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Full text of "Robin Hood; a collection of all the ancient poems, songs, and ballads, now extant, relative to that celebrated English outlaw, to which are prefixed historical anecdotes of his life"

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Moliin l^ooti: 






©nglisfj #utlato. 




Diim jiiga niontis aper, lluvios dum piscis amabit, 
Dumque thyruo pascentur apes, dum rore cicadiE ; 
Semper houos, nomenque tuum, laudesque nianebunt. 


g>econir ©iritton. 



















1. Robin Hoods birth, breeding, valour, and mar- 

riage 1 

2. Robin Hoods progress to Nottingham .... 13 

3. The jolly pinder of Wakefield, with Robin Hood, 

Scarlet, and John 18 

4. Robin Hood and the bishop 22 

5. Robin Hood and the butcher 27 

6. Robin Hood and the tanner 33 

7. Robin Hood and the tinker 41 

8. Robin Hood and AUin a Dale 49 

9. Robin Hood and the shepherd 55 

10. Robin Hood and the curtail fryer 61 

11. Robin Hood and the stranger 69 

13. Robin Hood and queen Katherine 97 

10. Robin Hoods chase 96 

14. Robin Hoods golden prize 101 

15. Robin Hood rescuing Will Stutly 106 

16. The noble fisherman ; or, Robin Hoods preferment 114 

17. Robin Hoods delight 120 



18. Robui Hood and the beggar 126 

19. Little John and the four beggers 132 

20. Robin Hood and the ranger 137 

21. Robin Hood and Little John 142 

22. Robin Hood and the bishop of Hereford . . . 150 

23. Robin Hood rescuing the widows three sons from 

the sheriff when going to be executed . . . 155 

24. Robin Hood and maid Marian 161 

25. The kings disguise, and friendship with Robin Hood 166 

26. Robin Hood and the golden arrow 175 

27. Robin Hood and tlie valiant knight 182 

28. Robin Hoods death and burial 187 

Appendix 192 

Glossary 237 





From a black letter copy in the large and valuable collection 
of old ballads late belonging to Thomas Pearson, esq. and now 
in the possession of the duke of Roxburgh. This is the collection 
mentioned in the Harleian catalogue, and would seem to be the 
greater part of that originally made by old Bagford (see Hearnes 
appendix to Heraingi Chartularium, p. 662), another volume or 
two having come, with the rest of his typographical collections, 
to the British Museum. The 3 vols, which went to Osborne 
were probably bought of him by Mr. West, at whose sale they 


were purchased by major Pearson, by whom the collection was 
new-arranged, ornamented, and improved. 

In reading this song, we are admonished by the editor of the 
collection of old ballads, printed in 1723, (who thinks it " the 
most beautiful and one of the oldest extant, written on that 
subject,'') to observe one thing, " and that is, between some 
of the stanzas we must suppose a considerable time to pass. 
Clorinda" he says, " might be [thought] a very forward girl, if, 
between Robin Hood's question and her answer, we did not 
suppose two or three hours to have been spent in courtship : 
and, between Robin Hood's being entertained at Gam well-hall, 
and his having ninety-three bowmen in Sherwood, we must allow 
some years." 

With respect to its antiquity. Dr. Percy, in the new edition of 
his " Reliques of ancient English poetry," (vol. I. p. xcvii.) ex- 
presses a very different opinion ; since, according to him it 
" seems of much later date than most of the others, and can 
scarce be older than the reign of K. Charles I, for," says he, 
" K. James I. had no issue after his accession to the throne of 
England :" an observation which, if any way to the purpose, is 
certainly not true. " It may even," he continues, " have 
been written since the restoration, and only express the wishes of 
the nation for issue on the marriage of their favourite K. Charles 
II. on his marriage (sic) with the infanta of Portugal." However 
this may be, the writers having deviated from " all the old 
traditions concerning this celebrated outlaw," is no proof that he 
was " ignorant" of them ; and that Dr. Percy chooses to " think 
it is not found in the Pepys collection," only shews conjecture to 
be easyer than investigation. (}:3= In the second volume of that 
collection, any person, disposed to the search, will find, at least, 
TWO COPIES of it, both in black letter. 

The full title of the original is : "A new ballad of bold Robin 
Hood : sliewing his birth, breeding, valour, and marriage at 
Titbury BuU-mnning. Calculated for the meridian of Stafford- 
shire, but may serve for Derbyshire or Kent." 


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 man brave Little John. 

In Locksly town, in merry Nottinghamshire, 

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 lo 

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. 

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. co 

V. 1 4. Clowdel le. For an account of these worthies the reader 
may consult their old metrical legend in Percys Reliques, 
volume I. or Ancient Popalai- Foetiv, 1791. 



Her brother was Gamwel, of Great Gamwel-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 husband, 

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 : so 

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 ; 
God-wot a blue bonnet, his new suit of cloaths. 

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 ' have beseemed' our queen. 40 

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. 

V. 40. a beseem'd. 


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 neigh- 
And drank and shook hands with them all ; [hours, 

And then Robin gallopt, and never gave o're, so 
'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, 

Thoji'art welcome, kind sister, to me. 

Tomorrow, when mass had been said at 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. Co 

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, 

Were set upon every table ; 
And noble George Gamwel said, Eat and be merry. 

And drink too as long as you're able. 

V. 48. has. 


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. 

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. 

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 he 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, 
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. loo 

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, 
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 gate it was graceful, her body was straight, 
And her countenance free from pride ; xio 

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 : 
Sets with Robin Hood such a lass ! 

V. 104. a. 


Said Robin Hood, Lady fair, whither away ? 

whither, fair lady, away ? 

And she made him answer. To kill a fat buck ; 
For to-morrow is Titbury day. ico 

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, 
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 the faith of my body, said bold Robin Hood, 

1 never saw woman like thee ; im 
And com'st thou from east, or com'st thou from west. 

Thou needst not bea: 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 

As any man needs for to eat. 

For there was hot venison, and warden pies cold, 
Cream clouted, and honey-combs plenty ; 

And the servitors they were, besides Little John, 
Good yeomen at least four and twenty. U) 

V. 124. lease. V. 127. rl.oose. 


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. 

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, 

I'll make him the most welcome guest. 

Said Robin Hood, Reach me that buck. Little John, 

For I'll go along with my dear ; 
And bid my yeomen kill six brace of bucks, 

And meet me to-morrow just here. ico 

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. 


1 will not, faith, said bold Robin ; come, Jolin, 

Stand by me, and we'll beat 'em all. 
Then both drew their swords, and so cut 'em, and 

That five out of them did fall. [slasht 'em. 

The three that remain'd call'd to Robin for quarter, 
And pitiful John begg'd their lives: no 

When John's boon was granted, he gave them good 
And sent them all home to their wives, [counsel. 

This battle was fought near to Titbury town, 

When the bagpipes baited the bull ; 
I'm the king of the fidlers, and I swear 'tis truth. 

And I call him that doubts it a gull :* 

For I saw them fighting, and fiddled the while ; 

And Clorinda sung " Hey derry down ! 
The burakins are beaten, put up thy sword, Bob, 

And nov/ let's dance into the town." lao 

Before we came in we heard a great shouting, 
And all that were in it look'd madly ; 

For some were on bull-back, some dancing a morris. 
And some singing Arthur-a- Bradley, f 

* For an account of Tutbury bull-running, and the character 
of king of the minstrels there, see Dr. Plotts " Natural History 
of StafTordshire," chap. x. $ 69. sir J. Hawkinses " History oi 
music," vol. ii. p. 64. and Blounts " Ancient tenures," by Beck- 
M-ith, p. 303. 8vo. edit. 

t See this old and popular ballad in the Appendix. 


And there we see Thomas, our justices clerk, 

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 : 

He brought his mass-book, and he bad them take 
And joyn'd them in marriage full fast. [hands, 

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, 
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 : 

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. 




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 following 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. 

Robin Hood he was and 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 dntvn, dpvry derry down. 


Robin hee would and to fair Nottingham, 

With the general for to dine ; 
There was hee aware of fifteen forrest^rs, 

And a drinking bear, ale, and wine. it> 

What news? What news? said bold Robin Hood. 

" What news fain wouldest thou know?" 
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, 

That's not able to draw one string. 

rie hold you twenty marks, said bold Robin Hood, 
By the leave of our lady, "'■ 

That rie hit a mark a hundred rod, 
And rie cause a hart to dye. 

We'l hold you twenty mark, then said the forresters, 

By the leave of our lady, 
Thou hit' St not the marke a hundred rod. 

Nor causest a hart to dye. 

Robin he bent up a noble bow, 

And a broad arrow he let flye, 
He hit the mark a hundred rod. 

And he caused a hart to dye. 

VV.7. 27. Rohin Hood. 



Some say hee brake ribs one or two, 

And some say hee brake three ; 
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, 

If't were for a thousand pound. 

The wager's none of thine, then said the forrest^rs. 
Although thou beest in haste ; 40 

Take up thy bow, and get thee hence, 
Lest wee thy sides do baste, 

Robin Hood hee took up his noble bow, 

And his broad arrows all amain ; 
And Robin he laught, and begun [for] to smile. 

As hee went over the plain. 

Then Robin he bent his noble bow, 

And his broad arrows he let flye. 
Till fourteen of these fifteen forrest^rs y 

Upon the ground did lye. . 50 

He that did this quarrel first begin 

Went tripping over the plain ; 
But Robin he bent his noble bow. 

And hee fetcht him back again. 

VV. 45, 7, 53. Robin Hood. 


You said I was no archer, said Robin Hood, 

But say so now again : 
With that he sent another arrbw, 

That split his head in twain. 

You have found mee an archer, saith Robin Hood, 
Which will make your wives for to wring, 60 

And wish that you had never spoke the word, 
That I could not draw one string. 

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, 

And some did lose their blood ; 
But Robin hee took up his noble bow, 

And is gone to the merry green wood. 70 

They carried these forresters into fair Nottingham, 

As many there did know ; 
They dig'd them graves in their church-yard, 

And they buried them all a-row. 

*^* The paragraph of which the following is an extract ap- 
peared in the evening paper infilled " The Star," April 23, 1796 : 
" A few days ago as some labourers were digging in a garden 
at Fox-lane, near Nottingham, they discovered six human 
skeletons entire, deposited in regular order side by side, supposed 



to be part of the fifteen foresters that were killed by Robin Hood. 
Near the above place anciently stood a church, built in the early 
ages of Christianity, dedicated to St. Michael, which was totally 
demolished at the reformation. . . No doubt but the bones in 
question were properly buried in St. Michaels church-yard. The 
proprietors of the garden humanely ordered the pit where the 
bones were found to be filled up, being unwilling to disturb the 
relics of humanity and the ashes of the dead." 





From an old black-letter copy, in A. a Woods collection, 
compared with two others in the British Museum, one in black 
letter. It should bs sung " To an excellent tune," which has 
not been recovered. 

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 before. It is also alluded 
to in Shakespeares Meny Wives of Windsor, act L scene 1. and 
again, in his Second part of K. Hen. 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 oi" 
Nvhich is entitled " Of wakefylde and a grene:" meaning ap- 
parently the ballad here reprinted. 


In Wakefield there lives a jolly pinder, 
In Wakefield all on a green, 
In Wakefield all on a g-reen : 

There is neither knight nor squire, said the pinder, 

Nor baron that is so bold. 

Nor baron that is so bold. 
Dare make a trespass to the town of Wakefield, 

But his pledge goes to the pinfold, &c. 

All this beheard three witty young men, 

'Twas Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John ; lo 

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 j^ 
For you have forsaken the kings highway, 

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, 

VOL. II. c 


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. 

Hold thy hand, hold thy hand, said bold Robin Hood, 

And my merry men every one ; 
For this is one of the best pinders, 

That ever I tryed with sword. so 

And wilt thou foisake thy pinders craft, 
And live in the green-wood with me ? 

" At Michaelmas next my cov'nant comes out. 
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 Hood, 
For my merry men and me ? 

I have both bread and beef, said the pinder, 

And good ale of the best. 40 

And that is meat good enough, said Robin Hood, 
For such unbidden ' 2:uests.' 


V. 26. The editor thinks it his duty to retain, in some instances, 
even the manifest corruptions of the old copies ; in hopes that 
earlyer and better authorities may one day enable him to remove 


" O wilt thou forsake the pinder his craft, 
And go to the green-wood with me ? 

Thou shalt have a livery twice in the year, 
The one green, the other brown." 

" If Michaehiias day was come and gone, 
And my master had paid me my fee, 

Then would I set as little by him, 

As my master doth by me." 50 



" Shewing how Robin Hood went to an old wonians house 
and changed cloaths with her to scape from the bishop ; and how 
he robbed tlie 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. 

Come, gentlemen all, and listen awhile, • 
Hey down, down, an a down, 

And a story ile to you unfold ; 
He tell you how Robin Hood served the bishop. 

When he robbed him of his gold. 


As it fell out on a sun-shining day. 

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, lo 

Some pastime for to spy, 
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, 

But hanged I shall be. 

Then Robin was stout, and turned him about, 

And a little house there he did spy ; 
And to and old wife, for to save his life, so 

He loud began for to cry. 

Why, who art thou ? said the old woman, 

Come tell 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. 

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, so 

As thou ' dost' seem to be, 
rie for thee provide, and thee I will hide, 

From the bishop and his company. 

For I remember, ' one' Saturday night, 
Thou brought me both shoos and hose ; 

Therefore Tie provide thy person to hide, 
And keep thee from thy foes. 

" Then give me soon thy coat of gray, 

And take thou my mantle of green ; 
Thy spindle and twine unto me resign, 40 

And take thou my arrows so keen." - 

And when Robin Hood was so araid, 

He went straight to his company, 
With his spindle and twine, he oft lookt behind. 

For the bishop and his company. 

O who is yonder, quoth little John, 

That now comes over the lee ? 
An arrow I will at her let flie, 

So like an old witch looks she. 

hold thy hand, hold thy hand, said Robin Hood then, 
And shoot not thy arrows so keen ; 50 

1 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 

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, do 

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, 

That's ranging within yonder wood ? 
Marry, says the old woman, I think it to be 

A man call'd Robin Hood. 

Whv, who art thou, the bishop he said, to 

Which I have here with me ? 
" Why, I am an old woman, thou cuckoldly 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 stout 

Call'd him, and bid him stay. 


Then Robin took hold of the bishop's horse, 

And ty'd him fast to a tree ; 
Then Little John smil'd his master upon, 8o 

For joy of that company. 

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, 90 

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. 



From an old black letter copy in the collection of Anthony a 
Wood. The tune is, " Robin Hood and the begger." 

Come, all you brave gallants, listen awhile, 
With hey doivn, down, an a down, 

That are ' this bower' within; 
For of Robin Hood, that archer good, 

A song I intend for to sing. 

Upon a time it chanced so, 

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

With his flesh to the market did hye. 

V. 3. in the bowers. 


Good morrow, good fellow, said jolly Robin, lo 

What food hast [thou], tell unto me? 

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 

I am going, my flesh to sell. 

What is [the] price of thy flesh ? said jolly Robin, 

Come tell it soon unto me ; 
And the price of thy mare, be she never so dear, 20 

For a butcher fain would I be. 

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, 

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, so 

His butchers trade to begin ; 
With good intent to the sheriff he went. 

And there he took up his inn. 


When other butchers they opened 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 ; 
For he sold more meat for one peny 4o 

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 

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

That hath sold his fathers land. 

The butchers stepped to jolly Robin, 50 

Acquainted with him for to be ; 
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 truC; 

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 60 

Before them all to say grace. 

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 I do end my grace. 

Come fill us more wine, said jolly Robin, 

Let us be merry while we do stay ; 
For wine and good cheer, be it never so dear, 

I vow I the reckning will pay. 

Come, ' brothers,' be merry, said jolly Robin, 70 

Let us drink, and never give ore; 
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. 

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

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", eo 

I have hundreds two or three. 


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, 90 

To the forrest of merry Sherwood, 
Then the sheriff did say, God bless us this day, 

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. 

Come tripping the sheriff full nigh. 

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

They be fat and fair for to see." 
*' I tell thee, good fellow, I would I were gone, 100 

For I like not thy company." 

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. 
" I have brought hither the sheriff of Nottingham 

This day to dine with thee." 

He is welcome to me, then said Little John, iio 

I hope he will honestly pay ; 
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 

He told three hundred pound. 

Then Robin he brought him thorow the wood. 

And set him on his dapple gray ; 
" O have me commended to your wife at home:" 120 

So Robin went laughing away. 



" A merry and pleasant song relating the gallant and fierce 
combdte 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." Erom an old black 
letter copy in the collection of Anthony a Wood. 

