 

In elder times, when merriment was, 

And archery was holden good, 
There was an outlaw, as many do know 

Which men called Robin Hood. 

Upon a time it chanced so 

Bold Robin was merry disposed, 

His time to spend he did intend, 
Either with friend or foes. 

Then he got upon a gallant brave steed, 
The which was worth angels ten, 

With a mantle of green, most brave to be seen, 
He left all his merry men. 

And riding towards Nottingham, 

Some pastime for to 'spy, 
There was he aware of a jolly beggar, 

As ere he beheld with his eye. 

An old patcht coat the beggar had on, 
Which he daily did use to wear ; 

And many a bag about him did wag, 
Which made Robin to him repair. 

24. Robin Hood. 


" God speed, God speed," said Robin Hood, 25 
" What countryman ? tell to me : " 

" I am Yorkshire, sir ; but, ere you go far, 
Some charity give unto me." 

" Why, what wouldst thou have ? " said Robin 

" I pray thee tell unto me : " so 

" No lands nor livings," the beggar he said, 

" But a penny for charitie." 

" I have no money," said Robin Hood then, 
" But [am] a ranger within the wood ; 

I am an outlaw, as many do know, ss 

My name it is Robin Hood. 

" But yet I must tell thee, bonny beggar, 
That a bout with [thee] I must try ; 

Thy coat of gray, lay down I say, 

And my mantle of green shall lye by." 40 

" Content, content," the beggar he cry'd, 

" Thy part it will be the worse ; 
For I hope this bout to give thee the rout, 

And then have at thy purse." 

So the beggar he had a mickle long staffe, 4.5 
And Robin had a nut-brown sword ; 

46, he had. 


So the beggar drew nigh, and at Robin let fly, 
But gave him never a word. 

" Fight on, fight on," said Robin Hood then, 
" This game well pleaseth me ; " so 

For every blow that Robin gave, 
The beggar gave buffets three. 

And fighting there full hard and sore, 

Not far from Nottingham town, 
They never fled, till from Robin Hoods head 

The blood came trickling down. 

" O hold thy hand," said Robin Hood then, 

"And thou and I will agree ; " 
" If that be true," the beggar he said, 

" Thy mantle come give unto me." > 

u Now a change, a change," cri'd Robin Hood, 

Thy bags and coat give me ; 
And this mantle of mine He to thee resign, 

My horse and my braverie." 

When Robin Hood had got the beggars clothes, ss 

He looked round about ; 
" Methinks," said he, " I seem to be 

A beggar brave and stout. 

" For now I have a bag for my bread, 

So have I another for corn ; ro 


I have one for salt, and another for malt, 
And one for my little horn. 

"And now I will a begging goe, 

Some charitie for to find : " 
And if any more of Robin you'll know, r-5 

In the second part 'tis behind. 


Now Robin he is to Nottingham bound, 
With his bag hanging down to his knee, 

His staff, and his coat, scarce worth a groat, 
Yet merrilie passed he. so 

As Robin he passed the streets along, 

He heard a pittiful cry ; 
Three brethren dear, as he did hear, 

Condemned were to dye. 

Then Robin he highed to the sheriffs, 85 

Some reliefe for to seek ; 
He skipt, and leapt, and capered full high, 

As he went along the street. 

But when to the sheriffs doore he came, 

There a gentleman fine and brave, 90 

" Thou beggar," said he, " come tell unto me 
What it is thou wouldest have." 


" No meat, nor drink," said Robin Hood then, 

" That I come here to crave ; 
But to get the lives of yeomen three, a* 

And that I fain would have." 

" That cannot be, thou bold beggar, 

Their fact it is so cleer ; 
I tell to thee, they hanged must be, 

For stealing of our kings deer." 100 

But when to the gallows they did come, 
There was many a weeping eye : 

" O hold your peace," said Robin Hood then, 
" For certainly they shall not dye." 

Then Robin he set his horn to his mouth, ios 

And he blew out blastes three, 
Till a hundred bold archers brave 

Came kneeling down to his knee. 

" What is your will, master ? " they said, 

" We are here at your command : " no 

"Shoot east, shoot west," said Robin Hood 

"And see you spare no man." 

Then they shot east, then they shot west, 
Their arrows were so keen, , 

The sheriffe he, and his companie, us 

No longer could be seen. 


Then lie stept to those brethren three, 

And away he has them tane ; 
The sheriffe was crost, and many a man lost, 

That dead lay on the plain. 120 

And away they went into the merry green wood, 

And sung with a merry glee ; 
Then Robin Hood took those brethren good 

To be of his yeomandrie. 



FROM Jamieson's Popular Ballads, ii. 49, where it 
was printed " verbatim et literatim " from the Percy 

This is the same story with the two ballads which 
follow and the Second Part of the preceding. 

In faith, thou shalt have mine, 
And 20s. in thy purse, 

To spend at ale and wine." 

" Though your clothes are of light Lincolne green, 
And mine gray russet, and torne, 5 

VOL. v. 17 


Yet it doth not you beseme 
To doe an old man scorne." 

" I scorne thee not, old man," says Robin, 

" By the faith of my body ; 
Doe of thy clothes, thou shalt have mine, 10 

For it may noe better be." 

But Robin did on the old mans hose, 

The were torn in the wrist ; 
" When I looke on my leggs," said Robin, 

" Then for to laugh I list." is 

But Robin did on the old mans shoes, 

And the were chitt full cleane ; 
" Now by my faith," says Little John, 

" These are good for thornes keene." 

But Robin did on the old mans cloake, 20 

And it was torne in the necke ; 
" Now by my faith," said William Scarlett, 

" Heere shold be set a specke." 

But Robin did on the old mans hood, 

Itt goggled on his crowne ; 25 

" When I come into Nottingham," said Robin, 

" My hood it will lightly downe. 

8. By proposing, that is, to make an exchange of clothes, 
the bargain being so much to the advantage of the old man. 

27, i.e. I shall easily bare my head, in reverence to the 
sheriff, &c. 


" But yonder is an outwood," said Robin, 

" An outwood all and a shade, 
And thither I reede you, my merrymen all, so 

The ready way to take. 

u And when you heare my little home blow, 
Come raking all on a rowte, 

home to his mouth, 

A loud blast cold he blow, 35 

Full three hundred bold yeomen 
Came raking all on a row. 

But Robin cast downe his baggs of bread, 

Soe did he his staffe with a face, 
And in a doublet of red velvett 40 

This yeoman stood in his place. 

But Robin he lope, and Robin he threw, 

He lope over stocke and stone, 
But those that saw Robin Hood run 

Said he was a liver old man. 45 

" But bend your bowes, and stroke your strings, 

Set the gallow tree aboute, 
And Christes curse on his head," said Robin, 

' That spares the sheriff and the sergeant. 

33. Nine or ten stanzas wanting. J. 

49. For " the sergeant " read " his rowte." J. 


When the sheriffe see gentle Robin wold shoote, so 

He held up both his hands, 
Says, " Aske, good Robin, and thou shalt have, 

Whether it be house or land." 

" I will neither have house nor land," said Robin, 
" Nor gold, nor none of thy fee, 55 

But I will have those 3 squires, 
To greene forest with mee." 

"Now* marry, gods forbott," said the sheriffe, 

" That ever that shold be, 
Ffor why, they be the kings felons ; 

They are all condemned to dye." 

" But grant me my askynge," said Robin, 

" Or by the faith of my body, 
Thou shalt be the first man 

Shall flower this gallow tree." 

But I will . . 3 squires 

cetera desunt. 
63, by me. 


Eitson's Robin Hood, ii. 155. 

" THIS ballad," says Ritson, " from the York edi 
tion of Robin Hood's Garland^- is probably one of the 
oldest extant of which he is the subject. The cir 
cumstance of Robin's changing clothes with the palmer, 
is, possibly, taken from an old romance, entitled The 
noble hystory of the moost excellent and myghty prynce 
and Tiygh renowmed knyght kynge PontTius of Galyce 
and of lytell Brytayne. Emprynted at London in 
Fletestrete, at the sygne of the sonne, by Wynken 
de Worde. In the yere of our lorde god 1511, 4to. 
bl. sig, L 6. * And as he (Ponthus) rode, he met 
with a poore palmer, beggynge his brede, the whiche 
had his gowne all to-clouted and an olde pylled 
hatte : so he alyght, and sayd to the palmer, frende, 
we shall make a chaunge of all our garmentes, for ye 
shall have my gowne and I shall have yours and your 
hatte. A, syr, sayd the palmer, ye bourde you with 
me. In good fayth, sayd Ponthus, I do not ; so he 
dyspoyled hym and cladde hym with all his rayment, 

1 The earliest known edition of Robin Hood's Garland was 
formerly in the possession of Mr. Douce, and is now among 
the books bequeathed by him to the Bodleian Library. It 
is dated 1670, and contains sixteen ballads. In the later Gar 
lands this number is increased to twenty four, and to twenty 


and he put upon hym the poore mannes gowne, his 
gyrdell, his hosyn, his shone, his hatte and his bourden.' " 

" There is an allusion to this ballad," adds Gutch, 
" in Anthony Munday's play of The Downfall of Rob 
ert Earl of Huntington. Collier's Old Plays, p. 41." 

Another version of this piece is immediately sub 

THERE are twelve months in all the year, 

As I hear many say, 
But the merriest month in all the year 

Is the merry month of May. 

Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone, * 

With a link a down and a day, 
And there he met a silly old woman, 

Was weeping on the way. 

" What news ? what news, thou silly old woman ? 

What news hast thou for me ? " 10 

Said she, " There's three squires in Nottingham 

To-day is condemned to die." 

" O have they parishes burnt ? " he said, 

" Or have they ministers slain ? 
Or have they robbed any virgin, u 

Or with other men's wives have lain ? " 

a They have no parishes burnt, good sir, 
Nor yet have ministers slain, 


Nor have they robbed any virgin, 

Nor with other men's wives have lain." 20 

" O what have they done ? " said Robin Hood, 

" I pray thee tell to me : " 
" It's for slaying of the king's fallow deer, 

Bearing their long bows with thee." 

" Dost thou not mind, old woman," he said, 25 
" Since thou made me sup and dine ? 

By the truth of my body," quoth bold Robin 

" You could not tell it in better time." 

Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone, 

With a link a down and a day, so 

And there he met with a silly old palmer, 
Was walking along the highway. 

" What news ? what news, thou silly old man ? 

What news, I do thee pray ? " 
Said he, " Three squires in Nottingham town as 

Are condemn'd to die this day." 

" Come change thy apparel with me, old man, 
Come change thy apparel for mine ; 

Here is forty shillings in good silver, 

Go drink it in beer or wine." 40 

30, and a down a. 


" thine apparel is good," he said, 

" And mine is ragged and torn ; 
Wherever you go, wherever you ride, 

Laugh ne'er an old man to scorn." 

" Come change thy apparel with me, old churl, 
Come change thy apparel with mine ; 

Here are twenty pieces of good broad gold, 
Go feast thy brethren with wine." 

Then he put on the old man's hat, 

It stood full high on the crown : so 

" The first bold bargain that I come at, 

It shall make thee come down." 

Then he put on the old man's cloak, 
Was patch'd black, blew, and red ; 

He thought it no shame all the day long 53 

To wear the bags of bread. 

Then he put on the old man's breeks, 

Was patch'd from ballup to side : 
" By the truth of my body," bold Robin can say, 

" This man lov'd little pride." > 

Then he put on the old man's hose, 

Were patch'd from knee to wrist : 
" By the truth of my body," said bold Robin Hood, 

" I'd laugh if I had any list." 


Then he put on the old man's shoes, es 

Were patch'd both beneath and aboon ; 

Then Robin Hood swore a solemn oath, 
It's good habit that makes a man. 

Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone, 

With a link a down and a down, ^ 

And there he met with the proud sheriff, 
Was walking along the town. 

" O Christ you save, O sheriff," he said, 

" O Christ you save and see ; 
And what will you give to a silly old man TK 

To-day will your hangman be ? " 

" Some suits, some suits," the sheriff he said, 

" Some suits I'll give to thee : 
Some suits, some suits, and pence thirteen, 

To-day 's a hangman's fee." so 

Then Robin he turns him round about, 

And jumps from stock to stone : 
" By the truth of my body," the sheriff he said, 

" That's well jumpt, thou nimble old man." 

" I was ne'er a hangman in all my life, & 

Nor yet intends to trade ; 
But curst be he," said bold Robin, 

" That first a hangman was made. 

73, 74. Oh save, oh save, oh sheriff, he said, 
Oh save and you may see. 


" I've a bag for meal, and a bag for malt, 

And a bag for barley and corn ; w 

A bag for bread, and a bag for beef, 
And a bag for iny little small horn. 

" I have a horn in my pocket, 

I got it from Robin Hood, 
And still when I set it to my mouth, M 

For thee it blows little good." 

"O wind thy horn, thou proud fellow, 

Of thee I have no doubt : 
I wish that thou give such a blast 

Till both thy eyes fall out." 100 

The first loud blast that he did blow, 

He blew both loud and shrill ; 
A hundred and fifty of Robin Hood's men 

Came riding over the hill. 

The next loud blast that he did give, 105 

He blew both loud and amain, 
And quickly sixty of Robin Hood's men 

Came shining over the plain. 

" O who are those," the sheriff he said, 

" Come tripping over the lee ? " no 

" They're my attendants," brave Robin did say, 
" They'll pay a visit to thee." 
96, me. 


They took the gallows from the slack, 

They set it in the glen, 
They hang'd the proud sheriff on that, iw 

Releas'd their own three men. 


" THIS song, and its tune, as the editor is informed 
hy his ingenious friend, Edward Williams, the Welsh 
bard, are well known in South Wales, by the name of 
Marchog Glas, i. e. Green Knight. Though apparent 
ly ancient, it is not known to exist in black letter, nor 
has any better authority been met with than the com 
mon collection of Aldermary-churchyard." RITSON'S 
Robin Hood, ii. 216. 

BOLD Robin Hood ranging the forrest all round, 

The forrest all round ranged he, 
there did he meet with a gay lady, 

She came weeping along the highway. 

f ' Why weep you, why weep you ? " bold Robin 
he said, 5 

" What, weep you for gold or fee ? 
Or do you weep for your maidenhead, 

That is taken from your body ? " 


" I weep not for gold," the lady reply'd, 

" Neither do I weep for fee ; w 

Nor do I weep for my maidenhead, 
That is taken from my body." 

" What weep you for then ? " said jolly Robin, 

u I prithee come tell unto me ; " 
" Oh ! I do weep for my three sons, is 

For they are all condemned to die." 

" What church have they robbed ? " said jolly 

" Or parish-priest have they slain ? 
What maids have they forced against their will ? 

Or with other mens wives have lain ? " 20 

" No church have they robbed," this lady reply'd, 
" Nor parish-priest have they slain ; 

No maids have they forced against their will, 
Nor with other mens wives have lain." 

" What have they ,done then ? " said jolly Robin, 25 

" Come tell me most speedily : " 
" Oh ! it is for killing the kings fallow deer, 

That they are all condemned to die." 

" Get you home, get you home," said jolly Robin, 
" Get you home most speedily, so 

And I will unto fair Nottingham go, 
For the sake of the squires all three." 
28, And. 


Then bold Robin Hood for Nottingham goes, 

For Nottingham town goes he, 
there did he meet with a poor beggar-man, ss 

He came creeping along the highway. 

" What news, what news, thou old beggar-man ? 

What news, come tell unto me : " 
" there's weeping and wailing in Nottingham, 

For the death of the squires all three." *> 

This beggar-man had a coat on his back, 
'Twas neither green, yellow, nor red ; 

Bold Robin Hood thought 'twas no disgrace 
To be in the beggar-mans stead. 

" Come, pull off thy coat, thou old beggar-man, *5 

And thou shalt put on mine ; 
And forty good shillings I'll give thee to boot, 

Besides brandy, good beer, ale and wine." 

Bold Robin Hood then unto Nottingham came, 
Unto Nottingham town came he ; so 

O there did he meet with great master sheriff, 
And likewise the squires all three. 

" One boon, one boon," says jolly Robin, 

" One boon I beg on my knee ; 
That, as for the death of these three squires, w 

Their hangman I may be." 


" Soon granted, soon granted," says master sheriff, 

u Soon granted unto thee ; 
And you shalt have all their gay cloathing, 

Aye, and all their white money. a) 

" O I will have none of their gay cloathing, 

Nor none of their white money, 
But I'll have three blasts on my bugle-horn, 

That their souls to heaven may flee." 

Then Robin Hood mounted the gallows so high, cs 

Where he blew loud and shrill, 
Till an hundred and ten of Robin Hoods men 

Came marching down the green hill. 

" Whose men are these ? " says master sheriff, 
" Whose men are they ? corne tell unto me : " ro 

" O they are mine, but none of thine, 
And are come for the squires all three." 

" O take them, O take them," says great master 


" O take them along with thee ; 
For there's never a man in fair Nottingham 75 
Can do the like of thee. 

65. When. 


Ritson's Robin Bood, ii. 61. 

" FROM an old black-letter copy in the collection 
of Anthony a Wood : corrected by a much earlier one 
in the Pepysian library, printed by H. Gosson, about 
the year 1610 ; compared with a later one in the same 
collection. The full title is : The famous battett be- 
tweene Eobin Hood and the Curtail Fryer. To a new 
Northern tune" 

IN summer time, when leaves grow green, 

And flowers are fresh and gay, 
Robin Hood and his merry men 

Were disposed to play. 

Then some would leape, and some would runne, -5 

And some would use artillery ; 
" Which of you can a good bow draw, 

A good archer for to be ? 

" Which of you can kill a bucke, 

Or who can kill a doe ? 10 

Or who can kill a hart of greece 

Five hundreth foot him fro ? " 


Will Scadlocke he kild a bucke, 

And Midge he kild a doe, 
And Little John kild a hart of greece, is 

Five hundreth foot him fro. 

" Gods blessing on thy heart," said Robin Hood, 

" That hath such a shot for me ; 
I would ride my horse a hundred miles, 

To find one could match thee." 20 

This caused Will Scadlocke to laugh, 

He laught full heartily : 
" There lives a curtail fryer in Fountaines Abbey 

Will beate both him and thee. 

" The curtail fryer in Fountaines Abbey 2.5 

Well can a strong bow draw ; 
He will beat you and your yeomen, 

Set them all on a row." 

Robin Hood he tooke a solemne oath, 

It was by Mary free, so 

That he would neither eate nor drinke 
Till the fryer he did see. 

Robin Hood put on his harnesse good, 

On his head a cap of steel, 
Broad sword and buckler by his side, 35 

And they became him weele. 


He tooke his bow into his hand, 

It was made of a trusty tree, 
With a sheafe of arrowes at his belt, 

And to Fountaine Dale went he. *> 

And comming unto Fountaine Dale, 

No farther would he ride ; 
There he was aware of the curtail fryer, 

Walking by the water side. 

The fryer had on a harnesse good, 45 

On his head a cap of steel, 
Broad sword and buckler by his side, 

And they became him weele. 

Robin Hood lighted off his horse, 

And tyed him to a thorne : so 

" Carry me over the water, thou curtail fryer, 

Or else thy life's forlorne." 

The fryer tooke Robin Hood on his backe, 

Deepe water he did bestride, 
And spake neither good word nor bad, w 

Till he came at the other side. 

Lightly leapt Robin offe the fryers backe ; 

The fryer said to him againe, 
" Carry me over this water, [thou] fine fellow, 

Or it shall breed thy paine." eo 

VOL. v. 18 


Robin Hood took the fryer on his backe, 

Deepe water he did bestride, 
And spake neither good word nor bad, 

Till he came at the other side. 

Lightly leapt the fryer off Robin Hoods backe ; 

Robin Hood said to him againe, 
" Carry me over this water, thou curtail fryer, 

Or it shall breede thy pain." 

The fryer tooke Robin on's backe againe, 

And stept in to the knee ; 
Till he came at the middle streame 

Neither good nor bad spake he. 

And comming to the middle streame, 

There he threw Robin in ; 
" And chuse thee, chuse thee, fine fellow, 

Whether thou wilt sink or swim." 

Robin Hood swam to a bush of broome, 

The fryer to a wigger wand ; 
Bold Robin Hood is gone to shore, 

And took his bow in his hand. 

One of his best arrowes under his belt 

To the fryer he let fly ; 
The curtail fryer with his steel buckler 

Did put that arrow by. 


" Shoot on, shoot on, thou fine fellow, 85 

Shoot as thou hast begun, 
If thou shoot here a summers day, 

Thy marke I will not shun/' 

Robin Hood shot passing well, 

Till his arrows all were gane ; 90 

They tooke their swords and steele bucklers, 

They fought with might and maine ; 

From ten o'th' clock that [very] day, 

Till four i'th' afternoon ; 
Then Robin Hood came to his knees, 95 

Of the fryer to beg a boone. 

" A boone, a boone, thou curtail fryer, 

I beg it on my knee : 
Give me leave to set my home to my mouth, 

And to blow blasts three." 100 

" That I will do," said the curtail fryer, 

" Of thy blasts I have no doubt ; 
I hope thou'lt blow so passing well, 

Till both thy eyes fall out." 

Robin Hood set his home to his mouth, m 

He blew out blasts three ; 
Halfe a hundreth yeomen, with bowes bent, 

Came raking over the lee. 


" Whose men are these," said the fryer, 

" That come so hastily ? " no 

" These men are mine," said Robin Hood ; 
" Fryer, what is that to thee ? " 

" A boone, a boone," said the curtail fryer, 

" The like I gave to thee ; 
Give me leave to set my fist to my mouth, 11.5 

And to whute whues three." 

That will I doe," said Robin Hood, 

" Or else I were to blame ; 
Three whues in a fryers fist 

"Would make me glad and faine." 12 

The fryer set his fist to his mouth, 

And whuted whues three ; 
Half a hundred good band-dogs 

Came running over the lee. 

" Here's for every man a dog, ias 

And I myselfe for thee : " 
" Nay, by my faith," said Robin Hood, 

" Fryer, that may not be." 

Two dogs at once to Robin Hood did goe, 

The one behind, the other before ; iso 

Robin Hoods mantle of Lincolne greene 
Off from his backe they tore. 


And whether his men shot east or west, 

Or they shot north or south, 
The curtail dogs, so taught they were, 135 

They kept the arrows in their mouth. 

" Take up thy dogs," said Little John, 

" Fryer, at my bidding be ; " 
" Whose man art thou," said the curtail fryer, 

" Comes here to prate with me ? " wo 

u I am Little John, Robin Hoods man, 

Fryer, I will not lie ; 
If thou take not up thy dogs soone, 

Pie take up them and thee." 

Little John had a bow in his hand, us 

He shot with might and main ; 
Soon halfe a score of the fryers dogs 

Lay dead upon the plain. 

" Hold thy hand, good fellow," said the curtal fryer, 
" Thy master and I will agree ; iw 

And we will have new orders taken, 
With all the hast may be." 

" If thou wilt forsake fair Fountaines Dale, 

And Fountaines Abbey -free, 
Every Sunday throwout the yeere, IM 

A noble shall be thy fee : 


" And every holliday through the yeere, 
Changed shall thy garment be, 

If thou wilt goe to faire Nottingham, 
And there remaine with me." 

This curtal fryer had kept Fountaines Dale 

Seven long yeeres and more ; 
There was neither knight, lord, nor earle, 

Could make him yeeld before. 


OR, a pleasant relation how a young gentleman, 
being in love with a young damsel, she was taken 
from him to be an old knights bride : and how Robin 
Hood, pittying the young mans case, took her from the 
old knight, when they were going to be marryed, and 
restored her to her own love again. To a pleasant 
northern tune, Robin Hood in the green-wood stood. 
Bold Eobin Hood he did the young man right, 
And took the damsel from the doting knight. 

