Robin Hood’s Chase
No: 146; variant: 146A
- COME you gallants all, to you I do call,
With a hey down down a down down
That now is within this place,
For a song I will sing of Henry the king,
How he did Robin Hood chase.
- Queen Katherine she a match then did make,
As plainly doth appear,
For three hundred tun of good red wine,
And three hundred tun of beer.
- But yet her archers she had to seek,
With their bows and arrows so good;
But her mind it was bent, with a good intent,
To send for bold Robin Hood.
- But when bold Robin Hood he came there,
Queen Katherine she did say,
Thou art welcome, Locksley, said the queen,
And all thy yeomen gay.
- For a match at shooting I have made,
And thou my part must be:
‘If I miss the mark, be it light or dark,
Then hanged I will be.’
- But when the game came to be playd,
Bold Robin he then drew nigh;
With his mantle of green, most brave to be seen,
He let his arrows fly.
- And when the game it ended was,
Bold Robin wan it with a grace,
But after, the king was angry with him,
And vowed he would him chase.
- What though his pardon granted was
While he with them did stay,
But yet the king was vexed at him
When as he was gone his way.
- Soon after the king from the court did hie,
In a furious angry mood,
And often enquire, both far and near,
After bold Robin Hood.
- But when the king to Nottingham came,
Bold Robin was then in the wood;
‘O come now,’ said he, aend let me see
Who can find me bold Robin Hood.’
- But when that Robin Hood he did hear
The king had him in chase,
Then said Little John, Tis time to be gone,
And go to some other place.
- Then away they went from merry Sherwood,
And into Yorkshire he did hie,
And the king did follow, with a hoop and a hallow,
But could not come him nigh.
- Yet jolly Robin he passed along,
He [went] straight to Newcastle town,
And there stayed he hours two or three,
And then he for Berwick was gone.
- When the king he did see how Robin did flee,
He was vexed wondrous sore;
With a hoop and a hallow he vowed to follow,
And take him, or never give ore.
- ‘Come now, let’s away,’ then cries Little John,
‘Let any man follow that dare;
To Carlile wee’l hie with our company,
And so then to Lancaster.’
- From Lancaster then to Chester they went,
And so did king Henery;
But Robin away, for he durst not stay,
For fear of some treachery.
- Saies Robin, Come, let us to London go,
To see our noble queens face;
It may be she wants our company,
Which makes the king so us chase.
- When Robin he came Queen Katherine before,
He fell upon his knee:
‘If it please your Grace, I am come to this place,
To speak with king Henery.’
- Queen Katherine she answered bold Robin again,
The king is gone to merry Sherwood;
And when he went he to me did say
He would go seek Robin Hood.
- ‘Then fare you well, my gracious queen,
For to sherwood I will hie apace;
For fain would I see what he would with me,
If I could but meet his Grace.’
- But when King Henery he came home,
Full weary, and vexed in mind,
When he did hear Robin had been there,
He blamed Dame Fortune unkind.
- ‘You are welcome home,’ Queen Katherine cried,
‘Henry, my soveraign liege;
Bold Robin Hood that archer good,
Your person hath been to seek.’
- But when King Henry he did hear
That Robin had been there him to seek,
This answer he gave, He’s a cunning knave,
For I have sought him this whole three weeks.
- ‘A boon! a boon!’ Queen Katherine cried,
‘I beg it here on your Grace,
To pardon his life, and seek no more strife:’
And so endeth Robin Hoods chase.