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, 

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 mormng, lo 
Into the ' forrest of merry' Sherwood, 

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, 
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, co 

That comes to steal our kings deer. 

For I am a 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, 

And hast such a great command, 
* Yet' thou must have more partakers in store. 

Before thou make me to stand." 

V. 14. did him. 


" Nay, I have no more partakers in store, so 

Or any that I do not need ; 
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 straw, 

Nor all thine arrows to boot ; 
If I get a knop upon the bare scop, 

Thou canst as well sh — e as shoote." 

Speak cleanly, good fellow, said jolly Robin, 

And give better terms to me ; 
Else He thee correct for thy neglect, 4:1 

And make thee more mannerly. 

Marry gep with a wenion ! quod Arthur-a-Bland, 

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. 

He yield to thy weapon, said jolly Robin, 50 

Since thou wilt not yield to mine ; 
For I have a staff of another oke graff, 

Not half a foot longer then thine. 



But let me measure, said jolly Robin, 

Before we begin our fray ; 
For rie not have mine to be longer then thine, 

For that will be coimted 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, 60 

And I hope it will knock down thee. 

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 head. 
The blood came trickling down. 

Then Robin raged like a wild boar, 7(! 

As soon as he saw his own blood : 
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, 

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, so 

They ply'd their work so sore. 

Hold thy hand, hold thy hand, said Robin Hood, 

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 

Heareafter 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, 90 

Good fellow, I prethee me show ; 
And also me tell, in what place thou dost dwel : 

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, 

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,' 100 

I will do as much for thee. 


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. 

As I think well thou art. 
Then here's my hand, my name's Arthur-a-Bland, 

We two will never depart. 

But tell me, O tell me, where is Little John ? no 

Of him fain would I hear ; 
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 ; 
But quickly anon appear'd Little John, 

Come tripping down a green hill ; 

O what is the matter? then said Little John, 

Master, I pray you tell : 
Why do you stand with your staff in your hand ? 120 

I fear all is not well. 

" O man I do stand, and he makes me to 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 ; 
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 Hood, i3o 

For as I do understand. 
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, 

And about his neck did clins:. 


With loving respect, there was no neglect, 

They were neither ' nice' nor coy. 
Each other did face with a lovely grace, 140 

And both did weep for joy. 

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. 

We three will be ' as ' one ; 
The wood it shall ring, and the old wife sing, 

Of Robin Hood, Arthur, and John." 








JS^(Ja* J*^*^ '^x-A" 



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 doivn. 
And birds sing on every tree, 

Hey down, a down, a down. 


Robin Hood went to Nottingham, 
Down, a down, a doivn. 
As fast as hee could dree. 

Hey down, a down, a down. 

And as hee came to Nottingham, 

A tinker he did meet, lo 

And seeing him a lusty blade, 

He did him kindly greet. 

Where dost thou live ? quoth Robin Hood, 

I pray thee now nice tell : 
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. 

And do live at Banbura. 20 

As for the news, quoth Robin Hood, 

It is but as I hear, 
Two tinkers were set ith' stocks, 

For drinking ale and * beer.' 

If that be all, the tinker he said. 

As I may say to you, 
Your news is not worth a f — t, 

Since that they all bee true. 


For drinking good ale and ' beer/ 

You will not lose your part. " so 

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. 40 

I have a warrand 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 ; 30 

And I will do the best I can 
For to take him this nig-ht. 



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, 

We shall find him I know." 60 

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. 

And when they came to Nottingham, 
There they both tooke their inn ; 

And they called for ale and wine, 
To drink it was no sin. 

But ale and wine they drank so fast, 

That the tinker hee forgot 70 

What thing he was about to do ; 
It fell so to his lot, 

That, while the tinker fell asleep, 

' Robin' made haste away, 
And left the tinker in the lurch. 

For the great' shot to pay. 

\. 74. made then. 


But when the tinker wakened, 

And saw that he was gone, 
He call'd then" even for his host, 

And thus hee made his moan : bo 

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 : 

But now my warrant and mony's gone, 

Nothing I have to pay ; 
And 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 ; 90 

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, 
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, 

Whatever do me betide. 100 


But one thing I would gladly know, 

What here I have to pay." 
Ten shillings just, then said the host. 

" lie pay without delay ; 

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, 

And not to stand in fear, no 

Is to seek him among the parks, 

Killing of the kings deer. 

The tinker hee then went with speed. 

And made then no delay, 
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, 

That doth come mee so near? ico 

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. 


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, 

He fought right manfully, no 

Until he had made the tinker 

Almost then fit to fly. 

With that they had a bout again, 

They ply'd their weapons fast ; 
The tinker threshed his bones so sore, 

He made him yeeld at last. 

A boon, a boon, Robin hee cryes. 

If thou wilt grant it mee. 
Before I do it, the tinker said. 

He hang thee on this tree. ud 

But the tinker looking him about, 

Robin his horn did blow ; 
Then came unto him Little John, 

And William Scadlock too. 

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, 

Fain that blade I would see, i5o 

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, 
" 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 [for] to maintain him on, 

As long as he doth live. - i6o 

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. 

And if hee will bee one of us. 

Wee will take all one fare ; 
And whatsoever wee do get. 

He shall have his full share." 

So the tinker was content 

With them to go along, no 

And with them a part to take : 

And so I end my song. 



" 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 pleasent 
northern tune, Robin Hood iu the green-wood stood. 

Bold Robin Hood he did the young man right. 
And took the damsel from the doting knight." 

From an old black letter copy in major Pearsons collection. 

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, 

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 ; lo 

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 

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. 

What is your will with me ? 
" You must come before our master straight. 

Under yon green wood tree." 

V. 22. Nicke. 


And when he came bold Robin before, 

Robin askt him courteously, 30 

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, 

To have it at my wedding. 

Yesterday I should have married a maid, 

But she 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 man. 

My name it is AUin a Dale. 

What will 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, io 

But I will swear upon a book 
Thy true servant for to be. 

V. 38. soon from. 


" How many miles is it to thy true love? 

Come tell me without guile." 
By the faith of my body, then said the young man, 

It is but five little mile. 

Then Robin he hasted over the plain, 

He did neither stint nor lin. 
Until he came unto the church, 

Where AUin should keep his wedding. 60 

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. 

O welcome, O welcome, the bishop he said. 

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, 70 

And after him a finikin lass. 

Did shine like the glistering gold. 

This is not a fit match, quod bold Robin Hood, 
That you do seem to make here, 

For since we are come into the church. 
The bride shall chuse her own dear. 


Then Robin Hood put his horn to his mouth, 

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 AUin a Dale, 

To give bold Robin his bow. 

This is thy true love, Robin he said, 

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 puU'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 AUin a Dale, 

Full dearly he shall her buy. 

And thus having ended this merry wedding, 

The bride lookt like a queen ; 
And so they return'd to the merry green-wood, 

Amongst the leaves so green. 


'■■' / 




" Shewing how Robia 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. 
At the head of the former is a fine cut of Robin Hood. 

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. 
Doivn a, 8fc. 


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, lo 

And now come let me see 
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 ? 

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, 20 

Or it may breed thy woe." 

" 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 Robin Hood, 

Come tell it soon to me ; 
Here is twenty pound in good red gold. 

Win it and take it thee. 


The shepherd stood all in a maze, so 

And knew not what to say : 
" I have no money, thou proud fellow, 

But bag and bottle ile 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, 4u 

A coward I do hate." 

So they fell to it, full hardy and sore. 

It was on a summers day. 
From ten till four in the afternoon 

The shepherd held him play. 

Robins buckler prov'd his ' chief 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, 5o 

And that bold Robin found, 
Till the blood ran trickling from his head, 

Then he fell to the ground. 

V. 46. chiefest. 



" 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 have my beugle horn, 60 

And blow but blasts three. 

Then said the shepherd to bold Robin, 

To that I will 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. 

And he blew with mickle main. 
Until he espied Little John 

Come tripping over the plain. 

" O who is yonder, thou proud fellow, 70 

That comes down yonder hill ?" 
" Yonder is John, bold Robin Hoods man. 

Shall fight with thee thy fill." 

What is the matter ? sales Little John, 

Master, come tell to me. 
My case is bad, cries Robin Hood, 

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, eo 

Either come fig-ht or flee. 


" With all my heart, thou proud fellow, 

For it never shall be said 
That a shepherds hook of thy sturdy look 

Will one jot be dismaied." 

So they fell to it, full hardy and sore, 

Striving for victorie. 
He know, says John, ere we give o'er, 

Whether thou wilt fight or flee. 

The shepherd gave John a sturdie blow, go 

With his hook under the chin. 
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, 

Before thou goest thy way. 

What! dost thou think, thou proud fellow, 

That thou canst conquer me ? 
Nay, thou shalt know, before thou go, loo 

He fight before ile flee. 


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, 

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 ; 
How a shepherd swain did conquer them : 

The like was never known. 




From an old black letter copy in the collection of Anthony a 
Wood ; corrected by a much earlyer 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 
battell betweene Robin Hood and the curtail fryer. To a New 
Northerne tune." 

" The curtail fryer,'' Dr. Stukeley says, " is cordelier, from 
the cord or rope which they wore round their wast, to whip 
themselves with. They were, "adds he, "of the Franciscan order." 
Our fryer, however, is undoubtedly so called from his " curtail 
dogs," or curs, as we now say. (Courtault, F.) In fact, he is 
no fryer at all, but a monk of Fountains abbey, which was of 
the Cistercian order. 


In summer time, when leaves grow green. 

And flowers are fresh and gay, 
Robin Hood and his merry men 

[They] were disposed to play. 

Then some would leape, and some would runnc, 

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 ; lo 

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, 

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. so 

That caused Will Scadlocke to laugh, 

He laught full heartily : 
" There lives a curtail fryer in Fountaines Abby 

Will beate both him and thee. 


The curtail fryer in Fountaines-Abbey 

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, io 

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. 

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 he would ride ; 
There he was aware of the curtail fryer. 

Walking by the water side. 

The fryer had on a harnesse good, 

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 : 30 

" 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. 

Till he came at the other side. 

Lightly leapt Robin ofte the fryers backe ; 

The fryer said to him againe. 
Carry me over this water, [thou] fine fellow, 

Or it shall breed thy paine. . 60 

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, 
Cari*y 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. 70 

'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. ao 

One of his best arrowes under his belt 

To the fryer he let fly ; 
The curtail fryer, with his Steele buckler, 

Did put that arrow by. 

" Shoot on, shoot on, thou fine fellow, 

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; go 

Tliey 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, 

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." joo 

That I will do, said the curtail fryer, 

Of thy blasts 1 have no doubt ; 
I hope thoult blow so passing well, 

'Till both thy eyes fall out. 

Robin Hood set his home to his mouth, 

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. 

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. 120 


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, 

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, i3o 

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, 

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? 140 

" I am Little John, Robin Hoods man. 

Fryer, I will not lie ; 
If thou take not up thy dogs soone, 

rie take up them and thee." 




Little John had a bow in his hand, 

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 ; jso 

And we will have new orders taken, 
With all the hast may be. 

" If thou wilt forsake fair Fountaines dale, 

And Fountahies-Abbey free, 
Every Sunday throwout the yeere, 

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 eai-le, 

Could make him yeeld before. 



From an old black letter copy in the collection of Anthony a 
Wood. The title now given to this ballad is that which it seems 
to have originally born ; having been foolishly altered to " Robin 
Hood newly revived." The circumstances attending the second 
part will be explained in a note. 

The tune is already inserted, at the end of " Robin Hood and 
the tanner." 

Come listen awhile, you crentlemen all, 

With a hey down, down, a down, doivn. 

That are this bower within, 
For a story of gallant bold Robin Hood, 

I purpose now to bei:;:in. 


What time of day? quod Robin Hood then. 

Quoth Little John, 'tis in the prime. 
" Why then we will to the green wood gang, 

For we have no vittles to dine." 

As Robin Hood walkt the forrest along, lo 

It was in the mid of the day. 
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, . 
To Robin Hood then unknown. 

A herd of deer was in the bend. 

All feeding before his face : 
" Now the best of you ile have to my dinner, °o 

And that in a little space." 

Now the stranger he made no mickle adoe, 
But he bends and 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. 

That shot it w as shot in time ; 
And if thou wilt accept of the place, 

Thou shalt be a bold yeoman of mine. 

V. 25. full froe. 



Go play the chiven, the stranger said, 30 

Make haste and quickly go, 
Or with my fist, besure of this, 

He give thee buffets sto'. 

Thou had'st notbest buffet me, quod Robin Hood, 

For though I seem forlorn, 
Yet I have those will take my part, 

If I but blow my horn. 

Thou wast not best wind thy horn, the stranger 
Beest thou never so much in haste, [said, 

For I can draw out a good broad sword, 40 
And quickly cut the blast. 

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 thyhand, quod Robin Hood, 

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 bucklers. 

And gang under yonder tree. 
As T hope to be sav'd, the stranger he said, 

One foot I will not flee. 


Then Robin Hood lent the stranger a blow, 

'Most scar'cl him out of his wit : 
Thou never felt blow, the stranger he said, 
. 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 60 

The blood ran trickling down. 

God a mercy, good fellow ! quod Robin Hood 
And for this that thou hast done, [then. 

Tell me, good fellow, what thou art. 
Tell me where thou doest won. 

The stranger then answered bold Robin Hood, 

He tell thee where I do dwell ; 
In Maxwell town I was bred and born, 

My name is young Gamwell. 

For killing of my own fathers steward, 70 

I am forc'd to this English wood, 

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, 

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, eo 

And Little John did [not] meet. 

But when they met with Little John, 
He ' unto them' did say, 

master, pray where have you been, 
You have tarried so long away ? 

1 met with a stranger, quod Robin Hood, 

Full sore he hath beaten me. 
Then rie have a bout with him, quod Little John, 
And try if he can beat me. 

Oh [no], oh no, quoth Robin Hood then, 90 

Little John, it may [not] be so; 
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, 

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, 100 

In ' the' second part it will be. 



Now Robin Hood, Will Scadlock, and Little 
Are walking over the plain, [John, 

With a good fat buck, which Will Scadlock 
With his strono; bow had slain. 


* This (from an old black letter copy in major Pearsons col- 
lection) is evidently the genuine second part of the present ballad ; 
although constantly printed as an independent article, under the 
title of " Robin Hood, Will Scadlock, and Little John : Or, a 
narrative of their victories obtained against the prince of Aragon 
and the two giants ; and how Will Scadlock married the princess. 
Tune of Robin Hood ; or. Hey down, 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 Robin Hood to the north he would go, 

W^ith 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 Robin 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. 


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, lo 

Where my nephew by my bold yeomen 
Shall be welcom'd unto the green- wood. 

Then Robin turned his face to the east, 

Fight on, my merry men stout ; 
Our cause is good, quod brave Robin 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. 

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. 

70 Rubin hood 

V/ith 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 Scadlock, 
Lo ! the enemies are within ken. 

With that Robin Hood he laugh'd aloud, 
Crying, They are my bold yeoman. co 

Who, when they arriv'd, 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. 

In feasting and sporting they passed the day, 
Till Phoebus sunk into the deep ; so 

Then each one to his quarters hy'd. 
His guard there for to keep. 

Long h ad they not walked within the green-wood, 

But Robin he soon espy'd, 
A beautiful damsel all alone. 

That on a black palfrey did ride. 

V. 35. Of a. 


Her riding-suit was of a 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 
All in this mournful plight ? [goest. 

From London I came, the damsel reply'd. 

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 so 

To have the princess to his spouse, 

Or else to waste this land ; 

Except such champions can be found 
That dare fight three to three. 

Against the prince, and giants twain, 
Most horrid for to see ; 

Whose grisly looks, and eyes like brands. 

Strike terrour where they come, 
With serpents hissing on their helms. 

Instead of feathered plume. 60 


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 ' out.' 

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 d?y? 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. so 

The news struck Robin to the heart, 

He fell down on the grass, 
His actions and his troubled mind 

Shew'd he perplexed was. 

V. 68. forth. 


Where lies your grief? quoth Will ' Scadlock,' 

O, master, tell to me : 
If the damsels 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 ; go 

But 'tis the poor distressed princess, 
That wounds me to the heart : 

ri) go fight the [prince and] giants all, 

To set the lady free. 
The devil take my soul, quoth Little John, 

If I part with thy company. 

Must I stay behind ? quoth Will Scadlock, 

No, no, that must not be ; 
rie make the third man in the fight, 

So we shall be three to three. loo 

These words cheer'd Robin to the heart, 

Joy shone within his face, 
Within his arms he hu2:2:'d them both. 