From an old black-letter copy in Major Pearson's 
collection. RITSON'S Robin Hood, ii. 49. 
The same in A Collection of Old Ballads, ii. 44. 

COME listen to me, you gallants so free, 
All you that love mirth for to hear, 

And I will tell you of a bold outlaw 
That lived in Nottinghamshire. 


As Robin Hood in the forest stood, s 

All under the green-wood tree, 
There he was aware of a brave young man, 

As fine as fine might be. 

The youngster was cloathed in scarlet red, 
In scarlet fine and gay ; 10 

And he did frisk it over the plain, 
And chanted a round-de-lay. 

As Robin Hood next morning stood 

Amongst the leaves so gay, 
There did [he] espy the same young man, is 

Come drooping along the way. 

The scarlet he wore the day before, 

It was clean cast away ; 
And at every step he fetcht a sigh, 

" Alack and a well a day ! " 20 

Then stepped forth brave Little John, 

And Midge the millers son, 
Which made the young man bend his bow, 

When as he see them come. 

" Stand off, stand off," the young man said, a> 

" What is your will with me ? " 
" You must come before our master straight, 

Under yon green-wood tree." 
22. Nicke. 


And when he came bold Robin before, 

Robin askt him courteously, so 

" O hast thou any money to spare 
For my merry men and me ? " 

" I have no money," the young man said, 

" But five shillings and a ring ; 
And that I have kept this seven long years, as 

To have it at my wedding. 

" Yesterday I should have married a maid, 

But she soon from me was tane, 
And chosen to be an old knights delight, 

Whereby my poor heart is slain." 40 

" What is thy name ? " then said Robin Hood, 
" Come tell me, without any fail : " 

" By the faith of my body," then said the young 

My name it is Allin a Dale." 

" What wilt thou give me," said Robin Hood, 

" In ready gold or fee, 
To help thee to thy true love again, 

And deliver her unto thee ? " 

" I have no money," then quoth the young man, 
" No ready gold nor fee, GO 

But I will swear upon a book 
Thy true servant for to be." 


" How many miles is it to thy true love ? 

Come tell me without guile : " [man, 

" By the faith of my body," then said the young 

" It is but five little mile." 56 

Then Robin he hasted over the plain, 

He did neither stint nor lin, 
Until he came unto the church, 

Where Allin should keep his wedding. eo 

" What hast thou here ? " the bishop then said, 

" I prithee now tell unto me : 
" I am a bold harper," quoth Robin Hood, 

" And the best in the north country." 

" welcome, O welcome," the bishop he said, ss 
" That musick best pleaseth me : " 

" You shall have no musick," quoth Robin Hood, 
" Till the bride and the bridegroom I see." 

With that came in a wealthy knight, 

Which was both grave and old, 

And after him a finikin lass, 

Did shine like the glistering gold. 

" This is not a fit match," quod bold Robin 

u That you do seem to make here, 
For since we are come into the church, rs 

The bride shall chuse her own dear." 


Then Robin Hood put his horn to his inouth, 

And blew blasts two or three ; 
When four and twenty bowmen bold 

Came leaping over the lee. so 

And when they came into the church-yard, 

Marching all on a row, 
The first man was Allin a Dale, 

To give bold Robin his bow. 

" This is thy true love," Robin he said, as 

" Young Allin, as I hear say ; 
And you shall be married at this same time, 

Before we depart away." 

" That shall not be," the bishop he said, 

" For thy word shall not stand ; 90 

They shall be three times askt in the church, 
As the law is of our land." 

Robin Hood pull'd off the bishops coat, 

And put it upon Little John ; 
" By the faith of my body," then Robin said, & 

This cloth does make thee a man." 

When Little John went into the quire, 

The people began to laugh ; 
He askt them seven times in the church, 

Lest three times should not be enough. 100 


" Who gives me this maid ? " said Little John ; 

Quoth Robin Hood, " That do I, 
And he that takes her from Allin a Dale, 

Full dearly he shall her buy." 

And thus having ende of this merry wedding, us 

The bride lookt like a queen ; 
And so they return'd to the merry green-wood, 

Amongst the leaves so green. 


FROM A Collection of Old Ballads, i. 90. The full 
title is : Robin Hood rescuing Will Stutley from the 
sheriff and his men, who had taken him prisoner, and 
were going to hang him, Sfc. To the tune of Robin 
Hood and Queen Catherine. The same in Bitson's 
Robin Hood, ii. 106. 

WHEN Robin Hood in the green wood stood, 

Derry, derry down, 
Under the green wood tree, 
Tidings there came to him with speed, 
Tidings for certainty ; 

Hey down, derry, derry, down. 

That Will Stutly surprized was, * 

And eke in prison lay ; 
Three varlets that the king had hir'd, 

Did likely him betray. 


Ay, and to-morrow hang'd must be, 
To-morrow as soon as day ; 

Before they could the victory get, 
Two of 'em did Stutly slay. 

When Robin Hood did hear this news, 
Lord ! it did grieve him sore ; 

And to his merry men he said, 
(Who altogether swore) 

That Will Stutly should rescu'd be, 
And be brought back again ; 

Or else should many a gallant wight 
For his sake there be slain. 

He cloath'd himself in scarlet then, 
His men were all in green ; 

A finer shew, throughout the world, 
In no place could be seen. 

Good lord ! it was a gallant sight 

To see them all a-row ; 
With ev'ry man a good broad sword, 

And eke a good yew bow. 

Forth of the green wood are they gone, 

Yea, all couragously, 
Resolving to bring Stutly home, 

Or every man to dye. 


And when they came to the castle near 

Wherein Will Stutly lay, 
I hold it good," said Robin Hood, ss 

" We here in ambush stay, 

" And send one forth some news to hear, 

To yonder palmer fair, 
That stands under the castle wall ; 

Some news he may declare." * 

With that steps forth a brave young man, 

Which was of courage bold ; 
Thus he did say to the old man : 

" I pray thee, palmer old, 

" Tell me, if that thou rightly ken, 45 

When must Will Stutly dye, 
Who is one of bold Robin's men, 

And here doth prisoner lye ? " 

" Alas, alas," the palmer said, 

" And for ever woe is me ! > 

Will Stutly hang'd will be this day, 

On yonder gallows tree. 

" O had his noble master known, 

He would some succour send ; 
A few of his bold yeomanry ** 

Full soon would fetch him hence." 


" Ay, that is true," the young man said ; 

" Ay, that is true," said he ; 
" Or, if they were near to this place, 

They soon would set him free. 

" But fare thou well, thou good old man, 
Farewel, and thanks to thee ; 

If Stutly hanged be this day, 
Reveng'd his death will be." 

No sooner he was from the palmer gone, 
But the gates were open'd wide, 

And out of the castle Will Stutly came, 
Guarded on every side. 

When he was forth from the castle come, 

And saw no help was nigh, 
Thus he did say unto the sheriff, 

Thus he said gallantly : 

" Now seeing that I needs must dye, 
Grant me one boon," said he, 

" For my noble master ne'er had man 
That yet was hang'd on tree. 

"Give me a sword all in my hand, 

And let me be unbound, 
And with thee and thy men I'll fight, 

Till I lye dead on the ground." 


But this desire he would not grant, 

His wishes were in vain ; 
For the sheriff swore he hang'd should be, 

And not by the sword be slain. 

" Do but unbind my hands," he says, & 

" I will no weapons crave, 
And if I hanged be this day, 

Damnation let me have." 

" O no, no, no," the sheriff said, 

" Thou shalt on gallows dye, 90 

Ay, and so shall thy master too, 

If ever in me it lye." 

" dastard coward ! " Study cries, 

Faint-hearted peasant slave ! 
If ever my master do thee meet, as 

Thou shalt thy payment have. 

" My noble master thee doth scorn, 

And all thy cowardly crew ; 
Such silly imps unable are 

Bold Robin to subdue." 100 

But when he was to the gallows gone, 

And ready to bid adieu, 
Out of a bush steps Little John, 

And goes Will Stutly to. 


' I pray thee, Will, before thou dye, ire 

Of thy dear friends take leave ; 
I needs must borrow him a while, 

How say you, master sheriff ? " 

" Now, as I live," the sheriff said, 

" That varlet will I know ; no 

Some sturdy rebel is that same, 

Therefore let him not go." 

And Little John most hastily 

Away cut Stutly's bands, 
And from one of the sheriffs men, IM 

A sword twich'd from his hands. 

" Here, Will Stutly, take thou this same, 

Thou canst it better sway ; 
And here defend thyself awhile, 

For aid will come straightway." 120 

And there they turn'd them back to back, 

In the midst of them that day, 
Till Robin Hood approached near, 

With many an archer gay. 

With that an arrow from them flew, 125 

I-wis from Robin Hood ; 
" Make haste, make haste," the sheriff he said, 

" Make haste, for it is not good." 

126, 1 wist. 


The sheriff is gone ; his doughty men 

Thought it no boot to stay, 130 

But, as their master had them taught, 
They run full fast away. 

" O stay, stay," Will Stutly said, 

" Take leave ere you depart ; 
You ne'er will catch bold Robin Hood, iss 

Unless you dare him meet." 

" O ill betide you," said Robin Hood, 

That you so soon are gone ; 
My sword may in the scabbard rest, 

For here our work is done." n 

" I little thought," Will Stutly said, 

" When I came to this place, 
For to have met with Little John, 

Or seen my master's face." 

Thus Stutly he was at liberty set, i 

And safe brought from his foe : 
" O thanks, O thanks to my master, 

Since here it was not so. 

" And once again, my fellows dear, 

Derry, derry down, 

We shall in the green woods meet, iso 

Where we will make our bow-strings twang, 
Musick for us most sweet." 

Hey down, derry, derry down. 
VOL. v. 19 



Ritson's Robin Hood, ii. 13. 

" FROM an old black-letter copy in the collection of 
Anthony a Wood. It is there said to go ' To the tune 
of Bold Robin Hood ; ' and the chorus is repeated in 
every stanza To the above title are added the follow 
ing doggerel lines : 

Where hee met with fifteen forresters all on a row, 
And hee desired of them some news for to know, 
But with crosse-grain'd words they did him thwart, 
For which at last hee made them smart." 

One or two corrections made by Gutch from copies 
in the Roxburghe collection have been admitted. 

ROBIN HOOD he was a tall young man, 

Derry, derry down, 
And fifteen winters old ; 

And Robin Hood he was a proper young man, 
Of courage stout and bold. 

Hey down, derry, derry down. 

Robin Hood hee would unto fair Nottingham, i 
With the general for to dine ; 

1, and he ; 5, and to, Ritson. 


There was hee aware of fifteen forresters, 
And a drinking beer, ale, and wine. 

" What news ? " " What news ? " said bold Robin 

u What news fain wouldest thou know ? 10 

Our king hath provided a shooting match, 

And I'm ready with my bow." 

" We hold it in scorn," said the forresters, 

" That ever a boy so young 
Should bear a bow before our king, 15 

That's not able to draw one string." 

" Fie hold you twenty marks," said bold Robin 

" By the leave of our lady, 
That I'le hit a mark a hundred rod, 

And I'le cause a hart to dye." 20 

" We'l hold you twenty mark," then said the 

" By the leave of our lady, 
Thou hit'st not the marke a hundred rod, 

Nor causest a hart to dye." 

Robin Hood he bent up a noble bow, 25 

And a broad arrow he let flye, 
He hit the mark a hundred rod, 

And he caused a hart to dye. 

8, bear. 


Some say hee brake ribs one or two, 

And some say hee brake three ; 30 

The arrow within the hart would not abide, 

But it glanced in two or three. 

The hart did skip, and the hart did leap, 

And the hart lay on the ground ; 
" The wager is mine," said bold Robin Hood, 35 

" If t were for a thousand pound." 

u The wager's none of thine," then said the for- 

" Although thou beest in haste ; 
Take up thy bow, and get thee hence, 

Lest wee thy sides do baste." <o 

Robin Hood he took up his noble bow, 

And his broad arrows all amain ; 
And Robin Hood he laught, and begun to smile, 

As hee went over the plain. 

Then Robin Hood he bent his noble bow, 

And his broad arrowes he let flye, 
Till fourteen of these fifteen forresters 

Upon the ground did lye. 

He that did this quarrel first begin 

Went tripping over the plain ; so 

But Robin Hood he bent his noble bow, 

And hee fetcht him back again. 


" You said I was no archer," said Robin Hood, 

" But say so now again ; " 
With that he sent another arrow, 

That split his head in twain. 

"You have found mee an archer," said Robin 

" Which will make your wives for to wring, 
And wish that you had never spoke the word, 

That I could not draw one string." w 

The people that lived in fair Nottingham 

Came running out amain, 
Supposing to have taken bold Robin Hood, 

With the forresters that were slain. 

Some lost legs, and some lost arms, &s 

And some did lose their blood ; 
But Robin hee took up his noble bow, 

And is gone to the merry green wood. 

They carried these forresters into fair Nottingham, 
As many there did know ; 70 

They dig d them graves in their church-yard, 
And they buried them all a-row. 
57, saith. EITSON. 



" THIS excellent ballad, given from the common 
edition of Aldermary church-yard (compared with 
the York copy), is supposed to be modern ; the story, 
however, seems alluded to in the ballad of Renowned 
Robin Hood. The full title is The Bishop of Here- 
fords entertainment by Robin Hood and Little John, 
., in merry Barnsdale" RiTSON's.R0&m Hood, ii. 150. 

SOME they will talk of bold Robin Hood, 

And some of barons bold ; 

But I'll tell you how he serv'd the bishop of 

When he robb'd him of his gold. 

As it befel in merry Barnsdale, 

All under the green-wood tree, 
The bishop of Hereford was to come by, 

With all his company. 

" Come, kill [me] a ven'son," said bold Robin 

" Come, kill me a good fat deer ; 10 

The bishop of Hereford is to dine with me to-day, 

And he shall pay well for his cheer. 


We'll kill a fat ven'son," said bold Robin Hood, 
And dress it by the highway side ; 

And we will watch the bishop narrowly, u 

Lest some other way he should ride." 

Robin liood dress'd himself in shepherds attire, 

With six of his men also ; 
And, when the bishop of Hereford came by, 

They about the fire did go. 20 

" O what is the matter ? " then said the bishop, 
" Or for whom do you make this a-do ? 

Or why do you kill the kings ven'son, 
When your company is so few ? " 

" We are shepherds," said bold Robin Hood, 25 

" And we keep sheep all the year, 
And we are disposed to be merry this day, 

And to kill of the kings fat deer." 

" You are brave fellows ! " said the bishop, 

" And the king of your doings shall know : so 

Therefore make haste, and come along with me, 
For before the king you shall go." 

" O pardon, O pardon," said bold Robin Hood, 

" O pardon, I thee pray ! 
For it becomes not your lordships coat 35 

To take so many lives away." 


" No pardon, no pardon," said the bishop, 

" No pardon I thee owe ; 
Therefore make haste, and come along with me, 

For before the king you shall go." 

Then Robin set his back against a tree, 

And his foot against a thorn, 
And from underneath his shepherds coat 

He pull'd out a bugle horn. 

He put the little end to his mouth, 

And a loud blast did he blow, 
Till threescore and ten of bold Robins men 

Came running all on a row, 

All making obeysance to bold Robin Hood ; 

'Twas a comely sight for to see. 
" What is the matter, master," said Little John, 

" That you blow so hastily ? " 

" O here is the bishop of Hereford, 

And no pardon we shall have : " 
" Cut off his head, master," said Little John, 5 

" And throw him into his grave." 

" O pardon, O pardon," said the bishop, 

" pardon, I thee pray, 
For if I had known it had been you, 

I'd have gone some other way. * 


" No pardon, no pardon," said bold Robin Hood, 

" No pardon I thee owe ; 
Therefore make haste, and come along with me, 

For to merry Barnsdale you shall go." 

Then Robin he took the bishop by the hand, 

And led him to merry Barnsdale ; 
He made him to stay and sup with him that night, 

And to drink wine, beer, and ale. 

" Call in a reckoning," said the bishop, 

" For methinks it grows wond'rous high : " ro 

" Lend me your purse, master," said Little John, 
" And I'll tell you bye and bye." 

Then Little John took the bishops cloak, 

And spread it upon the ground, 
And out of the bishops portmantua n 

He told three hundred pound. 

" Here's money enough, master," said Little John, 

" And a comely sight 'tis to see ; 
It makes me in charity with the bishop, 

Tho' he heartily not me." w 

Robin Hood took the bishop by the hand, 

And he caused the music to play ; 
And he made the bishop to dance in his boots, 

And glad he could so get away. 


Ritson's Robin Hood, ii. 22. 

SHEWING how Robin Hood went to an old woman's 
house and changed cloaths with her to scape from the 
bishop ; and how he robbed the bishop of all his gold, 
and made him sing a mass. To the tune of Robin 
Hood and the Stranger. 

" From an old black-letter copy in the collection of 
Anthony a Wood." 

Two trifling corrections have been made from the 
copy in Old Ballads, 1723, (ii. 39,) which is very 
nearly the same. 

COME, gentlemen all, and listen awhile, 

Hey down, down, an a down, 

And a story He to you unfold ; 
Be tell you how Robin Hood served the bishop, 

When he robbed him of his gold. 

As it fell out on a sun-shining day, s 

When Phoebus was in his prime, 
Then Robin Hood, that archer good, 

In mirth would spend some time. 

And as he walk'd the forrest along, 

Some pastime for to spy, M 


There was he aware of a proud bishop, 
And all his company. 

" O what shall I do," said Robin Hood then, 

" If the bishop he doth take me ? 
No mercy he'l show unto me, I know, is 

But hanged I shall be." 

Then Robin was stout, and turn'd him about, 
And a little house there he did spy ; 

And to an old wife, for to save his life, 

He loud began for to cry. 20 

" Why, who art thou ? " said the old woman, 

" Come tell it to me for good : " 
" I am an out-law, as many do know, 

My name it is Robin Hood ; 

" And yonder's the bishop and all his men, 25 

And if that I taken be, 
Then day and night he'l work my spight, 

And hanged I shall be." 

If thou be Robin Hood," said the old wife, 
" As thou dost seem to be, 30 

Fie for thee provide, and thee I will hide, 
From the bishop and his company. 

" For I remember one Saturday night, 
Thou brought me both shoes and hose ; 
22, tell to me. RITSON. 


Therefore I'le provide thy person to hide, 35 

And keep thee from thy foes." 

" Then give me soon thy coat of grey, 
And take thou my mantle of green ; 

Thy spindle and twine unto me resign, 

And take thou my arrows so keen." 40 

And when Robin Hood was thus araid, 

He went straight to his company, 
With his spindle and twine, he oft lookt behind 

For the bishop and his company. 

" who is yonder," quoth Little John, 4.> 

" That now comes over the lee ? 
An arrow I will at her let flie, 

So like an old witch looks she." 

"O hold thy hand, hold thy hand," said Robin 
Hood then, 

" And shoot not thy arrows so keen ; so 

I am Robin Hood, thy master good, 

And quickly it shall be seen." 

The bishop he came to the old womans house, 

And called with furious mood, 
" Come let me soon see, and bring unto me, M 

That traitor Robin Hood." 

The old woman he set on a milk-white steed, 
Himselfe on a dapple gray ; 


And for joy he had got Robin Hood, 

He went laughing all the way. 

But as they were riding the forrest along, 

The bishop he chanc'd for to see 
A hundred brave bowmen bold, 

Stand under the green-wood tree. 

" O who is yonder," the bishop then said, on 

" That's ranging within yonder wood ? " 

" Marry," says the old woman, "I think it to be 
A man call'd Robin Hood." 

" Why, who art thou," the bishop he said, 

" Which I have here with me ? " ro 

" Why, I am an old woman, thou cuckoldy 

bishop ; 
Lift up my leg and see." 

" Then woe is me," the bishop he said, 

" That ever I saw this day ! " 
He turn'd him about, but Robin Hood stout ra 

Call'd him. and bid him stay. 

Then Robin took hold of the bishops horse, 

And ty'd him fast to a tree ; 
Then Little John smil'd his master upon, 

For joy of that company. ao 

75. Robin, RITSON. 


Robin Hood took his mantle from 's back, 

And spread it upon the ground, 
And out of the bishops portmantle he 

Soon told five hundred pound. 

" Now let him go," said Robin Hood ; 

Said Little John, " That may not be ; 
For I vow and protest he shall sing us a mass, 

Before that he goe from me." 

Then Robin Hood took the bishop by the hand, 

And bound him fast to a tree, 
And made him sing a mass, god wot, 

To him and his yeomandree. 

And then they brought him through the wood, 

And set him on his dapple gray, 
And gave him the tail within his hand, 

And bade him for Robin Hood pray. 



He met two priests upon the way, 
And forced them with him to pray ; 
For gold they prayed, and gold they had, 
Enough to make bold Robin glad. 
His share came to four hundred pound, 
That then was told upon the ground ; 
Now mark, and you shall hear the jest, 
You never heard the like exprest. 

Tune is, Robin Hood was a tall young man, Sfc. 

" THIS ballad (given from an old black-letter copy 
in the collection of Anthony a Wood) was entered, 
amongst others, in the Stationers' book, by Francis 
Coule, 13th June, 1631, and by Francis Grove, 2nd 
June, 1656." RITSON'S Robin Hood,\\. 101. 

This piece is printed in A Collection of Old Ballads, 
ii. 121, with some variations. 

I HAVE heard talk of bold Robin Hood, 
Derry, derry down, 

And of brave Little John, 
Of Fryer Tuck, and Will Scarlet, 

Loxley, and maid Marion. 

But such a tale as this before * 

I think was never knone ; 


For Robin Hood disguised himself, 
And from the wood is gone. 

Like to a fryer, bold Robin Hood 

Was accoutered in his array ; 10 

With hood, gown, bedes, and crucifix, 

He past upon the way. 

He had not gone miles two or three, 

But it was his chance to spy 
Two lusty priests, clad all in black, is 

Come riding gallantly. 

" Benedicite," then said Robin Hood, 

" Some pitty on me take ; 
Cross you my hand with a silver groat, 

For our dear ladies sake. ao 

" For I have been wandring all this day, 

And nothing could I get ; 
Not so much as one poor cup of drink, 

Nor bit of bread to eat." 

" Now, by our dame," the priests repli'd, 25 

We never a penny have ; 
For we this morning have been rob'd, 

And could no money save." 

" I am much afraid," said bold Robin Hood, 
That you both do tell a lie ; so 

8 to. 


And now before you do go hence, 
I am resolv'd to try." 

When as the priests heard him say so, 

Then they rode away amain ; 
But Robin Hood betook to his heels, as 

And soon overtook them again. 

Then Robin Hood laid hold of them both, 
And pull'd them down from their horse : 

" O spare us, fryer ! " the priests cry'd out, 
u On us have some remorse ! " 40 

" You said you had no mony," quoth he, 

" Wherefore, without delay, 
We three will fall down on our knees, 

And for mony we will pray." 

The priests they could not him gainsay, 

But down they kneeled with speed ; 

" Send us, O send us," then quoth they, 
" Some money to serve our need." 

The priests did pray with a mournful chear, 
Sometimes their hands did wring ; so 

Sometimes they wept, and cried aloud, 
Whilst Robin did merrily sing. 

When they had been praying an hours space, 
The priests did still lament ; 
VOL. v. 20 


Then quoth bold Robin, " Now let 's see w 
What mony heaven hath us sent. 

" We will be sharers all alike 

Of mony that we have ; 
And there is never a one of us 

That his fellow shall deceive." eo 

The priests their hands in their pockets put, 

But mony would find none : 
" We'l search ourselves," said Robin Hood, 

" Each other, one by one." 

Then Robin Hood took pains to search them 
both, ss 

And he found good store of gold, 
Five hundred peeces presently 

Upon the grass was told. 

" Here is a brave show," said Robin Hood, 
" Such store of gold to see, "o 

And you shall each one have a part, 
Cause you prayed so heartily." 

