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Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires

No: 140; variant: 140A

  1. . . . . . . . . In faith thou shal[t] haue mine, And twenty pound in thy purse, To spend att ale and wine.’
  2. ‘Though your clothes are of light Lincolne green, And mine gray russett and torne, Yet it doth not you beseeme To doe an old man scorne.’
  3. ‘I scorne thee not, old man,’ says Robin, ‘By the faith of my body; Doe of thy clothes, thou shalt haue mine, For it may noe better bee.’
  4. But Robin did on this old mans hose, The were torne in the wrist; ‘When I looke on my leggs,’ said Robin, ‘Then for to laugh I list.’
  5. But Robin did on the old mans shooes, And the were cliitt full cleane; ‘Now, by my faith,’ sayes Litle Iohn, ‘These are good for thornes keene.’
  6. But Robin did on the old mans cloake, And it was torne in the necke; ‘Now, by my faith,’ said William Scarlett, ‘Heere shold be set a specke.’
  7. But Robin did on this old mans hood, Itt gogled on his crowne; ‘When I come into Nottingham,’ said Robin, ‘My hood it will lightly downe.
  8. ‘But yonder is an outwood,’ said Robin, ‘An outwood all and a shade, And thither I reede you, my merrymen all, The ready way to take.
  9. ‘And when you heare my litle horne blow, Come raking all on a rowte . . . . . . . .
  10. But Robin he lope, and Robin he threw, He lope over stocke and stone; But those that saw Robin Hood run Said he was a liuer old man.
  11. [Then Robin set his] horne to his mowth, A loud blast cold h[e] blow; Ffull three hundred bold yeomen Came rakinge all on a row.
  12. But Robin cast downe his baggs of bread, Soe did he his staffe with a face, And in a doublet of red veluett This yeoman stood in his place.
  13. ‘But bend your bowes, and stroke your strings, Set the gallow-tree aboute, And Christs cursse on his heart,’ said Robin, ‘That spares the sheriffe and the sergiant!’
  14. When the sheriffe see gentle Robin wold shoote, He held vp both his hands; Sayes, Aske, good Robin, and thou shalt haue, Whether it be house or land.
  15. ‘I will neither haue house nor land,’ said Robin, ‘Nor gold, nor none of thy ffee, But I will haue those three squires To the greene fforest with me.
  16. ‘Now marry, Gods forbott,’ said the sheriffe, ‘That euer that shold bee; For why, they be the kings ffelons, They are all condemned to dye.’
  17. ‘But grant me my askinge,’ said Robin, ‘Or by the faith of my body Thou shalt be the first man Shall flower this gallow-tree.’
  18. ‘But I wi[ll haue t]hose three squires . . . .