And kindly did imbrace. 

Quoth he, We'll put on mothley grey, 

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 us 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 arriv'd, 

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, 

The day prefixt upon : 
Bring forth my bride, or London burns, 

I swear by ' Alcaron.' 

Y. 123. Acaion. This termagant prince seems intended for 
a sort of jNIahometan Pagan. Alcaron is a deity formed by 
metathesis from Alcoran, a book : a conversion much more an- 
cient than the present balau. Tims in the old metrical romance 


Then cries the king, and queen likewise, 
Both weeping as they ' spake,' 


of The sowdon of Babyloyne, a MS. in the possession of Dr. 
Farmer : 

" Whan Laban herde of this myschief, 

A sory man was he, 
He trumped his men to relefe. 

For to cease that tyme mente he, 
Mersadage kinge of Barbarye 

He did carye to his tente, 
And beryed him by right of Sarsenye , 

With brennynge fire riche oynemente ; 
And songe the dirige of Alkaron, 

That bibill is of here laye ; 
And wayled his deth everychon. 

Seven nyghtis and seven dayes." 

Here Alkaron is expressly the name of a book (i.e. the Koran 
or Alcoran) ; in the following passage it is that of a GOD : 

" Now shall ye here of Laban : 

Whan tidynges to him were comen, 
Tho was he a fulle sory man, 

Whan he herde howe his vitaile were nomen, 
And howe his men were slayne, 

And Gye was go safe hem froo ; 
He defyed Mahounde, and Apolyne, 

Jubiter, Astaroi, and Alcaron also.' 

Wynken de Worde printed " A lytell treatyse of the Tuikes 
law called Alcaron, &c." See Herbert, 224. 

If, however, Acaron be the true reading, we sliall find an idol 
of that name in the bible, 2 Regum, i. 16, ed. Vulgate. 

It was, at the same time, a proper name in the east : as 
" Accaron princeps insulae Cypri" is mentioned by Roger de 
Hoveden, 786. 


Lo ! we have brought our daughter dear, 
Whom we are forc'd to forsake. 

With that stept out bold Robin Hood, 
Crys, My Hege, it must not be so : 

Such be luty as the fair princess 
Is not for a tyrants mow. 

The prince he then began to storm, 

Cries, Fool, fanatick, baboon ! 
How dare thou stop my valour's prize ? 

I'll kill thee with a frown. no 

Thou tyrant Turk, thou infidel, • 

Thus Robin began to reply, 
Thy frowns I scorn ; lo ! here's my gage, 

And thus I thee defie. 

And for those two Goliahs there, 

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 ; • 150 

And thus all three in armour bright, 
Came marching to the field. 


V. 133. We should probably read frantick baboon ! 


The trumpets began to sound a charge, 

Each singled out his man ; 
Their arms in pieces soon were hew'd, 

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. 160 

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, 

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 ; 170 

Thou's be the next, quoth Little John, 

Unless thou well guard thy head. 

With that his faulchion he wherl'd about, 

It was both keen and sharp ; 
He clave the giant to the belt, 

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 fiU'd, 

The skies they did resound, 
Which brought the princess to herself, 

Who had fal'n in a swound. 

The king and queen, and princess fair, 

Came walking to the place, i9o 

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 

Doth ran 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. son 


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 ? quoth the king ; 

For the valour thou hast shewn, 
Your pardons I do freely grant, 

And welcome every one. 

The princess I promise the victor's prize. 

She cannot have you all three. eio 

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. 

Saying, Here I make my choice. 

With that a noble lord stept forth, 

Of Maxfield earl was he, 
AVho 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, 
But he is gone, or rather dead, 

His name it is young Gamwell. 


Then did Will Scadlock fall on his knees, 

Cries, Father ! father ! 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 ! 230 

They are gone to the wedding, and so to [the] 
And so I bid you good night. [bedding : 




From an old black letter copy in a private collection, compared 
with another in that of Anthony h Wood. The full title is: 
" Renowned Robin Hood ; Or, His famous archery truly related 
in the worthy exploits he acted before queen Katharine, 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 fifths time ; but as Henry 
the eighth had no less than three wives so called, the name would 
be sufficiently familiar to our ballad-maker. 

Gold tane from the kings barbengers, 
Downe, a downe., a downe, 
As seldome hatb beene seene, 
Downe, a downe, a downe, 
And carried by bold Robin Hood 
For a present to the queene, 
Downe, a dorvne, a downe. 


If that I live a yeare to an end, 

Thus can queene Katherine say, 
Bold Robm Hood, I will be thy friend, lo 

And all thy yeomen gay. 

The queene is to her chamber gone. 

As fast as she can wen ; 
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, 

As fast as thou can dree ; 

And as thou goest to Nottingham, 20 

Search all the English wood. 
Enquire of one good yeoman or another, 

That can tell thee of Robin Hood. 

Sometimes hee went, sometimes hee ran, 

As fast as hee could win ; 
And when hee came to Nottinoham, 

There hee tooke up his inne. 

And when he came to Nottingham, 

And had tooke up his inne, 
He cals for a pottle of Rhenish wine, ,-50 

And dranke a health to his queene. 


There sate a yeoman by his side, 

Tell mee, sweet page, said hee, 
What is thy businesse and the cause, 

So far in the north countrey ? 

This is n»y businesse and the cause, 

Sir, rie tell it you for good, 
To enquire of one good yeoman or another, 

To tell mee of Robin Hood. 

" He get my horse betimes in the morne, 40 

By it be break of day, 
And I will shew thee bold Robin Hood, 

And all his yeomen gay." 

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, 50 

And she hath sent you her ring." 

Robin Hood tooke his mantle from his back, 

It was of the Lincolne greene, 
And sent it by this lovely page, 

For a present unto the queene. 


In summer time, when leaves grow green, 

It's a seemely sight to see, 
How Robin Hood himselfe had drest, 

And all his yeomandry. 

He clothed his men in Lincolne greene, w 

And himselfe in scarlet red ; 
Blacke hats, white feathers, all alike, 

Now bold Robin Hood is rid : 

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* 

Marching in battle-ray, 
And after follows bold Robin Hood, 70 

And all his yeomen gay. 

* Ground near Moorfields, London, famous in old times for 
the archeiy 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, 
v/ere 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 itien in the 
suburbes, . . . before the ' lord ' maior, aldermen, and sheriffes, 
in Fensbery fielde, to shoote the standarde, broade arrow, 
and flight, for games." There is a tract intitled, " Ayme for 
Finsburie archers, or an alphabetical table of the names of every 


Come hither, Tepus, said the king, 

Bow-bearer after mee ; 
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 so 

That run on Dallom-lee."* 
That's a princely wager, said the king, 

That needs must I tell thee. 

marke within the same fields, with the true distances, both by 
the map, and dimensuration with the line. Published for the 
ease of the skilful!, and behoofe of the yoonge beginners in the 
famous exercise of archerie, by J. J. and E. B. To be sold at 
the signe of the Swan in Grub street, by F. Sergeant. 1594. 16rao. 
Republished by R. F. 1604 ; and again by James Partridge, 
1628. 12mo. 

These famous archers are mentioned by Ben Jonson, (Every 
man in his humour, act 1, scene 1) " Because I dwell at Hogsden 
1 shall keep company with none but the archers of Finsbuiy." 

The practice of shooting here is alluded to by Cotton, in his 
Virglle travestie ; (b. iv.) 1G67 : 

" And arrows ioos'd from Grub-street bow, " 
In FiNSBURY, to him are slow :" 
and continued till within the memory of persons now living. 

* The situation of this chase cannot be ascertained. There is 
an ancient family seat in Westmoreland called Dalham-tower. 


With that bespake one Clifton then, 

Full quickly and full soone, 
Measure no markes for us, most soveraig-ne liegre, 

Wee'i shoot at sun and moone. 

" Full fifteene score your marke shall be, 

Full fifteene score shall stand." 
He lay my bow, said Clifton then, go 

He 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, queene 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, loo 

Thou art a knight full good; 
For I do knowe by thy pedigree 

Thou sprung'st from Gowers blood. 

Come hither to me, thou bishop of Herefordshire : 

For a noble priest was hee. 
By my silver miter, said the bishop then. 

He not bet one penv. 


The king hath archers of his own, 

Full ready and full light, 
And these be strangers every one, no 

No man knowes what they hight. 

What wilt thou bet ? said Robin Hood, 

Thou seest our game the worse. 
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. 
Fifteen score nobles, said the bishop ; 

It's neere an hundred pound. 

Robin Hood took his bagge from his side, leo 
And threw it downe on the greene ; 

William Scadlocke then went smiling away, 
" I know who this money must win." 

With that the king's archers led about. 

While it was three and three ; 
With that the ladies gave a shout, 

" Woodcock, beware thy knee !" 

V. 119, Either the bishop was a very bad reckoner, or here is 
some mistake in the copy : three hundred nobles are exactly a 
hundred pounds. The common editions read ninety-nine angels, 
which would be no more than £49. 10s. No such coin or 
denomination, however, as either angel or noble existed in Robin 
Hoods time. 

94 ROBix HOOD 

It is three and three, now, said the king, 

The next three pays for all. 
Robin Hood went and whisper'd the queen, 130 

The kings part shall be but small. 

Robin Hood hee led about, 

Hee shot it under hand ; 
And Clifton with a bearing arrow, 

Hee clave the willow wand. 

And little Midge, the millers son, 

Hee shot not much the worse ; 
He shot within a finger of the prick : 

" Now, bishop, beware thy purse !" 

A boone, a boone, queen Katherine cries, uo 

I crave * it' on my bare knee, 
That you will angry be with none 

That are of my partie. 

" 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. 

And so is Little John, 
And so is Midge, the millers son ; loo 

Thrice welcome every one. 


Is this Robin Hood ? now said the king-, 

For it was told to me 
That he was slain in the palace gates, 

So far in the north country. 

Is this Robin Hood ? quoth the bishop then, 

As ' it seems' well to be : 
Had I knowne ' it' had been that bold outlaw, 

I would not [have] bet one peny. 

Hee tooke me late one Saturday at night, 160 

And bound mee fast to a tree. 
And made mee sing a masse, God wot, 

To him and his ' yeomandree.' 

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, 

Master, that shall not be ; 
We must give gifts to the kings officers ; 170 

That gold will serve thee and mee, 

V. 157, 5 spe. 

m \ M&m 



" Or, a merry progress between Robin Hood and king 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 beggar." 

From an old black letter copy in the collection of Antliony u 

Come, you gallants all, to you I do call. 
With hey down, doivn, 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, lo 

With their bows and arrows so good ; 

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. 

And all thy yeomen gay. 

For a match of shooting I have made, 

And thou on my part must be. 
" If I miss the mark, be it light or dark, co 

Then hanged I will be." 


But when the game came to be played, 

Bold Robin he then drew nigh, 
With his mantle of green, most brave to be seen, 

He let his arrows fly. 

And when the game it ended was. 
Bold Robin wan it with a grace ; 

But after the king was angry with him. 
And vowed he would him chace. 

V. 6. then did. 


What though his pardon granted was, 30 

While he with him did stay ; 
But yet the king was vexed at him, 

When as 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 

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 40 

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. 

And away they went from merry Sherwood, 
And into Yorkshire he did hye ; 

And the king did follow, with ahoopandahallow. 
But could not come him nigh. 

Yet jolly Robin he passed along, 50 

' And went strait' to Newcastle town ; 

And there ' he' stayed hours two or three. 
And ' then' to Barwick ' is' gone. 

Y. 53. he . . . was. 


When the king did see how Robin did flee, 

He was vexed wondrous sore ; 
With a hoop and a hallow he vowed to follow, 

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, 60 

And so then to Lancaster. 

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, 

To see our noble queens face, 
It may be she wants our company. 

Which makes the kins: so us chase. 


When Robin he came queene Katherin before, 70 

He fell low upon his knee ; 
•' If it please your grace, I am come to this place 

For to speak with king Henry." 

Queen Katherine answered bold Robin again,. 

The king is gone to merry Sherwood ; 
And when he went away to me he did say. 

He would go and seek Robin Hood. 

V. 74. 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, eo 
If I could but meet with his grace." 

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,' go 

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. 



" 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, &c." 
This ballad (given from an old black letter copy in the col- 
lection of Anthony a Wood) was entered (amongst others) in the 
stationers book, by Francis Coule, 13th June, 1631. and by 
Francis Grove, 2d June, 1656. 

I HAVE heard talk of Robin Hood, 
Derry, derry down, 

And of brave Little John, 
Of fryer Tuck, and Will Scarlet, 

Loxlev, 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 lo 

Was accoutered in his array ; 
With hood, gown, beeds, 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, 

Come riding gallantly. 

Benedicite, then said Robin Hood, 

Some pitty on me take ; 
Cross you my hand with a silver groat, 20 

For our dear ladies sake. 

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 holy dame, the priests repli'd. 

We never a peny have ; 
For we this morning have been rob'd, 

And could no money save. 

V. 9. to. 


1 am much afraid, said bold Robin Hood, so 

That you both do tell a lie ; 
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, 

And soon overtook them again. 

Then Robin Hood laid hold of them both, 
And puU'd them down from their horse : 

O spare us, fryer ! the priests cry'd out, 40 

On us have some remorse ! 

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 mony to serve our need. 

The priests did pray with a mournful chear, 50 
Sometimes their hands did wring ; 

Sometimes they wept, and cried aloud. 
Whilst Robin did merrily sing. 


When they had been praying an hours space, 

The priests did still lament ; 
Then quoth bold Robin, Now let's see 

What mony heaven hath us sent. 

We will be sharers all alike 

Of [the] mony that we have ; 
And there is never a one of us 60 

That his fellow shall deceive. 

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 took pains to search them both, 
And he found good store of gold, 

Five hundred peeces presently 
Upon the grass was told. 

Here is a brave show, said Robin Hood, 70 

Such store of gold to see, 
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 [they] durst not speak one word. 
But they sighed wondrous deep. 

V. 66. Robin Hood. 


With that the priests rose up from their knees, 

Thinking to have parted so : 
Nay, nay, says Robin Hood, one thing more so 

I have to say ere you go. 

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, 

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, 90 

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 return'd to the merry green-wood. 

With great joy, mirth, and pride. 





From an old black letter copy in the collection of Anthony a 
Wood. The full title is : " Robin Hood his rescuing Will 
Stutly from the sheriff and his men, who had taken him prisoner, 
and was going to hang him. To the tune of Robin Hood and 
queen Katherine."* 

When Robin Hood in the green wood liv'd, 
Derry, derry down. 
Under the green wood tree, 
Tidings there came to him with speed, 
Tidings for certainty ; 

Hey down, derry, derry down ; 

See before, p. 87. 


That Will Stutly surprized was, 

And eke in prison lay ; 
Three varlets that the sheriff had hired, 

Did likely him betray : lo 

" I, and to-morrow hanged must be, 

To-morrow as soon as it is day ; 
Before they could this victory get, 

Two of them did Stutly slay." 

When Robin Hood he heard this news, 

Lord ! he was grieved sore ; 
And to his merry men he did say, 

(Who altogether swore) 

That Will Stutly should rescued be, 

And be brought ' back ' again ; 20 

Or else should many a gallant wight 
For his sake there be slain, 

-He cloathed himself in scarlet ' red,' 

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 on a row ; 
With every man a good broad sword, 

And eke a good yew bow. 30 


Forth of the green wood are they gone, 

Yea all couragiously, 
Resolving- to bring Stutly home, 

Or every man to die. 

And when they came the castle neer, 

Whereas Will Stutly lay, 
I hold it good, saith Robin Hood, 

Wee here in ambush stay. 

And send one forth some news to hear. 

To yonder palmer fair, 40 

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 did hee speak to the old man : 

I pray thee, palmer old. 

Tell me, if that thou rightly ken. 

When must Will Stutly die, 
Who is one of bold Robin's men, 

And here doth prisoner lie ? . so 

Alack ! alass ! the palmer said, 

And for ever wo is me ! 
Will Stutly hanged must be this day, 

On yonder gallows-tree. 


O had his noble master known. 

He would some succour send ; 
A few of his bold yeomandree 

Full soon would fetch him hence. 

I, that is true, the young man said ; 

I, that is true, said he ; 60 

Or, if they were neer to this place, 

They soon would set him free. 

But fare ' thee' well, thou good old man, 

Farewell, and thanks to thee; 
If Study hanged be this day, 

Reveng'd his death will be. 

Hee was no sooner from the palmer gone. 
But the gates ' were' open'd wide, 

And out of the castle Will Stutly came. 