He gave them fifty pounds a-peece, 
And the rest for himself did keep : 

The priests durst not speak one word, ft 

But they sighed wondrous deep. 

With that the priests rose up from their knees, 
Thinking to have parted so : 


" Nay, stay," says Robin Hood, "one thing more 
I have to say ere you do go. so 

" You shall be sworn," said bold Robin Hood, 

" Upon this holy grass, 
That you will never tell lies again, 

Which way soever you pass. 

" The second oath that you here must take, tu 

That all the days of your lives, 
You shall never tempt maids to sin, 

Nor lye with other mens wives. 

" The last oath you shall take, it is this, 

Be charitable to the poor ; ' 

Say, you have met with a holy fryar, 
And I desire no more." 

He set them on their horses again, 

And away then they did ride ; 
And he returned to the merry green-wood, & 

With great joy, mirth, and pride. 



SHEWING how he was taken ill, and how he went 
to his cousin at Kirkley-hall, who let him blood, which 
was the cause of his death. Tune of Robin Hood's 
lastfarewel, fyc. 

"This very old (?) and curious piece is preserved solely 
in the editions of Robin Hood's Garland printed at 
York, (or such as have been taken from them,) where 
it is made to conclude with some foolish lines, (adopted 
from the London copy of Robin Hood and the Valiant 
Knight,) in order to introduce the epitaph. It is here 
given from a collation of two different copies, contain 
ing numerous variations, a few of which are retained 
in the margin." RITSON'S Robin Hood, ii. 187. 

WHEN Robin Hood and Little John, 

Down a down, a down, a down. 
Went o'er yon bank of broom, 
Said Robin Hood to Little John, 
" We have shot for many a pound : 
Hey down, a down, a down. 

" But I am not able to shoot one shot more, 

My arrows will not flee ; 
But I have a cousin lives down below, 

Please God, she will bleed me." 


Now Robin is to fair Kirkley gone, 

As fast as he can win ; 10 

But before he came there, as we do hear, 

He was taken very ill. 

And when that he came to fair Kirkley-hall, 

He knock'd all at the ring, 
But none was so ready as his cousin herself is 

For to let bold Robin in. 

" Will you please to sit down, cousin Robin," 
she said, 

" And drink some beer with me ? " 
" No, I will neither eat nor drink, 

Till I am blooded by thee." 20 

" Well, I have a room, cousin Robin/' she said, 

" Which you did never see, 
And if you please to walk therein, 

You blooded by me shall be." 

She took him by the lilly-white hand, 2* 

And led him to a private room, 
And there she blooded bold Robin Hood, 

Whilst one drop of blood would run. 

She blooded him in the vein of the arm, 

And lock'd him up in the room ; so 

20. Till I blood letted be. 24. You blood shall letted be. 
6, let, Ritson. 


There did he bleed all the live-long day, 
Untill the next day at noon. 

He then bethought him of a casement door, 

Thinking for to be gone ; 
He was so weak he could not leap, 

Nor he could not get down. 

He then bethought him of his bugle-horn, 
Which hung low down to his knee ; 

He set his horn unto his mouth, 
And blew out weak blasts three. 

Then Little John, when hearing him, 

As he sat under the tree, 
" I fear my master is near dead, 

He blows so wearily." 

Then Little John to fair Kirkley is gone, 

As fast as he can dree ; 
But when he came to Kirkley-hall, 

He broke locks two or three : 

Untill he came bold Robin to, 

Then he fell on his knee ; 
"A boon, a boon," cries Little John, 

" Master, I beg of thee." 

" What is that boon," quoth Robin Hood, 
" Little John, thou begs of me ? " 
34, get down. 


" It is to burn fair Kirkley-hall, 55 

And all their nunnery." 

" Now nay, now nay," quoth Robin Hood, 

" That boon I'll not grant thee ; 
I never hurt woman in all my life, 

Nor man in woman's company. eo 

" I never hurt fair maid in all my time, 

Nor at my end shall it be ; 
But give me my bent bow in my hand, 

And a broad arrow I'll let flee ; 
And where this arrow is taken up, &> 

There shall my grave, digg'd be. 

" Lay me a green sod under my head, 

And another at my feet ; 
And lay my bent bow by my side, 

Which was my music sweet ; 70 

And make my grave of gravel and green, 

Which is most right and meet. 

" Let me have length and breadth enough, 
With under my head a green sod ; 

That they may say, when I am dead, u 

Here lies bold Robin Hood." 

59, burnt. This stanza is omitted in one edition. 
67, 68. With verdant sods most neatly put, 

Sweet as the green-wood tree. 
74. With a green sod under my head, Kitson. 


These words they readily promis'd him, 
Which did bold Robin please : 

And there they buried bold Robin Hood, 
Near to the fair Kirkleys. 


Ritson's Robin Hood, ii. 87. 

" FROM an old black-letter copy in a private col 
lection, compared with another in that of Anthony a 
Wood. The full title is: "Renowned Robin Hood; 
or, liis famous archery truly related in the worthy ex 
ploits he acted before queen Katherine, he being an 
outlaw man; and how he obtained his own and his 
fellows pardon. To a new tune. 

" It is scarcely worth observing that there was no 
queen consort named Katherine before Henry the 
Fifth's time : but as Henry the Eighth had no less than 
three wives so called, the name would be sufficiently 
familiar to our ballad-maker." RITSON. 

GOLD tane from the kings harbengers, 

Downe, a downe, a downe, 
As seldome hath beene seene, 

Downe, a downe, a downe, 
And carried by bold Robin Hood 
For a present to the queen, 

Downe, a downe, a downe. 


" If that I live a yeare to an end," s 

Thus can queene Katherine say, 
Bold Eobin Hood, I will be thy friend, 

And all thy yeomen gay." 

The queene is to her chamber gone, 

As fast as she can win ; 10 

She calls unto her lovely page, 

His name was Richard Patrington. 

" Come thou hither to mee, thou lovely page, 

Come thou hither to mee ; 
For thou must post to Nottingham, is 

As fast as thou can dree. 

"And as thou goest to Nottingham, 

Search all the English wood, 
Enquire of one good yeoman or another, 

That can tell thee of Robin Hood." 20 

Sometimes hee went, sometimes hee ran, 

As fast as hee could win ; 
And when hee came to Nottingham, 

There hee took up his inne. 

And when he came to Nottingham, 25 

And had tooke up his inne, 
He calls for a pottle of Rhenish wine, 

And dranke a health to his queene. 

10, wen. 


There sate a yeoman by his side, 

" Tell mee, sweet page," said hee, ac 

" What is thy businesse and thy cause, 

So far in the north countrey ? " 

" This is my businesse and the cause, 

Sir, Fie tell it you for good, 
To enquire of one good yeoman or another, 35 

To tell mee of Robin Hood." 

" Tie get my horse betimes in the morne, 

By it be break of day, 
And I will shew thee bold Robin Hood, 

And all his yeomen gay." 40 

"When that he came at Robin Hoods place, 

Hee fell down on his knee ; 
" Queen Katherine she doth greet you well, 

She greets you well by mee ; 

" She bids you post to fair London court, 

Not fearing any thing : 
For there shall be a little sport, 

And she hath sent you her ring." 

Robin Hood tooke his mantle from his back, 
It was of the Lincolne greene, so 

A.nd sent it by this lovely page, 
For a present unto the queene. 


In summer time, when leaves grow green, 

It [wa]s a seemely sight to see, 
How Robin Hood himselfe had drest, M 

And all his yeomandry. 

He clothed his men in Lincolne green, 

And himselfe in scarlet red ; 
Blacke hats, white feathers, all alike, 

Now bold Robin Hood is rid. eo 

And when hee came at Londons court, 

Hee fell downe on his knee. 
" Thou art welcome, Locksly," said the queen, 

"And all thy good yeomandree." 

The king is into Finsbury field, 65 

Marching in battle ray, 

65. Ground near Moorfields, London, famous in old times 
for the archery practised there. "In the year 1498," says 
Stow, "all the gardens which had continued time out of 
minde, without Mooregate, to wit, about and beyond the 
lordship of Fensberry, were destroyed. And of them was 
made a plaine field for archers to shoote in." Survay of 
London, 1598, p. 351. See also p. 77, where it is observed 
that " about the feast of S. Bartlemew . . . the officers of 
the city . . . were challengers of all men in the suburbes, . . . 
before the lord maior, aldermen, and sheriffes, in FENSBEKY 
FIELDS, to shoote the standarde, broade arrow, and flight, for 

[The Finsbury] archers are mentioned by Ben Jonson, 
in Every man in his humour, act i, scene 1 : " Because 
I dwell at Hogsden, I shall keep company with none but the 
archers of Finsbury." 


And after follows bold Robin Hood, 
And all his yeomen gay. 

" Come hither, Tepus," said the king, 

" Bow-bearer after me ; "c 

Come measure me out with this line, 
How long our mark must be. 

" What is the wager ? " said the queene, 

" That must I now know here : " 
" Three hundred tun of Rhenish wine, 

Three hundred tun of beere ; 

" Three hundred of the fattest harts 

That run on Dallom lee ; 
That's a princely wager," said the king, 

" That needs must I tell thee." so 

With that bespake one Clifton then, 

Full quickly and full soone ; 
" Measure no markes for us, most soveraigne 

Wee'l shoot at sun and moone." 

" Ful fifteene score your marke shall be, ss 
Ful fifteene score shall stand ; " 

The practice of shooting here is alluded to by Cotton, in 
his Virgile travestie (b. iv.), 1667: 

"And arrows loos' d from Grub-street bow, 

" In FINSBURY, to him are slow; " 
and continued till within the memory of persons now living . 



" I'll lay my bow," said Clifton then, 
" I'll cleave the willow wand." 

With that the kings archers led about, 

While it was three and none ; 

With that the ladies began to shout, 
" Madam, your game is gone." 

" A boone, a boone," queen Katherine cries, 

" I crave it on my bare knee ; 
Is there any knight of your privy counsel & 

Of queen Katherines part will be ? 

" Come hither to mee, sir Richard Lee, 

Thou art a knight full good ; 
For I do knowe by thy pedigree 

Thou sprung'st from Gowers blood. ioc 

" Come hither to me, thou bishop of Hereford 

For a noble priest was hee ; 
" By my silver miter," said the bishop then, 

" He not bet one peny." 

" The king hath archers of his own, ioe 

Full ready and full light, 
And these be strangers every one, 

No man knowes what they hight." 

" What wilt thou bet," said Robin Hood, 
" Thou seest our game the worse ? " no 


" By my silver miter," then said the bishop, 
" All the money within my purse." 

" What is in thy purse ? " said Robin Hood, 
" Throw it downe on the ground." 

u fifteen score nobles," said the bishop ; iu 
" It's neere an hundred pound." 

Robin Hood took his bagge from his side, 
And threw it downe on the greene ; 

William Scadlocke then went smiling away, 
" I know who this money must win." 120 

With that the kings archers led about, 

While it was three and three ; 
With that the ladies gave a shout, 

" Woodcock, beware thy knee ! " 

" It is three and three, now," said the king, i:a 

" The next three pays for all : " 
Robin Hood went and whisper'd the queen, 

" The kings part shall be but small." 

Robin Hood hee led about, 

Hee shot it under hand ; 190 

And Clifton, with a bearing arrow, 

Hee clave the willow wand. 

And little Midge, the millers son, 
He shot not much the worse ; 


He shot within a finger of the prick : iss 

" Now, bishop, beware thy purse ! " 

" A boone, a boone," queen Katherine cries, 

" I crave it on my bare knee, 
That you will angry be with none 

That are of my partie." no 

" They shall have forty daies to come, 

And forty daies to goe, 
And three times forty to sport and play ; 

Then welcome friend or foe." 

" Thou art welcome, Robin Hood," said the 
queene, i 

" And so is Little John, 
And so is Midge, the millers son ; 

Thrice welcome every one." 

" Is this Robin Hood ? " now said the king ; 

" For it was told to me 150 

That he was slain in the palace gates, 

So far in the north country." 

"Is this Robin Hood?" quoth the bishop then, 

" As I see well to be : 

Had I knowne it had been that bold out 
law, 165 

I would not [have] bet one peny. 


" Hee tooke me late one Saturday at night, 

And bound mee fast to a tree, 
And made mee sing a masse, God wot, 

To him and his yeomandree." ieo 

" What an if I did?" saies Robin Hood, 

" Of that masse I was faine ; 
" For recompence of that," he saies, 

" Here's halfe thy gold againe." 

" Now nay, now nay," saies Little John, iss 

" Master, that shall not be ; 
We must give gifts to the kings officers ; 

That gold will serve thee and mee." 


Or, a merry progress between Robin Hood and Bang 
Henry : shewing how Robin Hood led the king his 
chase from London to London ; and when he had 
taken his leave of the queen, he returned to merry 
Sherwood. To the tune of Robin Hood and the 

" From an old black-letter copy in the collection of 
Anthony a Wood." RITSON'S Robin Hood, ii. 96. 

COME, you gallants all, to you I do call, 
With hey down, down, an a down, 
That now are in this place ; 


For a song I will sing of Henry the king, 
How he did Robin Hood chase. 

Queen Katherin she a match did make, 

As plainly doth appear, 
For three hundred tun of good red wine, 

And three [hundred] tun of beere. 

But yet her archers she had to seek, 

With their bows and arrows so good ; 10 

But her mind it was bent, with a good intent, 

To send for bold Robin Hood. 

But when bold Robin he came there, 

Queen Katherin she did say, 
" Thou art welcome, Locksley," said the queen, u 

" And all thy yeomen gay ; 

" For a match of shooting I have made, 
And thou on my part, Robin, must be." 

" If I miss the mark, be it light or dark, 

Then hanged I will be." 20 

But when the game came to be played, 

Bold Robin he then drew nigh ; 
With his mantle of green, most brave to be 

He let his arrows fly. 

5, then did. 
VOL. V. 21 


And when the game it ended was, a 

Bold Robin wan it with a grace ; 
But after the king was angry with him, 

And vowed he would him chace. 

What though his pardon granted was, 

While he with him did stay ; s 

But yet the king was vexed at him, 
Whenas he was gone his way. 

Soon after the king from the court did hye, 

In a furious angry mood, 
And often enquired both far and near 9 

After bold Robin Hood. 

But when the king to Nottingham came, 

Bold Robin was in the wood : 
" O come now," said he, " and let me see 

Who can find me bold Robin Hood." 

But when that bold Robin he did hear 

The king had him in chase, 
Then said Little John, " Tis time to be gone, 

And go to some other place." 

Then away they went from merry Sherwood, t 

And into Yorkshire he did hye ; 
And the king did follow, with a hoop and a 

But could not come him nigh. 


Yet jolly Robin he passed along, 

And went strait to Newcastle town ; so 

And there he stayed hours two or three, 

And then to Barwick is gone. 

When the king did see how Robin did flee, 

He was vexed wondrous sore ; 
W T ith a hoop and a hallow he vowed to follow, 55 

And take him, or never give ore. 

" Come now, let's away," then crys Little John, 

" Let any man follow that dare ; 
To Carlisle we'l hye with our company, 

And so then to Lancaster." GO 

From Lancaster then to Chester they went, 

And so did king Henry ; 
But Robin [went] away, for he durst not stay, 

For fear of some treachery. 

Says Robin, " Come, let us for London goe, 93 

To see our noble queens face ; 
It may be she wants our company, 

Which makes the king so us chase." 

When Robin he came queene Katherin before, 
He fell low upon his knee : 70 

" If it please your grace, I am come to this place, 
For to speak with king Henry." 
52, he ... was. 


Queen Katherine answered bold Robin again, 
" The king is gone to merry Sherwood : 

And when he went away, to me he did say, 75 
He would go and seek Robin Hood." 

" Then fare you well, my gracious queen, 

For to Sherwood I will hye apace ; 
For fain would I see what he would with me, 

If I could but meet with his grace." so 

But when king Henry he came home, 

Full weary, and vexed in mind, 
And that he did hear Robin had been there, 

He blamed dame Fortune unkind. 

" You're welcome home," queen Katherin cryed, & 

" Henry, my soveraign liege ; 
Bold Robin Hood, that archer good, 

Your person hath been to seek." 

But when king Henry he did hear, 

That Robin had been there him to seeke, 
This answer he gave, " He's a cunning knave, 

For I have sought him this whole three weeks." 

' A boon ! a boon ! " queen Katherin cry'd, 

" I beg it here of your grace ; 
To pardon his life, and seek not strife," &> 

And so endeth Robin Hoods chase. 
73, Robin Hood. 


" FROM an old black-letter copy in the collection of 
Anthony k Wood : the full title being, A new merry 
song of Robin Hood and Little John, shewing how 
Little John went a begging, and hoiv he fought with the 
four beggers. The tune is, Robin Hood and the 
JBegger." RITSON'S Robin Hood, ii. 132. 

ALL you that delight to spend some time, 

With a hey down, down, a down, down, 

A merry song for to sing, 
Unto me draw neer, and you shall hear 

How Little John went a begging. 

As Robin Hood walked the forest along, s 

And all his yeomandree, 
Sayes Robin, " Some of you must a begging go, 

And, Little John, it must be thee." 

Sayes John, " If I must a begging go, 

I will have a palmers weed, 10 

With a staff and a coat, and bags of all sort, 
The better then I may speed. 

" Come, give me now a bag for my bread, 
And another for my cheese, 


And one for a peny, whenas I get any, u 

That nothing I may leese." 

Now Little John he is a begging gone, 

Seeking for some relief ; 
But of all the beggers he met on the way, 

Little John he was the chief. x 

But as he was walking himself alone, 

Four beggers he chanced to spy, 
Some deaf, and some blind, and some came 
behind ; 

Says John, " Here's brave company. 

" Good-morrow," said John, "my brethren dear, 25 

Good fortune I had you to see ; 
Which way do you go ? pray let me know, 

For I want some company. 

" O what is here to do ? " then said Little John, 
" Why ring all these bells ? " said he ; so 

" What dog is a hanging ? come, let us be ganging, 
That we the truth may see." 

" Here is no dog a hanging," then one of them said, 

" Good fellow, we tell unto thee ; 
But here is one dead that will give us cheese and 
bread, 35 

And it may be one single penny." 

35, 36. The allusion is of course to the dole at funerals. 


" We have brethren in London," another he said, 

" So have we in Coventry, 
In Barwick and Dover, and all the world over, 

But ne'er a crookt carril like thee. 40 

" Therefore stand thee back, thou crooked carel, 
And take that knock on the crown : " 

" Nay," said Little John, " He not yet be gone, 
For a bout will I have of you round. 

" Now have at you all," then said Little John, 45 

" If you be so full of your blows ; 
Fight on all four, and nere give ore, 

Whether you be friends or foes." 

John nipped the dumb, and made him to rore, 
And the blind he made to see, so 

And he that a cripple had been seven years, 
He made run then faster than he. 

And flinging them all against the wall, 

With many a sturdie bang, 
It made John sing, to hear the gold ring. 

Which against the walls cryed twang. 

Then he got out of the beggers cloak 

Three hundred pound in gold ; 
u Good fortune had I," then said Little John, 

" Such a good sight to behold." GO 

51, that could not. 


But what found he in the beggars bag, 
But three hundred pound and three ? 

" If I drink water while this doth last, 
Then an ill death may I dye. 

" And my begging trade I will now give ore, 

My fortune hath bin so good ; 
Therefore He not stay, but I will away 

To the forrest of merry Sherwood." 

And when to the forrest of Sherwood he came, 
He quickly there did see 70 

His master good, bold Robin Hood, 
And all his company. 

" What news ? What news ? " then said Robin 

" Come, Little John, tell unto me ; 
How hast thou sped with thy beggers trade ? 

For that I fain would see." 

" No news but good," said Little John, 
" With begging ful wel I have sped ; 

Six hundred and three I have here for thee, 
In silver and gold so red. eo 

Then Robin took Little John by the hand, 

And danced about the oak tree : 
" If we drink water while this doth last, 

Then an il death may we die." 


So to conclude my merry new song, ss 

All you that delight it to sing, 
'Tis of Robin Hood, that archer good, 

And how Little John went a begging. 



SHEWING how he won a prize on the sea, and how he 
gave the one halfe to his dame, and the other to the 
building of almes-houses. The tune is, In summer 
time, etc. 

" From three old black-letter copies ; one in the 
collection of Anthony a Wood, another in the British 
Museum, and the third in a private collection." BIT- 
SON'S Robin Hood, ii. 114. 

IN summer time, when leaves grow green, 
When they doe grow both green and long, 

Of a, bold outlaw, call'd Robin Hood, 
It is of him I do sing this song, 

When the lilly leafe, and the eglantine, 5 

Doth bud and spring with a merry cheere, 

This outlaw was weary of the wood-side, 
And chasing of the fallow-deere. 

5, elephant. 


" The fisher-men brave more mony have 

Than any merchants two or three ; w 

Therefore I will to Scarborough go, 
That I a fisherman brave may be." 

This outlaw called his merry men all, 
As they sate under the green-wood tree : 

' If any of you have gold to spend, is 

I pray you heartily spend it with me." 

" Now," quoth Robin Hood, " He to Scarborough 


It seems to be a Very faire day ; " 
He tooke up his inne at a widdow-womans house, 
Hard by upon the water gray : 20 

Who asked of him, " Where wert thou borne ? 

Or tell to me where dost thou fare ? " 
" I am a. poor fisherman," said he then, 

" This day intrapped all in care." 

" What is thy name, thou fine fellow, 25 

I pray thee heartily tell it to mee ? " 

" In my own country, where I was borne, 
Men call me Simon over the Lee." 

u Simon, Simon," said the good wife, 

" I wish thou mayest well brook thy name ; " so 
The out-law was ware of her courtesie, 

And rejoyced he had got such a dame. 


" Simon, wilt thou be my man ? 

And good round wages He give thee ; 
I have as good a ship of my own 35 

As any sails upon the sea. 

" Anchors and planks thou shalt not want, 
Masts and ropes that are so long : " 

" And if you thus do furnish me," 

Said Simon, " nothing shall goe wrong." *) 

They pluckt up anchor, and away did sayle, 

More of a day then two or three ; 
When others cast in their baited hooks, 

The bare lines into the sea cast he. 

" It will be long," said the master then, 45 

" Ere this great lubber do thrive on the sea ; 

I'le assure you he shall have no part of our fish, 
For in truth he is no part worthy." 

" O woe is me ! " said Simon then, 

" This day that ever I came here ! so 

I wish I were in Plompton parke, 

In chasing of the fallow deere. 

" For every clowne laughs me to scorne, 

And they by me set nought at all ; 
If I had them in Plompton park, ss 

I would set as little by them all." 


They pluckt up anchor, and away did sayle, 

More of a day then two or three : 
But Simon espyed a ship of warre, 

That sayled towards them most valorously. eo 

u O woe is me ! " said the master then, 

" This day that ever I was borne ! 
For all our fish we have got to-day 

Is every bit lost and forlorne. 

" For your French robbers on the sea, es 

They will not spare of us one man, 

But carry us to the coast of France, 
And ligge us in the prison strong." 

But Simon said, " Doe not feare them, 

Neither, master, take you no care ; ro 

Give me my bent bow in my hand, 

And never a Frenchman will I spare." 

" Hold thy peace, thou long lubber, 

For thou art nought but brags and boast ; 

If I should cast thee over-board, 75 

There's but a simple lubber lost." 

Simon grew angry at these words, 

And so angry then was he, 
That he took his bent bow in his hand, 

And in the ship-hatch goe doth he. so 


" Master, tye me to the mast," saith he, 
" That at my mark I may stand fair, 

And give me my bent bow in my hand, 
And never a Frenchman will I spare." 

He drew his arrow to the very head, 86 

And drewe it with all his might and maine, 

And straightway, in the twinkling of an eye, 
Doth the Frenchmans heart the arrow gain. 

