Robyn bent a good bowe, An arrowe he drewe at his wyll, He hyt so the proud sheryf, Upon the ground he lay full styll.
And or he myght up aryse, 125 On his fete to stonde, He smote of the sheryves hede, With his bryght bronde.
"Lye thou there, thou proude sheryf, Evyll mote thou thryve; 130 There myght no man to the trust, The whyles thou were alyve."
His men drewe out theyr bryght swerdes, That were so sharpe and kene, And layde on the sheryves men, 135 And dryved them downe bydene.
Robyn stert to that knyght, And cut a two his bonde,[L138]
And toke hym in his hand a bowe, And bade hym by hym stonde. 140
"Leve thy hors the behynde, And lerne for to renne; Thou shalt with me to grene wode, Through myre, mosse, and fenne.
"Thou shalt with me to grene wode, 145 Without ony leasynge, Tyll that I have gete us grace Of Edwarde, our comly kynge."
14, thou, W.
38, the bydde, OCC.
64, honde and fote, W. foote and hande, C.
66, on a tre, R. rode, Ch. & M.
77. God the good Robyn, W.
79, lady, W.
82. Shamly I slayne be, W.
88. Forsoth as I the say, W.
92, your waye, W. You may them over take, C.
99, 100. Shall he never in grene wode be, Nor longer dwell with me. W.
106, sherif, Ch. & M. knyght, R.
108, it, W.
120. At, W. That, C. boote for good, Wh.
138, hoode, W. bande, C.
THE SEVENTH FYTTE.
The kynge came to Notynghame, With knyghtes in grete araye, For to take that gentyll knyght And Robyn Hode, yf he may.[L4]
He asked men of that countre, 5 After Robyn Hode, And after that gentyll knyght, That was so bolde and stout.
Whan they had tolde hym the case Our kynge understonde ther tale, 10 And seased in his honde The knyghtes londes all.
All the passe of Lancasshyre He went both ferre and nere; Tyll he came to Plomton parke,[L15] 15 He faylyd many of his dere.
There our kynge was wont to se Herdes many one, He coud unneth fynde one dere, That bare ony good horne. 20
The kynge was wonder wroth withall, And swore by the trynyte, "I wolde I had Robyn Hode, With eyen I myght hym se.
"And he that wolde smyte of the knyghtes hede, 25 And brynge it to me, He shall have the knyghtes londes, Syr Rycharde at the Le.
"I gyve it hym with my charter, And sele it with my honde, 30 To have and holde for ever-more, In all mery Englonde."
Than bespake a fayre olde knyght, That was treue in his fay, "A, my lege lorde the kynge, 35 One worde I shall you say;
"There is no man in this countre May have the knyghtes londes, Whyle Robyn Hode may ryde or gone, And bere a bowe in his hondes, 40
"That he ne shall lese his hede, That is the best ball in his hode: Give it no man, my lorde the kynge, That ye wyll any good."
Half a yere dwelled our comly kynge 45 In Notyngham, and well more; Coude he not here of Robyn Hode, In what countre that he were.
But alway went good Robyn By halke and eke by hyll, 50 And alway slewe the kynges dere, And welt them at his wyll.
Than bespake a proude fostere, That stode by our kynges kne, "If ye wyll se good Robyn, 55 Ye must do after me.
"Take fyve of the best knyghtes That be in your lede, And walk downe by yon abbay,[L59]
And gete you monkes wede. 60
"And I wyll be your ledes man, And lede you the way, And or ye come to Notyngham, Myn hede then dare I lay,
"That ye shall mete with good Robyn, 65 On lyve yf that he be; Or ye come to Notyngham, With eyen ye shall hym se."
Full hastly our kynge was dyght, So were his knyghtes fyve, 70 Everych of them in monkes wede, And hasted them thyder blyve.[L72]
Our kynge was grete above his cole, A brode hat on his crowne, Ryght as he were abbot-lyke, 75 They rode up in-to the towne.
Styf botes our kynge had on, Forsoth as I you say; He rode syngynge to grene wode, The covent was clothed in graye. 80
His male hors and his grete somers Folowed our kynge behynde, Tyll they came to grene wode, A myle under the lynde.
There they met with good Robyn, 85 Stondynge on the waye, And so dyde many a bolde archere, For soth as I you say.
Robyn toke the kynges hors, Hastely in that stede, 90 And sayd, "Syr abbot, by your leve, A whyle ye must abyde.
"We be yemen of this foreste, Under the grene wode tre; We lyve by our kynges dere, 95 Other shyft have not we.[L96]
"And ye have chyrches and rentes both, And gold full grete plente; Gyve us some of your spendynge, For saynt Charyte." 100
Than bespake our cumly kynge, Anone than sayd he, "I brought no more to grene wode, But forty pounde with me.