Guarded on every side. 70 

When hee was forth of the castle come, 

And saw no help was nigh, 
Thus he did say to the sheriff, 

Thus he said gallantly : 

Now seeing that I needs must die, 

Grant me one boon, said he. 
For my noble master nere had a man, 

That yet was hang'd on the tree. 


Give me a sword all in my hand, 

And let mee be unbound, so 

And with thee and thy men He fight, 

'Till I lie dead on the ground. 

But his desire he would not grant, 

His wishes were in vain ; 
For the sheriff had sworn he hanged should be. 

And not by the sword be slain. 

Do but unbind my hands, he sales, 

I will no weapons crave, 
And if 1 hanged be this day. 

Damnation let me have. 90 

O no, o no, the sheriff said. 

Thou shalt on the gallows die, 
I, and so shall thy master too, 

If ever in me it lie. 

O, dastard coward ! Stutly cries. 

Thou faint-heart pesant slave! 
If ever my master do thee meet. 

Thou shalt thy paiment have. 

My noble master ' doth thee' scorn, 

And all thy ' coward ' crew ; loo 

Such silly imps unable are. 
Bold Robin to subdue. 


But when he was to the gallows come, 

And ready to bid adiew, 
Out of a bush leaps Little John, 

And comes Will Stutly ' to' : 

" I pray thee, Will, before thou die, 
Of thy dear friends take leave : — 

I needs must borrow him for a while, 

How say you, master * shrieve' ?" no 

Now, as I live, the sheriff he said, 

That varlet will I know ; 
Some sturdy rebell is that same. 

Therefore let him not go. 

Then Little John most hastily, 

Away cut Stutly's bands. 
And from one of the ' sheriffs' men, 

A sword twicht from his hands. 

" Here, Will, here, take thou this same, 

Thou canst it better sway ; 120 

And here defend thyself awhile. 
For aid will come straightway." 

And there they turnd them back to back. 

In the middle of them that day, 
'Till Robin Hood approached near. 

With many an archer gay. 


With that an arrow by them flew, 

I wist from Robin Hood ; 
Make haste, make haste, the sheriflf he said, 

Make haste, for it is good. iso 

The sheriff is gon, his ' doughty' men 

Thought it no boot to stay, 
But, as their master had them taught, 

' They ' run full fast away. 

O stay, O stay, Will Stutly said, 

Take leave ere you depart ; 
You neere will catch bold Robin Hood, 

Unless you dare him meet. 

ill betide you, quoth Robin Hood, 

That you so soon are gone ; Ui> 

My sword may in the scabbord rest, 
For here our work is done. 

1 little thought, ' Will Stutly said,' 

When I came to this place, 
For to have met with Little John, 
Or seen my masters face. 

Thus Stutly was at liberty set. 

And safe brought from his foe : 
" O thanks, O thanks to my master. 

Since here it was not so : 150 

V. 131. doubtless. V. 143. when I came licrc. 



And once again, my fellows [all], 
We shall in the green woods meet, 

Where we [will] make our bow-strings twang, 
Musick for us most sweet." 



" 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, &c." 

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. 

Iff 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 sing this song, — 


When the lilly leafe, and the ' eglantine,' 
Doth bud and spring; with a merry cheere, 

This outlaw was weary of the wood-side, 
And chasing of the fallow-deere. 

" The fisher-men brave more mony have 

Than any merchants two or three ; lo 

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, 
I pray you heartily spend it with me." 

Now, quoth Robin Hood, He to Scarborough go, 
It seems to be a very faire day. [house, 

* He' tooke up his inne at a widdow-womans 
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, 
I pray thee heartily tell it to mee ?" 

" In my own country, where I was borne, 
Men call me Simon over the Lee." 

V. 5. elephant. 


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. 

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. 4o 

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. 

Ere this great lubber do thrive on the sea ; 

rie assure you he shall have no part of our fish, 
For in truth he is no part worthy. 

woe is me ! said Simon then. 

This day that ever I came here ! so 

1 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, 
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 say led towards them most valorously. 60 

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, 
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; 70 

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, 
There's but a simple lubber lost." 


Simon grew angry at these words, 

And so angrv 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. 
And drew it with all might and maine, 

And straightway, in the twinkling of an eye, 
' To' the Frenchmans heart the 'arrow's gane.' 


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, 
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 

V. 88. Doth . . . arrow gaia. 



The one halfe of the ship, said Simon then, 
He g-ive to my dame and [her] children small ; 

The other halfe of the ship He bestow 
On you that are my fellowes all. 

But now bespake the master then, 

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 
An habitation I will build. 

Where they shall live in peace and rest.' 




" Or, a meny combat fought between Robin Hood, Little 
John, and Will. Scarelock, and three stout Keepers in Sheerwood 

" Robin was valiant and stout. 

So was Scarelock and John in the field, 
But these Keepers stout did give them rout, 

And made them all for to yield. 
But after the battel ended was, 

Bold Robin did make them amends. 
For claret and sack they did not lack, 
So drank themselves arood 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 u 


There's some will talk of lords and knights, 
Donn, 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. 10 

Upon a time it chanced so, 

As Robin would have it be, 
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. 

Clad all in green aray. 

With brave long faucheons by their sides, 
And forrest-bills in hand, co 

They call'd aloud to those bold outlaws, 
And charged them to stand. 

V. 12. IloLin Hood. 


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, 

I am sure that it is not so ; 
We be the keepers of this forr^st, 

And that you soon shall know. so 

Come, your coats of green lay on the ground, 

And so will we all three. 
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, 

' As ' we never did transgress ? 

" Why, if you be three keepers in this forr^st. 
Then we be three rangers good, 40 

And will make you know before you do go. 
You meet with bold Robin Hood," 

" 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 draAv your swords, you bold outlaws, 

No longer stand to prate. 
But let us try it out with blows, 

For cowards we do hate. so 

Here is one of us for Will Scarlock, 

And another for Little John, 
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, 

They all shewed gallant play. 

There Robin, and Will, and Little John, 

They fought most manfully, Go 

'Till all their winde was spent and gone, 
Then Robin aloud did cry : 

O hold, O 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 fly. 70 


Therefore fall on, or else be gone, 

And yield to us the day : 
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, 

I shall extol your fames. 

And with our names, one of them said, 

What hast thou here to do ? so 

Except that you wilt fight it out, 
Our names thou slialt not know. 

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,' 

To see who wins the day ; 
And for the cost make you no doubt, 

I have gold ' enough' to pay. 90 

And ever hereafter so long as we live. 

We all will brethren be ; 
For I love these men Avith 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. 



" Shewing how Rol)in Hood and the Beggar fought, and how 
he changed cloaths with the Beggar, and how he went a begging 
to Nottingliam ; and how he saved three brethren from being 
hang'd for stealing of deer. To the tune of, Robin Hood and the 

From an old black letter copy in the collection of Anthony a 

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 arcliery was holden good, 
There was an outlaw, as many ' do' know, 

Which men called Robin Hood. 

Upon a time it chanced so, lo 

Bold Robin was merry disposed, 
His time for to spend he did intend 

Either with friends 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, 20 

As ere he beheld with his eye. 

An old pacht 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, 

God speed, God speed, said Robin Hood, 

What countryman ? tell to me. 
" I am Yorkshire, sir; but, ere you go far, 

Some charity give unto me." 

V. 25. Robiu Hood. 


Why, what wouldst thou have? said Robin Hood, 

I pray thee tell unto me. 
No lands nor livings, the beggar he said. 

But a penny for charitie. 

I have no money, said Robin Hood then, 

But a ranger within the wood ; 
I am an outlaw, as many do know, 

My name it is Robin Hood. 

But yet I must tell the, bonny beggar. 
That a bout with [thee] I must try ; 

Thy coat of gray, lay down I say, 40 

And my mantle of green shall lye by. 

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, 

And Robin a nut-brown sword ; 
So the beggar drew nigh, and at Robin let fly, 

But gave him never a word. 

Fight on, fight on, said Robin Hood then, 50 

This game well pleaseth me. 
For every blow that Robin gave, 

The beggar gave buffets three. 

V. 47. he had. 



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, Co 

Thy mantle come give unto me. 

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 had got the beggars clothes, 

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, 70 

So I have another for corn ; 
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. 

In ' the' second part 'tis behind. 

V. 66. Robin Hood. 


Now Robin he is to Nottingham bound, 
With his bag hanging down to his knee, 

His staff, and his coat, scarce worth a groat, so 
Yet merrihe passed he. 

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 [house], 

Some reliefe for to seek ; 
He skipt, and leapt, and capered full high. 

As he went alons: the street. 


But when to the sheriffs doore he came, 90 

There a gentleman fine and brave, 

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, 

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, loo 

For stealing of our king's deer. 


But when to the gallows they did come, 
There was many a weeping eye : 

O, hold your peace, said Robin Hood then. 
For certain ' they shall' not dye. 

Then Robin he set his horn to his mouth, 

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, no 

We are at your command. 
Shoot east, shoot west, said Robin Hood then, 

And see you spare no man. 

Then they shot east, and they shot west, 

Their arrows were so keen ; 
The sherifte he, and his companie, 

No longer ' could ' be seen. 

Then he stept to those brethren three, 

And away he has them tane; 
The sheriffe was crost, and many a man lost, leo 

That dead lay on the plain. 

And away they went into the merry green wood, 

And sung with a merry glee ; 
And Robin Hood took these brethren good 

To be of his yeomandrie. 




From an old black letter copy in the collection of Anthony a 
Wood : the full title being, " A new merry song of Robin Hood 
and Little John, shewing how Little John went a begging, and 
how he fought with the four beggers, and what a prize he got of 
the four beggers. The tune is, Robin Hood and the begger." 

All you that delight to spend some time, 
With a hey down, doiun, 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, 

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, lo 

I will have a palmer's weed, 
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, when as I get any, 

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, 20 

Little John he was the chief. 

But as he was walking himself alone. 

Four beggers he chanced to spy, 
Some deaf, and some blind, and some came behind ; 

Sayes John, Heres a brave company. 

Good-morrow, said John, my brethren dear. 

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 Joha : -o 

Why ring all these bells ? said he ; 
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 isonedead,thatwill give uscheese and bread, 

And it may be one single penny. 

We have brethren in London, another he said, 

So have we in Coventry, 
In Baru'ick and Dover, and all the world over, 40 

But ne'er a crookt carril like thee. - 

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, 

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, 50 

And the blind ' he made to' see ; 
And he that a cripple had been seven years, 

He made run then faster than he. 

V. 51. that could not. 


And flinging them all against the wall, 

With many a sturdie bang. 
It made John sing, to hear the gold ring. 

Which again the walls cryed twang. 

Then he got out of the beggers cloak 

Three hundred pound in gold ; 
Good fortune had I, then said Little John, fio 

Such a good sight to behold. 

But what found he in the beggar's bag 
But three hundred pound and three? 

" If I drink water w-hile 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 71 

His master good, bold Robin Hood, 
And all his company. 

What news? What news? then said Robin Hood, 
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, so 
In silver and gold so red. 

' Then' Robin Hood 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, 

All you that delight it to sing ; 
'Tis of Robin Hood, that archer good, 

And how Little John went a begging. 




No ancient copy of this ballad having been met with, it is given 
from an edition of " Robin Hoods Garland," printed some years 
since at York. The tune is Arthur a Bland. 

When Phoebus had melted the ' sickles' of ice, 
With a hey down, Sfc. 

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 rallies 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, lo 

For me and my merry men all ; 
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. 
For I am head forester here. 

These thirteen long summers, quoth Robin, I'm 
My arrows I here have let fly, [sure. 

Where freely I range ; methinks it is strange 
You should have more power than I. ci 

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, 
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, 30 
Thus, ere he would take any wrong, 

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, 
O that was a damnable bang ! 

But Robin he soon recovered liimself, 

And bravely fell to it again ; 
The very next stroke their weapons they broke, 40 

Yet never a man there was slain. 

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 return'd them as fast ; 
At every stroke their jackets did smoke; 

Three hours the combat did last. 

At length in a rage the forester grew, 50 

And cudgel'd bold Robin so sore. 

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 confess 

I never knew any so good ; 
Thou art fitting to be a yeoman for me, 

And range in the merry green wood. 

I'll 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, 60 
And love him with all my whole heart. 

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, 
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 Hood, 
And thou shalt be one of the train : 71 

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. 
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 dehght they spent all the night, 

And liv'd at a plentiful rate. ei 

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 cherishine: bowls. 


Then Robin Hood gave him a mantle of green. 
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 trust. 
And then we may range the woods wide, yi 

They all did declare, and solemnly swear. 
They would conquer, or die by his side. 



" 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. I'une of Arthur a Bland." 

This ballad is named in a schedule of such tilings under an 
agreement between W. Thackeray and others in 1689, (Col. 
Pepys. vol. 5.) but is here given as corrected from a copy in the 
" Collection of old ballads," 1723. 

The notion that Little John obtained this appellation, ironi- 
cally, from his superior stature, though doubtless ill-founded, is of 
considerable antiquity. See " Notes and illustrations to the life," 
p. cxxxiii. 

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 large, 
And his stature was seven foot high ; 

Whereever he came, they qiiak'd at his name, 
For soon he would make them to fly. 

How they came acquainted, I'll tell you in brief, lo 

If you would but listen awhile ; 
For this very jest, among all the rest, 

I think it may cause you to smile. 

For Robin Hood said to his jolly bowmen, 

Pray tarry you here in this grove ; 
And see that you all observe well my call, 

While thorouo-h the forest I rove. 


We have had no sport for these fourteen long days, 

Therefore now abroad will I go ; 
Now should I be beat, and cannot retreat, 20 

My horn I will presently blow. 

Then did he shake hands with his merry men all. 
And bid them at present good b' w'ye : 

Then, as near the brook his journey he took, 
A stranger he chanc'd to espy. 

They happen'd to meet on a long narrow bridge. 
And neither of them would give way ; 

Quoth bold Robin Hood, and sturdily stood, 
I'll shew you right Nottingham-play. 



With that from his quiver an arrow he drew, 30 

A broad arrow with a goose-wing. 
The stranger reply'd, I'll liquor thy hide, 

If thou offer 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, 

Before thou could'st strike me one blow. 1 

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, 40 i 

Have nought but a staff in my hand. 

The name of a coward, quoth Robin, I scorn, 

Therefore 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 is lusty and tough, 50 

Now here on the bridge we will play ; 
Whoever falls in, the other shall win 

The battle, 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, 

And their staffs they did flourish about. 

At first Robin he gave the stranger a bang, 
So hard that he made his bones ring : 

The stranger he said, This must be repaid, 60 

I'll give you as good as you bring. 

So long as I am able to handle a staff, 

To die in your debt, friend, I scorn. 
Then to it each goes, and follow'd their blows, 

As if they'd been threshing of corn. 

The stranger gave Robin a crack on the crown, 

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, 70 

With a passionate fury and ire ; 
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. 

And tumbl'd him into the brook. 


I prithee, gX)od fellow, o where art thou now ? 

The stranger, in laughter, he cry'd. 
Quoth bold Robin Hood, Good faith, in the flood, ao 

And floating along with the tide. 

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, 

And puird 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, 90 
At which his stout bowmen appear'd. 

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 
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, 100 

He is a stout fellow ; forbear. 


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 ; 

Speak up jolly blade, never fear ; 
I'll teach you also the use of the bow. 

To shoot at the fat fallow deer. 

O, here is my hand, the stranger reply'd, no 

I'll serve you with all my whole heart ; 

My name is John Little, a man of good mettle ; 
Ne're doubt me, for I'll play my part. 

His name shall be alter'd, quoth William Stutely, 

And I will his godfather be ; 
Prepare then a feast, and none of the least, 

For we will be merry, quoth he. 

They presently fetch'd him 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. isi 

He was, I must tell you, but seven foot high, 

And, may be, an ell in the waste ; 
A sweet pretty lad : much feasting they had ; 

Bold Robin the christ'ning grac'd, 

VOL. II. !> 


With all his bowmen, which stood in a rinsr. 

And were of the Nottingham breed ; 
Brave Stutely came then, with seven yeoman, 

And did in this manner proceed : 

This infant was called John Little, quoth he ; r» 
Which name shall be changed anon : 

The words we'll transpose ; so whereever he goes. 
His name shall be call'd Little John. 

They all with a shout made the elements rina: ; 

So soon as the office was ore, 
To feasting they went, with true merriment. 

And tippl'd strong liquor gillore. 

Then Robin he took the pretty sweet babe, 
And cloath'd him from top to the toe, 

\\\ garments of green, most gay to be seen, u;i 

And gave him a curious long bow. 