The Frenchman fell down on the ship hatch, 
And under the hatches there below ; 90 

Another Frenchman, that him espy'd, 
The dead corpse into the sea doth throw. 

" O master, loose me from the mast," he said, 
" And for them all take you no care ; 

For give me my bent bow in my hand, w 

And never a Frenchman will I spare." 

Then streight [they] boarded the French ship, 
They lyeing all dead in their sight ; 

They found within that ship of warre 

Twelve thousand pound of mony bright. 100 

" The one halfe of the ship," said Simon then, 
" I'le give to my dame and children small ; 

The other halfe of the ship I'le bestow 
On you that are my fellowes all." 


But now bespake the master then, 105 

" For so, Simon, it shall not be, 
For you have won it with your own hand, 

And the owner of it you shall bee." 

" It shall be so, as I have said ; 

And, with this gold, for the opprest no 

An habitation I will build, 

Where they shall live in peace and rest." 


Gutch's Robin Hood, ii. 345. 

COMMUNICATED to Gutch by Mr. Payne Collier, 
and derived by him, with Robin flood and the Peddlers, 
from a volume of MS. ballads, collected, as Mr. C. 
conjectures, about the date of the Protectorate. 

The story is only one of the varieties of the Douglas 
Tragedy. See vol. ii. p. 114. 

As Robin Hood sat by a tree, 

He espied a prettie may, 
And when she chanced him to see. 

She turnd her head away. 

" feare me not, thou prettie mayde, 

And doe not flie from mee, 


I am the kindest man," he said, 
" That ever eye did see." 

Then to her he did doffe his cap, 

And to her lowted low, o 

u To meete with thee I hold it good hap, 

If thou wilt not say noe." 

Then he put his hand around her waste, 

Soe small, so tight, and trim, 
And after sought her lip to taste, is 

And she to[o] kissed him. 

" Where dost thou dwell, my prettie maide, 

I prithee tell to mee ? " 
" I am a tanners daughter," she said, 

" John Hobbes of Barneslee." 20 

" And whither goest thou, pretty maide ? 

Shall I be thy true love ? " 
" If thou art not afeard," she said, 

" My true love thou shalt prove." 

" What should I feare ? " then he replied ; as 

" I am thy true love now ; " 
" I have two brethren, and their pride 

Would scorn such one as thou." 

That will we try," quoth Robin Hood, 

" I was not made their scorne ; 30 


He shed my blood to doe the[e] good, 
As sure as they were borne." 

" My brothers are proude and fierce and strong ; " 

" I am," said he, " the same, 
And if they offer thee to wrong, 35 

Theyle finde He play their game. 

" Through the free forrest I can run, 

The king may not controll ; 
They are but barking tanners sons, 

To me they shall pay toll. 

" And if not mine be sheepe and kine, 

I have cattle on my land ; 
On venison eche day I may dine, 

Whiles they have none in hand." 

These wordes had Robin Hood scarce spoke, 45 

When they two men did see, 
Come riding till their horses smoke : 

" My brothers both," cried shee. 

Each had a good sword by his side, 

And furiouslie they rode so 

To where they Robin Hood espied, 
That with the maiden stood. 

u Flee hence, flee hence, away with speede ! " 
Cried she to Robin Hood, 


" For if thou stay, thoult surely bleede ; 

I could not see thy blood." 

" With us, false maiden, come away, 

And leave that outlawe bolde ; 
Why fledst thou from thy home this day, 

And left thy father olde ? " eo 

Robin stept backe but paces five, 

Unto a sturdie tree ; 
" He fight whiles I am left alive ; 

Stay, thou sweete maide, with mee." 

He stood before, she stoode behinde, 65 

The brothers two drewe nie ; 
" Our sister now to us resign, 

Or thou full sure shalt die." 

Then cried the maide, " My brethren deare, 
With ye He freely wend, 70 

But harm not this young forrester, 
Noe ill doth he pretend." 

" Stande up, sweete maide, I plight my troth ; 

Fall thou not on thy knee ; 
He force thy cruell brothers both 75 

To bend the knee to thee. 

" Stand thou behinde this sturdie oke, 

I soone will quell their pride ; 
VOL. v. 22 


Thoult see my sword with furie smoke, 

And in their hearts blood died." o 

He set his backe against a tree, 

His foote against a stone ; 
The first blow that he gave so free 

Cleft one man to the bone. 

The tanners bold they fought right well, as 

And it was one to two ; 
But Robin did them both refell, 

All in the damsells viewe. 

The red blood ran from Robins brow, 

All downe unto his knee ; 90 

" O holde your handes, my brethren now, 
I will goe backe with yee." 

" Stand backe, stand backe, my pretty inaide, 

Stand backe and let me fight ; 
By sweete St. James be no afraide M 

But I will it requite." 

Then Robin did his sword uplift, 

And let it fall againe ; 
The oldest brothers head it cleft, 

Right through unto his braine. 100 

" O hold thy hand, bolde forrester, 
Or ill may thee betide ; 


Slay not my youngest brother here, 
He is my fathers pride." 

" Away, for I would scorne to owe, i< 

My life to the[e], false maide ! " 
The youngest cried, and aim'd a blow 

That lit on Robins head. 

Then Robin leand against the tree, 

His life nie gone did seeme ; no 

His eyes did swim, he could not see 

The maiden start betweene. 

It was not long ere Robin Hood 
Could welde his sword so bright ; 

Upon his feete he firmly stood, us 

And did renew the fight ; 

Untill the tanner scarce could heave 

His weapon in the aire ; 
But Robin would not him bereave 

Of life, and left him there. 120 

Then to the greenewood did he fly, 

And with him went the maide ; 
For him she vowd that she would dye, 

He'd live for her, he said. 

Finis. T. Fleming. 



Ritson's Robin Hood, ii. 1. 

RITSON printed this piece from a black-letter copy 
in a large and valuable collection of old ballads which 
successively belonged to Major Pearson, the Duke 
of Roxburghe, and Mr. Bright, but which is now in 
the British Museum. 

The full title of the original is : A new ballad of bold 
Robin Hood ; shewing his birth, breeding, valour, and 
marriage at Tilbury Bull-running. Calculated for the 
meridian of Staffordshire, but may serve for Derbyshire 
or Kent. 

The copy in A Collection of Old Ballads, i. 67, is 
the same. 

KIND gentlemen, will you be patient awhile ? 

Ay, and then you shall hear anon 
A very good ballad of bold Robin Hood, 

And of his brave man Little John. 

In Locksly town, in merry Nottinghamshire, a 

In merry sweet Locksly town, 
There bold Robin Hood he was born and was bred, 

Bold Robin of famous renown. 


The father of Robin a forrester was, 

And he shot in a lusty strong bow, 10 

Two north country miles and an inch at a shot, 

As the Finder of Wakefield does know. 

For he brought Adam Bell, and Clim of the Clough, 

And William of Clowdesle, 
To shoot with our forrester for forty mark, 15 

And the forrester beat them all three. 

His mother was neece to the Coventry knight, 
Which Warwickshire men call sir Guy ; 

For he slew the blue bore that hangs up at the gate, 
Or mine host of the Bull tells a lie. 20 

Her brother was Gamwel, of Great Garnwel-Hall, 

A noble house-keeper was he, 
Ay, as ever broke bread in sweet Nottinghamshire, 

And a 'squire of famous degree. 

The mother of Robin said to her husbknd, 25 

, " My honey, my love, and my dear, 
Let Robin and I ride this morning to Gamwel, 
To taste of my brother's good cheer." 

And he said, " I grant thee thy boon, gentle Joan, 
Take one of my horses, I pray : 30 

The sun is arising, and therefore make haste, 
For to-morrow is Christmas-day." 

Then Robin Hood's father's grey gelding was brought, 
And sadled and bridled was he ; 

14, Clowdel le. 


God wot a blue bonnet, his new suit of cloaths, 3s 

And a cloak that did reach to his knee. 

She got on her holyday kirtle and gown, 

They were of a light Lincoln green ; 
The cloath was homespun, but for colour and make 

It might a beseem'd our queen. *o 

And then Robin got on his basket-hilt sword, 

And his dagger on his tother side ; 
And said, " My dear mother, let's haste to be gone, 

We have forty long miles to ride." 

When Robin had mounted his gelding so grey, 

His father, without any trouble, 
Set her up behind him, and bad her not fear, 

For his gelding had oft carried double. 

And when she was settled, they rode to their neighbours, 
And drank and shook hands with them all ; BO 

And then Robin gallopt, and never gave o're, 
'Till they lighted at Gamwel-Hall. 

And now you may think the right worshipful 'squire 

Was joyful his sister to see ; 
For he kist her, and kist her, and swore a great oath, 55 

" Thou art welcome, kind sister, to me." 

To-morrow, when mass had been said in the chappel, 

Six tables were covered in the hall, 
And in comes the 'squire, and makes a short speech, 

It was, " Neighbours, you're welcome all. eo 

48, has. 


" But not a man here shall taste my March beer, 
'Till a Christmas carrol he does sing : " 

Then all clapt their hands, and they shouted and sung, 
'Till the hall and the parlour did ring. 

Now mustard and brawn, roast beef and plumb pies, 65 

Were set upon every table : 
And noble George Gamwel said, " Eat and be merry 

And drink too as long as you're able." 

When dinner was ended, his chaplain said grace, 
And, " Be merry, my friends," said the 'squire ; 70 

" It rains, and it blows, but call for more ale, 
And lay some more wood on the fire. 

" And now call ye Little John hither to me, 

For Little John is a fine lad 
At gambols and juggling, and twenty such tricks, n 

As shall make you both merry and glad. 

When Little John came, to gambols they went, 

Both gentlemen, yeomen, and clown ; 
And what do you think ? Why, as true as I live, 

Bold Robin Hood put them all down. so 

And now you may think the right worshipful 'squire 

Was joyful this sight for to see ; 
For he said, " Cousin Robin, thou'st go no more home, 

But tarry and dwell here with me. 

' Thou shalt have my land when I die, and till then, 85 

Thou shalt be the staff of my age : " 
" Then grant me my boon, dear uncle," said Robin, 

" That Little John may be my page." 


And lie said, " Kind cousin, I grant thee thy boon ; 

With all my heart, so let it be ;" . 90 

" Then come hither, Little John," said Robin Hood, 

" Come hither, my page, unto me. 

" Go fetch me my bow, my longest long bow, 

And broad arrows, one, two, or three ; 
For when 'tis fair weather we'll into Sherwood, ss 

Some merry pastime to see. 

When Robin Hood came into merry Sherwood, 

He winded his bugle so clear ; 
And twice five and twenty good yeomen and bold 

Before Robin Hood did appear. 100 

" Where are your companions all ? " said Robin Hood 

" For still I want forty and three : " 
Then said a bold yeoman, " Lo, yonder they stand, 

All under the green wood tree." 

As that word was spoke, Clorinda came by, ios 

The queen of the shepherds was she ; 
And her gown was of velvet as green as the grass, 

And her buskin did reach to her knee. 

Her gait it was graceful, her body was straight, 

And her countenance free from pride ; no 

A bow in her hand, and a quiver of arrows 
Hung dangling by her sweet side. 

Her eye-brows were black, ay, and so was her hair, 
And her skin was as smooth as glass ; 



Her visage spoke wisdom, and modesty too ; 215 

Sets with Robin Hood such a lass ! 

Said Robin Hood, " Lady fair, whither away ? 

O whither, fair lady, away ? " 
And she made him an answer, " To kill a fat buck ; 

For to-morrow is Titbury day." lio 

Said Robin Hood, " Lady fair, wander with me 

A little to yonder green bower ; 
There set down to rest you, and you shall be sure 

Of a brace or a leash in an hour." 

And as we were going towards the green bower, 125 

Two hundred good bucks we espy'd ; 
She chose out the fattest that was in the herd, 

And she shot him through side and side. 

" By theVaith of my body," said bold Robin Hood, 
" I never saw woman like thee ; iso 

And com'st thou from east, or com'st thou from west, 
Thou needst not beg venison of me. 

" However, along to my bower you shall go, 

And taste of a forrester's meat : " 
And when we came thither we found as good cheer 135 

As any man needs for to eat. 

For there was hot venison, and warden pies cold, 
Cream clouted, with honey-combs plenty ; 

And the servitors they were, besides Little John, 
Good yeomen at least four and twenty. i-w 

124, lease. 127, choose. 


Clorinda said, " Tell me your name, gentle sir ; " 

And he said, " 'Tis bold Robin Hood : 
'Squire Gamwel's my uncle, but all my delight 

Is to dwell in the merry Sherwood ; 

" For 'tis a fine life, and 'tis void of all strife." 145 

" So 'tis, sir, Clorinda reply'd." 

" But oh " said bold Robin, " how sweet would 
it be, 

If Clorinda would be my bride ! " 

She blusht at the motion ; yet, after a pause 

Said, " Yes, sir, and with all my heart : " 150 

" Then let us send for a priest," said Robin Hood, 
" And be married before we do part." 

But she said, " It may not be so, gentle sir,' 

For I must be at Titbury feast ; 
And if Robin Hood will go thither with me, iss 

I'll make him the most welcome guest." 

Said Robin Hood, " Reach me that buck, Little 

For I'll go along with my dear ; 
And bid my yeomen kill six brace of bucks, 

And meet me to-morrow just here." leo 

Before he had ridden five Staffordshire miles, 

Eight yeomen, that were too bold, 
Bid Robin Hood stand, and deliver his buck ; 

A truer tale never was told. 

" I will not, faith," said bold Robin ; " come, John, IGS 
Stand by me, and we'll beat 'em all : " 


Then both drew their swords, and so cut 'em, and 

slasht 'em, 
That five of them did fall. 

The three that remain'd call'd to Robin for quarter, 
And pitiful John begg'd their lives ; L*O 

When John's boon was granted, he gave them good 

And sent them all home to their wives. 

This battle was fought near to Titbury town, 
When the bagpipes baited the bull ; 

174. Tutbury, or Stutesbury, Staffordshire. This cele 
brated place lies about four miles from Burton-upon-Trent, 
on the west bank of the river Don. Its castle, it is supposed, 
was built a considerable time before the Norman conquest. 
Being the principal seat of the D tikes of Lancaster, it was 
long distinguished as the scene of festivity and splendour. 
The number of minstrels which crowded it was so great, 
that it was found necessary to have recourse to some expedi 
ent for preserving order among them, and determining their 
claims of precedence. Accordingly, one of their number, 
with the title of king of the minstrels, was appointed, and 
under him several inferior officers, to assist in the execution 
of the laws. To this chief a charter was granted by John 
of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, 22nd August, 4th Richard II., 
1381. This king of the minstrels and his officers having 
inflicted fines and punishments which exceeded the due 
bounds of justice, a court for hearing and determining com 
plaints and controversies was instituted, which was yearly 
held with many forms and ceremonies. The business of the 
court being concluded, the officers withdraw to partake of a 
sumptuous repast, prepared for them by the steward of the 
lordship. In the afternoon the minstrels assembled at the 
gate of the priory, where, by way of amusement for the mul 
titude, a bull, having his horns, ears, and tail cut off, his body 
besmeared with soap, and his nose blown full of pepper, was 


I'm the king of the fidlers, and I swear 'tis truth, ire 
And I call him that doubts it a gull : 

For I saw them fighting, and fiddled the while, 
And Clorinda sung " Hey deny down ! 

The bumkins are beaten, put up thy sword, Bob, 
And now let's dance into the town." iso 

Before we came in, we heard a strange shouting, 

And all that were in it look'd madly ; 
For some were on bull-back, some dancing a morris, 

And some singing Artliur-a-Bradley. 

And there we see Thomas, our justices clerk, 185 

And Mary, to whom he was kind ; 
For Tom rode before her, and call'd Mary madam, 

And kiss'd her full sweetly behind : 

And so may your worships. But we went to dinner, 
With Thomas and Mary, and Nan ; 190 

They all drank a health to Clorinda and told her 
Bold Robin Hood was a fine man. 

When dinner was ended, sir Roger, the parson 
Of Dubbridge, was sent for in haste : 

then let loose. If the minstrels could take and hold him, 
even so long as to deprive him of the smallest portion of his 
hair, he was declared their property, provided this was done 
within the confines of Staffordshire, and before sunset. The 
bull was next collared and roped, and being brought to the 
market cross, was baited with dogs. After this he was de 
livered to the minstrels, who might dispose of him as they 
deemed proper. Vide Blount's Ancient Tenures, Hawkins's 
History of Music, Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, for fuller par 
ticulars of this ancient custom. GUTCH. 


He brought his mass-book, and he bad them take 
hands, 195 

And joyn'd them in marriage full fast. 

And then, as bold Robin Hood and his sweet bride 
Went hand in hand to the green bower, 

The birds sung with pleasure in merry Sherwood, 
And 'twas a most joyful hour. 200 

And when Robin came in sight of the bower, 

" Where are my yeomen ? " said he : 
And Little John answer'd, " Lo, yonder they stand, 

All under the green wood tree." 

Then a garland they brought her by two and by 

tWO, 203 

And plac'd them all on the bride's head : 
The music struck up, and we all fell to dance, 
'Till the bride and bridegroom were a-bed. 

And what they did there must be counsel to me, 
Because they lay long the next day ; 210 

And I had haste home, but I got a good piece 
Of bride-cake, and so came away. 

Now out, alas ! I had forgotten to tell ye, 

That marry'd they were with a ring ; 
And so will Nan Knight, or be buried a maiden, 215 

And now let us pray for the king : 

That he may get children, and they may get more, 

To govern and do us some good : 
And then I'll make ballads in Robin Hood's bower, 

And sing 'em in merry Sherwood. 220 



Gutch's Robin Hood, ii. 88. 

THIS doggerel is by Martin Parker, a well-known 
author of ballads in the reign of Charles I. and dur 
ing the Protectorate. The titles of several of his works 
are given by Ritson, (Robin Hood, i. 127,) and those 
of others may be seen in Collier's Roxburghe Ballads, 
237, 243, and Ritson's Ancient Songs, ii. 257, 263 ; 
among these last is the celebrated song, When the 
king enjoys his own again. 

Ritson printed this piece from a black-letter edition 
dated 1686. Gutch obtained a somewhat better copy 
from Mr. Collier, which we have here followed. " The 
date of Mr. Collier's copy is cut off, but enough re 
mains to shew that it was printed at London, 'for 
T. Cotes, and are to be sold by F. Grove, dwelling 
upon Snow-hill near the Saracens * * *.' The first 
edition was entered at Stationers' Hall, 20th Febru 
ary, 1631." 

The title in full is : A True Tale of Bobbin Hood, 
Or, a brief touch of the life and death of that re 
nowned outlaw, Robert, Earle of Huntington, vul 
garly called Robbin Hood, who lived and died in 
1198, being the 9th yeare of king Richard the frst, 
commonly called Richard Cuer de Lyon : carefully 
collected out of the truest writers of our English 
VOL. v. 23 


Chronicles and published for the satisfaction of those 
who desire to see truth purged from falsehood. BY 

At the end of the tale is the following epitaph, 
" which the prioresse of the monastery of Kirkes Lay 
in Yorkshire set over Robbin Hood, which was to 
bee reade within these hundreth yeares (though in 
old broken English), much to the same sence and 

Decembris quarto die 1198. anno regni Richardii 
primi 9. 

Robert earle of Huntington 

Lies under this little stone. 

No archer was like him so good ; 

His wildnesse named him Robbin Hood. 

Full thirteene yeares and something more, 

These northern parts he vexed sore ; 

Such outlawes as hee and his men, 

May England never know agen. 

" Some other superstitious words were in it, which I 
thought fit to leave out." M. P. 

BOTH gentlemen, or yeomen bould, 

Or whatsoever you are, 
To have a stately story tould 

Attention now prepare. 

It is a tale of Robin Hood, & 

Which I to you will tell, 
Which being rightly understood, 

I know will please you well. 


This Bobbin (so much talked on) 

Was once a man of fame, 10 

Instiled earle of Huntington, 

Lord Robert Hood by name. 

In courtship and magnificence 

His carriage won him prayse, 
And greater favour with his prince is 

Than any in his dayes. 

In bounteous liberality 

He too much did excell, 
And loved men of quality 

More than exceeding well. 20 

His great revennues all he sould 

For wine and costly cheere ; 
He kept three hundred bowmen bold, 

He shooting loved so deare. 

No archer living in his time 25 

With him might well compare : 
He practis'd all his youthfull prime 

That exercise most rare. 

At last, by his profuse expence, 

He had consum'd his wealth ; m 

And being outlawed by his prince, 

In woods he liv'd by stealth. 

The abbot of Saint Maries rich, 

To whom he mony ought, 
His hatred to the earle was such 86 

That he his downefall wrought. 


So being outlaw'd (as 'tis told) 

He with a crew went forth 
Of lusty cutters stout and bold, 

And robbed in the North. 

Among the rest one Little John, 

A yeoman bold and free, 
Who could (if it stood him upon) 

With ease encounter three. 

One hundred men in all he got, 
With whom (the story sayes) 

Three hundred commen men durst not 
Hold combat any wayes. 

They Yorkshire woods frequented much, 

And Lancashire also, 
Wherein their practises were such 

That they wrought mickle woe. 

None rich durst travell to and fro, 
Though nere so strongly arm'd, 

But by these theeves (so strong in show) 
They still were rob'd and harm'd. 

His chiefest spight to th' clergie was, 
That liv'd in monstrous pride : 

No one of them he would let passe 
Along the highway side, 

But first they must to dinner go, 

And afterwards to shrift: 
Full many a one he served so, 

Thus while he liv'd by theft. 


No monks nor fryers would he let goe, 65 

Without paying their fees : 
If they thought much to be us'd so, 

Their stones he made them leese. 

For such as they the country fill'd 

With bastards in those dayes; 

Which to prevent, these sparkes did geld 

All that came by their ways. 

But Robbin Hood so gentle was, 

And bore so brave a minde, 
If any in distresse did passe, 75 

To them he was so kinde, 

That he would give and lend to them, 

To helpe them in their neede ; 
This made all poore men pray for him, 

And wish he well might speede. so 

The widdow and the fatherlesse 

He would send meanes unto; 
And those whom famine did oppresse 

Found him a friendly foe. 

Nor would he doe a woman wrong, as 

But see her safe conveid : 
He would protect with power strong 

All those who crav'd his ayde. 

The abbot of Saint Maries then, 

Who him undid before, 90 

Was riding with two hundred men, 

And gold and silver store. 


But Robbin Hood upon him set, 

With his couragious sparkes, 
And all the coyne perforce did get, as 

Which was twelve thousand markes. 

He bound the abbot to a tree, 

And would not let him passe, 
Before that to his men and he 

His lordship had said masse. 100 

Which being done, upon his horse 

He set him fast astride, 
And with his face towards his 

He forced him to ride. 

His men were faine to be his guide, 105 

For he rode backward home : 
The abbot, being thus villified, 

Did sorely chafe and fume. 

Thus Eobbin Hood did vindicate 

His former wrongs receiv'd ; 110 

For 'twas this covetous prelate 

That him of land bereav'd. 

The abbot he rode to the king, 

With all the haste he could, 
And to his grace he every thing 115 

Exactly did unfold : 

And sayd if that no course were ta'en, 

By force or stratagem, 
To take this rebel and his traine, 

No man should passe for them. 120 


The king protested by and by 

Unto the abbot then, 
That Robbin Hood with speed should dye, 

With all his merry men. 

But e're the king did any send, 125 

He did another feate, 
Which did his grace much more offend, 

The fact indeed was great. 

For in a short time after that 

The kings receivers went 130 

Towards London with the coyne they got, 

For 's highness northerne rent. 

Bold Bobbin Hood and Little John, 

With the rest of their traine, 
Not dreading law, set them upon, 135 

And did their gold obtaine. 

