Robin Hood’s Death
No: 120; variant: 120B
- WHEN Robin Hood and Little John
Down a down a down a down
Went oer yon bank of broom,
Said Robin Hood bold to Little John,
We have shot for many a pound.
- But I am not able to shoot one shot more,
My broad arrows will not flee;
But I have a cousin lives down below,
Please God, she will bleed me.
- Now Robin he is to fair Kirkly gone,
As fast as he can win;
But before he came there, as we do hear,
He was taken very ill.
- And when he came to fair Kirkly-hall,
He knockd 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 said,
‘And drink some beer with me?’
‘No, I will neither eat nor drink,
Till I am blooded by thee.’
- ‘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 lily-white hand,
And led him to a private room,
And there she blooded bold Robin Hood,
While one drop of blood would run down.
- She blooded him in a vein of the arm,
And locked him up in the room;
Then did he bleed all the live-long day,
Until the next day at noon.
- He then bethought him of a casement there,
Thinking for to get down;
But was so weak he could not leap,
He could not get him down.
- He then bethought him of his bugle-horn,
Which hung low down to his knee;
He set his horn unto his mouth,
And blew out weak blasts three.
- Then Little John, when hearing him,
As he sat under a tree,
‘I fear my master is now near dead,
He blows so wearily.’
- Then Little John to fair Kirkly is gone,
As fast as he can dree;
But when he came to Kirkly-hall,
He broke locks two or three:
- Until he came bold Robin to see,
Then he fell on his knee;
‘A boon, a boon,’ cries Little John,
‘Master, I beg of thee.’
- ‘What is that boon,’ said Robin Hood,
‘Little John, [thou] begs of me?’
‘It is to burn fair Kirkly-hall,
And all their nonnery.’
- ‘Now nay, now nay,’ quoth Robin Hood,
‘That boon I’ll not grant thee;
I never hurt woman in all my life,
Nor men in woman’s company.
- ‘I never hurt fair maid in all my time,
Nor at mine 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 digged 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;
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;
That they may say, when I am dead
Here lies bold Robin Hood.’
- These words they readily granted him,
Which did bold Robin please:
And there they buried bold Robin Hood,
Within the fair Kirkleys.