" Thou shalt be an archer, as well as the best, 
And range in the green wood with us ; 

AVhere we'll not want gold nor silver, behold, 
Wliile bishops have ought in their purse; 

We live here like 'squires, or lords of renown, 

Without ere a foot of free land ; 
We feast on good cheer, with wine, ale and beer. 

And ev'rv thing at our command." 


Then musick and dancing did finish the day ; 

At length, when the sun waxed low, 
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, 
Still Little John they did him call. 



This excellent ballad, given from the common edition of 
Aldermary-church-yard (compared with the York copy), is sup- 
posed to be modern : the story, however, seems alluded to in the 
ballad of " Renowned Robin Hood." The full title is " The 
bishop of Herefords entertainment by Robin Hood and Little 
John, &c. in merry Barnsdale." The tune is added from an 
engraved sheet. 

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 Hereford, 

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 Hood, 
Come, kill me a good fat deer, lo 

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, 

Lest some other way he should ride. 

Robin Hood dress'd himself in shepherd's 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 king's ven'son, 
When your company is so few ? 

We are shepherds, said bold Robin Hood, 

And we keep sheep all the year, 
And we are disposed to be merry this day, 

And to kill of the king's fat deer. 


You are brave fellows ! said the bishop, 

And the king of your doings shall know ; m 

Therefore make haste, and come along with me, 
For before the king you shall go. 

pardon, O pardon, said bold Robin Hood, 

O pardon, I thee pray; 
For it becomes not your lordships coat 

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. io 

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 Robin's men 

Came running all on a row : 

All making obeysance to bold Robin Hood ; 

'Twas a comely sight for to see. 50 

What is the matter, master, said Little John, 

That you blow so hastily ? 


" here is the bishop of Hereford, 

And no pardon we shall have." 
Cut off his head, master, said Little John, 

And throw him into his grave. 

O pardon, pardon, said the bishop, 

O pardon I thee pray ; 
For if I had known it had been you, 

I'd have gone some other way. 60 

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. 70 

Lend me your purse, master, said Little John, 

And I'll tell you bye and bye. 

Then Little John took the bishop's cloak. 

And spread it upon the ground, 
And out of the bishop's portmantua 

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 loveth not me. 8o 

Robin Hood took the bishop by the hand, 

And he caused the music to play ; 
And he made the [old] bishop to dance in his boots. 

And glad he could so get away. 



^ ft -L^j—agi 






This ballad, from the York edition of" Robin Hoods garland," 
is probably one of the oldest extant of which he is the subject. 
In the more common editions is a modernised copy, in which the 
" silly old woman" is converted in " a gay lady ;" but even this 
is more ancient than many of the pieces here inserted, and is 
intitled, by its merit, to a place in the appendix. 

The circumstance of Robins changing clothes with the palmer 
is, possibly, taken from an old romance intitled " The noble 
hystory of the moost excellent and myghty prynce and hygh re- 
nowmed knyght kynge Ponthus of Galyce and of lytell Brytayne, 
Enprynted at Eondon in Flete strete at the sygne of the sonne by 
Wynkyn de Worde, In the yere of our lorde god, M.ccccc.xi," 
4to, b. 1. 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, and he put vpon hym the poore mannes 
gowne, his gyrdell, his hosyn, his shone, his hatte, and his 

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 ?" lo 

Said she. There's three squires in Nottingham town, 
To-day ' are ' condemned to die. 

Oh, have they parishes burnt? he said, 

Or have they ministers slain ? 
Or have they robbed any virgin ? 

Or with other men's wives have lain ? 

" They have no parishes burnt, good sir. 

Nor yet have ministers slain, 
Nor have they robbed any virgin. 

Nor veith other men's wives have lain." co 

V. 12. is. 


Oh, what have they done? said Robin Hood, 

I pray thee tell to me. 
*' It's for slaying of the king's fallow deer, 

Bearina: their lonp- bows with thee." 

Dost thou not mind, old woman, he said. 

Since thou made me sup and dine ? 
By the truth of my body, quoth bold Bobin Hood, 

You could not tell it in better time. 

Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone, 

With a link, a down, and a ' day,' 30 

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. 

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 

Oh, thine apparel is good, he said, 

And mine is ragged and torn ; 
Whereever you go, wherever you ride. 

Laugh ne'er an old man to scorn. 

V. 30. down a. 


" 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 : 50 

" 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, 

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. 60 

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. 
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, 70 

And there he met with the proud sheriff, 
Was walking along the town. 

Oh ' Christ you' save, oh, sheriff, he said, 

Oh ' Christ you save and ' see ; 
And what will you give to a silly old man 

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. 

I've a bag for meal, and a bag for malt. 

And a bag for barley and corn ; yo 

A bag for bread, and a bag for beef. 
And a bag for my little small horn. 

V V. 73. 74. Oh save, oh save, oh sheriff he said, 
Oh save and you may see. 


I have a horn in my pocket, 

I got it from Robin Hood, 
And still when I set it to my mouth, 

For ' thee' it blows little good. 

" Oh, wind thy horn, thou proud fell6\v, 

Of thee I have no doubt ; 
I wish that thou give such a blast, 

Till both thy eyes fall out." loo 

The first loud blast that he did blow. 

He blew both loud and shrill ; 
A hundred and fifty of Robin Hood's men 

Came ridinsr over the hill. 


The next loud blast that he did give. 

He blew both loud and amain. 
And quickly sixty of Robin Hood's men, 

Came shining over the plain. 

Oh, 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. 

They took the gallows from the slack. 

They set it in the glen, 
They hang'd the proud sheriff" on t'lat, 

Releas'd their own three men. 

V. 06. iijc. 



Tills ballad, which has never been inserted in any of the pub- 
lications intitled " Robin Hood's garland," (and, perhaps, was 
not worth inserting here), 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 Marian ; declaring their 
love, life, and liberty. Tune, Robin Hood reviv'd" (see before, 
p. 69). 

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 v/as a gallant dame. 


For favour and face, and beauty most rare, 

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, lo 

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. 

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. so 

But fortune bearing these lovers a spight, 

That soon they were forced to part ; 
To the merry green wood then went Robin Hood, 

With a sad and sorrowfull heart. 

And Marian, poor soul, was troubled in mind, 

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, 

Shee drest herself like a page, so 

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, 

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 went, 

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 Hood, 

And thou shalt be one of my string. 
To range in the wood, with bold Robin Hood, 

And hear the sweet nightingall sing. 

When Marian did hear the voice of her love, 

Her self shee did quickly discover, 50 

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, 

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. 60 

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. 

And merrily they drunk round 
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 ; 70 

And his yeomen all, both comly and tall, 

Did quickly bring up the rear : 

For in a brave venie they tost off the bouls, 

Whilst thus they did remain ; 
And every cup, as they drunk up. 

They filled with speed again. 

V. 58. wandring. 


At last they ended their merryment. 
And went to walk in the wood, 

Where Little John, and maid Marian, 
Attended on bold Robin Hood. 



In soUid 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. 

In time as I think it good ; 
For the people that dwell in the North can tell 

Of Marian and bold Robin Hood. 




from the common collection of Aldermary-church-yard, seems 
to be taken from the old legend in volume I. and to have been 
written by some miserable retainer to the press, merely to eke out 
the book ; being, in fact, a most contemptible performance. 

The two concluding lines (the same with those of the next 
ballad) refertosong XXVII. which they have once immediately 

King Richard hearing of the pranks 
Of Robin Hood and his men, 

He much admir'd, and more desired 
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, lo 

He and his lords, with one accord. 

All put on monk's weeds. 

From Fountain-abbey they did ride, 

Down to Barnsdale ; 
Where Robin Hood prepared stood 

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. 20 

He took the king's 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, 

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 ; so 

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, 

1 swear you lie in heart. 

For I never yet hurt any man 

That honest is and true ; 
But those who give iheir 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 v/ood. 

To follow hawk or hound. 

My chiefest spite to clergy is. 

Who in these days bear great sway ; 

With fryars and monks, with their fine sprunks, 
I make my chiefest prey." 

But I am very glad, says Robin Hood, 

That I have met you here ; 50 

Come, 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 king's 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. 60 

Nay, more than that, quoth Robin Hood, 

For good king Richard's 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 Hood's men, 

Came marching all of a row. 

And when they came bold Robin before, 
Each man did bend his knee : 70 

O, thought the king, 'tis a gallant thing, 
And a seemly sight to see. 

Within himself the king did say, 

These men of Robin Hood's 
More humble be than mine to me ; 

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. 80 

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 : 

" Come, let us now begin ; 
And every man shall have hi.~ 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. 

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, 

If I could thy pardon get, 
To serve the king in every thing 

Would'st thou thy mind firm set? 

Yes, * with all ' my heart, bold Robin said, 
So they flung otF 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. 

Love them again I shall. 

The king no longer could forbear, 
For he was mov'd with ' ruth.' 

" I am the king, ' your' sovereign king, 

That appears before you all." iso 

When Robin saw that it was he, 
Strait then he down did fall. 


Stand up again, then said the king, 

I'll thee thy pardon give ; 
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 : 
But when the people them did see, 

They thought the king was slain ; rw 

And for that cause the outlaws were come, 

To rule all as they list ; 
And for to shun, which ' way' to run. 

The people did not wist. 

The plowman left the plow in the fields, 

The smith ran from his shop ; 
Old folks also, that scarce could go, 

Over their sticks did hop. 

The king soon did let them understand 

He had been in the green-wood, no 

And from that day, for evermore. 
He'd forgiven Robin Hood. 

Then [when] the people they did hear, 
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 sheriff, 

That varlet I do hate ; 
Both me and mine he caused to dine, 

And serv'd us all with one plate. 150 

Ho,ho, said Robin Hood, I know whatyou mean, 

Come, take your gold again ; 
Be friends with me, and I with thee. 

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. 

But if ' that it' should please the king. 

So much your house to grace, 160 

To sup with you, for, to speak true, 
[I] know you ne'er was base. 

The sheriff [this] could not gainsay, 

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 ; 
He once was there a noble peer, 

And now he's there again. uo 



Many such pranks brave Robin play'd, 
While he liv'd in the green wood : 

Now, my friend, attend, and hear an end 
Of honest Robin Hood. 



A composition of a similar nature with the preceding ; ami 
from the same authority. 

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, 

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. 20 

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 on the day should bear away 

For his own proper right. 

Tidings came to bold Robin Hood, 

Under the green -wood tree : -m 

" Come prepare you then, my merry men. 
We'll go yon sport to see." 


With that stept forth a brave young man, 

David of Doncast^r, 
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. 40 

Thou smells of a coward, said Robin Hood, 

Thy words do not please me ; 
Come on't what will, I'll try ray skill, 

At yon brave archery. 

O then bespoke brave Little John, 

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 ; 50 

We'll dress us all so several. 

They shall not us perceive. 

One shall wear white, another red, 

One yellow, another blue ; 
Thus in disguise, ' to' the exercise 

We'll gang, whate'er insue. 


Forth from the green wood they are gone, 

With hearts all firm and stout, 
Resolving [then] with the sheriff's 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, 

Amongst eight hundred men, 
But could not see the sight that he 

Had long suspected then. 

Some said. If Robin Hood was here, 

And all his men to boot, 70 

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, 
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. to 


Some cried, Blue jacket ! another cried, Brown ! 

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, 90 

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. 

As they went in came out. 

Until they all assembled were 

Under the green-wood shade, 
AVhere 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 

Did take etfect 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, no 

This I advise, said Little John, 

That a letter shall be penn'd, 
And when it is done, to Nottingham 

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 

I'll stick it on my arrow's head, 

And shoot it into the town ; 
The mark must show where it must g-o. 

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 Alderraary-cliurch-yard ; corrected by theYork copy. 

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. 


Therefore they called a council of state, 
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 summer's day, 
At length it was agreed, lo 

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 came, 

He told him his pleasure all. 

" Go you from hence to bold Robin 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. 

By me they shall be led ; 
I'll venture my blood against bold Robin Hood, 

And bring him alive or dead. 


One hundred men were chosen straight, 

As proper as e'er men saw : "Jo 

On Midsummer-day they marched away, 
To conquer that brave outlaw. 

With long yew bows, and shining spears, 
They march'd with mickle pride, 

And never delay 'd, nor halted, nor stay'd 
'Till they came to the green-wood side. 

Said he to his archers. 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 

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 ; [Hood, 

But tell them from me, that never shall be, 51 
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, 

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, 

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. 80 

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. 


" Shewing how he was taken ill, and how he went to his cousin 
at Kirkley-hall, who let liim blood, which was the cause of his 
death. Tune of Robin Hoods last farewel, 8cc." 

This very old and curious piece is preserved solely in the edi- 
tions 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 the preceding 
ballad), in order to introduce the epitaph. It is here given from 
a collation of two different copies, containing numerous variations, 
a few of which are retained in the margin. 

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 vsrill bleed me. 

Now Robin is to fair Kirkley gone. 

As fast as he can win ; lo 

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 
For to let bold Robin in. 

Will you please to sit down, cousin Robin, she 
And drink some beer with me ? [said, 

" 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. 

And let him to a private room, 
And there she blooded bold Robin Hood, 

Whilst one drop of blood would run. 

V. 20. Till I blood letted be. 
V. 24. You blood shall letted be. 



She blooded him in the vein of the arm, 

And lock'd him up in the room ; so 

There did he bleed all the live-long day, 
Untill the next day at noon. 

He then bethought him of a casement door, 

Tliinking for to be gone ; 
He v?as 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. 40 

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 ; 50 

A boon, a boon, cries Little John, 

Master, I beg of thee. 

V. 34. get down. 


What is that boon, quoth Robin Hood, 

Little John, thou begs of me ? 
" It is to burn fair Kirkley-hall, 

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, 6i) 

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 a green sod under my head ; 

V. 59. burnt. This stanza is omitted in one edition. 
A^V. 67, G8. With verdant sods most neatly put. 
Sweet as the green wood tree. 
V. 74. This line is manifestly impertinent and corrupt. We 
might read : 

With a stone upon the sod. 


That they may say, when I am dead, 
Here lies bold Robin Hood. 


These words they readily promis'd him, 
Which did bold Robin please : 

And there they buried bold Robin Hood, 
Near to the fair Kirkleys. 




is printed by Copland at tlie end of his edition of the " mery 
geste," itc. inserted in the preceding volume. It seems to be 
composed, certainly with little improvement, partly from the 
ballad of " Robin Hood and the curtal frier," (see before, p. 61.) 
or rather, perhaps, some still older piece on the same subject, 
and partly from the ancient poem of " Robin Hood and the 
potter" (see volume i. p. 81). The whole title runs — " Here 
beginnethe the playe of Robyn Hoode, very proper to be played 
in Maye games." It has here received a few corrections from 
Whites edition, 1634. 


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, lo 

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 him to me forth withall, 

Whether he wyll or no ? 


Yes, mayster, I make god avowe, 

To that frere wyll I go. 

And bring him to you, 20 

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, so 

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, 

Wherefore 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 Robyti 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. 


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, 

V. 35. maister. C. 


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. 60 


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. 70 

V. 64. ell. C. V. 70. you. you. C. 

VOL. II. o 



Harke, frere, what I say here. 
Over this water thou shalt me here, 
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, no 
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. 

V. 82. (lonpe. C. 



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. 


Saye on, ragged knave, 

Me semeth ye begyn to swete. 90 


In this forest I have a hounde, 

I 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. loo 


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, up 

And also here is a lady free, 

I wyll geve her unto the, 

And her ch^-pplayn I the make, 

To serve her for my sake. 


Here is a huckle duckle, an inch above the buckle ; 
V. 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, for veri 
pure joy e. i?" 


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, 

V. 116. A trul of trust was a common phrase. So in the an- 
cient morality of the iiii elements : (Sig. E. iij. 6.) 
" For to satisfye your wanton lust 
I shall apoynt you a trull of trust, 
Not a feyrer in this towne." 
Again, in Warners Albions England, 1602 : 
" How cheere you Pan, quoth Pryapus, the shameles god of lust, 
Thus can i fit such friends as you with such a trull of trust." 
V. 117. shefes, C. V. 118. ballockes. C. 