The king much moved at the same, 

And the abbots talke also, 
In this his anger did proclaime, 

And sent word to and fro, 140 

That whosoe'er alive or dead 

Could bring bold Robbin Hood, 
Should have one thousand markes well paid 

In gold and silver good. 

This promise of the king did make us 

Full many yeomen bold 
Attempt stout Robbin Hood to take, 

With all the force they could. 


But still when any came to Mm 

Within the gay greene wood, iso 

He entertainement gave to them 

With venison fat and good ; 

And shew'd to them such martiale sport 

With his long bow and arrow, 
That they of him did give report, 155 

How that it was great sorow, 

That such a worthy man as he 

Should thus be put to shift, 
Being late a lord of high degree, 

Of living quite bereft. leo 

The king to take him, more and more 

Sent men of mickle might ; 
But he and his still beate them sore, 

And conquered them in fight : 

Or else with love and courtesie, IGS 

To him he won their hearts. 
Thus still he lived by robbery 

Throughout the northerne parts ; 

And all the country stood in dread 

Of Robbin Hood and 's men : 170 

For stouter lads ne're liv'd by bread 

Jn those days, nor since then. 

The abbot which before I nam'd 

Sought all the meanes he could 
To have by force this rebele ta'ne, ir 

And his adherents bold. 


Therefore he ann'd five hundred men, 

With furniture compleate ; 
But the outlawes slewe halfe of them, 

And made the rest retreate. iao 

The long bow and the arrow keene 

They were so us'd unto, 
That still he kept the forrest greene 

In spite o' th' proudest foe. 

Twelve of the abbots men he tooke, 180 

Who came him to have ta'ne, 
When all the rest the field forsooke ; 

These he did entertaine 

With banquetting and merriment, 

And, having us'd them well, 190 

He to their lord them safely sent, 

And will'd them him to tell, 

That if he would be pleas'd at last 

To beg of our good king 
That he might pardon what was past, 195 

And him to favour bring, 

He would surrender backe again 

The money which before 
Was taken by him and his men 

From him and many more. 20* 

Poore men might safely passe by him, 

And some that way would chuse, 
For well they knew that to helpe them 

He evermore did use. 


But where he knew a miser rich 205 

That did the poore oppresse, 
To feel his coyne his hands did itch ; 

He'd have it, more or lesse. 

And sometimes, when the high-way fayl'd, 

Then he his courage rouses, 210 

He and his men have oft assayld 
Such rich men in their houses. 

So that, through dread of Eobbin then, 

And his adventurous crew, 
The mizers kept great store of men, 21* 

Which else maintayn'd but few. 

King Richard of that name the first, 

Sirnamed Cuer de Lyon, 
Went to defeate the Pagans curst, 

Who kept the coasts of Syon. 220 

The bishop of Ely, chancelor, 

Was left a vice-roy here, 
Who like a potent emperor 

Did proudly domminere. 

Our chronicles of him report, 223 

That commonly he rode 
With a thousand horse from court to court, 

Where he would make abode. 

He, riding down towards the north, 

With his aforesayd train, 230 

Robbin and his men did issue forth, 

Them all to entertaine ; 


And with the gallant gray-goose wing 

They shewd to them such playe, 
That made their horses kicke and fling, 235 

And downe their riders lay. 

Full glad and faine the bishop was, 

For all his thousand men, 
To seek what meanes he could to passe 

From out of Bobbins ken. 240 

Two hundred of his men were kiPd, 

And fourescore horses good ; 
Thirty, who did as captives yeeld, 

Were carryed to the greene wood ; 

Which afterwards were ransomed, 245 

For twenty markes a man ; 
The rest set spurres to horse, and fled 

To th' town of Warrington. 

The bishop sore enraged then, 

Did, in king Richards name, 250 

Muster a power of northerne men, 

These outlawes bold to tame. 

But Robbin with his courtesie 

So wonne the meaner sort, 
That they were loath on him to try 255 

What rigor did import. 

So that bold Robbin and his traine 

Did live unhurt of them, 
Untill king Richard came againe 

From faire Jerusalem. 260 


And then the talke of Bobbin Hood 

His royal eares did fill ; 
His grace admir'd that i' th' greene wood 

He thus continued still. 

So that the country farre and neare 25 

Did give him great applause ; 
For none of them neede stand in feare, 

But such as broke the lawes. 

He wished well unto the king, 

And prayed still for his health, LTO 

And never practis'd any thing 

Against the common-wealth. 

Onely, because he was undone 

By th' crewele clergie then, 
All meanes that he could thinke upon 275 

To vexe such kinde of men, 

He enterpriz'd with hateful spleene ; 

For which he was to blame, 
For fault of some to wreake his teene 

On all that by him came. m 

% With wealth which he by robbery got 

Eight almes-houses he built, 
Thinking thereby to purge the blot 
Of blood which he had spilt. 

Such was their blinde devotion then, 285 

Depending on their workes ; 
Which, if 'twere true, we Christian men 

Inferiour were to Turkes. 


But, to speak true of Robbin Hood, 

And wrong him not a jot, 290 

He never would shed any mans blood 

That him invaded not. 

Nor would he injure husbandmen, 

That toyld at cart and plough ; 
For well he knew, were't not for them 20.", 

To live no man knew how. 

The king in person, with some lords, 

To Nottingham did ride, 
To try what strength and skill affords 

To crush these outlaws pride. soo 

And, as he once before had done, 

He did againe proclaime, 
That whosoe'er would take upon 

To bring to Nottingham, 

Or any place within the land, 305 

Rebellious Robbin Hood, 
Should be prefer'd in place to stand 

With those of noble blood. 

When Robbin Hood heard of the same, 

Within a little space, 310 

Into the towne of Nottingham 
A letter to his grace 

He shot upon an arrow head, 

One evening cunningly ; 
Which was brought to the king, and read sis 

Before his majestic. 


The tennure of this letter was 

That Robbin would submit, 
And be true liegeman to his grace 

In any thing that's fit, 320 

So that his highnesse would forgive 

Him and his merry men all ; 
If not, he must i' th' green wood live, 

And take what chance did fall. 

The king would faine have pardoned him, 325 

But that some lords did say 
" This president will much condemn 

Your grace another day." 

While that the king and lords did stay 

Debating on this thing, 330 

Some of these outlawes fled away 
Unto the Scottish king. 

For they suppos'd, if he were tane, 

Or to the king did yeeld, 
By th' commons all the rest of 's train 335 

Full quickely would be quell'd. 

Of more than full an hundred men, 

But forty tarryed still, 
Who were resolv'd to sticke to him 

Let fortune worke her will. M) 

If none had fled, all for his sake 

Had got their pardon free ; 
The king to favour meant to take 

His merry men and he. 


But e're the pardon to him came 345 

This famous archer dy'd : 
His death and manner of the same 

Pie presently describe. 

For, being vext to think upon 

His followers revolt, sso 

In melancholly passion 

He did recount his fault. 

" Perfideous traytors ! " sayd he then, 

" In all your dangers past 
Have I you guarded as my men, 355 

To leave me thus at last ! " 

This sad perplexity did cause 

A feaver, as some say, 
Which him unto confusion drawes, 

Though by a stranger way. seo 

This deadly danger to prevent, 

He hie'd him with all speede 
Unto a nunnery, with intent 

For his healths-sake to bleede. 

A faithlesse fryer did pretend 385 

In love to let him blood, 
But he by falshood wrought the end 

Of famous Robbin Hood. 

The fryer, as some say, did this 

To vindicate the wrong szo 

Which to the clergy he and his 

Had done by power strong. 


Thus dyed he by trechery, 

That could not dye by force : 
Had he liv'd longer, certainely srs 

King Richard, in remorse, 

Had unto favour him receiv'd, 

His brave men elevated : 
'Tis pitty he was of life bereav'd 

By one which he so hated. sso 

A treacherous leach this fryer was, 

To let him bleed to death ; 
And Robbin was, methinks, an asse 

To trust him with his breath. 

His corpse the prioress of the place, ;5 

The next day that he dy'd, 
Caused to be buried, in mean case, 

Close by the high-way side. 

And over him she caused a stone 

To be fixed on the ground ; 390 

An epitaph was set thereon, 

Wherein his name was found. 

The date o' th' yeare, and day also, 

Shee made to be set there, 
That all who by the way did goe 393 

Might see it plain appeare, 

That such a man as Robbin Hood 

Was buried in that place ; 
And how he lived in the greene wood 

And robb'd there for a space. 400 


It seemes that though the clcrgie he 

Had put to inickle woe, 
He should not quite forgotten be, 

Although he was their foe. 

This woman, though she did him hate, <n& 

Yet loved his memory ; 
And thought it wondrous pitty that 

His fame should with him dye. 

This epitaph, as records tell, 

Within this hundred yeares, 410 

By many was discerned well, 

But time all things out-weares. 

His followers, when he was dead, 

Were some receiv'd to grace ; 
The rest to forraign countries fled, us 

And left their native place. 

Although his funerall was but mean, 

This woman had in minde, 
Least his fame should be buried clean 

From those that came behind. 420 

For certainly, before nor since, 

No man e're understood, 
Under the reign of any prince, 

Of one like Bobbin Hood. 

Full thirteene years, and something more, 425 
These outlawes lived thus, 

412, times. 

VOL. v. 24 


Feared of the rich, loved of the poor, 
A thing most marvelous. 

A thing impossible to us 

This story seems to be ; 
None dares be now so venturous, 

But times are chang'd we see. 

We that live in these later dayes 

Of civile government, 
If need be, have an hundred wayes 

Such outlawes to prevent. 

In those days men more barbarous were, 

And lived less in awe ; 
Now (God be thanked) people feare 

More to offend the law. 

No roaring guns were then in use, 
They dreampt of no such thing; 

Our Englishmen in fight did chuse 
The gallant gray-goose wing : 

In which activity these men, 
Through practice, were so good, 

That in those days none equal'd them, 
Specially Robbin Hood. 

So that, it seemes, keeping in caves, 
In woods and forests thicke, 

They'd beate a multitude with staves, 
Their arrowes did so pricke. 


And none durst neare unto them come, 

Unlesse in courtesie ; 
All such he bravely would send home. 455 

With mirth and jollity. 

Which courtesie won him such love, 

As I before have told, 
'Twas the cheef cause that he did prove 

More prosperous than he could. -wo 

Let us be thankefull for these times 

Of plenty, truth, and peace ; 
And leave out great and horrid crimes, 

Least they cause this to cease. 

I know there's many fained tales 4cs 

Of Robbin Hood and 's crew ; 
But chronicles, which seldom fayles, 

Reports this to be true. 

Let none then thinke this is a lye, 

For, if 'twere put to th' worst, <ro 

They may the truth of all discry 

I' th' raigne of Richard the first. 

If any reader please to try, 

As I direction show, 
The truth of this brave history, m 

Hee'll find it true I know. 

And I shall think my labour well 

Bestowed to purpose good, 
When't shall be said that I did tell 

True tales of Robbin Hood. 



THIS ballad is given from an old black-letter copy 
in the collection of Anthony a Wood. Its full title is, 
A famous battle between Robin Hood and Maid Ma 
rian ; declaring their love, life, and liberty. Tune, 
Robin Hood Reviv'd." RITSON'S Robin Hood, ii. 161. 

A BONNY fine-maid of a noble degree, 

With a hey down, down, a down, down, 

Maid Marian call'd by name, 
Did live in the North, of excellent worth, 

For shee was a gallant dame. 

For favour and face, and beauty most rare, a 

Queen Hellen shee did excell : 
For Marian then was prais'd of all men 

That did in the country dwell. 

'Twas neither Rosamond nor Jane Shore, 

Whose beauty was clear and bright, 10 

That could surpass this country lass, 
Beloved of lord and knight. 

The earl of Huntington, nobly born, 

That came of noble blood, 
To Marian went, with a good intent, i 

By the name of Robin Hood. 


With kisses sweet their red lips did meet, 

For she and the earl did agree ; 
In every place, they kindly embrace, 

With love and sweet unity. 20 

But fortune bearing these lovers a spight, 

That soon they were forc'd to part, 
To the merry green-wood then went Robin 

With a sad and sorrowfull heart. 

And Marian, poor soul, was troubled in mind, 25 

For the absence of her friend ; 
With finger in eye, shee often did cry, 

And his person did much comend. 

Perplexed and vexed, and troubled in mind, 

She drest herself like a page, 30 

And ranged the wood, to find Robin Hood, 
The bravest of men in that age. 

With quiver and bow, sword, buckler, and all, 

Thus armed was Marian most bold, 
Still wandering about, to find Robin out, 35 

Whose person was better then gold. 

But Robin Hood, hee himself had disguis'd, 

And Marian was strangly attir'd, 
That they prov'd foes, and so fell to blowes, 

Whose vallour bold Robin admir'd. 40 

They drew out their swords, and to cutting they 

At least an hour or more, 


That the blood ran apace from bold Robins face, 
And Marian was wounded sore, 

" O hold thy hand, hold thy hand," said Robin 

" And thou shalt be one of my string, 
To range in the wood with bold Robin Hood, 

To hear the sweet nightingall sing." 

When Marian did hear the voice of her love, 

Her self shee did quickly discover, so 

And with kisses sweet she did him greet, 
Like to a most loyall lover. 

When bold Robin Hood his Marian did see, 
Good lord, what clipping was there ! 

With kind embraces, and jobbing of faces, 53 

Providing of gallant cheer. 

For Little John took his bow in his hand, 

And wandred in the wood, 
To kill the deer, and make good chear 

For Marian and Robin Hood. ) 

A stately banquet they had full soon, 

All in a shaded bower, 
Where venison sweet they had to eat, 

And were merry that present hour. 

Great flaggons of wine were set on the board, 65 
And merrily they drunk round 

58, wandring. 


Their boules of sack, to strengthen the back, 
Whilst their knees did touch the ground. 

First Robin Hood began a health 

To Marian his onely dear ; ro 

And his yeomen all, both comly and tall, 

Did quickly bring up the rear. 

For in a brave vein they tost off the bouls, 

Whilst thus they did remain ; 
And every cup, as they drunk up, 75 

They filled with speed again. 

At last they ended their merryment, 

And went to walk in the wood, 
Where Little John and maid Marian 

Attended on bold Robin Hood. 90 

In sollid content together they liv'd, 

With all their yeomen gay ; 
They liv'd by their hands, without any lands, 

And so they did many a day. 

But now to conclude, an end I will make, ss 

In time as I think it good ; 
For the people that dwell in the north can tell 

Of Marian and bold Robin Hood. 

73, venie. 


THIS wretched production is evidently founded on 
the Lytell Geste. It was printed by Ritson from " the 
common collection of Aldermary Churchyard." One 
or two improvements were made by Gutch from a 
York edition. RITSON'S Robin Hood,u. 166 ; GUTCH'S 
Robin Hood, ii. 281. 

KING Richard hearing of the pranks 

Of Robin Hood and his men, 
He much admir'd, and more desir'd, 

To see both him and them. 

Then with a dozen of his lords 

To Nottingham he rode ; 
When he came there, he made good cheer, 

And took up his abode. 

He having staid there some time, 

But had no hopes to speed, 10 

He and his lords, with one accord, 

All put on monks' weeds. 

From Fountain abbey they did ride, 

Down to Barnsdale ; 
Where Robin Hood prepared stood is 

All company to assail. 


The king was higher than the rest, 

And Robin thought he had 
An abbot been whom he had seen ; 

To rob him he was glad. a) 

He took the kings horse by the head, 

"Abbot," says he, " abide ; 
I am bound to rue such knaves as you, 

That live in pomp and pride." 

" But we are messengers from the king," as 

The king himself did say ; 
" Near to this place his royal grace 

To speak with thee does stay." 

" God save the king," said Robin Hood, 

"And all that wish him well ; 30 

He that does deny his sovereignty, 
I wish he was in hell." 

" Thyself thou cursedst," says the king, 

" For thou a traitor art : " 
" Nay, but that you are his messenger, as 

I swear you lie in heart. 

" For I never yet hurt any man 

That honest is and true ; 
But those who give their minds to live 

Upon other mens due. 40 

" I never hurt the husbandmen, 

That use to till the ground : 
Nor spill their blood who range the wood 

To follow hawk or hound. 


" My chiefest spite to clergy is, 

Who in these days bear great sway ; 

With fryars and monks, and their fine sprunks, 
I make my chiefest prey. 

" But I am glad," says Robin Hood, 

" That I have met you here ; 
Before we end, you shall, my friend, 

Taste of our green-wood cheer." 

The king he then did marvel much, 
. And so did all his men ; 
They thought with fear, what kind of cheer 
Robin would provide for them. 

Robin took the kings horse by the head, 

And led him to his tent : 
" Thou wouldst not be so us'd," quoth he, 

" But that my king thee sent. 

" Nay, more than that," quoth Robin Hood, 

" For good king Richards sake, 
If you had as much gold as ever I told, 

I would not one penny take." 

Then Robin set his horn to his mouth, 

And a loud blast he did blow, 
Till a hundred and ten of Robin Hoods men, 

Came marching all of a row. 

And when they came bold Robin before, 

Each man did bend his knee : 
" O," thought the king, " 'tis a gallant thing 

And a seemly sight to see." 


Within himself the king did say, 

" These men of Robin Hoods 
More humble be than mine to me ; n 

So the court may learn of the woods." 

So then they all to dinner went, 

Upon a carpet green ; 
Black, yellow, red, finely mingled, 

Most curious to be seen. so 

Venison and fowls were plenty there, 

With fish out of the river : 
King Richard swore, on sea or shore, 

He never was feasted better. 

Then Robin takes a cann of ale : as 

" Come, let us now begin ; 
And every man shall have his cann ; 

Here's a health unto the king." 

The king himself drank to the king, 

So round about it went ; 90 

Two barrels of ale, both stout and stale, 

To pledge that health was spent. 

And after that, a bowl of wine 

In his hand took Robin Hood ; 
" Until I die, I'll drink wine," said he, as 

" While I live in the green-wood. 

" Bend all your bows," said Robin Hood, 

And with the grey goose-wing 
Such sport now show, as you would do 

In the presence of the king." 100 


They shewed such brave archery 

By cleaving sticks and wands, 
That the king did say, such men as they 

Live not in many lands. 

" Well, Robin Hood," then says the king, 105 

" If I could thy pardon get, 
To serve the king in every thing 

Wouldst thou thy mind firm set ? " 

" Yes, with all my heart," bold Robin said, 

So they flung off their hoods ; no 

To serve the king in every thing, 

They swore they would spend their bloods. 

" For a clergyman was first my bane, 

Which makes me hate them all ; 
But if you will be so kind to me, 11.1 

Love them again I shall." 

The king no longer could forbear, 

For he was mov'd with ruth, 
" Robin," said he, " I'll now tell thee 

The very naked truth. 120 

" I am the king, thy sovereign king, 

That appears before you all : " 
When Robin saw that it was he, 

Strait then he down did fall. 

" Stand up again," then said the king, 123 

" I'll thee thy pardon give ; 

119, 120. Wanting in Ritson ; supplied by Gutch. 


Stand up, my friend ; who can contend, 
When I give leave to live ? " 

So they are all gone to Nottingham, 

All shouting as they came : 13 

But when the people them did see, 

They thought the king was slain ; 

And for that cause th' outlaws were come, 

To rule all as they list ; 
And for to shun, which way to run, iss 

The people did not wist. 

The plowman left the plow in the field, 

The smith ran from his shop ; 
Old folks also, that scarce could go, 

Over their sticks did hop. MO 

The king did soon let them understand 

He had been in the green-wood, 
And from that day, for evermore, 

He'd forgiven Robin Hood. 

Then [when] the people they did hear, i 

And [that] the truth was known, 
They all did sing, " God save the king ! 

Hang care, the town's our own ! " 

"What's that Robin Hood?" then said the 

" That varlet I do hate ; iso 

Both me and mine he caus'd to dine, 

And serv'd us all with one plate." 


" Ho, ho," said Robin Hood, " I know what you 
mean ; 

Come, take your gold again ; 
Be friends with me, and I with thee, i> 

And so with every man. 

" Now, master sheriff, you are paid, 

And since you are beginner, 
As well as you give me my due, 

For you ne'er paid for that dinner. ieo 

" But if that it should please the king 

So much your house to grace, 
To sup with you, for, to speak true, 

[I] know you ne'er was base." 

The sheriff could not that gainsay, 105 

For a trick was put upon him ; 
A supper was drest, the king was a guest, 

But he thought 'twould have outdone him. 

They are all gone to London court, 

Robin Hood, with all his train ; 170 

He once was there a noble peer, 

And now he's there again. 

Many such pranks brave Robin play'd, 
While he liv'd in the green- wood : 

Now, my friend, attend, and hear an end 1:5 

Of honest Robin Hood. 

175, 176. The two concluding lines refer to Robin Hood 
and the Valiant Knight, (see p. 388,) which ballad in some 
collections follows the present. 


RITSON'S Robin Hood, ii. 1 75. From an Aldermary- 
Churchyard Garland. Perhaps by the same feeble 
and vulgar hand as the preceding, and, like that, 
founded on the Lytell Geste. 

WHEN as the sheriff of Nottingham 

Was come with mickle grief, 
He talk'd no good of Robin Hood, 

That strong and sturdy thief. 
Fal la dal de. 

So unto London road he past, 6 

His losses to unfold 
To king Richard, who did regard 

The tale that he had told. 

" Why," quoth the king, what shall I do ? 

Art thou not sheriff for me ? lo 

The law is in force, to take thy course 

Of them that injure thee. 

" Go get thee gone, and by thyself 
Devise some tricking game 


For to enthral yon rebels all ; 
Go take thy course with them." 

So away the sheriff he return'd, 

And by the way he thought 
Of th' words of the king, and how the thing 

To pass might well be brought. 

For within his mind he imagined, 
That when such matches were, 

Those outlaws stout, without all doubt, 
Would be the bowmen there. 

So an arrow with a golden head 

And shaft of silver- white, 
Who won the day should bear away 

For his own proper right. 

Tidings came to bold Robin Hood, 

Under the green- wood tree : 
" Come prepare you then, my merry men, 

We'll go yon sport to see." 

With that stept forth a brave young man, 

David of Doncaster : 
" Master," said he, " be rul'd by me, 

From the green-wood we'll not stir. 

" To tell the truth, I'm well inform'd 

Yon match it is a wile ; 
The sheriff, i-wiss, devises this 

Us archers to beguile." 

27, on the day. Kitson. 


" Thou smells of a coward," said Robin Hood, 

" Thy words do not please me ; 
Come on't what will, I'll try my skill, 

At yon brave archery." 

O then bespoke brave Little John, 45 

" Come let us thither gang ; 
Come, listen to me, how it shall be 

That we need not be ken'd. 

" Our mantles, all of Lincoln-green, 

Behind us we will leave ; so 

We'll dress us all so several, 

They shall not us perceive. 

" One shall wear white, another red, 

One yellow, another blue ; M 

Thus in disguise, to the exercise 
We'll gang, whate'er ensue." 

Forth from the green-wood they are gone, 

With hearts all firm and stout, 
Resolving [then] with the sheriffs men 

To have a hearty bout. 60 

So themselves they mixed with the rest, 

To prevent all suspicion ; 
For if they should together hold 

They thought it no discretion. 

So the sheriff looked round about, as 

Amongst eight hundred men, 
But could not see the sight that he 

Had long suspected then. 
VOL. v. 25 


Some said, " If Robin Hood was here, 
And all his men to boot, ?o 

Sure none of them could pass these men, 
So bravely they do shoot." 

"Ay," quoth the sheriff, and scratch'd his head, 
I thought he would have been here ; 

" I thought he would, but tho' he's bold, 75 

He durst not now appear." 

