Robin Hood and the Shepherd
No: 135; variant: 135A
- ALL gentlemen and yeomen good,
Down a down a down a down
I wish you to draw near;
For a story of gallant brave Robin Hood
Vnto you I wil declare.
- As Robin Hood walkt the forrest along,
Some pastime for to spie,
There was he aware of a jolly shepherd,
That on the ground did lie.
- 'Arise, arise,' cryed jolly Robin,
'And now come let me see
What is in thy bag and bottle, I say;
Come tell it unto me.'
- 'What's that to thee, thou proud fellow?
Tell me as I do stand
What thou hast to do with my bag and bottle?
Let me see thy command.'
- 'My sword, which hangeth by my side,
Is my command I know;
Come, and let me taste of thy bottle,
Or it may breed thee wo.'
- 'Tut, the devil a drop, thou proud fellow,
Of my bottle thou shalt see,
Untill thy valour here be tried,
Whether thou wilt fight or flee.'
- 'What shall we fight for?' cries bold Robin Hood;
'Come tell it soon to me;
Here is twenty pounds in good red gold;
Win it, and take it thee.'
- The Shepherd stood all in a maze,
And knew not what to say:
'I have no money, thou proud fellow,
But bag and bottle I'le lay.'
- 'I am content, thou shepherd-swain,
Fling them down on the ground;
But it will breed thee mickle pain,
To win my twenty pound.'
- 'Come draw thy sword, thou proud fellow,
Thou stands too long to prate;
This hook of mine shall let thee know
A coward I do hate.'
- So they fell to it, full hardy and sore;
It was in a summers day;
From ten till four in the afternoon
The Shepherd held him play.
- Robins buckler proved his chief defence,
And saved him many a bang,
For every blow the Shepherd gave
Made Robins sword cry twang.
- Many a sturdy blow the Shepherd gave,
And that bold Robin found,
Till the blood ran trickling from his head;
Then he fell to the ground.
- 'Arise, arise, thou proud fellow,
And thou shalt have fair play,
If thou wilt yield, before thou go,
That I have won the day.'
- 'A boon, a boon,' cried bold Robin;
'If that a man thou be,
Then let me take my beaugle-horn,
And blow but blasts three.'
- 'To blow three times three,' the Shepherd said,
'I will not thee deny;
For if thou shouldest blow till to-morrow morn,
I scorn one foot to fly.'
- Then Robin set his horn to his mouth,
And he blew with mickle main,
Until he espied Little John
Come tripping over the plain.
- 'O who is yonder, thou proud fellow,
That comes down yonder hill?'
'Yonder is Little John, bold Robin Hoods man,
Shall fight with thee thy fill.'
- 'What is the matter?' saies Little John,
'Master, come tell to me:'
'My case is great,' saies Robin Hood,
'For the Shepherd hath conquered me.'
- 'I am glad of that,' cries Little John,
'Shepherd, turn thou to me;
For a bout with thee I mean to have,
Either come fight or flee.'
- 'With all my heart, thou proud fellow,
For it never shall be said
That a shepherds hook of thy sturdy look
Will one jot be dismaid.'
- So they fell to it, full hardy and sore,
Striving for victory;
'I will know,' saies John, e:re we give ore,
Whether thou wilt fight or flye.'
- The Shepherd gave John a sturdy blow,
With his hook under the chin;
'Beshrew thy heart,' said Little John,
'Thou basely dost begin.'
- 'Nay, that's nothing,' said the Shepherd;
'Either yield to me the day,
Or I will bang thee back and sides,
Before thou goest thy way.
- 'What? dost thou think, thou proud fellow,
That thou canst conquer me?
Nay, thou shalt know, before thou go,
I'le fight before I'le flee.'
- With that to thrash Little John like mad
The Shepherd he begun;
'Hold, hold,' cryed bold Robin Hood,
'And I'le yield the wager won.'
- 'With all my heart,' said Little John,
'To that I will agree;
For he is the flower of shepherd-swains,
The like I never did see.'
- Thus have you heard of Robin Hood,
Also of Little John,
How a shepherd-swain did conquer them;
The like did never none.