V. 126. How a potter comes to be decked with so elegant and 
honorable a chaplet, does not seem easy to account for ; unless 
for the reason given by Chaucer, that 

— " soche araie costnith but lite." 
The poet Gower, as represented on his monument, in the church 
of St. Mary-Overy, hath, according to Stow, " on his head a 
chaplet, like a coronet of foure roses :" and it may be remembered 


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, 

As one peny passage to paye. i">o 

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, 

Therfore I knowe what he is. 140 

Mete him when ye wil, or mete him whan ye shal, 

He is as propre a man as ever you medle withal. 

that Copland, the printer of this identical May-game, dwelled 
" at the signe of the rose garlande." We see, likewise, that 
" a rose gavlonde" was set up (to be shot through, it is presumed), 
ia the " Lytell geste of Robyn Hode," fytte 7, v. 177. Though 
the fashion of wearing such an ornament was formerly common 
in France (for which see Chaucers " llomaunt of the rose," a 
close translation from the French), and at a still later period in 
Germany (see " The hystorye of Reynarde the foxe," a transla- 
tion from tlie language of that country, and Morysons Itinerary, 
1617, (part 1, p. 25, and part 3, p. 167), no further instance has 
been met with of its prevalence in tliis country. 



I will lai with the, Litel John, twenti pound so icad, 

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 ! 

For I am clene out of my waye i5o 

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 not breake the grounde. 
Thou shalt have thre pence for a pound. 

V. 153. maryet. C. Y. 154. the. C. 

V. 158. not omited in W. 



Out alas ! what have ye done ? 

If my maister come, he will breke your crown. i6.) 


Why, thou horeson, art thou here yet? 
Thou shouldest have bene at market. 


I met with Bobin 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, 

But thou semest a noughty knave. 

Thou callest me cuckolde by my name. 

And I swere by god and saynt John 

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 shalthave 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, 

As one penny passage to paye. iso 


Why should I paye passage to thee ? 


For I am Robyn Hode, chiefe governoure 
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, 
Lay awaye thy bowe, igo 

And take thy sword and buckeler in thy hande, 
And se what shall befall. 


Lyttle John, where art thou ? 


Here, raayster, I make god avowe. 

V. 186. to do. C. to or so oniiled in VV. 
V. 188. wedded. C. wed. W. 


I tolde you, mayster, so god me save, 

That you shoulde fynde the potter a knave. 

Holde your buckeler fast in your hande, 

And I wyll styfly by you stande, 

Ready for to fyghte ; 

Be the knave never so stoute, 200 

I shall rappe him on the snoute, 

And put hym to flyghte. 



This strange and whimsical performance is taken from a verj" 
rare and curious publication, intitled " Deuteromelia : or the 
second part of musicks melodie, or melodius musicke. Of plea- 
sant roundelaies ; K. H. mirth, or freemens songs. And such 
delightful! catches. London : printed for Thomas Adams dwel- 
ling in Paules church-yard at the signe of tlie white lion. 1609." 
4to. Freemens songs is supposed to be a corruption of Three 
mens songs, from their being generally for three voices. K. H. 
is King Heni-ys. See " Ancient songs," ed. 1829, Vol. I. 
p. Ixxix. and Vol. II. p. 54, &:c. 

In the collection of old printed ballads made by Anthony a. 
Wood is an inaccurate copy of this ancient and singular produc- 
tion, in his own hand- writing : " This song," says he, " was 
esteemed an old song before the rebellion broke out in 1641." 
It thereby appears that the first line of every stanza was " to be 
sung thrice." Beside the music here given, there are three parts 
of " Another way," which it was not thought necessary to insert. 

V. 196. vour. C. 





^ m^^^tpy 



Y Lands-dale hey ho, by mery Lands-dale 

Q- t f »• 





there dwelt a jolly miller, And a very good old man 








was hee, was he, hey ho He had, he had and a 






Sonne a. He had, he had and a sonne. 


-'^~< ? 




Y Lands-dale hey ho, by mcry Lands-dale hey ho 

n . '; 

g^-^~ ^ O 





was he hey ho. He had, he had and a sonne a 








■^^' — ^ 




Y Lands-dale hey ho, by mery Lands-dale, heyho. 




: There dwelt a jolly miller, and a very good old man was 


2> ^ 


he, hey ho, He had, he had and a sonne a, he had 

h€ had, he had 

He had, he had and a sonne 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, 

From mery Landsdale 

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. 



from " Pammelia. Musicks miscellanie. Or, mixed varietie 
of pleasant roundelayes, and delightful! catches, of 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 
8. 9. 10. parts in one. None so ordinarie as musicall, none so 
musical as not to all very pleasing and acceptable. London 
Printed by William Barley, for R. B. and H. W. and are to be 
sold at the Spread Eagle at the great north dore of Paules. 
1609." 4to. a work equally scarce and curious with that before 
cited. This however, is only the tenor part ; but the words of 
the other parts are very trifleing, and relate to different subjects. 
It is called " A round of three country-dances in one." 



OBIN Hood, Robin Hood, said Little John, 

^ ffij^^j£|i 


» ^ 

Come dance before the queene a 

In a red petticote 








id a greene jacket, a white hose and a greene a )<( si/pin 




These stanzas are supplyed by " A musicall dreame, or the 
fourth booke of ayres, &c. Composed by Robert Tones. London, 
Imprinted by the assignees of William Barley, and are to be 
solde in Powles church-yeard, at the signe of the Crowne. 1609." 
fo. The music, a composition of little merit or curiosity for the 
present age, was not transcribed. 

In Sherwood livde stout Robin Hood, 

An archer great, none greater ; 
His bow and shafts were sure and good, 

Yet Cupids were much beter. 
Robin could shoot at many a hart and misse, 
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, to follow niee, 
to follow me to the green wood. 

A noble thiefe was Robin Hoode, 

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. 


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 winne. 
Hey jolly Robin. 

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 towne, and so did he, 
1 got me to the woods, Love followed me. 
Hey jolly Robin. 





This old ballad, refered to in p. 10. of the present volume, is 
given from a black letter copy in a private collection, compared 
with and very much corrected by " An antidote against melan- 
choly : made up in pills, compounded of witty ballads, jovial 
songs, and merry catches. 1661." The running title of the volume 
is " Pills to purge melancholy ;" which was afterward borrowed 
by Durfey. 


There is a different, but probably much more modern, ballad 
upon this popular subject, in the same measure, intitled, " Arthur 
o' Bradley," and beginning, 

" All in the merry month of May." 
In Jonsons Bartholomew-fair, Moon-calf addresses justice 
Overdo by this name ; " O lord ! do you not know him, mistress T 
'tis mad Arthur of Bradley that makes the orations. Brave 
master, old Arthur of Bradley, how do you do 1 welcome to the 
fair, when shall we hear you again to handle your matters with 
your back against a booth, ha? I ha' been one o' your litily 
disciples, i' my days !" 

In The honest whore, by Decker, 1604, Bellafront, on the 
Dukes assurance that Matthio shall make her amends and marry 
her, replys, " Shall he? O brave Arthur of Bradley then!" 

See you not Pierce the piper, 

His cheeks as big as a miter, 

A piping among the swains, 

That dance on yonder plains ? 

Where Tib and Tom do trip it, 

And youths to the hornpipe nip it, 

With every one his carriage, 

To go to yonder marriage ; 

Not one would stay behind, 

But go with Arthur of Bradley, lo 

Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, oh, &c. 

Arthur had got him a lass, 
A bonnier never was ; 

VOL. II. I' 


The chief youths of the parish 

Came dancing- of the morris ; 

With country lasses trounsing, 

And lusty lads bounsing, 

Jumping with mickle pride, 20 

And each his wench by his side ; 

They all were fine and gay, 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradlev, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, oh, &c. 

And when that Arthur was married. 

And his bride home had carried, 

The youngsters they did wait 

To help to carry up meat ; 

Francis carried the furmety, 

Michael carried the mince-pye, 20 

Bartholomew the beef and the mustard, 

And Christopher carried the custard ; 

Thus every one in his array, 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, oh, &c. 

And when that dinner was ended, 

The maidens they were befriended, 

For out steps Dick the draper, 

And he bid. Strike up, scraper ! 

It's best to be dancing a little, 4) 

And then to the tavern to tipple : 

He call'd for a horrvpipe, 

Al'PENDlX. 213 

Tliat went fine on the bagpipe ; 
Then forward, piper, and play, 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 

Oh fine, &c. 

Richard he did lead it. 

And Margery did tread it, 

Francis followed them, 

And after courteous Jane ; so 

Thus every one after another, 

As if they had been sister and brother ; 

That 'twas great joy to see 

How well they did agree ; 

And then they all did say. 

Hay for Arthur of Bradley ! 

Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, oh, &c. 

Then Miles in his motley breeches, 

And he the piper beseeches 

To play him Haw-thorn buds, &> 

That he and his wench might trudge : 

But Lawrence liked not that. 

No more did lusty Kate ; 

For she cry'd, Can'st thou not hit it, 

To see how fine Thomas can trip it, 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, &c. 

When all the swains did see 
This mirth and merry glee. 
There was never a man did flinch. 


But each one kist his wench ; 70 

But Giles was greedy of gain, 

For he would needs kiss twain : 

Her lover seeing that, 

Did rap him over the pate, 

That he had nought to say. 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, oh, &c. 

The piper lookt aside. 

And there he spied the bride, 

He thought is was a hard chance, ko 

That none would lead her a dance ; 

But there was none durst touch her. 

Save only Bat the Butcher ; 

He took her by the hand, 

And danced while he could stand : 

The bride was fine and gay, 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, oh, &c. 

Then out stept Will the weaver. 

And he swore he'd not leave her, • o" 

He hopp'd it all on one leg, 

For the honour of his Peg : 

But Kister in cambrick ruffe, 

He took that all in snufTe ; 

For he against that day 

Had made himself fine and gay. 

His ruffe was whipt with blew. 


And he cried, A new dance, a new 
Then strike up a round-delay, 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, loo 

Oh fine, &c. 

Then gan the sun decline. 

And every one thought it time 

To go unto his home, 

And leave the bridegroom alone. 

Tut, tut, says lusty Ned, 

He seem them both in bed. 

For rie gib at a joynt. 

But rie have his codpeece-point : 

Then forward piper and play, ho 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 

Oh fine, &c. 

And thus the day was spent, 

And no man homeward went, 

There was such a crowding and thrusting, 

That some were in danger of bursting, 

To see them go to bed ; 

For all the skill they had. 

He was got to his bride, 

And lay close to her side : ico 

Then got they his points and his garters, 

And cut them in pieces like martyrs ; 

And then they all did play 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 

Oh fine, &c. 


Then Will and his sweetheart 

Did call for Loth to depart ; 

And then they did foot it, and toss it, 

'Till the cook brought in the sack-posset. 

The bride-pye was brought forth, lio 

A thins; of mickle worth : 

And so all at the beds side 

Took leave of Arthur and his bride, 

And so went all away 

From the wedding of Arthur of Bradley, 

Oh fine, &c. 



This song, and its tune, as the editor is informed by 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 apparently ancient, it is not known to exist in black letter, 
nor has any better authority been met with than the common col- 
lection of Aldermary-church-yard. See before, ii. 155. 

Bold Robin Hood ranging the forrest all round, 

The forrest all round ranged he ; 
O there did he meet with a gay lady, 

She came weeping along the highway. 



Why weep you, why weep you ? bold Robiu he said, 

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 ; lo 

Nor do I weep for my maidenhead, 

That is taken from my body. 

What weep you for then ? said jolly Robin, 

I prithee come tell unto me. 
" Oh ! I do weep for my three sons, 

For they are all condemned to die." 

What church have they robbed ? said jolly Robin, 

Or parish-priest have they slain ? 
What maids have they forced against their will ? 

Or with other mens wives have lain ? 


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, 

Come tell me most speedily. 
" Oh ! it is for killing the king's fallow deer, 

' That ' they are all condemned to die." 

V. 28, And. 


Get you home, get you home, said jolly RoWn, 
Get you home most speedily, 3i) 

And I will unto fair Nottingham go, 
For the sake of the 'squires all three. 

Then bold Robin Hood for Nottingham goes. 

For Nottingham town goes he, 
O there did he meet with a poor beggar-man. 

He came creeping along the highway. 

" What news, what news, thou old beggar-man ? 

What news, come tell unto me." 
" O there's weeping and wailing in Nottingham [town], 

For the death of the 'squires all three." 40 

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, pall off thy coat, thou old beggar-man, 

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 ; 50 

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. 

Their hangman I may be. 

Soon granted, soon granted, says master sheriff, 

Soon granted unto thee ; 
And ' thou shalt' have all their gay cloathing. 

Aye, and all their white money. 60 

"01 will have none of their gay cloathing, 

Nor none of their white mon^y. 
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, 

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 ? tell unto me. 70 

" 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 sheriff, 

O take them along with thee ; 
For there's never a man in fair Nottingham 

Can do the like of thee. 

V. 59. you shall. V. 65. When. V. 70. roiiie tdl. 





Dr. Pepusch, among other very curious articles of ancient 
English music, was possessed of a MS. folio, (supposed to be 
still extant,) which, at p. 15, contained a tune intitled " Robin 
Hood." See Wards " Lives of the professors of Gresham col- 
lege," 1740, (an interleaved copy, corrected and augmented by 
the author, in the British-museum). Robene Hude is likewise 
the name of a dance in Wedderburns " Complainte of Scotland," 
printed in 1549. The following tune is preserved by Oswald, 
in his " Caledonian pocket companion." 

^^. , 









J _, 

-■ • 


^"^ ' 

-1 ^ 




^ '^L 











This singularly curious and excellent poem, which is probably 
the earliest extant on the subject, was first printed in the " An- 
cient metrical Tales," edited by the Rev. C. H. Hartshorne 
(8vo. 1829), from a MS. in the library of University College, 
Cambridge (F. F. 5. 48.), with which it has been since obligingly 
collated by Frederic Madden, Esq. A few lines are unfortu- 
nately rendered illegible by damp. 

In somer when the shawes be sheyne, 

And leves be large and longe, 
Hit is fuUe 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. 

Hit befel on whitsontide, 

Erly in a may mornyng, lo 

The son vp fayre can shyne, 

And the briddis mery can syng. 

This is a mery mornyng, seid lituUe Johne, 

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

Lvves not in cristiante. 


Pluk vp thi liert my dere mayster, 

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

In a mornynge of may. 20 

Ze on thynge greves me seid Robyne, 

And does my hert myche woo, 
That I 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 wil I to Notyngham, seid Robyn, 

With the myght of mylde Mary. 

Then spake Moche the mylner[s] sune, 

Euer more wel hym betyde, m 

Take xii of thi wyght zemen 
Welle weppynd be ther side. 

Such on wolde thi selfe slon 

That xii dar not abyde. 
Off alle my mery men, seid Robyne, 

Be my feithe I wil non haue. 

But litulle Johne shalle beyre my bow 
Til that me list to drawe 



Thou shalle beyre ' thin own' seid litulle Jon, 

Maister & I wil beyre myne, 
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 bronie, so 

Til litulle Johne wan of his maister 
V s. to hose and shone. 

A ferly strife fel them betwene 

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

And Robyn Hode seid schortly nay. 

With that Robyn Hode lyed litul Jone, 

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

And pulled out his bright bronde. 60 

Were thou not my maister, seid litulle Johne, 

Thou shuldis by hit ful sore. 
Get the a man where thou wilt Robyn, 

For thou getes me no more. 

V. 41. th'now. MS 


Then Robyn goes to Notyngham 

Hymselfe mornynge allone, 
And lituUe Johne to mery Scherewode, 

The pathes he knowe alkone. 

Whan Robyn came to Notyngham, 

Sertenly withoutene layne, 70 

He prayed to god and myld Mary 
To brynge hym out saue agayne. 

He gos into seynt Mary[s] 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 [Hode] 

As sone as he hym se. so 

Out at the durre he ran 

Ful sone and anon, 
Alle the zatis of Notyngham 

He made to be sparred euerychone. 

Rise vp, he seid, thou prowde scherefl", 
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, 90 

Hit is longe of the seide the munke, 

And euer he fro vs passe. 

This traytur[s] name is Robyn Hode, 

Vndur the grene wode lynde. 
He robbyt me onys of a C pound, 

Hit shalle neuer out of my niynde. 

Vp then rose this prowd scherefF, 

And zade towarde hym zare ; 
Many was the modur son 

To the kyrk with hym can fare. loo 

In at the durres thei throly thrast 

With staves ful gode * ilkone' 
Alas, alas, seid Robyn Hode, 

Now mysse I lituUe Johne. 

But Robyne toke out a too-hond sworde 

That hangit down be his kne, 
Ther as the scherefF and his men stode thyckust, 

Thidurward wold he. 

Thryes thorow at them he ran, 

Ther for sothe as I yow say, 110 

And woundyt many a modur sone. 

And xii he slew that day. 