O that word griev'd Robin Hood to the heart ; 

He vexed in his blood ; 
Ere long, thought he, thou shalt well see 

That here was Robin Hood. so 

Some cried " Blue jacket ! " another cried 

And a third cried " Brave Yellow ! " 
But the fourth man said, " Yon man in red 

In this place has no fellow." 

For that was Robin Hood himself, & 

For he was cloath'd in red ; 
At every shot the prize he got, 

For he was both sure and dead. 

So the arrow with the golden head 

And shaft of silver- white, a 

Brave Robin Hood won, and bore with him 

For his own proper right. 

These outlaws there, that very day, 
To shun all kinds of doubt, 


By three or four, no less nor more, SB 

As they went in came out ; 

Until they all assembled were 

Under the green-wood shade, 
Where they report, in pleasant sport, 

What brave pastime they made. 100 

Says Robin Hood, "All my care is, 

How that yon sheriff may 
Know certainly that it was I 

That bore his arrow away." 

Says Little John, " My counsel good m 

Did take effect before, 
So therefore now, if you'll allow, 

I will advise once more." 

" Speak on, speak on," said Robin Hood, 

" Thy wit's both quick and sound, 110 

I know no man among us can 
For wit like thee be found." 

" This I advise," said Little John ; 

" That a letter shall be penn'd, 
And when it is done, to Nottingham us 

You to the sheriff shall send." 

" That is well advised," said Robin Hood, 

" But how must it be sent ? " 
" Pugh ! when you please, 'tis done with ease ; 

Master, be you content. 120 

111, 112. Wanting in Kitson; supplied by Gutch, from a 
York edition. 


" 111 stick it on my arrows head, 

And shoot it into the town ; 
The mark will show where it must go, 
' Whenever it lights down." 

The project it was well perform'd ; 

The sheriff that letter had, 
Which when he read, he scratch'd his head, 

And rav'd like one that's mad. 

So we'll leave him chafing in his grease, 

Which will do him no good ; 
Now, my friends, attend, and hear the end 

Of honest Robin Hood. 


Together with an account of his death and burial, 
&c. Tune of Robin Hood and the fifteen foresters. 
" From the common garland of Aldermary-church- 

yard ; corrected by the York copy." RITSON'S Robin 

Hood, ii. 182. 

WHEN Robin Hood and his merry men all, 

Derry down, down, 
Had reigned many years, 

The king was then told that they had been bold 
To his bishops and noble peers. 
Hey down, derry, derry down. 

131, 132. These lines, like the last two of the preceding 
ballad, refer to Robin Hood and the Valiant Knight. 


Therefore they called a council of state, s 

To know what was best to be done 

For to quell their pride, or else they reply'd 
The land would be over-run. 

Having consulted a whole summers day, 

At length it was agreed 10 

That one should be sent to try the event, 
And fetch him away with speed. 

Therefore a trusty and most worthy knight 

The king was pleas'd to call, 
Sir William by name ; when to him he canae, is 

He told him his pleasure all. 

" Go you from hence to bold Eobin Hood, 

And bid him, without more ado, 
Surrender himself, or else the proud elf 

Shall suffer with all his crew. 20 

" Take here a hundred bowmen brave, 

All chosen men of great might, 
Of excellent art to take thy part, 

In glittering armour most bright." 

Then said the knight, " My sovereign liege, 25 

By me they shall be led ; 
I'll venture my blood against bold Kobin Hood, 

And bring him alive or dead." 

One hundred men were chosen straight, 

As proper as e'er men saw : so 

On Midsummer-day they march'd away, 
To conquer that brave outlaw. 


With long yew bows and shining spears, 
They marched with mickle pride, 

And never delay'd, nor halted, nor stay'd, 35 

Till they came to the green-wood side. 

Said he to his archers, u Tarry here ; 

Your bows make ready all, 
That, if need should be, you may follow me ; 

And see you observe my call. 40 

" I'll go first in person," he cry'd, 
" With the letters of my good king, 

Well sign'd and seal'd, and if he will yield, 
" We need not to draw one string." 

He wander'd about till at length he came 45 

To the tent of Robin Hood ; 
The letter he shows ; bold Robin arose, 

And there on his guard he stood. 

" They'd have me surrender," quoth bold Robin 

" And lie at their mercy then ; so 

But tell them from me, that never shall be, 

While I have full seven score men." 

Sir William the knight, both hardy and bold, 

He offer'd to seize him there, 
Which William Locksley by fortune did see, 

And bid him that trick to forbear. 

Then Robin Hood set his horn to his mouth, 
And blew a blast or twain, 


And so did the knight, at which there in sight 
The archers came all amain. 60 

Sir William with care he drew up his men, 

And plac'd them in battle array ; 
Bold Robin, we find, he was not behind ; 

Now this was a bloody fray. 

The archers on both sides bent their bows, cs 

And the clouds of arrows flew ; 
The very first flight, that honour'd knight 

Did there bid the world adieu. 

Yet nevertheless their fight did last 

From morning till almost noon ; 70 

Both parties were stout and loth to give out, 

This was on the last day of June. 

At length they left off; one party they went 

To London with right good will ; 
And Robin Hood he to the green-wood tree, 75 

And there he was taken ill. 

He sent for a monk, to let him blood, 

Who took his life away : 
Now this being done, his archers they run, 

It was not a time to stay. so 

Some got on board, and cross'd the seas 

To Flanders, France, and Spain, 
And others to Rome, for fear of their doom, 

But soon return'd again. 


From Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, ii. 1 . 

MONY ane talks o' the grass, the grass, 

And mony ane o' the corn, 
And mony ane talks o' gude Robin Hood, 

Kens little whar he was born. 

He was gotten in a earl's ha', 

And in a lady's bower, 
And born into gude greenwood, 

Thro' mony cauld winter's shower. 

His father was the earl's own steward, 

Sprung frae sma' pedigree ; 1 

His mother, Earl Huntingdon's ae daughter, 
For he had nane else but she. 

When nine months were near an end, 
And eight months they were gone ; 

The lady's cheeks wi' tears were wet, i 

And thus she made her moan : 

" What shaU I say, my love, Archibald, 

This day for you and me ? 
I will be laid in cauld irons, 

And ye'll be hanged on tree." a 


" What aileth my love Clementina ? 

What gars you mourn sae sair ?" 
" You know," said she, " I'm with child to thee, 

These eight lang months and mair." 

" Will ye gae to my mother's bower, 25 

Stands on yon stately green ? 
Or will ye gae to the gude greenwood, 

Where ye will not be seen ? " 

" I winna gang to your mother's bower, 

Stands on yon stately green ; 30 

But I will on to gude greenwood, 
For I will not be seen." 

He's girt his sword down by his side, 

Took his lady by the hand ; 
And they are on thro' gude greenwood, 35 

As fast as they could gang. 

With slowly steps these couple walk'd, 

About miles scarcely three ; 
When this lady, being sair wearied out, 

Lay down beneath a tree. 4 

" O for a few of yon jumpers, 

To cheer my heart again ; 
And likewise for a gude midwife, 

To ease me of my pain." 

" I'll bring to you yon junipers, 

To cheer your heart again ; 
And I'll be to you a gude midwife, 

To ease you of your pain." 


" Had far awa' frae me, Archibald, 

For this will never dee ; 
That's nae the fashion o' our land, 

And its nae be used by me. 

*' Ye'll take your small sword by your side, 
Your buckler and your bow ; 

And ye'll gae down thro' gude greenwood, 
And hunt the deer and roe. 

" You will stay in gude green wood, 

And with the chase go on ; 
Until yon white hind pass you by, 

Then straight to me ye'll come," 

He's girt his sword then by his side, 

His buckler and his bow ; 
And he is on thro' gude greenwood, 

To hunt the deer and roe. 

And in the greenwood he did stay, 
And with the chase gaed on, 

Until the white hind pass'd him by, 
Then to his love he came. 

He girt his sword then by his side, 
Fast thro' greenwood went he ; 

And there he found his love lie dead, 
Beneath the green oak tree. 

The sweet young babe that she had born 

Right lively seemed to be ; 
" Ohon, alas ! " said young Archibald, 

"A mournful scene to me ! 


"Altho' my sweet babe is alive, 

This does increase my woe ; 
How to nourish a motherless babe 

Is mair than I do know." so 

He looked east, he looked west, 

To see what he could see ; 
Then spied the Earl o' Huntingdon, 

And mony a man him wi'. 

Then Archibald fled from the earl's face, 85 

Among the leaves sae green, 
That he might hear what might be said, 

And see, and nae be seen. 

The earl straight thro' the greenwood came, 
Unto the green oak tree ; 90 

And there he saw his daughter dead, 
Her living child her wi'. 

Then he's taen up the little boy, 

Rowed him in his gown sleeve ; 
Said, " Tho' your father's to my loss, K> 

Your mother's to me leave. 

"And if ye live until I die, 

My bowers and lands ye'se heir ; 
You are my only daughter's child, 

But her I never had mair. 100 

" Ye'se hae all kinds of nourishment, 

And likewise nurses three ; 
If I knew where the faus& knave were, 

High hanged should he be." 


His daughter lie buried in gude church-yard, 

All in a mournful mood ; 
And brought the boy to church that day, 

And christen'd him Robin Hood. 

This boy was bred in the earl's ha', 

Till he became a man ; 
But loved to hunt in gude green wood 

To raise his noble fame. 


From Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, i. 67. See 
p. 173. 

Now word is gane thro' a' the land, 

Gude seal that it sae spread ! 
To Rose the Red and White Lillie, 

Their mither dear was dead. 

Their father's married a bauld woman, 5 

And brought her ower the sea ; 
Twa sprightly youths, her ain young sons, 

Intill her companie. 

They fix'd their eyes on those ladies, 

On shipboard as they stood, 10 

And sware, if ever they wan to land, 
These ladies they wou'd wed. 


But there was nae a quarter past, 

A quarter past but three, 
Till these young luvers a' were fond is 

O' others companie. 

The knights they harped i' their bower, 

The ladies sew'd and sang ; 
There was mair mirth in that chamer 

Than a' their father's Ian'. 20 

Then out it spak their step-mither, 

At the stair-foot stood she ; 
" I'm plagued wi' your troublesome noise, 

What makes your melodie ? 

" O Rose the Red, ye sing too loud, 25 

While Lillie your voice is strang ; 
But gin I live and brook my life, 

I'se gar you change your sang." 

" We maunna change our loud, loud song, 

For nae duke's son ye'll bear ; so 

We winna change our loud, loud song, 
But aye we'll sing the mair. 

" We never sung the sang, mither, 

But we'll sing ower again ; 
We'll take our harps into our hands, as 

And we'll harp, and we'll sing." 

She's call'd upon her twa young sons, 

Says, " Boun ye for the sea ; 
Let Rose the Red, and White Lillie, 

Stay in their bower wi' me." 40 


" God forbid," said her eldest son, 

" Nor lat it ever be, 
Unless ye were as kind to our luves 

As gin we were them wi"." 

" Yet never the less, my pretty sons, 
Ye'll boun you for the faem ; 

Let Rose the Red, and White Lillie, 
Stay in their bowers at hame." 

" O when wi' you we came alang, 

We felt the stormy sea ; 
And where we go, ye ne'er shall know, 

Nor shall be known by thee." 

Then wi' her harsh and boisterous word, 

She forc'd these lads away ; 
While Rose the Red and White Lillie 

Still in their bowers did stay. 

But there was not a quarter past, 

A quarter past but ane ; 
Till Rose the Red in rags she gaed, 

White Lillie's claithing grew thin. 

Wi' bitter usage every day, 
The ladies they thought lang ; 

" Ohon, alas ! " said Rose the Red, 
" She's gar'd us change our sang. 

" But we will change our own fu' names, 
And we'll gang frae the town ; 

Frae Rose the Red and White Lillie, 
To Nicholas and Roger Brown. 


" And we will cut our green claithing 

A little aboon our knee ; 70 

And we will on to gude greenwood, 
Twa bauld bowmen to be." 

" Ohon, alas 1" said White Lfflie, 

" My fingers are but sma' ; 
And tho' my hands wou'd wield the bow, 75 

They winna yield at a'." 

" O had your tongue now, White Lillie, 

And lat these fears a' be ; 
There's naething that ye're awkward in 

But I will learn thee." so 

Then they are on to gude greenwood 

As fast as gang cou'd they; 
O then they spied him, Robin Hood, 

Below a green aik tree. 

" Gude day, gude day, kind sir," they said, 85 

" God make you safe and free." 
" Gude day, gude day," said Robin Hood, 

" What is your wills wi' me ? " 

" Lo here we are, twa banish'd knights, 

Come frae our native hame ; 90 

We're come to crave o' thee service, 
Our king will gie us nane." 

"If ye be twa young banish'd knights, 

Tell me frae what countrie ;" 
" Frae Anster town into Fifeshire, 95 

Ye know it as well as we." 


" If a' be true that ye ha'e said, 

And tauld just now to me ; 
Ye're welcome, welcome, every one, 

Your master I will be. 100 

" Now ye shall eat as I do eat, 

And lye as I do lye ; 
Ye salna wear nae waur claithing 

Nor my young men and I." 

Then they went to a ruinous house, los 

And there they enter'd in ; 
And Nicholas fed wi' Robin Hood, 

And Roger wi' little John. 

But it fell ance upon a day, 

They were at the putting-stane ; no 

Whan Rose the Red she view'd them a', 

As they stood on the green. 

She hit the stane then wi' her foot, 

And kep'd it wi' her knee ; 
And spaces three aboon them a', n 

I wyte she gar'd it flee. 

She sat her back then to a tree, 

And ga'e a loud Ohon ! 
A lad spak in the companie, 

" I hear a woman's moan." 120 

" How know you that, young man," she said, 

" How know you that o' me ? 
Did e'er ye see me in that place 

A'e foot my ground to flee ? 


" Or know ye by my cherry cheeks, 125 

Or by my yellow hair ? 
Or by the paps on my breast bane ? 

Ye never saw them bare." 

" I know not by your cherry cheeks, 

Nor by your yellow hair ; wo 

But I know by your milk-white chin, 

On it there grows nae hair. 

" I never saw you in that cause 

A'e foot your ground to flee ; 
I've seen you stan' wi' sword in han* 135 

'Mang men's blood to the knee. 

" But if I come your bower within, 

By night, or yet by day, 
I shall know before I go, 

If ye be man or may." no 

" O if you come my bower within, 

By night, or yet by day, 
As soon's I draw my trusty brand, 

Nae lang ye'll wi' me stay." 

But he is haunted to her bower, 145 

Her bigly bower o' stane, 
Till he has got her big wi' bairn, 

And near sax months she's gane. 

Whan three mair months were come and gane, 
They gae'd to hunt the hynde ; iso 

She wont to be the foremost ane, 

But now stay'd far behynd. 
VOL. v. 26 


Her luver looks her in the face, 

And thus to her said he ; 
" I think your cheeks are pale and wan, u 

Pray, what gaes warst wi' thee ? 

" O want ye roses to your breast, 

Or ribbons to your sheen ? 
Or want ye as muckle o' dear bought luve 

As your heart can conteen ?" IGO 

" I want nae roses to my breast, 

Nae ribbons to my sheen ; 
Nor want I as muckle dear bought luve 

As my heart can conteen. 

" I'd rather ha'e a fire behynd, 165 

Anither me before ; 
A gude midwife at my right side, 

Till my young babe be bore." 

/ / t mi kindle a fire wi' a flint stane, 

Bring wine in a green horn ; iro 

I'll be midwife at your right side, 
Till your young babe be born." 

" That was ne'er my mither's custom, 

Forbid that it be mine ! 
A knight stan' by a lady bright, 175 

Whan she drees a' her pine ! 

" There is a knight in gude greenwood, 

If that he kent o' me, 
Thro' stock and stane and the hawthorn, 

Sae soon's he wou'd come me tee." iw 


" If there be a knight in gude greenwood 

Ye like better than me, 
If ance he come your bower within, 

Ane o' us twa shall dee." 

She set a horn to her mouth, m 

And she blew loud and shrill ! 
Thro' stock and stane and the hawthorn, 

Brave Roger came her till. 

" Wha's here sae bauld," the youth replied, 
" Thus to encroach on me ? * 190 

" O here I am," the knight replied, 
" Ha'e as much right as thee." 

Then they fought up the gude greenwood, 

Sae did they down the plain ; 
They niddart ither wi' lang braid swords, ins 

Till they were bleedy men. 

Then out it spak the sick woman, 

Sat under the greenwood tree ; 
" O had your han', young man," she said, 

" She's a woman as well as me." 200 

Then out it speaks anither youth, 

Amang the companie ; 
" Gin I had kent what I ken now, 

'Tis for her I wou'd dee." 

" O wae mat worth you, Rose the Red, 205 

An ill death mat ye dee ! 
Altho' ye tauld upo' yoursell, 

Ye might ha'e heal'd on me. 


" O for her sake I was content 

For to gae ower the sea ; 210 

For her I left my mither's ha', 

Tho' she proves fause to me." 

But whan these luvers were made known, 

They sung right joyfullie ; 
Nae blyther was the nightingale, 215 

Nor bird that sat on tree. 

Now they ha'e married these ladies, 

Brought them to bower and ha', 
And now a happy life they lead, 

I wish sae may we a'. 


Kitson's Robin Hood. ii. 69. . 

" FROM an old black-letter copy in the collection 
of Anthony & Wood. The title now given to this 
ballad is that which it seems to have originally borne ; 
having been foolishly altered to Robin Hood newly 
revived. The circumstances attending the second 
part will be explained in a note." RITSON. 

For the different versions of the first part of the 
story see Robin Hood and the Beggar, p. 188. 

COME listen awhile, you gentlemen all, 

With a hey down, down, a down, down, 

That are this bower within, 
For a story of gallant bold Robin Hood 

I purpose now to begin. 


" What time of day ? " quod Robin Hood then ; 5 
Quoth Little John, " 'Tis in the prime ; " 

" Why then we will to the greenwood gang, 
For we have no vittles to dine." 

As Robin Hood walkt the forrest along, 

(It was in the mid of the day,) 10 

There he was met of a deft young man 
As ever walkt on the way. 

His doublet was of silk, 'tis said, 

His stockings like scarlet shone ; 
And he walked on along the way, i 

To Robin Hood then unknown. 

A herd of deer was in the bend, 

All feeding before his face : 
" Now the best of you He have to my dinner, 

And that in a little space." ) 

Now the stranger he made no mickle adoe, 

But he bends a right good bow, 
And the best of all the herd he slew, 

Forty good yards him froe. 

" Well shot, well shot," quod Robin Hood then, 25 

" That shot it was shot in time ; 
And if thou wilt accept of the place, 

Thou shalt be a bold yeoman of mine." 

" Go play the chiven," the stranger said, 

" Make haste and quickly go, so 

23, and a. Kitson. 24, full froe. 


Or with my fist, be sure of this, 
He give thee buffets sto/ 

"Thou had'st not best buffet me," quod Robin 

" For though I seem forlorn, 
Yet I have those will take my part, ss 

If I but blow my horn." 

" Thou wast not best wind thy horn," the stranger 

" Beest thou never so much in haste, 
For I can draw out a good broad sword, 

And quickly cut the blast." 40 

Then Robin Hood bent a very good bow, 

To shoot, and that he would fain ; 
The stranger he bent a very good bow, 

To shoot at bold Robin again. 

"Hold thy hand, hold thy hand," quod Robin 

" To shoot it would be in vain ; 
For if we should shoot the one at the other, 

The one of us may be slain. 

" But let's take our swords and our broad buck 

And gang under yonder tree : " so 

" As I hope to be sav'd," the stranger said, 

One foot I will not flee." 

Then Robin Hood lent the stranger a blow, 
'Most scar'd him out of his wit : 


" Thou never delt blow," the stranger he said, ss 
" That shall be better quit." 

The stranger he drew out a good broad sword, 

And hit Robin on the crown, 
That from every haire of bold Robins head, 

The blood ran trickling down. eo 

" God a mercy, good fellow ! " quod Robin Hood 

" And for this that thou hast done, 
Tell me, good fellow, what thou art, 

Tell me where thou doest wone. 

The stranger then answer'd bold Robin Hood, es 

" He tell thee where I do dwell ; 
In Maxwell town I was bred and born, 

My name is young Gam well. 

" For killing of my own fathers steward, 

I am forc'd to this English wood, 70 

And for to seek an uncle of mine, 
Some call him Robin Hood." 

" But art thou a cousin of Robin Hood then ? 

The sooner we should have done : " 
" As I hope to be sav'd," the stranger then said, 75 

"I am his own sisters son." 

But, lord ! what kissing and courting was there, 

When these two cousins did greet ! 
And they went all that summers day, 

And Little John did [not] meet. so 

55, felt. Kitson. 64, won, R. 


But when they met with Little John, 

He unto them did say, 
" O master, pray where have you been, 

You have tarried so long away ? " 

" I met with a stranger," quod Robin Hood, 85 

" Full sore he hath beaten me : " 
" Then Tie have a bout with him," quod Little John, 

" And try if he can beat me." 

" Oh [no], oh no," quoth Robin Hood then, 

" Little John, it may [not] be so ; w 

For he is my own dear sisters son, 
And cousins I have no mo. 

" But he shall be a bold yeoman of mine, 

My chief man next to thee ; . , 
And I Robin Hood, and thou Little John, as 

And Scadlock he shall be : 

" And weel be three of the bravest outlaws 

That live in the north country." 
If you will hear more of bold Robin Hood, 

In the second part it will be. 100 


Now Robin Hood, Will Scadlock, and Little John 
Are walking over the plain, 

* " This (from an old black-letter copy in Major Pearson's 
collection) is evidently the genuine second part of the pres- 


With a good fat buck, which Will Scadlock 
With his strong bow had slain. 

ent ballad: although constantly printed as an independent 
article, under the title of Robin Hood, Will Scadlock, and Lit 
tle John ; Or, a narrative of their victories obtained against 
the prince of Aragon and the two giants ; and how Will Scad- 
lock married the princess. Tune of Robin Hood; or, Hey doum, 
down, a down." Instead of which, in all former editions, are 
given the following incoherent stanzas, which have all the 
appearance of being the fragment of a quite different ballad : 

THEN bold Kobin Hood to the north he would go, 

With valour and mickle might, 
With sword by his side, which oft had been tri'd, 

To fight and recover his right. 

The first that he met was a bonny bold Scot, 

His servant he said he would be : 
" No," quoth Kobin Hood, " it cannot be good, 

For thou wilt prove false unto me. 

" Thou hast not been true to sire nor cuz." 

" Nay, marry," the Scot, he said, 
" As true as your heart, He never part, 

Gude master, be not afraid. " 

Then Eobin turned his face to the east, 

" Fight on, my merry men stout ; 
Our cause is good," quod brave Kobin Hood, 

" And we shall not be beaten out." 

The battel grows hot on every side, 

The Scotchman made great moan : 
Quoth Jockey, " Gude faith, they fight on each side, 

Would I were with my wife Joan ! " 

The enemy compast brave Robin about, 

'Tis long ere the battel ends; 
Ther's neither will yield, nor give up the field, 

For both are supplied with friends. 


*' Jog on, jog on," cries Robin Hood, 

" The day it runs full fast ; 
For tho* my nephew me a breakfast gave, 

I have not yet broke my fast. 

" Then to yonder lodge let us take our way, 
I think it wondrous good, ] 

Where my nephew by my bold yeomen 
Shall be welcom'd unto the greenwood." 

With that he took his bugle-horn, 

Full well he could it blow ; 
Streight from the woods came marching down 

One hundred tall fellows and mo. 

" Stand, stand to your arms," says Will Scadldck, 
Lo ! the enemies are within ken : " 

With that Robin Hood he laugh'd aloud, 
Crying, " They are my bold yeomen." 

Who, when they arrived, and Robin espy'd, 

Cry'd " Master, what is your will ? 
We thought you had in danger been, 

Your horn did sound so shrill." 

