Robin Hood’s Delight
No: 136; variant: 136A
- THERE is some will talk of lords and knights,
Doun a doun a doun a doun
And some of yeoman good,
But I will tell you of Will Scarlock,
Little John and Robin Hood.
Doun a doun a doun a doun
- They were outlaws, as ‘tis well known,
And men of a noble blood;
And many a time was their valour shown
In the forrest of merry Sheerwood.
- Vpon a time it chanced so,
As Robin Hood would have it be,
They all three would a walking go,
Some pastime for to see.
- And as they walked the forest along,
Upon a midsummer day,
There was they aware of three keepers,
Clade all in green aray.
- With brave long faucheons by their sides,
And forest-bills in hand,
They calld aloud to those bold outlaws,
And charged them to stand.
- ‘Why, who are you,’ cry’d bold Robin,
‘That speaks so boldly here?’
‘We three belong to King Henry,
And are keepers of his deer.’
- ‘The devil thou art!’ sayes Robin Hood,
‘I am sure that it is not so;
We be the keepers of this forest,
And that you soon shall know.
- ‘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,
And we never did transgress?’
- ‘Why, if you be three keepers in this forest,
Then we be three rangers good,
And we will make you to know, before you do go,
You meet with bold Robin Hood.’
- ‘We be content, thou bold outlaw,
Our valour here to try,
And we will make you know, before we do go,
We will fight before we will fly.
- ‘Then, come draw your swords, you bold outlaws,
And no longer stand to prate,
But let us try it out with blows,
For cowards we do hate.
- ‘Here is one of us for Will Scarlock,
And another for Little John,
And I my self for Robin Hood,
Because he is stout and strong.’
- So they fell to it full hard and sore;
It was on a midsummers day;
From eight a clock till two and past,
They all shewed gallant play.
- There Robin, and Will, and Little John,
They fought most manfully,
Till all their winde was spent and gone,
Then Robin aloud did cry:
- ‘O hold, O hold,’ cries bold Robin,
‘I see you be stout men;
Let me blow one blast on my bugle-horn,
Then I’le fight with you again.’
- ‘That bargain’s to make, bold Robin Hood,
Therefore we it deny;
Though a blast upon thy bugle-horn
Cannot make us fight nor fly.
- ‘Therefore fall on, or else be gone,
And yield to us the day:
It shall never be said that we were afraid
Of thee, nor thy yeomen gay.’
- ‘If that be so,’ cries bold Robin,
‘Let me but know your names,
And in the forest of merry Sheerwood
I shall extol your fames.’
- ‘And with our names,’ one of them said,
‘What hast thou here to do?
Except that you will fight it out,
Our names thou shalt 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 out,
To see who wins the day;
And for the cost, make you no doubt
I have gold and money to pay
- ‘And ever after, so long as we live,
We all will brethren be;
For I love those men with heart and hand
That will fight, and never flee.’
- So away they went to Nottingham,
With sack to make amends;
For three dayes space they wine did chase,
And drank themselves good friends.