Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar
No: 123; variant: 123A
- BUT how many merry monthes be in the yeere?
There are thirteen, I say;
The midsummer moone is the merryest of all,
Next to the merry month of May.
- In May, when mayds beene fast weepand,
Young men their hands done wringe,
- ‘I’le . pe . . .
Over may noe man for villanie:’
‘I’le never eate nor drinke,’ Robin Hood sa[id],
‘Till I that cutted friar see.’
- He builded his men in a brake of fearne,
A litle from that nunery;
Sayes, If you heare my litle horne blow,
Then looke you come to me.
- When Robin came to Fontaines Abey,
Wheras that fryer lay,
He was ware of the fryer where he stood,
And to him thus can he say.
- A payre of blacke breeches the yeoman had on,
His coppe all shone of steele,
A fayre sword and a broad buckeler
Beseemed him very weell.
- ‘I am a wet weary man,’ said Robin Hood,
‘Good fellow, as thou may see;
Wilt beare [me] over this wild water,
Ffor sweete Saint Charity?’
- The fryer bethought him of a good deed;
He had done none of long before;
He hent up Robin Hood on his backe,
And over he did him beare.
- But when he came over that wild water,
A longe sword there he drew:
‘Beare me backe againe, bold outlawe,
Or of this thou shalt have enoughe.’
- Then Robin Hood hent the fryar on his back,
And neither sayd good nor ill;
Till he came ore that wild water,
The yeoman he walked still.
- Then Robin Hood wett his fayre greene hoze,
A span aboue his knee;
S[ay]s, Beare me ore againe, thou cutted f[ryer]
- . . . .
. . . .
. . . good bowmen
[C]ame raking all on a rowe.
- ‘I beshrew thy head,’ said the cutted ffriar,
‘Thou thinkes I shall be shente;
I thought thou had but a man or two,
And thou hast [a] whole conuent.
- ‘I lett thee haue a blast on thy horne,
Now giue me leaue to whistle another;
I cold not bidd thee noe better play
And thou wert my owne borne brother.’
- ‘Now fute on, fute on, thou cutted fryar,
I pray God thou neere be still;
It is not the futing in a fryers fist
That can doe me any ill.’
- The fryar sett his neave to his mouth,
A loud blast he did blow;
Then halfe a hundred good bandoggs
Came raking all on a rowe.
- . . . .
. . . .
‘Euery dogg to a man,’ said the cutted fryar,
‘And I my selfe to Robin Hood.’
- ‘Over God’s forbott,’ said Robin Hood,
‘That euer that soe shold bee;
I had rather be mached with three of the tikes
Ere I wold be matched on thee.
- ‘But stay thy tikes, thou fryar,’ he said,
‘And freindshipp I’le haue with thee;
But stay thy tikes, thou fryar,’ he said,
‘And saue good yeomanry.’
- The fryar he sett his neave to his mouth,
A lowd blast he did blow;
The doggs the coucht downe eiery one,
They couched downe on a rowe.
- ‘What is thy will, thou yeoman?’ he said,
‘Haue done and tell it me;’
‘If that thou will goe to merry greenwood,