" Now nay, now nay," quoth Robin Hood, 

" The danger is past and gone ; 
I would have you welcome my nephew here, 

That has paid me two for one." 

This song it was made in Robin Hoods dayes : 

Let's pray unto Jove above, . 
To give us true peace, that mischief may cease, 

And war may give place unto love. 



In feasting and sporting they pass'd the day, 

Till Phoebus sunk into the deep ; so 

Then each one to his quarters hy'd, 
His guard there for to keep. 

Long had they not walked within the greenwood, 

When Robin he soon espy'd 
A beautiful damsel all alone, 35 

That on a black palfrey did ride. 

Her riding-suit was of sable hew black, 

Cypress over her face, 
Through which her rose-like cheeks did blush, 

All with a comely grace. 40 

" Come tell me the cause, thou pretty one," 

Quoth Robin, " and tell me aright, 
From whence thou comest, and whither thou goest, 

All in this mournful plight ? " 

" From London I came, the damsel reply'd, 45 

" From London upon the Thames, 
Which circled is, O grief to tell ! 

Besieg'd with foreign arms ; 

" By the proud prince of Arragon, 

Who swears by his martial hand 
To have the princess to his spouse, so 

Or else to waste this land ; 

" Except such champions can be found, 

That dare fight three to three, 
Against the prince, and giants twain, 55 

Most horrid for to see ; 

35, Of a. 


" Whose grisly looks, and eyes like brands, 
Strike terrour where they come, 

With serpents hissing on their helms, 
Instead of feathered plume. 

" The princess shall be the victor's prize, 

The king hath vow'd and said, 
And he that shall the conquest win, 

Shall have her to his bride. 

" Now we are four damsels sent abroad, 
To the east, west, north, and south, 

To try whose fortune is so good 
To find these champions forth. 

" But all in vain we have sought about, 

For none so bold there are 
That dare adventure life and blood, 

To free a lady fair." 

" When is the day ? " quoth Robin Hood, 

" Tell me this and no more : " 
" On Midsummer next," the dam'sel said, 

" Which is June the twenty-four." 

With that the tears trickled down her cheeks, 

And silent was her tongue : 
With sighs and sobs she took her leave, 

Away her palfrey sprung. 

The news struck Robin to the heart, 

He fell down on the grass ; 
His actions and his troubled mind 

Shew'd he perplexed was. 


"Where lies your grief? " quoth Will Scadldck, 85 

O master, tell to me : 
If the damsel's eyes have pierc'd your heart, 

I'll fetch her back to thee." 

" Now nay, now nay," quoth Robin Hood, 

" She doth not cause my smart ; 90 

But 'tis the poor distress'd princess, 
That wounds me to the heart. 

" I'll go fight the giants all 

To set the lady free : " 
" The devil take my soul," quoth Little John, 95 

" If I part with thy company." 

" Must I stay behind ? " quoth Will Scadldck, 

" No, no, that must not be ; 
I'le make the third man in the fight, 

So we shall be three to three." 100 

These words cheer'd Robin to the heart, 

Joy shone within his face ; 
Within his arms he hugged them both, 

And kindly did imbrace. 

Quoth he, " We'll put on motley gray, los 

And long staves in our hands, 
A scrip and bottle by our sides, 

As come from the holy land. 

" So may we pass along the high-way, 

None will ask from whence we came, no 

But take us pilgrims for to be, 

Or else some holy men." 


Now they are on their journey gone, 

As fast as they may speed, 
Yet for all their haste, ere they arriVd, us 

The princess forth was led, 

To be deliver'd to the prince, 

Who in the list did stand, 
Prepar'd to fight, or else receive 

His lady by the hand. 120 

With that he walk'd about the lists, 

With giants by his side : 
" Bring forth," said he, " your champions, 

Or bring me forth my bride. 

" This is the four and twentieth day, 125 

The day prefixt upon : 
Bring forth my bride, or London burns, 

I swear by Alcaron." 

Then cries the king, and queen likewise, 
Both weeping as they spake, 130 

" Lo ! we have brought our daughter dear, 
Whom we are forc'd to forsake." 

With that stept out bold Robin Hood, 

Crys, " My liege, it must not be so ; 
Such beauty as the fair princess iss 

Is not for a tyrant's mow." 

The prince he then began to storm, 

Cries, " Fool, fanatick, baboon ! 
How dare you stop my valour's prize ? 

I'll kiU thee with a frown." no 

128, Acaron. 


Thou tyrant Turk, thou infidel," 

Thus Robin began to reply, 
" Thy frowns I scorn ; lo ! here's my gage, 

And thus I thee dene. 

" And for those two Goliahs there, 145 

That stand on either side, 
Here are two little Davids by, 

That soon can tame their pride." 

Then the king did for armour send, 

For lances, swords, and shields : iso 

And thus all three in armour bright 

Came marching to the field. 

The trumpets began to sound a charge, 

Each singled out his man ; 
Their arms in pieces soon were hew'd, 155 

Blood sprang from every vain. 

The prince he reacht Robin Hood a blow, 

He struck with might and main, 
Which forc'd him to reel about the field, 

As though he had been slain. iee 

" God-a-mercy," quoth Robin, " for that blow ! 

The quarrel shall soon be try'd; 
This stroke shall shew a full divorce 

Betwixt thee and thy bride." 

So from his shoulders he's cut his head, 166 

Which on the ground did fall, 
And grumbling sore at Robin Hood, 

To be so dealt withal. 


The giants then began to rage 

To see their prince lie dead : iro 

" Thou's be the next," quoth little John, 

" Unless thou well guard thy head." 

With that his faulchion he wherled about, 

It was both keen and sharp ; 
He clove the giant to the belt, irs 

And cut in twain his heart. 

Will Scadlock well had play'd his part, 
The giant he had brought to his knee ; 

Quoth Will, " The devil cannot break his fast, 
Unless he have you all three." iso 

So with his faulchion he run him through, 

A deep and ghastly wound ; 
Who dam'd and foam'd, curst and blasphem'd, 

And then fell to the ground. 

Now all the lists with shouts were fill'd, iS5 

The skies they did resound, 
WTiich brought the princess to herself, 

Who had fal'n in a swound. 

The king and queen and princess fair, 

Came walking to the place, 190 

And gave the champions many thanks, 
And did them further grace. 

" Tell me," quoth the king, " whence you are, 

That thus disguised came, 
Whose valour speaks that noble blood iss 

Doth run through every vain." 


" A boon, a boon," quoth Robin Hood, 

" On my knees I beg and crave ; " 
" By my crown," quoth the king, " I grant ; 

Ask what, and thou shalt have." 200 

" Then pardon I beg for my merry men, 

Which are in the green-wood, 
For Little John, and Will Scadlock, 

And for me bold Robin Hood." 

" Art thou Robin Hood ? " then quoth the king ; 205 

For the valour thou hast shewn, 
Your pardons I do freely grant, 

And welcome every one. 

" The princess I promis'd the victor's prize ; 

She cannot have you all three/' 210 

" She shall chuse," quoth Robin ; said Little John, 

" Then little share falls to me." 

Then did the princess view all three, 

With a comely lovely grace, 
And took Will Scadlock by the hand, a- 

Saying " Here I make my choice." 

With that a noble lord stept forth, 

Of Maxfield earl was he, 
Who look'd Will Scadlock in the face, 

And wept most bitterly. 220 

Quoth he, " I had a son like thee, 
Whom I lov'd wondrous well ; 

209, promise. Kitson. 

VOL. v. 27 


But he is gone, or rather dead, 
His name it is young Gamwell." 

Then did Will Scadlock fall on his knees, , 1 

Cries, " Father ! father 1 here, 
Here kneels your son, your young Gamwell, 

You said you lov'd so dear." 

But, lord ! what imbracing and kissing was there, 
When all these friends were met ! J 

They are gone to the wedding, and so to bedding 
And so I bid you good night. 


GIVEN in Gutch's Robin Hood, ii. 392, from an 
Irish Garland, printed at Monaghan, 1796. 

This piece is the same as the fragment usually 
printed as the Second Part of Robin Hood and the 
Stranger, (see p. 409,) and both are undoubtedly 
relics of some older ballad. 

Now bold Robin Hood to the north would go 

With valour and mickle might ; 
With sword by his side, which oft had been try'd, 

To fight and recover his right. 

The first that he met was a jolly stout Scot, a 

His servant he said he would be ; 
" No," quoth Robin Hood, " it cannot be good, 

For thou wilt prove false unto me. 


" Thou has not been true to sire or cuz ; " 

" Nay, marry," the Scot he said, 10 

" As true as your heart, I never will part ; 
Good master, be not afraid." 

" But e'er I employ you," said bold Robin Hood, 

" With you I must have a bout ; " 
The Scotchman reply'd, " Let the battle be try'd, M 

For I know I will beat you out." 

Thus saying, the contest did quickly begin, 

Which lasted two hours and more ; 
The blows Sawney gave bold Robin so brave, 

The battle soon made him give o'er. 20 

" Have mercy, thou Scotchman," bold Robin Hood 

" Full dearly this boon have I bought ; 
We will both agree, and my man you shall be, 

For a stouter I never have fought." 

Then Sawny consented with Robin to go, 21 

To be of his bowmen so gay ; 
Thus ended the fight, and with mickle delight 

To Sherwood they hasted away. 


From Ritson's Robin Hood, ii. 192. 

PRINTED by Copland at the end of his edition of 
the Lytell Geste. The whole title runs : Here begin- 
nethe the playe of Robyn Hoode, very proper to be 
played in Maye games. A few corrections were made 
by Ritson from White's edition of 1634. 

The fragment here preserved is founded upon the 
ballads of Robin Hood and the Curtail Fryer, (p. 271,) 
and Robin Hood and the Potter (p. 17.) Were the 
whole play recovered, we should probably find it a 
pot pourri of the most favorite stories of Robin Hood. 


Now stand ye forth, my mery men all, 

And harke what I shall say ; 

Of an adventure I shal you tell, 

The which befell this other day. 

As I went by the hygh way, 

With a stout frere I met, 

And a quarter-staffe in his hande. 

Lyghtely to me he lept, 

And styll he bade me stande. 

There were strypes two or three, ic 

But I cannot tell who had the worse, 

But well I wote the horeson lept within me, 

And fro me he toke my purse. 

Is there any of my mery men all, 


That to that frere wyll go, 

And bryng hym to me forth withall, 

Whether he wyll or no ? 


Yes, mayster, I make god a vowe, 

To that frere wyll I go, 

And bring him to you, 

Whether he wyl or no. 


Deus hie, deus hie, god be here ! 
Is not this a holy worde for a frere ? 
God save all this company ! 
But am not I a jolly fryer ? 
For I can shote both farre and nere, 
And handle the sworde and buckler, 
And this quarter-staffe also. 
If I mete with a gentylman or yeman, 
I am not afrayde to loke hym upon, 30 

Nor boldly with him to carpe ; 
If he speake any wordes to me, 
He shall have strypes two or thre, 
That shal make his body smarte. 
But, maisters, to shew you the matter, 
Wherfore and why I am come hither, 
In fayth I wyl not spare. 
I am come to seke a good yeman, 
In Bernisdale men sai is his habitacion, 
His name is Robyn Hode. 40 

And if that he be better man than I, 
His servaunt wyll I be, and serve him truely ; 
But if that I be better man than he, 
By my truth my knave shall he be, 
And leade these dogges all three. 
35, mailer, C. 



Yelde the, fryer, in thy long cote. 


I beshrew thy hart, knave, thou hurtest my throt. 


I trowe, fryer, thou beginnest to dote ; 

Who made the so malapert and so bolde, 

To come into this forest here, so 

Amonge my falowe dere ? 


Go louse the, ragged knave. 

If thou make mani wordes, I will geve the on the eare, 

Though I be but a poore fryer. 

To seke Robyn Hode I am com here, 

And to him my hart to breke. 


Thou lousy frer, what wouldest thou with hym ? 
He never loved fryer, nor none of freiers kyn. 


Avaunt, ye ragged knave ! 

Or ye shall have on the skynne. oo 


Of all the men in the morning thou art the worst, 
To mete with the I have no lust ; 
For he that meteth a frere or a fox in the morning, 
To spede ill that day he standeth in jeoperdy. 
Therfore I had lever mete with the devil of hell, 
(Fryer, I tell the as I thinke,) 
Then mete with a fryer or a fox 
In a mornyng, or I drynk. 


Avaunt, thou ragged knave, this is but a mock ; 
If thou make mani words thou shal have a knock. TO 

64, ell, C. 70, You, you, C. 



Harke, frere, what I say here : 
Over this water thou shalt me bere, 
The brydge is borne away. 

To say naye I wyll not : 

To let the of thine oth it were great pitie and sin, 

But up on a fryers backe, and have even in. 


Nay, have over. 


Now am I, frere, within, and thou, Robin, without, 
To lay the here I have no great doubt. 
Now art thou, Robyn, without, and I, frere, within, so 
Lye ther, knave ; chose whether thou wilte sinke or 


Why, thou lowsy frere, what hast thou done ? 


Mary, set a knave over the shone. 


Therfore thou shalt abye. 


Why, wylt thou fyght a plucke ? 


And god send me good lucke. 


Than have a stroke for fryer Tucke. 


Holde thy hande, frere, and here me speke. 


Say on, ragged knave, 

Me semeth ye begyn to swete. sw 

82, donee, C. 



In this forest I have a hounde, 
J wyl not give him for an hundreth pound. 
Geve me leve my home to blowe, 
That my hounde may knowe. 

Blowe on, ragged knave, without any doubte, 
Untyll bothe thyne eyes starte out. 
Here be a sorte of ragged knaves come in, 
Clothed all in Kendale grene, 
And to the they take their way nowe. 


Peradventure they do so. 100 


I gave the leve to blowe at thy wyll, 
Now give me leve to whistell my fyll. 


Whystell, frere, evyl mote thou fare, 
Untyll bothe thyne eyes stare. 


Now Cut and Bause ! 

Breng forth the clubbes and staves, 

And downe with those ragged knaves ! 


How sayest thou, frere, wylt thou be my man, 

To do me the best servyse thou can ? 

Thou shalt have both golde and fee, no 

And also here is a lady free, 

I wyll geve her unto the, 

And her chapplayn I the make, 

To serve her for my sake. 


Here is a huckle duckle, an inch above the buckle ; 
104, starte, C. 


She is a trul of trust, to serve a frier at his lust, 

A prycker, a prauncer, a terer of shetes, 

A wagger of buttockes when other men slepes. 

Go home, ye knaves, and lay crabbes in the fyre, 

For my lady and I wil daunce in the myre, 120 

For veri pure joye. 


Lysten, to [me], my mery men all, 

And harke what I shall say ; 

Of an adventure I shall you tell, 

That befell this other daye. 

With a proude potter I met, 

And a rose garlande on his head, 

The floures of it shone marvaylous freshe ; 

This seven yere and more he hath used this waye, 

Yet was he never so curteyse a potter, iso 

As one peny passage to paye. 

Is there any of my mery men all 

That dare be so bolde 

To make the potter paie passage, 

Either silver or golde ? 


Not I master, for twenty pound redy tolde, 

For there is not among us al one 

That dare medle with that potter, man for man. 

I felt his handes not long agone, 

But I had lever have ben here by the, 140 

Therfore I knowe what he is. 

Mete him when ye wil, or mete him whan ye shal, 

He is as propre a man as ever you medle withal. 


I will lai with the, Litel John, twenti pound so read, 
117, shefes, C. 118, ballockes, C. 


If I wyth that potter mete, 

I wil make him pay passage, maugre his head. 


I consente therto, so eate I bread, 

If he pay passage maugre his head, 

Twenti pound shall ye have of me for your mede. 


Out alas, that ever I sawe this daye ! i 

For I am clene out of my waye 

From Notyngham towne ; 

If I hye me not the faster, 

Or I come there the market wel be done. 


Let me se, are thy pottes hole and sounde ? 

Yea, meister, but they will not breake the ground. 


I wil them breke, for the cuckold thi maisters sake ; 
And if they will breake the grounde, 
Thou shalt have thre pence for a pound. 


Out alas ! what have ye done ? 
If my maister come, he will breke your crown. 


Why, thou horeson, art thou here yet ? 
Thou shouldest have bene at market. 


I met with Robin Hode, a good yeman, 
He hath broken my pottes, 
And called you kuckolde by your name. 


Thou mayst be a gentylman, so god me save, 
154, maryet, C. 155, the, C. 158, not breake, in C. 


But thou semest a noughty knave. 

Thou callest me cuckolde by my name, 

And I swere by god and saynt Joan iro 

Wyfe had I never none. 

This cannot I denye, 

But if thou be a good felowe, 

I wil sel mi horse, mi harneis, pottes and paniers to, 

Thou shalt have the one halfe and I will have the 

other ; 

If thou be not so content, 
Thou shalt have stripes, if thou were my brother. 


Harke, potter, what I shall say : 
This seven yere and more thou hast used this way, 
Yet were thou never so curteous to me, 180 

As one penny passage to paye. 


Why should I pay passage to thee ? 


For I am Robyn Hode, chiefe gouernoure 
Under the grene woode tree. 


This seven yere have I used this way up and downe, 

Yet payed I passage to no man, 

Nor now I wyl not beginne, so do the worst thou can. 


Passage shalt thou pai here under the grene-wode tre, 
Or els thou shalt leve a wedde with me. 


If thou be a good felowe, as men do the call, 190 

Laye awaye thy bo we, 

18r, to do, C. ; to or so omitted in W. 
189, wedded, C., wed, W. 


And take thy sword and buckeler in thy hande, 
And see what shall befall. 


Lyttle John, where art thou ? 


Here, mayster, I make god a vowe. 
I tolde you, mayster, so god me save, 
That you shoulde fynde the potter a knave. 
Holde your buckeler faste in your hande, 
And I wyll styfly by you stande, 
Ready for to fyghte ; 
Be the knave never so stoute, 
I shall rappe him on the snou^o, 
And put hym to flyghte. 


THE lines which follow would seem to be part of 
an Interlude, in which, as in the play just given, the 
incidents of several ballads are rudely combined. 
The present fragment is manifestly founded on Robin 
Hood and Guy of Gisborne. We owe this curious 
relic to a correspondent of Notes and Queries (vol. xii. 
p. 321), who found it in an interleaved copy of Robin 
Hood's Garland, formerly belonging to Dr. Stukely, 
the inventor of the preposterous pedigree of Robin 
Hood. The Doctor has prefixed these remarks : " It 

197, your, C. 


is not to be doubted but that many of subsequent 
songs are compiled from old ballads wrote in the time, 
or soon after Robin Hood, with alterations from time 
to time into the more modern language. Mr. Le 
Neve (Norroy) has a large half-sheet of paper which 
was taken from the inside of some old book, which 
preserves in an old hand a fragment of this sort. On 
the back of it is wrote, among other accounts, this, 
' It, R. S. of Richard Whitway, penter for his house, 
sent in full payment, jx. s., the vij. day of November, 
Edw' d iij. xv.' ; and in a later hand as follows." 

" Syr Sheryffe, for thy sake 
Robyn Hode wull y take." 
I wyll the gyffe golde and fee, 
This beheste thow holde me. 

" Robyn Hode ffayre and fre, 

Undre this lynde shote we." 

With the shote y wyll, 

Alle thy lustes to fullfyll. 

" Have at the pryke," 

And y cleve the styke. 10 

" Late us caste the stone," 

I grante well, be Seynte John. 

" Late us caste the exaltre," 

Have a foote before the. 

Syr knyght, ye have a falle. 15 

"And I the, Robyn, qwyte shall. 

Owte on the, I blewe my home, 

Hitt ware better be unborne." 

" Let us fight at oltrance. 

" He that fleth, God gyfe hym myschaunce." 20 


Now I have the maystry here, 
Off I smyte this sory swyre. 
This knygthys clothis wolle I were, 
And on my hede his hyde will here. 

Well mete, felowe myn. 
What herst thou of gode Robyn ? 
" Robyn Hode and his menye 
With the Sheryffe takyn be." 
Sette on foote with gode wyll, 
And the Sheryffe wull we kyll. 

Beholde wele Frere Tuke, 

Howe he dothe his bowe pluke. 

" Yeld yow, Syrs, to the Sheryffe, 

Or elles shall ye blowes pryffe." 

Now we be bounden alle in same ; 

Frere Tuke, this is no game. 

" Come thou forth, thou fals outlawe ; 

Thou shall be hangyde and y-drawe." 

Now alias, what shall we doo ! 

We moste to the prys,one goo. 

" Opyn the gates faste anon, 

And [late] theis thevys ynne gon." 

24, hede. 25, folowe. 34, elyffe. 

41, ory the yatn. 42, theif thouys rune. 


" THIS strange and whimsical performance is taken 
from a very rare and curious publication, entitled 
Deuteromelia : or the second part ofmusicks melodie, or 
melodius musicke, 1609. 

" In the collection of old printed ballads made by 
Anthony k Wood, is an inaccurate copy of this ancient 
and singular production, in his own hand-writing. 
" * This song,' says he, * was esteemed an old song 
before the rebellion broke out in 1641.'" RITSON'S 
Eolin Hood, ii. 204. 

BY Lands-dale hey ho, 

By mery Lands-dale hey ho, 
There dwelt a jolly miller, 

And a very good old man was he, hey ho. 

He had, he had and a sonne a, A 

Men called him Renold, 
And mickle of his might 

Was he, was he, hey ho. 

And from his father a wode a, 

His fortune for to seeke, w 

From mery Lands-dale 

Wode he, wode he, hey ho. 


His father would him seeke a, 
And found him fast asleepe ; 

Among the leaves greene 
Was he, was he, hey ho. 

He tooke, he tooke him up a, 
All by the lilly-white hand, 

And set him on his feet, 
And bad him stand, hey ho. 

He gave to him a benbow, 
Made all of a trusty tree, 

And arrowes in his hand, 
And bad him let them flee. 

And shoote was that, that a did a, 
Some say he shot a mile, 

But halfe a mile and more 
Was it, was it, hey ho. 

And at the halfe miles end [a,] 
There stood an armed man ; 

The childe he shot him through, 
And through and through, hey ho. 

His beard was all on a white a, 
As white as whaleis bone, 

His eyes they were as cleare 
As christall stone, hey ho. 

And there of him they made [a] 
Good yeoman Robin Hood, 

Scarlet, and Little John, 
And Little John, hey ho. 


Gutch's Robin Hood, ii. 393. 

FROM A Musicall Dreame, or the fourth booke of 
Ayres, &c., London, 1606. Ritson printed the same 
from the edition of 1609. 

IN Sherwood livde stout Robin Hood, 

An archer great, none greater; 
His bow and shafts were sure and good, 

Yet Cupids were much better. 
Robin could shoot at many a hart and misse, e 

Cupid at first could hit a hart of his. 
Hey, jolly Robin, hoe, jolly Robin, hey, jolly Robin 


Love finds out me, as welL as thee, so follow me, so 
follow me to the green-wood. 

A noble thiefe was Robin Hoode, 10 

Wise was he could deceive him ; 
Yet Marrian, in his bravest mood, 

Could of his heart bereave him ! 
No greater thief lies hidden under skies 
Then beauty closely lodgde in womens eyes. 
Hey, jolly Robin, &c. 

8, to follow. Kitson. 

VOL. v. 28 


An out-law was this Robin Hood, 

His life free and unruly ; 
Yet to faire Marrian bound he stood, 

And loves debt payed her duely. 
Whom curbe of stricktest law could not hold in, 
Love with obeyednes and a winke could winiie. 
Hey, jolly Robin, frc. 

Now wend we home, stout Robin Hood, 

Leave we the woods behind us ; 
Love-passions must not be withstood, 

Love every where will find us. 
I livde in fielde and downe, and so did he, 
I got me to the woods, love followed me. 
Hey, jolly Robin, fyc. 