V. 102. wone. MS. 



His sworde vpon the schirefF bed 

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, 

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

I wot thei wil me kylle. iso 

Robyns men to the churche ran 

Throout hem euer ilkon, 
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 rule, seid litulle Jon, 

For his luf that dyed on tre, iso 

Ze that shulde be duzty men 

Hit is gret shame to se. 

Oure maister has bene hard bystode, 

And zet scapyd away, 
Pluk up your hertes and leve this mono, 

And herkyn what 1 shal say. 

V. 116. 1 pmv to. MS. 


He has seruyd our lady many a day. 

And zet wil securly, 
Therfore I trust in her specialy 

No wycked deth shal he dye. i4o 

Therfor be glad, seid litul Johne, 

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

Wiih the myght of mylde Mary. 

And 1 mete hym, seid litull Johne, 
We wille go but we too 

Loke that ze kepe wel oure tristil tre 

Vndur the levys smale, i5o 

And spare non of this venyson 
That gose in thys vale. 

Forthe thei went these zemen too, 

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

The hyeway lay fulle nere. 

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. i&i 




Be my feith, seid litul Johne to Moche, 

I can the tel titliyngus 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, 
Thei spyrred tithyngus at the munke 

As thei hade bene his frende. 

Fro whens come ze, seid litul Johne, 

Tel vs tithyngus I yow pray 170 

Off a false owtlay [called Robyn Hode] 
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. 

So did he me, seid the munke, 

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

Ze may thonke me therfore. 180 

I pray god thanke yow, seid litulle Johne, 

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

And brynge yow on your way. 



For Robyn Hode base many a wilde fulow, 

I telle yow in certen, 
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, loo 

Johne toke the munkes horse be the hede 

Ful sone and anone. 

Johne toke the munkes horse be the bed, 

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

For he shulde not stirre away. 

Be the golett of the hode 

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

He lete hym falle on his crowne. 200 

Litulle John was ' sore' agrevyd, 

And drew out his swerde in bye, 
The munke saw he shulde be ded, 

Lowd mercy can he crye. 

He was my maister, seid litulle Johne, 

That thou base browzt in bale, 
Shalle thou neuer cum at oure kynge 

For to telle hym tale. 

V. 201. so. MS. 

230 AT'PF.MDIX. 

John smote of the munkes hed, 

No longer wolde he dwelle, cio 

So did Moche, the litulle page. 

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 kynge. 

He kneled down vpon his kne, 
God zow saue my lege lorde, 

Jesus yow saue and se. c-.-o 

God yow saue my lege kyng, 

To speke Johne was fuUe bolde ; 
He gaf hym the letturs in his hond, 

The kynge did hit unfold. 

The kynge red the letturs anon. 

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

I longut so sore to see. 

Wher is the munkethat these shuld haue browzt, 
Oure kynge can say, 230 

Be my trouthe, seid litulle Jone, 
He dyed aftur the way. 



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, 

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

And no man do hym dere. ew 

Johne toke his leve at oure kyng, 

The sothe as I yow say ; 
The next way to Notyngham 

To take he zede the way. 

Whan Johne came to Notyngham 

The zatis were spaiTed ychone, 
Johne callid vp the porter, 

He answerid sone anon. 

What is the cause, seid litul John, 

Thou sparris the zates so fast ? 250 

Because Robyn Hode, seid [the] porter, 

In depe prison is cast. 

Johne, and Moche, and Wylle Scathlok, 

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

And sawtene vs euery day. 

V. 251. Because of Robvn Ilode. MS. 



Litulle Johne spyrred aftur the schereff, 

And sone he hym fonde, 
He oppyned the kyngus priue seelle, 

And gaf hym in his honde. 260 

Whan the scherefF saw the kyngus seelle 

He did of his hode anon, 
Wher is the munke that bare the letturs ? 

He seid to litulle Johne. 

He is so fayn of him, seid litulle Johne, 

For sothe as I yow sey ; 
He has made hym abot of Westraynster, 

A lorde of that abbay. 

The scheref made John gode chere, 

And gaf hym wine of the best ; 270 

At nyzt thai went to her bedde. 

And euery man to his rest. 

When the scheref was on-slepe 

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

Toke the way vnto the gale ; 

Litnl Johne callid vp the jayler, 

And bade hym rise anon ; 
He seid Robyn Hode had brokyn preson. 

And out of hit was gon. cao 


The portere rose anon sertan, 

As sone as he herd John calle ; 
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, 

And sone he hym vnbonde. 

He gaf hym a gode swerd in his hond. 

His had [ther-]with for to kepe, 290 

And ther as the walle was lowyst 
Anon downe can thei lepe. 

Be that the cok began to crow. 

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

The comyn belle made he rynge. 

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

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

His warisone he shuld haue. 300 

For I dar neuer, said the scheref, 

Cum before oure kynge ; 
For if I do I wot serten. 

For sothe lie wil me henge. 


The scheref made to seke Notyngham, 

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

As lizt as lef on lynde. 

Then bespake gode htulle Johne 

To Robyn Hode can he say, 310 

I haue done the a gode turne for an euylle, 

Quyte 'me' whan thou may. 

I haue done the a gode turne, said litulle Johne, 

' For sothe as I you saie, 
I haue brouzt the vndur [the] grene wode lyne, 
Fare wel, and haue gode day. 

Nay be my trouthe, seid Robyn Hode, 

So shalle hit neuer be, 
I make the maister, seid Robyne Hode, 

Off alle my men and me. 320 

Nay be my trouthe, seid litulle Johne, 

So shall hit neuer be. 
But lat me be a felow, seid litulle Johne, 

No nodur kepe I'll be. 

Thus Johne gate Robyn Hode out of prisons 

Sertan withoutyn layne. 
When his men saw hym hoi and sounde 

For sothe they were ful fayne. 

V. 312. the. MS. 


They filled in wyne, and made him glad 

Vndur the levys smale, 3.30 

And zete pastes of venysone 
That gode was ' withal'. 

Than worde came to our kynge, 

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

Durst neuer loke hyme vpone. 

Then bespake oure cumly kynge, 

In an angur hye, 
LituUe Johne hase begyled the scherefF, 

In faith so hase he me. :iw 

Litulle Johne has begyled vs bothe, 

And that fuUe wel I se, 
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, 

Thorowout alle mery Inglond. 

I gaf hem grithe, then seid oure kyng, 

I say, so mot I the, .iio 

For sothe soche a zeman as he is on 
In alle Ingland ar not thre. 

V. 332. That gode was with ale. MS. 



He is trevv 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, 

Bothe in strete and stalle, 
Speke no ' more' of this matter, seid our kynge. 

But John has begyled vs alle. 360 

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. 

V. 359. mere. MS. 


Abye. [to suifer.] 
Air. early. 

Alderbest. best of all. This phrase, which occurs 
in Chaticer, is corrupted in de Wordes edition to 
" al ther" and " al theyre," which Coplande has 
changed to " al of the ;" whence it may be in- 
ferred that the expression was become already 
obsolete, and consequently that the poem is of 
much greater antiquity than 1520: and yet 
Shakspeare, above half a century after, puts the 
word Alderliefest into the mouth of queen Mar- 
garet in his second part of Henry the sixth. 

Angels, pieces of gold coin value \Qs. 

Anker, hermit, anchorite. 

Ar. ere. 

Asay. Asayed. essayed, tried, proved. 

A-sound. in a swoon. 

Aunsetters. ancestor's. 

Avow. Avowe. protestation, confession. " I make 
myn avow to god :" profess to god: from aveu, F. 

Avowe. maintain, verbum juris. 

Avowe. founder, patron, protector. See Spelmans 
glossary, v. Advocatus. 



Awayte. awayte me scathe, lye in wait to do me 
harm . 

Awayted. lay in wait for. 

Awet. wit, know. 

Awkwarde. backiuard. An awkwarde stroke seems 
to mean an unusual or out of the way stroke, one 
which the receiver could not foresee, he aivare of, 
or guard against ; a sort of left or back haiid 
stroke. " An auke stroke" is a frequent ex- 
pression in La Mort d'Arthur. 

Ayenst. against. 

Baist. Baste, basted, belaboured. 

Baith. both. 

Bale, mischief, woe, sorrow, misery. 

Ballup. ii. 158. 

Banis. bane, destruction. 

Bear, moan, lamentation, outcry. 

Bearing, arrow. 

Bedene. behind, one after another ? 

Bedyng. asking. Your bedyng shall be doyn, Your 
invitation shall be complyed with. 

Beforen. before. 

Begeck. give them abegeck,^^a?/ them a trick, make 
fools of them. 

Behote. promised. 

Benbow. [a bent bow ?] 

Bent. ii. 84. 

Bescro. beshreiu. 

Bestad. ferre and friend bestad. fur fro?/i home and 


without a friend. The jyassage, however, seems 
corrupt. Perhaps, indeed, it should be fren 
(frend or fremd) bestad, i. e. beset or surrounded 
by strangers. (Fjiemb, Saxon.) Thus, in Spencers 
4th eclogue : 

" So now his friend is changed for a. fren." 

Again, in FloriosWorlde of woTdes,l598 : "Alieno, 
an alien, a stranger, a forraine, a freme." 

Bestead, beset, j)ut to it. 

Beth, are, be. 

Blate. sheepish or foolish, as toe should now say. 

Blive. belive, immediately. 

Bloschems. blossom^. 

Bluter. i. 105. 

Blyve. fast, quickly, briskly. 

Becking, pouring , flowing . 

Bode, bidden, invited. 

Bolt. Bolte, Boltes, Boltys.' A bolt luas an arroiv 
of a particular kind, used chiefly for shootirig at 
birds ; having a rovmd or blunt head. Much's ob- 
ject, it has been observed, v/as not to wound, but 
stun, the monk, and the bolt from its shape was 
peculiarly adapted to this purpose. In other 
passages, however, it seems to mean either an ar- 
row in general, or one used for shooting at a mark, 
" I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't," which Shak- 
speare has put into the mouth of M. Slender, 
appears, from Rays collection, to have been a 
common proverb. 



Boote. help. 

Booting, i. 98. 

Borde. table. 

Borowe, Borrow, pledge, surety, bail. 

Borowehode. suretyship. 

Boskyd. busked, prepared, got ready. 

Bottle, a small vessel, of wood or leather, in the shape 

of a cask, in which shepherds and others, employed 

abroad in the fields, carry or keep their drink. 
Bottys. buts. 
Bou. bow. 
Bound, betook, went, boldly bound away, briskly 

scampered off. 
Bowe. bough. 

Bown. ready. Bowne ye. prepare ye, get ready. 
Boyt. both, 
Breche. breeches. 
Breyde. started, steped hastyly. 
Breyde. start, quick or hasty step. 
Broke, brook, enjoy, use, keep. 
Bronde. brand, sword. 
Bushement. ambush. 
Buske. I wyll me buske, i. e. go, betake myself. 

buske you. address or prepare yourselves, make 

Bydene. one after another. 
Can. did. 
Carpe. [to speak.] 
Cankardly. peevishly, with ill temper. 


Capull hyde. horse hide. Capal or Capul in Irish or 
Erse is a horse or mare, as Kephyl is in Welsh. 

Carel, Carril. carle, old fellow. 

Caward. awkward, or backward. See Avvkwarde. 

Cerstyn. christian. 

Chaffar. chaffer, merchandise, commodity. 

Chepe. better chepe. cheaper ; k meilleur marche, 
F. gret chepe. very cheap ; a tres bon marche. 

Chepe. cheapen, buy. Chepyd. cheapened, bought. 

Cheys. choose. 

Chiven. ii. 71. 

Chorle. churl, peasant, clown. 

Cla'd. scratched. 

Clock, cloak. 

Clouted, patched. ' 

Cole. i. 66. 

Corae. (pronounced com) came. 

Command, warrant, authority. 

Commytted. accounted. 

Coresed. i, 20. 

Cortessey. courteous. Q. Corteysse 

Cote a pye. upper garment, short cloke ; courtepy, 
Chaucer. See Tyrwhitts note, iv. 201. 

Coud. knew, understood. 

Counsell. " And counsell shall it be." And it shall 

be kept secret; in allusion, jjer haps, to the oath 

of a grand juror : — " the kings counsel, your 

fellows, and your own you shall keep secret." 

The phrase is, however, used by Chaucer : 



" Shall it he conseill saiied thejirste shrewe : 

And I shall tellen thee in wordes fewe 

What we shall don, and bring it wel abonte." 

Pardoneres tale. 

Covent. convent ; ivhence our Co vent-garden. 
Cowed, could, knew. Cowed of curteysey. understood 

good manners. 
Crack, boast. 

Craftely. skilfully, secundum artem. 
Crouse. brisk. 
Cun. con, owe, give. 
Cum. 1. 101. 
Curtail, ii. 62. 63. 
Curteyse. courteous. 
Cutters, sharking fellows ', such as live by robbery 

or violence ; bravos. So in the old x>lay of Arden 

of Feversham, h. d. b. I. " And they are cutters, 

and may cut your throat." 
Dame, mother. 
Dead, certain, so in the coiTimon saying, " as dead 

as Chelsea;" i. e. as certain as a situation in that 

Demed. judged. 
Depart, part, separate. 
Derne. piivy, secret. 
Deyell. devil. 
Deythe. dight, dressed. 
Donne, dun. 
Dovt. doth, do. 

(iLOSSARY. '243 

Dree. hye. 

Dieyffe. drive. 

Dub. shallow mirey pool. 

Dung, beaten, overcovie. 

Dark, dagger. 

Dyght dressed, done. 

Dyghtande, i. 69. 

Dysgrate. disgraced degraded hath be dysgrate. 

hath fallen into poverty. 
Een. eyes. 

Eftsones. hereafter, afterward. 
Eild. age. 
Elephant, ii. 115. 
Ender. under. 

English wood. //" Inglewood-forest be here intended, 
the queen is a little out in her geugrajjhy : she 
probably means Sherwood, but neither was that 
in the pagers way to Nottingham, and Barnsdale 
was still further north. See Ancient popular 
poetry," 1791. p. 3. 
Ere. before. 
Eylde. yield. 
Eyr. year. 
Eyre. heir. 

Fail, but fail, tvithotit fail, withoitt doubt. 
Failyd. wanted missed. 
Fair, fare, ado. 
Fare. live. 
Farley, fairly, plainly. 



Fay. faith. 

Fayne. glad. 

Fe. fee, wages. 

Feardest. fearfidest, most frightened or afraid. 

Feders. feathers. 

Fend, fend I godys forbode. 

Fende. defend. 

Fered. fared, lived. 

Ferre. far. ferre dayes. far in the day ; grand jour, 
F. ferre gone, long since. 

Fette. fetched. 

Fetteled him made him ready , prepared himself, set 
about. Fettled, them fettled, attempted, set about. 

Feyffe. five. 

Finikin, finical, fine, spruce. 

Flee. fly. 

Flinders, splinters. 

Fone. foes, enemies. 

Forbode. Godys forbode ' prohibition or curse.' 
Florio, in his Italian dictionary, 1598, renders 
the phrase, Adio non piaceia," God forbid, Godes 
forbode." In a briefe conceipte of English policy, 
1581, it is corrupted to " God swarbote." 

Force, care. 

Forgone, forego, lose. 

Fors. See Force. 

Forsoyt. forsooth truely. 

Foryete. forgoten. 

Fostere. forester. 


Fothe. foot. 

Frae. from. 

Frebore. free-born, gentle. 

Frese. i. 39. 

Furmety, [fumenty.] 

Frere. [friar. ^ 

Fynly. goodly. 

Gae. go. 

Gan. gan they gone, are they gone, did they go. 

Gang. Gange. go. 

Gate, Gates. " ways, passes, paths, ridings. Gate 

is a common word in the north for way.'^ P. 
GetFe. given. 
General, perhaps the governor, Nottingham, till 

being a garrison town. 
Ger. gear, stuff, goods, property, effects. 
Gereamarsey. See Gramercy. 
Gillore. plenty. 
Glen, valley. 

God. good, goods, property. 
God-a-marsey. God-a-mercy ! See Gramercy. 
Godde. See God. 
Godys. forbode. See Forbode. 
Gorney. journey. 
Gov. joy. 

GrafF. oke grafF. oak branch or sapling. 
Gramercy. thanks, or many thanks ; grand merci, F. 
Gree. satisfaction. 
Gret. greeted, saluted. 


Gripped, grasped, laid hold of. 

Grome. a common man ? 

Hail, all hail, tvholely, entirely. 

Halds. holds, holding-places, supports. 

Halke. perhaps, haugh, loiu ground by the side of a 
river ? See the glossary to Bp. Douglas's Virgil, 
V. Hawchis. Halke, with Chaucer, signifies a 
corner ; but seems here used in opposition to 

Halfendell. half. 

