Robin Hood and the Butcher
No: 122; variant: 122A
- BUT Robin he walkes in the g[reene] fforrest,
As merry as bird on boughe,
But he that feitches good Robins head,
Hee’le find him game enoughe.
- But Robine he walkes in the greene fforrest,
Vnder his trusty-tree;
Sayes, Hearken, hearken, my merrymen all,
What tydings is come to me.
- The sheriffe he hath made a cry,
Hee’le have my head i-wis;
But ere a tweluemonth come to an end
I may chance to light on his.
- Robin he marcht in the greene forrest,
Vnder the greenwood scray,
And there he was ware of a proud bucher,
Came driuing flesh by the way.
- The bucher he had a cut-taild dogg,
And at Robins face he flew;
But Robin he was a good sword,
The bucher’s dogg he slew.
- ‘Why slayes thou my dogg?’ sayes the bucher,
‘For he did none ill to thee;
By all the saints that are in heaven
Thou shalt haue buffetts three.’
- He tooke his staffe then in his hand,
And he turnd him round about:
‘Thou hast a litle wild blood in thy head,
Good fellow, thou’st haue it letten out.’
- ‘He that does that deed,’ sayes Robin,
‘I’le count him for a man;
But that while will I draw my sword,
And fend it if I can.’
- But Robin he stroke att the bloudy bucher,
In place were he did stand,
- ‘I [am] a younge bucher,’ sayes Robin,
‘You fine dames am I come amonge;
But euer I beseech you, good Mrs Sheriffe,
You must see me take noe wronge.’
- ‘Thou art verry welcome,’ said Master Sherriff’s wiffe,
‘Thy inne heere up [to] take;
If any good ffellow come in thy companie,
Hee’st be welcome for thy sake.’
- Robin called ffor ale, soe did he for wine,
And for it he did pay:
‘I must to my markett goe,’ says Robin,
‘For I hold time itt of the day.’
- But Robin is to the markett gone,
Soe quickly and beliue,
He sold more flesh for one peny
Then othe[r] buchers did for fiue.
- The drew about the younge bucher,
Like sheepe into a fold;
Yea neuer a bucher had sold a bitt
Till Robin he had all sold.
- When Robin Hood had his markett made,
His flesh was sold and gone;
Yea he had receiued but a litle mony,
But thirty pence and one.
- Seaven buchers, the garded Robin Hood,
Ffull many time and oft;
Sayes, We must drinke with you, brother bucher,
It’s custome of our crafte.
- ‘If that be the custome of your crafte,
As heere you tell to me.
Att four of the clocke in the afternoone
At the sheriffs hall I wilbe.’
- . . . .
‘If thou doe like it well;
Yea heere is more by three hundred pound
Then thou hast beasts to sell.’
- Robyn sayd naught, the more he thought:
‘Mony neere comes out of time;
If once I catch thee in the greene fforest,
That mony it shall be mine.’
- But on the next day seuen butchurs
Came to guard the sheriffe that day;
But Robin he was the whigh[t]est man,
He led them all the way.
- He led them into the greene fforest,
Vnder the trusty tree;
Yea, there were harts, and ther were hynds,
and staggs with heads full high.
- Yea, there were harts and there were hynds,
And many a goodly ffawne;
‘Now praised be God,’ says bold Robin,
‘All these they be my owne.
- ‘These are my horned beasts,’ says Robin,
‘Master Sherriffe, which must make the stake;’
‘But euer alacke, now,’ said the sheriffe,
‘That tydings comes to late!’
- Robin sett a shrill horne to his mouth,
And a loud blast he did blow,
And then halfe a hundred bold archers
Came rakeing on a row.
- But when the came befor bold Robin,
Even there the stood all bare:
‘You are welcome, master, from Nottingham:
How haue you sold your ware?’
- . . . .
. . . .
. . . .
It proues bold Robin Hood.
- ‘Yea, he hath robbed me of all my gold
And siluer that euer I had;
But that I had a verry good wife at home,
I shold haue lost my head.
- ‘But I had a verry good wife at home,
Which made him gentle cheere,
And therfor, for my wifes sake,
I shold haue better favor heere.
- ‘But such favor as he shewed me
I might haue of the devills dam,
That will rob a man of all he hath,
And send him naked home.’
- ‘That is very well done,’ then dsays his wiffe,
‘Itt is well done, I say;
You might haue tarryed att Nottingham,
Soe fayre as I did you pray.’
- ‘I haue learned wisdome,’ sayes the sherriffe,
‘And, wife, I haue learned of thee;
But if Robin walke easte, or he walke west,
He shall neuer be sought for me.’