FROM Anthony Munday's London pageant for 1615, 
entitled Metropolis Coronata, the Triumphes of Ancient 
Drapery. Munday was a popular ballad-writer, and, 
together with Chettle, the author of two well-known 
plays on the fortunes of " Robert Earl of Huntington." 
This song is taken from The Civic Garland, in the 
Percy Society Publications, vol. xix. p. 15. 

Now wend we together, my merry men all, 

Unto the forrest side a : 
And there to strike a buck or a doe, 

Let our cunning all be a tride a. 


Then go we merrily, merrily on, 5 

To the green-wood to take up our stand, 

Where we will lye in waite for our game, 
With our bent bowes in our hand. 

What life is there like to bold Kobin Hood ? 

It is so pleasant a thing a : 10 

In merry Shirwood he spends his dayes, 

As pleasantly as a king a. 

No man may compare with Robin Hood, 
With Robin Hood, Scathlocke and John ; 

Their like was never, nor never will be, is 

If in case that they were gone. 

They will not away from merry Shirwood, 

In any place else to dwell : 
For there is neither city nor towne, 

That likes them halfe so well. 

Our lives are wholly given to hunt, 
And haunt the merry greene-wood, 

Where our best service is daily spent 
For our master Robin Hood. 


Figures placed after words denote the pages in which 
they occur. 

a', all. 

aboon, abune, above. 

abowthe, about. 

abye, abide, pay. 

acward stroke, 21, an unusual, 
out-of-the-way stroke, which 
could not be guarded against. 

ae, one. 

aftur the way, 11, upon the 

agayne, against. 

agone, ago. 

aik, oak. 

alane, alone. 

Alcaron, 414, the name of an 
imaginary deity, by meta 
thesis from Alcoran. EIT- 
SON. The original reading 
is, however, Acaron. 

nlkone, each one. 

al so mote, so may I. 

altherbest, best of all. 

amain, all, 292, at once. 

ance, once. 

anker, anchorite. 

a-row, in a row. 

Arthur-a-Bradley, 351, the title 
of a ballad. 

arwe, arrow ; arwys, arrows. 

asay, tried. 

assoyld, absolved. 

avowe, founder, patron, pro 

awayte me scathe, 80, lie in 
wait, or lay plots, to do me in 

awkwarde stroke, 166, an un 
usual, out-of-the-way stroke. 

ayen, again. 

ayenst, against. 

ayont, beyond. 

ayre, by, 197, early. 

azon, 39, against, towards 

bale, ruin, harm, mischief. 
ballup, 264, the front or flap 

of small clothes. 
banis, bane. 



barking, 336, leather-tanning. 

baylyes, 153, bailiffs, sheriff's 

be, by. 

bearyng arow, 155, "an arrow 
that carries well ;" see vol. 

became, 184, came. [vii. 

bedene, 77, in a company, to 
gether. ( ? ) 

bedyl, 153, beadle, the keeper 
of a prison. 

beforn, 41, before, first. 

beft, 203, beaten. 

begeck, give a, 198, make a 
mock of, expose to derision. 

beheste, 429, promise. 

behote, 99, promise ; 96, prom 

beir, noise, cry. 

belive, belyfe, quickly, at once. 

ben, in. 

benbow, 432, bent bow. 

bend, 405, turn of a forest. 

bescro, beshrew, curse. 

bestead, circumstanced, put to 

bewch, 159, bough. 

bigged, built. 

bigly, commodious, pleasant to 
live in. 

bil, pike or halbert. 

blate, sheepish, foolish. 

blowe bost, 55, make boast. 

blutter, 195, dirty. 

blyve, quickly. 

booking, belching, flowing, out. 

bode, bid. 

boltys, arrows, especially ar 
rows with a blunt head. 

bone, boon. 

booting, 188, robbing adventure. 

borow, surety. 

borowe, redeem. 

boskyd, made ready. 

bote, help, use. 

bottys, shooting butts. 

boun, boune, make ready; 

bown'd, 193. went. 
bonne, bowne, ready, ready to 

go ; 244, going. 
bour, bower, chamber, dwelling, 
bowne, boon. 
boyt, both. 
braide at a, 145, suddenly, in a 


braves, bravadoes. 
bree, brow. 
breeks, breeches. 
brenne, burn. 
brere, briar, thorn. 
breyde, a start, leap. 
breyde, started, leaped, stepped 


briddis, birds. 
broke, 91, use and enjoy. 
browthe, brought. 
browzt, brought. 
bruik, enjoy. 
bryk, breeches. 
buske, bush. 
buske, dress ; 54, make ready 

to go, go. 

busshement, ambush. 
but, without; 193, but fail, 

without fail ; but and, and 


bydene, 105, all tog ether, forth 
with, one after the other. ( ?) 



bystode, put into a plight, cir 

can, as an auxiliary, equiva 
lent to did. 

can, know ; coud, knew ; can 
thanke, feel grateful, (savoir 

cankerdly, with ill humor. 

capull, horse. 

carefull, sorrowful. 

carpe, talk, narrate. 

carril, carel, churl. 

certyl, Tdrtle; 41, jacket or 

chaffar, chaffer, merchandise, 

charter of peace, deed of par 
don, safe-warrant. 

chear well, 190, make good 
cheer, have a good prospect. 

chepe, v. buy ; n. bargain. 

chere, face. 

cheys, choose. 

chitt, 258, worn ? 

chiven, 405, craven ? 

claw'd, 194, scratched, curried. 

clepyn, call. 

clipping, embracing. 

clouted, patched. 

cofer, trunk. 

cold, 259, could, used as an 
auxiliary of the perfect 

cole, cowl. 

comet, cometh. 

commytted, 120, accounted. 

comyn belle, 13, town-bell. 

coost, cast. 

coresed, 62, harnessed. HAL- 

LIWELL. (A guess?) 
cote-a-pye, upper garment, 

short cloak. 
coud, could, used as an aiixil- 

iary of the perfect tense; 

coud his curtesye, 76. 

[showed that he} understood 

good manners. 
counsel, secret. 
covent, convent. 
cow, clip. 

cowed, could, Tcnew. 
cowthe, could. 
crack, chat, talk. 
craftely, skilfully. 
creves, crevice. 
crouse, 192, merrily. 
curn, 191, quantity of. 
curtail fryer, 272, apparently 

the friar with the curtail 

(cur) dogs. 
curtes, courteous. 
cutters, swaggerers, riotous 

cypress, 411, gauze, crape. 

dale, been at a, in low spirits 1 

dame, 86, mother, i. e. Mary. 

deale, part. 

dee, die. 

dee, do ; deen, done. 

deft, neat, trim. 

famed, judged. 

dere. harm. 

dere worthy, precious. 

derne, secret, privy, retired. 

devilkyns, 57, deuced. 

did of, doffed. 



doen him, betaken him. 

doe of, do/. 

doubt, doute,year, danger. 

doyt, do. 

dree, bear, suffer, endure. 

dub, 196, pool. 

dule, lamentation. 

dung, struck down, put down. 

duzty, doughty, brave. 

dyght, 100, done. 

dyght, ready, made ready; 

dyghtande. 111, making 

ready, cooking. 
dysgrate, disgraced, degraded, 

fallen into poverty. 

eftsones, afterward, hereafter. 

eild, age. 

emys, uncles. 

ere, 86, befoi'e. 

erst, before. 

even, exactly. 

everyche, euerilkone, everi- 

chone, each, every one. 
exaltre, axle-tree. 
eylde het the, requite (thee 

for) it. 
eyr, year. 

faem,/oa?ra, sea. 

fail, but, 193, without fail. 

faine, glad. 

falleth, 114, suiteth. 

fsilyf, fallen. 

fanatick. 414, madman. 

fang, strap. 

fare, way of proceeding ; 114, 
fortune ; for all his frendes 
fare, seems to mean, not 

withstanding the penalties 
suffered by his friends for 
their bad shots. 

fare, go. 

farley, strange. 

fault, 367, misfortune. 

fay, faith. 

fayne, glad. 

fe, fee, property, wages, reward. 

feardest, 197, most frightened. 

federed, feathered. 

felischepe, 22, compact of 

fend, find. 

fende, defend. 

ferd, 10, fear ; probably mis 

fere, mate. 

ferly, wonderful, extraordinary. 

ferre dayes, 47, late in the 

ferre and frend bestad, 69, in 
the position of a stranger 
from a distance. 

fet, fetched. 

fetjjK, song. 

fetteled, made ready. 

finikin, Jine. 

flaps, strokes, blows. 

fleych, jlesh. 

flinders, fragments. 

flo, arrow. 

i one, foes. 

forbode godys, 30, gods for- 
bott, 260, God's prohibition ; 
over gods forbode, 157, on 
God's prohibition, God for 

force, fors, matter. 



forebye, on one side. 
for god, before God. 
forlorne, lost, forsaken, alone. 
forsoyt, forsooth. 
forthynketh, repenteth. 
fostere, forester ; fosters of 

the fe, 153, foresters in the 

King's pay. 
foryete, 72, forgotten. 
foulys, fowls, birds. 
free, 272, gracious, bounteous. 
frend, foreign, strange ; ferre 

and frend bestad, 69, in the 

position of a stranger from, 

a distance. 

frese (said of bows), 82 ? 
fynly, goodly. 

gang, go. 

gangna, go not. 

gar, make. 

gate, 162, 196, way. 

general, 290, perhaps the gov 
ernor, Nottingham having 
once been a garrison town. 
RITSON. Rather, people ; 
i. e. in public, with the rest 
of the world. 

ger, 27, gear, affair. 

gest, guest. 

geste, story. 

gie, give. 

gif, if- 
gillore, plenty. 

gin, if- 

gladdynge, entertaining. 

go, walk. 

god, 31, valuables. 

gods forbott, 260, God's prohi 
bition, God forbid. 

golett, throat, the part of the 
dress or armor which covered 
the throat. 

gone, go; ride and go, ride 
and walk. 

gomey, journey. 

graff, 225, branch or sapling. 

gree, 64, satisfaction. 

greece, hart of, a fat hart. 

grithe, 16, peace, protection, 
security for a certain time. 

grome, groom; 45, a (common) 

ha', hall. 

had, hold, keep. 

hail, wholly. 

halfendell, half. 

halke, 108, hollow ? 

hambellet, ambleth. 

hame, home. 

han, have. 

hansell, 23, is the first money 
received in a new shop, or on 
any particular day. The 
passage seems to be cor 

hantyd, haunted. 

harbengers, harbingers, ser 
vants that went on before their 
lords during a journey, to 
provide lodgings. 

harowed, despoiled. 

hart of greece, a fat hart. 

hase, neck. 

haud, hold. 



haulds, 195, things to take hold 

inow, enough. 


in same, together. 

haunted, resorted frequently. 

intil, into, in. 

hawt, aught. 

into, in. 

hayt, hath. 

in twaine, apart. 

he, 39, they. 

i-pyght, put. 

heal'd, concealed. 

i-quyt, rewarded. 

hede, head. 

i-sette, set. 

hee, high. 

i-slawe, slain. 

hende, gentle, courteous. 

ither, each other. 

hent, took. 

i-wysse, surely. 

heres, here is. 

het, it. 

japes, jests, mocks. 

het, eat. 

jobbing, 374, knocking to 

heynd, gentle, courteous. 


hight, called, are called. 

ho, hoo, who. 

kende, kent, knew. 

hode, hood. 

kep, catch,' kep'd, kept, 

holde, 61, retain. 

keepit, caught. 

holy, wholly. 

kepe ; non odur kepe I'll be, 

hos, us. 

15, I will be no other kind of 

housbond, manager. 

retainer, I will have no other 

howt, out ; heyt war howte, 


23, a corrupt passage ? 

kest, cast. 

huckle-duckle, 424, a term for 

kilt, tuck up. 

a loose woman. 

knave, servant (boy); knave 

humming, heady. 

bairn, male child. 

hye, in, aloft. 

knop, a knob or swelling from 

hyght, promised, vowed. 

a blow. 

hynde, servant. 

kod, quoth. 

hypped, hopped, hobbled. 

kyrtell, kirtle, waistcoat, jacket, 

or tunic. 

i-bonde, bound. 
i-chaunged, changed. 
i-federed, feathered. 
ilk, each ; ilkone, each one. 
in fere, in company. 
inn, 34, abode, stand. 
t-nocked, nocked, notched. 

lad, lead. 

laigh, 196, low ground. 
lang, longer. 
lap, leaped. 

launde, an open place in 



launsgay, a kind of dart or 
javelin; (a compound of 
lance, and the Arabic 
zagaye, says Myrick, An- 
tient Armour, &c.) 

lawhyng, laughing. 

layne, deception. 

leace, lying. 

Icasynge, lying. 

leave, 395, dear. 

ledes man, conductor. 

lee licht, 171, lonely, sad light. 

leese, lose. 

lefe, dear, pleasant. 

lende, 113, <fa?e??. 

lene, 58, grant ; 59, lend. 

lengre, longer. 

lere, cheek. 

lere, Zearn. 

lese, fose. 

lest, desire. 

lesynge, lying. 

let, stojo ; letna, let not ; let- 
tyng, stopping. 

leugh, laughed. 

lever, rather. 

lewte, loyalty. 

ley, lea. 

leythe, light. 

lifted, livelihood. 

ligge, 332, %. 

liglitile", lyghtly, quickly. 

lin, stop. 

lin'd, 203, beaten. 

list, desire. 

list, pleased. 

lith, 110, joint, limb. 

lithe, hearken. 

liver, nimble. 

lizt, %7zf. 

lokid on, 8, Zoo&ecZ in a<. 

longe of the, thy fault. 

longut, longed. 

lordeyne, sluggard, clown. 

lore, fos*. 

lothely, WN& aversion, with 

lough, laughed. 

loused, lowsed, loosed. 

low, laughed. 

lowe, 167, a swaZJ Mff. 

lown, rogue. 

lust, desire. 

lynde, lyne, linden, lime, tree 
in general. 

lynge, 10, a thin long grass or 
rush, heather. 

lyth, hearken. 

lyveray, arc allowance of pro 
visions or clothes given out to 
servants or retainers; 73, 

lyzth, lies. 

male, portmanteau; 68, [the 
horse carrying'] the port 

maney, company. 

mar, more. 

marry, Mary ; marry gep, ap 
parently, Mary go up ! 

masars, 75, cups, vessels. 

masterey, mastery, trial of 
skill, feat. 

mat, may. 

maun, must; maunna, may 

may, maid. 



maystry, trial of skitt, feat. 

meal-pock, meal-bag. 

meatrif, abounding in provis 

mell, meddle. 

menye, meyne, company. 

mete, measured. 

methe, meat. 

meyt, meythe, might. 

mickle, great. 

middle streame, 274, middle 
of the stream. 

misters, 203, sorts of. 

mo, more. 

molde, ground. 

mot, may. 

mote, meeting. 

mought, might. 

mow, mouth. 

muckle, much. 

mych, much. 

mylner, miller. 

mysaunter, misadventure, ill 

myster, need. 

myzt, might. 

nae, not. 

liar, nor, than. 

ner, never. 

ner, were it not. 

ner; they ner, thine ear. 

nere, nearer. 

next way, nearest way. 

nicked, notched, cut, slashed. 

niddart, 403, assailed. 

nip, bit ; curn nips of sticks, 

191, bundle of small sticks. 
nipped, pinched. 

nombles, numbles, [the eat 
able] entrails. 
nouther, neither. 

odur, other. 

ohon, interjection of grief, 


okerer, usurer. 
oltrance, outrance, utterance. 
on, one. 

onfere, together. 
on lyve, alive. 
onslepe, asleep. 
onys, once. 
or, before. 
os, us. 

ought, owed. 
out-home, a horn blown to 

summon people to assist in 

capturing a fugitive. 
over all, everywhere. 
owthe, out. 
owtlay, outlaw. 
oysyd, used, followed. 

passe, extent, bounds, limits, 

district; as the pas de 

Calais. RITSON. 
partakers, persons to take one's 


pawage, pauage, pavag, toll 
for the privilege of passing 

over the territory of another. 
pay, satisfaction. 
peces, 75, vessels ; unless it be 


pinder, pounder, pound-keeper. 
pine, pain. 
plucke, stroke, blow; 423, bout; 



pluck e-buffet, 118, is ex 
plained by the context, 
prece, prese, crowd; prees, 65, 

press (of battle). 
preced, pressed. 
preke, the pin in the centre of 

a target. 

president, precedent. 
prest, 29,yiw<, zealously. 
prest, quick, in a hurry; 

prestly, quickly. 
pricke-wande, a rod set up as 

a mark. The prick is the 

peg in the centre of a 


prycker, 425, a galloping horse. 
pryffe, 30, prove. 
pryme, six in the morning. 
pudding-prick, a skewer to 

fasten a pudding-bag. 
put at the stane, throw the 

stone as a trial of strength ; 

putting-stone, the stone used 

in this exorcise. 
pyne, suffering ; goddes pyne, 

Christ's passion. 

quequer, quiver. 
queyt, qwyte, reward. 

raked, 196, proceeded leisurely, 

raking, 259, 275, walking 

hastily, running. 
rawe, row. 
my, prepare. 
raye, 84, striped cloth. " Cloth 

not coloured or dyed. It is 

in contradistinction to cloth 
of colour." KITSON. 

reachles, reckless, careless. 

red, advice. 

red, rid. 

reddely, quickly. 

reede, advise. 

renne, run. 

reuth, pity. 

reve, rob, take by force. 

revere, river. 

reves, bailiffs, receivers. 

rewth, pity. 

ripe, rip. 

ripe, 190, search; 202, cleante. 

rode, rood, cross. 

rout, 191, blow. 

rowed, rolled. 

rowte, company. 

rue, 377, to cause to rue. 

rung, staff. 

ryall, royal. 

ryghtwys, righteous, just. 

sad, 82,Jirm, resolute. 

sail, shall ; salna, shall not, 

salued, greeted. 

same, in, together. 

sanchothis, 41 ? (The mean 
ing is that the arrow went 
between the legs. ) 

sawtene, sought. 

scaith, scathe, hurt, harm. 

schet, schette, shot. 

schrewde, sharp. 

sclo, slay. 

scouth, 195, room, range; 

screffe, sheriff. 

se, see, protect. 



seal, 396, Gude seal, God seal, 

forbid f 
seke, search ; 20, he was not 

to seke, he did not require to 

be looked for. 
seker, sure, resolute. 
selerer, cellarer, the officer of 

a convent that furnished pro- 

semblaunte, countenance. 

sete, set. 

sets, 348, suits. 

shawe, 1, 94, 160, grove, wood. 

shende, injure, blame. 

shete, shoot ; shet, shot. 

sheyne, bright. 

shone, shoen, shoes. 

shope, created. 

shot-window, a projecting win 

shradd, 160, (spelt also shard,) 
an opening in a wood. 

shrewed, 63, cursed, precious I 

shroggs, 164, shrubs, twigs. 

shryve, sheriff. 

shuldis, shouldst. 

silly, simple. 

sith, since. 

slack, low ground, valley. 

Blade, valley, ravine, strip of 
greensward between two 

slawe, slain. 

slist, sliced. 

slon, slay ; slone, slain, 

somers, sumpter horses. 

sorowe tyme, 61, sorry, bad 

BOthe, truth. 

sound, sicoon. 

sowt, 40, south. 

soyt, sooth, truth. 

spar, spare, stop. 

sparris, shutst : sparred, shut. 

spear, speir, ask about. 

spercles, sparks. 

sprunks, 378, concubines ? 

spyrred, asked, asked for. 

stage, 8, stoi'y of the house f 

stalle, 16, place in general, 

room, house. 
stark, stiff. 
stede, place. 
sterte, started, rushed. 
Steven, 168, voice; 164, unsett 

steven, a time not previously 


stime, a particle of light. 
sto', store, a quantity. 
stood upon, 356, concerned, was 

woi'th his while. 
store, set no, make no account 


stound, hour, time. 
stowre, turmoil. 
strypes, strokes. 
stroke, 259, stretch ? 
stye, 14, lane. 
sune, son. 
sweaven, dream. 
sweir, niggardly, unwilling to 

part with any thing. 
swinke, toil. 
swownd, swoon. 
swyre, 430, neck. 
syne, then, afterwards. 
syth, then. 



take, (often) give; take up 
(the table), dear away. 

takle, takyll, arrow. 

tarpe, 111 ? 

tee, to. 

teene, tene, harm, trouble, vex 

than, then. 

the, they. 

the, thrive, prosper. 

then, than. 

ther, their. 

there, 106, where. 

thes, <Aw*. 

thir, they. 

tho, tfiose. 

thocht, thought. 

thother, other. 

thoucht long, thought lang, 
grew weary. 

thrast, thrust, pi-essed. 

throly, 5, boldly 

throng, hastened. 

thro we, space of time. 

thrumme, the extremity of a 
weaver's warp; 40, band or 

thryes, thrice. 

thynketh, seemeth. 

till, to. 

tithyngus, tidings. 

to, two. 

to-hande, two-hand. 

toke, committed to. 

tortyll, 28, twisted. Qy. read 

trawale, labor, vocation. 

tray, 81, ( A.S. trega,) vexation. 

tree, staff. 

trenchen, 203, cutting. 

treyffe, 32, thrive. 

tristil tre, 7, tree of trigt, or 

trowet, troth. 
trusyd, trussed. 
trysty tre, tristing tree, tree 

of meeting. 
tyde, time. 
tyll, to. 

tynde, tine, antler. 
tyne, lose. 

unketh, strange, stranger. 
unneath, unneth, hardly. 
untyll, unto. 

upchaunce, peradventure, per 

venyson, 130, deer-stealing. 
voyded, went off. 

wa, wall. 

wad, would. 

wan, got. came. 

wane, 70; wonnynge wane, 
dwelling-place : wane is per 
haps an error for hame. 

war, aware. 

warden-pies, 368 ; wardens are 
large baking-pears. 

warisone, 14, reward. 

was, 25, wash. 

waur, worse. 

waythmen, page ix., hunters, 
sportsmen (German, weid- 
mann). Often explained 
outlaws, rovers. 

wed, wedde, pledge, deposit. 



wedes, garments. 

welde, would. 

welt, wielded, disposed of. 

wenion, 225, curse, (a word 
of unknown origin.) 

wende, went, weened, thought. 

weppynd, loeaponed. 

west, wist. 

wet, wete, know. 

whether, whither. 

whute, whistle; whues, whist 

wigger, wicker. 

wight, strong. 

wilfulle, 164, (like wilsom,) 
doubtful, ignorant. 

win, go, get, get on. 

winna, will not. 

wistna, knew not. 

wode, mad. 

wode, went. 

wodys, woods. 

woest, saddest. 

wolwarde, without linen next 
the body. 

wone, dwell ; wonnynge, dwell 

woo, sad. 

woodweele, variously ex 
plained as woodpecker, 
thrush, wood-lark, red-breast. 

worthe, be. 

wroken, revenged. 

wrist, 258 V 

wyght, strong. 

Wynne, go. 

wystly, wistfully, intently. 
wyte, 400, wytte, know. 

xal, xul, shall. 

y-dyght, furnished, prepared. 

yede, yeed, went. 

yeff, if. 

yeffell, ill 

yeft, gift. 

yeman, yeoman ; yemanrey, 
22, yeomandrie, yeomanry, 
what becomes a yeoman. 

yend, yonder. 

yer, years. 

yerdes, rods, wands. 

ye'se, you shall. 

yever, ever. 

y-founde, found. 

ylke, same. 

yode, went. 

Yole, Yule, Chrislmat. 

yonder, under. 

y-slaw, slain. 

zade, went. 

zare, readily, quickly. 

zatis, gates. 

ze, the. 

zelpe, boast. 

zemen, yeomen. 

zet, yet. 

zete, eat. 

zeue, give. 

zone, yon. 

zouyn, given.