Hals. 7ieck. 

Hambellet. ambleth. 

Hansell. The vender of any wares is said to receive 
hansel of his first customer ; but the meaning of 
the text, Haffe hansell for the mar, is not under- 
stood; unless it can be thought to imply. Give me 
hansel, i. e. buy of my pots. 

Hart of Greece, means, perhaps, no more than a 
fat hart, for the sake of a quibble between 
Greece and grease. 

Hawt. aught, anything, something. 

Hayt. hath. 

Held, kept, preserved. 

Hende. gentle, courteous. 

Hent. took, caught. 

Hepe. hip, haw, the fruit of the tchite thorn. So 
in Gil Morice, a Scotish balad: 

" I was once AS row of Gill Mot-rice 



Her. their. 

Het. it. 

Het. eat. 

Heynd. gentle, courteous. 

Heyt war howte. i. 86. 

Highed. hyed, hastened. 

Hight. what they hight. what they are called. 

Holde. keep, held, retained, of council. 

Holy, luholely. 

Holy dame, our holy dame. ii. 102. the Virgin 
Mary (so called) ; unless, for " our holy dame," 
we should read our halidome, which may mean 
our holiness, honesty, chastity : haligbome, sanc- 

Hos. Hus. us. 

Hotys. oats. 

Housband. Housbonde. manager, husbandman, 

How. hill. 

Howt. out. 

Hyght. vowed, promised. 

Hynde, knave. 

I. ay. 

Ibent. bent. 

Ibonde. bound. 

Ichaunged. changed. 

Idyght. dight, dressed, prepared, made ready. 

Ifedered. feathered. 

like. each. 


In-fere. together. 

Inocked. nocked, notched. 

Ipyght. up ipyght. i. 26. 

Iquyt. acquitted, set at liberty. 

Iswore. sworn. 

Itake. taken. 

Japes, tricks. *- 

Ken. know. 

Kest. cast. 

Kirtle. upper petticoat. 

Knave, servant, man. 

Kod. quod, quoth, said. 

Kyrtell. waistcoat ? 

Kythe nor kin. acquaintance nor kindred. 

Lappe. wrap. 

Late, lake, play, game ? 

Launsgay. a sort of lance. 

Leasynge. lying, falsehood. 

Lede. train, suite. 

Ledesman. guide. 

Lee. plain. 

Lefe. willing, whether he were loth or lefe. whether 

he would or not. 
LefFe. leave, left. 
LefFes. leaves. 
Lende. meet, encounter. 
Lene. lend. 
Lore, learn. 
Lere. cheek. 



Lese. lose. 

Let. omit, hinder, hindered, 

Leugh. laughed. 

Lever, rather. 

Lewte. loyalty, faith, truth; leaute, F. 

Leythe. light. 

Ligge. lay. 

Lin. stop, stay. 

Lithe, attend, hear, hearken. 

Loffe. love. 

Lore. lost. 

Lough. Loughe. Low. laughed. 

Lowe. " a little hill." P. 

Lown. villain, knave, base fellow. 

Lust, desire, inclination. 

Lyght. light ; or, perhaps, for lyte, little. 

Lynde. Lyne. the lime or linden tree; or collec- 
tively lime trees ; or trees in general. 

Lyth. See Lithe. 

Lyveray. livery, habit, delivery : the mess, portion, 
or quantity of provisions delivered out at a time 
by the butler was called a livery. 

Masars, ctips, vessels. 

Masterye. " a trial of skill, high proof of skill." P. 

Mair. more. 

Maney. See Meyne. 

May. maid. 

Me. That ever yet sawe I me. a gallicism ; que 
jamais j'ai vii, moi. 

MeaL oat-meal. 



Meal-poke, meal hag, bag in which oat-meal is put. 

Mede. to quyte hym well his raede. to reward him 
to some purpose. 

Medys. viidst, middle. 

Meede. reward. 

Mesh, all to mesh, to a mash, or jelly. 

Met. Mete, measured. 

Methe. meat. 

Meyne. attendants, retinue ; mesnie, F. 

Meythe. might. 

Mickle, much, great, very. 

Mister, need. It is misters in the original. 

Mo. more. 

Molde. earth. 

Mot. Mote, might, may. 

Mote, meeting, assembly, court, audit. 

Mountenaunce. amount, duration, space. 

Mow. mouth. 

Mowe. may. 

Muckie. See Mickle. 

Myrthes. mirth, merriment, a man that myrthes 

can. a minstrel, fiddler, juggler, or the like. 
Myster. need. 
Nane. 7ione. 
Nar. nor, than. 
Ner. ear. So, in " The Romaunt of the Rose :" 

" lie streight up to his ere ydiougli 
Tlie stionge bowe." 


Ner. (lie wer it.) were it not. 

Nip. i. 100. 

Nips. i. 101. 

Nobellys. nobles. The noble was a gold coin, value 
Qs. 8d. 

Nombles. Numbles. entrails; those imrts which 
are usually baked in a pye : now, corruptly, 
called humbles or umbles: nombles, F. Thus 
we say, an Adder, an Apron, an Ouche, instead 
of a Nadder, (Nabbpe), a Napron, a Nouche : 
the n being, through ignorance, transfered to the 
article. The reverse has happened in the words 
A newt, which should be written, An ewt : a mis- 
take the more remarkable as we say and write An 
eft; both from the same root: Gpet, Saxon. 

Obeyedores. [obediener.] 

Okerer. usurer. 

Or. [e«.] 

Os. us. 

Outdone, undone. 

Owthe. out. 

Paid, beat, beaten. 

Palmer. A palmer was, properly, a pilgriyn who 
had visited the holy-land, from the palm-branch 
or cross which he bore as a sign of such visita- 
tion : but, it is probable that the distinction be- 
tween palmers and other pilgrims was never much 
attended to in this country. The palmer in the 
text seems to be no more than a common begger ; 
as he is, likewise, the one in the romance. 


Partakers, assistants, persons to take thy part. 
Passe, extent, bounds, limits, district; as the pas 

de Calais. Coplands edition reads compas. 
Pauage. Pavag. Pavage. Pawage. a toll or duty 

payable for the liberty oj" passing over the soil or 

territory of another : paagium, L. 
Pay. content, satisfaction, money, p. 
Peces. i. 32. 
Pecocke. With pecocke well ydight. handsomely 

dressed with peacock feathers. Thus Chaucer, 

describing his " squires yeman ;" 

" A shefe ofpeacocke arwes bright and kene, 
Under his belt he hare fid thriftely." 

In a little treatise of The hors, the shepe, and the 
ghoos, printed by Caxton, it is said — 

" Thurgh all the londe of Brutes Albyon 
For fetherd arowes as I reherce can 
Ghoos is the best to make comparisou, 
Excepte fethers of pecok and oi swan." 

Pinder. The pinder is the pounder or pound- 
keeper ; the petty officer of a manor, whose duty 
it is to impound all strange cattle straying upon 
the common, &c. 

Plucke-buffet. i. 72. 

PoUe. pull. 

Poke. bag. 

Preke. prick, a piece of wood in the center of the 

Prese. company. 


Prest. ready, ready to go. 

Puding-pricks. skewers that fasten the pudding -hag. 
Pyne. goddes pyne. Christs passion or crucijixion. 
Quequer. quiver : Eocu;^, Saxon. 
Queyt. quit, recompense. 
Quod, quoth, says, said. 
Raked, walked apace. 

Ray. battle-ray. battle-array. The same expression 
occurs in " The tragicall history of Didaco and 
Violenta," 1567 : 

" To traverse forth his grounde, to place 
His troupes in batayle ray." 

Ray. array, put in order. 

Raye. Cloth of ray was cloth not coloured or dyed. 
It is mentioned in many old statutes in contradis- 
tinction to cloth of colour. See 17 E, 3. c. 1. 7 
H. 4. c. 10. 11 H. 4. c. 6. 1 R. 3. c. 8. The 
" Reied or striped cloth" (Stows Survay, 1598, 
p. 436, 430) must have been very different. 

Reachles. careless, regardless, unobservant. 

Red. clear, 

Reuth. pity, compassion. 

Reve. take by force. 

Reves. bailifs, receivers. 

Ripe, cleanse. Riped. cleansed. 

Rod. poles, perches. A rod, pole, or perch is usually 
sixteen feet and a half, but in Sherwood forest 
(according to Blount) it is 21 feet, the foot there 
being 18 inches. 


Rode, rood, cross. 
Rung, staff. 
Ryall. royal. 
Ryalty. royalty. 
Ryghtwys. righteous^ just. 

Sack, a kind of Spanish wine, perhaps sherry, for- 
merly much drank in this country : very different, 
at least, from the sweet (or canary) wine now so 
Sair. sore. 

Salved, (salued ?) saluted. The word salewed, in this 
sense, occurs repeatedly in The. hystorye of Reinard 
the foxe (Pinsons editio7i) ; and (vide tamen Sal- 
vid in the Gesta Romanorum, MS. Har. 7333, No. 
48.) in that of '' Kynge Ponthusof Galyce," 1511. 
"Salue"Fi. " Salewe" F ii. K. Ponthus. 
Scathe, harm. 
Schetyng. shooting. 
Schomer. summer. 
Sclo. slay. 
Scop, scalp, pate. 
Scoper. supper. 
Scouth. i. 105. 
Screfe. ScrefFe. sheriff. 
Se. Vide See. 
Seche. seek. 

See, regard, protect. The same phrase occurs in 
Chancers Troilus and Cresside : 

" Madame, quoth Pandaie, God you save see." 


Seker. sure. 

Selerer. The cellarer (celerier, cellararius, or cel- 
larius) was that officer who furnished the convent 
with provisions, cui potus et escse cura est, qui 
cellge vinariae et escarise prseest, promus. (Du 
Cange.) He appears to have been a person of 
considerable trust, and to have had a principal 
concern in the management of the society s reve- 
nues. See Spelmans glossary, Fullers church- 
history, &c. 
Semblaunte. semblance, appearance. 
Sene. see. 
Sete. i. 25. 

Sets. Sets with Robin Hood such a lass ! probably 
such a lass would suit or become him well ; but 
the passage is either singular or corrupt. 
Sette. mortgaged. 

Shawe. Shaw is usually explained by little wood, 
but green-wood little wood would be ridiculous 
tautology ; it may therefor mean shade, which 
appears its j)ri7}iitive signification : Scupa, Saxon. 
See vol. ii. p. 179, v. 98.— Shaws. " little woods." 
Shende. hurt, annoy. Shente. hurt, tvonnded. 

Shet. shut. 
Shete. shoot. 
Shone, [shoes.l 
Shope. shaped, made. 
Shraddes. See the note. 


Shrewde. Shrewed. unhicky. 

Shrift, confession. 

Shroggs. " shrubs, thorns, briars. G. Doiig. 

scroggis." P. 
Shyt. shut. 
Skaith. hurt, harm. They feared for his skaith, 

i. e. Jhr the harm it might do them. 
Slack, low ground. 
Slade. " a slip of greenswerd between plow-lands, 

or woods," &c. P. 
Slawe. Slone. slain. 
Sle. Sloo. slay. 
Somers. sumpter-horses. 
Sorowe. sorry. 
Sothe. sooth, truth. 
Sound. See A-sound. 
Soyt. sooth, truth. 

Spear, ask. Speer'd. asked, enquired. 
Stalward. Stalworthe. stout, well made. 
Stane. stone. 
Stark, stiff. 
Stede. time. 

Steven. At some unsett-steven, at some unlooked 
for time, by some odd accident, by mere chance, 

Stime. spark, particle or ray of light. 
Stint, stop. 
Sto'. ii. 71. store. 
Strang, strong. 


Strete. lane, path, way. 

Sweaven. dream. 

Sweer. i. 100. 

Syne, after, aftenoard, then. 

Syth. afterward. 

Takles. arrows. 

Takyll. arrow. 

Tarpe. i. 68. 

Tene. grief, sorrow, distress, vexation. 

Tene. grieve. 

The. thrive, prosper. 

Thes. thus, this. 

Thos. thus. 

Throwe. space 

To-broke, broken. 

To-hande staffe. two-hand staff, quarter-staff. 

Tortyll. wreathed, twined, twirled, twisted ; tor- 
tiUe. F. 

Tray, anger. 

Tree, staff. 

Treyffe. thrive. 

Trow. true. 

Trowet. troth. 

True, trow, believe. 

Trystell. Trystyll. 

Tynde. tyndes, tines, antlers, the pointed branches 
that issue from the main beam of a stag. " In 
Ynglond ther ys a shepcote, the wyche schepekote 
hayt ix dorys, & at yeuery dor stondet ix ramys, 


& every ram hat ix ewys, & yevery ewe hathe ix 
lanibys, & yevery lambe hayt ix homes, & every 
home hayt ix tyndes : what ys the sonim of all 
thes belle?" (MSS. More, Ee. 4. 35.) 

Unketh. uncouth, strange. 

Unneth. scarcely. 

Up-chaunce. by chance. 

Venie. brave venie. merry vein, jovial humour. 

Wan. wonnynge wan. dtvelling-place. 

Wan. got 

Warden-pies. Wardens are a species of large pears, 
hi Shakspeares " Winters tale," the clown, enu- 
merating the articles he had to provide for the 
sheep-shearing feast, says he " must have saffron 
to colour the warden-pies." 

Warse. worse. 

Was. wash. " And afterward the justices arise and 
WASSE, and geffe tliunks onto the new serjaunts 
forther gode dyner." (Oi"igincsjuridiciales,p. 116.) 
This ceremony , which, informer times, was con- 
stantly practised as well before as after meat, 
seems to have fallen iiito disuse on the introduction 
of forks, about the year 1520; as before that 
period our ancestors supplyed the place of this 
necessary utensil with their fingers. 

Watchman, a probable mistake for Waithman, 
outlaw. See Notes, &c. Ixxxiv. 

Wed. Wedde. pawn, pledge, or deposit. — to wedde. 
in mortgage. — lay my life to wedde. /)««;« my life. 


Weele. well. 

Welt, welt them at his wyll ; did as he pleased luith 
them, used them at his pleasure. 

Wed. Wende. go, hye. 

Wenest, thinkest. 

Wenion. Marry gep with a wenion ! " He shoulde 
have bene at home a preaching with a waniant," 
says B. Latymer, Sermons before K. E. 6. p. 35. 
This phrase, with a wannion, is common in old 
plays, but, though its meaning be obvious, even 
Mr. Steevens is unable to " explain the word at 
the end of it." (Shak. XIII, 440.) It is now cor- 
rupted to with a vengeance. 

Went, wended, gone. 

Werschep. worshiped, reverenced, respected. 

West, wist, known. 

Wete. know. 

Whang, leathern whang, leather thong or string. 

Whereas, where. 

Whute. whistle. 

Wigger wand, quicker wand. 

Wight. Wlghty. strong. N. B. The latter word 
seems every where a mistake for the former. 

Wilfulle. doubtful. 

Win. See Wen. 

Win. get. 

Wist, wis, trow, believe. 

Wist. knew. 

Wode. mad. 

VOL. II. s 


Wodys. ivoods. 

Wolwarde. weariyig a Jlanel shirt, by way of 

penance. See Steevens's Shakspeare, 1793, v. 360. 
Won. dwell. 
Wonest. dwellest. 
Woodweele. " the golden ouzle, a bird of the 

thrush kind." P. 
Worthe. Wo worthe the. Woe be to thee. 
Wrack, ruin, destr2ictio?i. 
Wroken. wreaked, revenged. 
Wyght. strong, stout. 
Wynne, go. 
Wys. troio ; there is no modern word precisely 

Wyte. Wytte. know. 
Y. /. 

Yede. Yeed. went. 
Yeff. if. 
Yeffell. evil. 
Yeft. gift. 
Yemenry. yeomanry. Thow seys god yemenry, 

Thou speakest honestly, fairly, sensibly, like a 

good yeoman. 
Yend. yon. 

Yeomandree. Yeomandry, yeomanry , followers. 
YerdeS. rods. 
Yever. ever. 
Yfere. together. 
Ylke. same. Ylke same, very same. 


Ynowe. enough. 

Yode. went. 

Yole. Christmas. 

Yonder, under. 

Yong men. yeomen (which is every ivhere substituted 
in Coplands edition). See Spelmans glossary, 
in the wordes Juniorcs, Yeoman ; Minshens Guide 
into tongues, in the latter word ; Tyrwhitts 
edition of the Canterbury tales, iv. 195; Shaks- 
peares Plays, 1793, xiv. 347. 


C. \\ liittiiii;, Tooks Court, Chaiictiy Lane.