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Robin Hood and Queen Katherine

No: 145; variant: 145B

  1. GOLD tane from the kings harbengers, Down a down a down As seldome hath been seen, Down a down a down And carried by bold Robin Hood For a present to the queen. Down a down a down
  2. 'If that I live a year to an end,' Thus gan Queen Katherin say, 'Bold Robin Hood, I will be thy friend, And all thy yeomen gay.'
  3. The queen is to her chamber gone, As fast as she can wen; She cals unto her lovely page, His name was Richard Patringten.
  4. 'Come hither to mee, thou lovely page, Come thou hither to mee; For thou must post to Notingham, As fast as thou canst dree.
  5. 'And as thou goest to Notingham, Search all those English wood; Enquire of one good yeoman or another That can tell thee of Robin Hood.'
  6. Sometimes he went, sometimes hee ran, As fast as he could win; And when hee came to Notingham, There he took up his inne.
  7. And when he came to Notingham, And had took up his inne, He calls for a pottle of Renish wine, And drank a health to his queen.
  8. There sat a yeoman by his side; 'Tell mee, sweet page,' said hee, 'What is thy business or the cause, So far in the North Country?'
  9. 'This is my business and the cause, Sir, I'le tell it you for good, To inquire of one good yeoman or another To tell mee of Robin Hood.'
  10. 'I'le get my horse betime in the morn, By it be break of day, And I will shew thee bold Robin Hood, And all his yeomen gay.'
  11. When that he came at Robin Hoods place, Hee fell down on his knee: 'Queen Katherine she doth greet you well, She greets you well by mee.
  12. 'She bids you post to fair London court, Not fearing any thing; For there shall be a little sport, And she hath sent you her ring.'
  13. Robin took his mantle from his back---- It was of the Lincoln green---- And sent it by this lovely page, For a present unto the queen.
  14. In summer time, when leaves grow green, It is a seemly sight to see How Robin Hood himself had drest, And all his yeomandry.
  15. He cloathed his men in Lincoln green, And himself in scarlet red, Black hats, white feathers, all alike; Now bold Robin Hood is rid.
  16. And when he came at Londons court, Hee fell downe on his knee: 'Thou art welcome, Locksly,' said the queen, 'And all thy good yeomendree.'
  17. The king is into Finsbury field, Marching in battel ray, And after follows bold Robin Hood, And all his yeomen gay.
  18. 'Come hither, Tepus,' said the king, 'Bow-bearer after mee, Come measure mee out with this line How long our mark shall be.'
  19. 'What is the wager?' said the queen, 'That must I now know here:' 'Three hundred tun of Renish wine, Three hundred tun of beer.
  20. 'Three hundred of the fattest harts That run on Dallom lee; That's a princely wager,' said the king, 'That needs must I tell thee.'
  21. With that bespake one Clifton then, Full quickly and full soon; 'Measure no mark for us, most soveraign leige, Wee'l shoot at sun and moon.'
  22. 'Ful fifteen score your mark shall be, Ful fifteen score shall stand;' 'I'le lay my bow,' said Clifton then, 'I'le cleave the willow wand.'
  23. With that the kings archers led about, While it was three and none; With that the ladies began to shout, Madam, your game is gone!
  24. 'A boon, a boon,' Queen Katherine cries, 'I crave on my bare knee; Is there any knight of your privy counsel Of Queen Katherines part will be?
  25. 'Come hither to mee, Sir Richard Lee, Thou art a knight full good; For I do know by thy pedigree Thou springst from Goweres blood.
  26. 'Come hither to me, thou Bishop of Herefordshire'---- For a noble priest was he---- 'By my silver miter,' said the bishop then, 'I'le not bet one peny.
  27. 'The king has archers of his own, Full ready and full light, And these be strangers every one, No man knows what they height.'
  28. 'What wilt thou bet,' said Robin Hood, 'Thou seest our game the worse?' 'By my silver miter,' said the bishop then, 'All the mony within my purse.'
  29. 'What is in thy purse?' said Robin Hood, 'Throw it down on the ground;' 'Fifteen score nobles,' said the bishop then, 'It's neer an hundred pound.'
  30. Robin Hood took his bagge from his side, And threw it down on the green; William Scadlocke went smiling away, 'I know who this mony must win.'
  31. With that the queens archers led about, While it was three and three; With that the ladies gave a shout, 'Woodcock, beware thyn ee!'
  32. 'It is three and three, now,' said the king, 'The next three pays for all;' Robin Hood went and whispered to the queen, 'The kings part shall be but small.'
  33. Robin Hood he led about, He shot it under hand, And Clifton, with a bearing arrow, He clave the willow wand.
  34. And little Midge, the Miller's son, Hee shot not much the worse; He shot within a finger of the prick; 'Now, bishop, beware thy purse!'
  35. 'A boon, a boon,' Queen Katherine cries, 'I crave on my bare knee,---- That you will angry be with none That is of my party.'
  36. 'They shall have forty days to come, And forty days to go, And three times forty to sport and play; Then welcome friend or fo.'
  37. 'Then thou art welcome, Robin Hood,' said the queen, 'And so is Little John, So is Midge, the Miller's son; Thrice welcome every one.'
  38. 'Is this Robin Hood?' the king now said; 'For it was told to mee That he was slain in the pallace-gate, So far in the North Country.'
  39. 'Is this Robin Hood,' said the bishop then, 'As I see well to be? Had I knowne that had been that bold outlaw, I would not have bet one peny.
  40. 'Hee took me late one Saturday at night, And bound mee fast to a tree, And made mee sing a mass, God wot, To him and his yeomendree.'
  41. 'What and if I did?' says Robin Hood, 'Of that mass I was full fain; For recompense to thee,' he says, 'Here's half thy gold again.'
  42. 'Now nay, now nay,' saies Little John, 'Master, that shall not be; We must give gifts to the kings officers; That gold will serve thee and mee.'