"And she was a borowe," sayd Robyn, "Betwene a knyght and me, 130 Of a lytell money that I hym lent, Under the grene wode tree.
"And yf thou hast that sylver ibroughte, I pray the let me se; And I shall helpe the eftsones, 135 Yf thou have nede of me."[L136]
The monke swore a full grete othe, With a sory chere, "Of the borowehode thou spekest to me, Herde I never ere." 140
"I make myn avowe to god," sayd Robyn, "Monke, thou art to blame; For god is holde a ryghtwys man, And so is his dame.
"Thou toldest with thyn owne tonge, 145 Thou may not say nay, How thou arte her servaunt, And servest her every day.
"And thou art made her messengere,[L149]
My money for to pay; 150 Therefore I can the more thanke, Thou arte come at thy day.
"What is in your cofers?" sayd Robyn, "Trewe than tell thou me:"
"Syr," he sayd, "twenty marke, 155 Al so mote I the."
"Yf there be no more," sayd Robyn, "I wyll not one peny; Yf thou hast myster of ony more, Syr, more I shall lende to the; 160
"And yf I fynde more," sayd Robyn, "I-wys thou shalte it forgone; For of thy spendynge sylver, monk, Thereof wyll I ryght none.
"Go nowe forthe, Lytell Johan, 165 And the trouth tell thou me; If there be no more but twenty marke, No peny that I se."
Lytell Johan spred his mantell downe, As he had done before, 170 And he tolde out of the monkes male Eyght hundreth pounde and more.[L172]
Lytell Johan let it lye full styll, And went to his mayster in hast; "Syr," he sayd, "the monke is trewe ynowe, 175 Our lady hath doubled your cost."
"I make myn avowe to god," sayd Robyn, "Monke, what tolde I the?
Our lady is the trewest woman That ever yet founde I me. 180
"By dere worthy god," said Robyn, "To seche all England thorowe, Yet founde I never to my pay A moche better borowe.
"Fyll of the best wyne, do hym drynke," said Robyn, 185 "And grete well thy lady hende, And yf she have nede of Robyn Hode,[L187]
A frende she shall hym fynde.
"And yf she nedeth ony more sylver, Come thou agayne to me, 190 And, by this token she hath me sent, She shall have such thre."
The monke was going to London ward, There to holde grete mote, The knyght that rode so hye on hors, 195 To brynge hym under fote.
"Whether be ye away?" sayd Robyn.
"Syr, to maners in this londe, Too reken with our reves, That have done moch wronge." 200
"Come now forth, Lytell Johan, And harken to my tale; A better yemen I knowe none, To seke a monkes male."
"How much is in yonder other cofer?" said Robyn,[L205] 205 "The soth must we see:"
"By our lady," than sayd the monke, "That were no curteysye,
"To bydde a man to dyner, And syth hym bete and bynde." 210 "It is our olde maner," sayd Robyn, "To leve but lytell behynde."
The monke toke the hors with spore, No lenger wolde he abyde: "Aske to drynke," than sayd Robyn, 215 "Or that ye forther ryde."
"Nay, for god," than sayd the monke, "Me reweth I cam so nere; For better chepe I myght have dyned In Blythe or in Dankestere." 220
"Grete well your abbot," sayd Robyn, "And your pryour, I you pray, And byd hym send me such a monke To dyner every day."
Now lete we that monke be styll, 225 And speke we of that knyght: Yet he came to holde his day, Whyle that it was lyght.
He dyde him streyt to Bernysdale, Under the grene wode tre, 230 And he founde there Robyn Hode, And all his mery meyne.
The knyght lyght downe of his good palfray; Robyn whan he gan see, So curteysly he dyde adoune his hode, 235 And set hym on his knee.
"God the save, good Robyn Hode, And al this company:"
"Welcome be thou, gentyll knyght, And ryght welcome to me." 240
Than bespake hym Robyn Hode, To that knyght so fre, "What nede dryveth the to grene wode?
I pray the, syr knyght, tell me.
"And welcome be thou, gentyl knyght, 245 Why hast thou be so longe?"
"For the abbot and the hye justyce Wolde have had my londe."
"Hast thou thy londe agayne?" sayd Robyn;[L249]
"Treuth than tell thou me." 250 "Ye, for god," sayd the knyght, "And that thanke I god and the.
"But take not a grefe, I have be so longe;[L253]
I came by a wrastelynge, And there I dyd holpe a pore yeman, 255 With wronge was put behynde."
"Nay, for god," sayd Robyn, "Syr knyght, that thanke I the; What man that helpeth a good yeman, His frende than wyll I be." 260
"Have here foure hondred pounde," than sayd the knyght, "The whiche ye lent to me; And here is also twenty marke For your curteysy."
"Nay, for god," than sayd Robyn, 265 "Thou broke it well for ay; For our lady, by her selerer, Hath sent to me my pay.
"And yf I toke it twyse,[L269]
A shame it were to me: 270 But trewely, gentyll knyght, Welcom arte thou to me."
Whan Robyn had tolde his tale, He leugh and had good chere: "By my trouthe," then sayd the knyght. 275 "Your money is redy here."
"Broke it well," sayd Robyn, "Thou gentyll knyght so fre; And welcome be thou, gentill knyght, Under my trystell tree.[L280] 280
"But what shall these bowes do?" sayd Robyn, "And these arowes ifedered fre?"
"By god," than sayd the knyght, "A pore present to the."
"Come now forth, Lytell Johan, 285 And go to my treasure, And brynge me there foure hondred pounde, The monke over-tolde it me.
"Have here foure hondred pounde, Thou gentyll knyght and trewe, 290 And bye hors and harnes good, And gylte thy spores all newe.
"And yf thou fayle ony spendynge, Com to Robyn Hode, And by my trouth thou shalt none fayle, 295 The whyles I have any good.
"And broke well thy four hundred pound, Whiche I lent to the, And make thy selfe no more so bare, By the counsell of me." 300