"I have layne at Notyngham, 105 This fourtynyght with our kynge, And spent I have full moche good, On many a grete lordynge.
"And I have but forty pounde, No more than have I me; 110 But yf I had an hondred pounde, I would geve it to the."[L112]
Robyn toke the forty pounde, And departed it in two partye, Halfendell he gave his mery men, 115 And bad them mery to be.
Full curteysly Robyn gan say, "Syr, have this for your spendyng; We shall mete another day."
"Gramercy," than sayd our kynge; 120
"But well the greteth Edwarde our kynge, And sent to the his seale, And byddeth the com to Notyngham, Both to mete and mele."
He toke out the brode tarpe,[L125] 125 And sone he lete hym se; Robyn coud his courteysy, And set hym on his kne.
"I love no man in all the worlde So well as I do my kynge. 130 Welcome is my lordes seale; And, monke, for thy tydynge,
"Syr abbot, for thy tydynges, To day thou shalt dyne with me, For the love of my kynge, 135 Under my trystell tre."
Forth he lad our comly kynge, Full fayre by the honde; Many a dere there was slayne, And full fast dyghtande. 140
Robyn toke a full grete horne, And loude he gan blowe; Seven score of wyght yonge men Came redy on a rowe.
All they kneeled on theyr kne, 145 Full fayre before Robyn: The kynge sayd hymselfe untyll, And swore by saynt Austyn,
"Here is a wonder semely syght; Me thynketh, by goddes pyne, 150 His men are more at his byddynge, Then my men be at myn."
Full hastly was theyr dyner idyght, And therto gan they gone; They served our kynge with al theyr myght, 155 Both Robyn and Lytell Johan.
Anone before our kynge was set The fatte venyson, The good whyte brede, the good red wyne, And therto the fyne ale browne.[L160] 160
"Make good chere," said Robyn, "Abbot, for charyte; And for this ylke tydynge, Blyssed mote thou be.
"Now shalte thou se what life we lede, 165 Or thou hens wende; Than thou may enfourme our kynge, Whan ye togyder lende."
Up they sterte all in hast, Theyr bowes were smartly bent; 170 Our kynge was never so sore agast, He wende to have be shente.
Two yerdes there were up set, There to gan they gange; By fifty pase, our kynge sayd, 175 The merkes were to longe.
On every syde a rose garlonde, They shot under the lyne: "Who so fayleth of the rose garlonde," sayd Robyn, "His takyll he shall tyne, 180
"And yelde it to his mayster, Be it never so fyne; For no man wyll I spare, So drynke I ale or wyne;--
"And bere a buffet on his hede, 185 I-wys right all bare:"[L186]
And all that fell in Robyns lote, He smote them wonder sare.
Twyse Robyn shot aboute, And ever he cleved the wande, 190 And so dyde good Gylberte With the Whyte Hand.[L192]
Lytell Johan and good Scathelocke, For nothynge wolde they spare, When they fayled of the garlonde, 195 Robyn smote them full sare.
At the last shot that Robyn shot, For all his frendes fare, Yet he fayled of the garlonde, Thre fyngers and mare. 200
Than bespake good Gylberte, And thus he gan say; "Mayster," he sayd, "your takyll is lost, Stand forth and take your pay."
"If it be so," sayd Robyn, 205 "That may no better be; Syr abbot, I delyver the myn arowe, I pray the, syr, serve thou me."
"It falleth not for myn order," sayd our kynge, "Robyn, by thy leve, 210 For to smyte no good yeman, For doute I sholde hym greve."
"Smyte on boldely," sayd Robyn, "I give the large leve:"
Anone our kynge, with that worde, 215 He folde up his sleve,
And sych a buffet he gave Robyn, To grounde he yede full nere.
"I make myn avowe to god," sayd Robyn, "Thou arte a stalworthe frere. 220
"There is pith in thyn arme," sayd Robyn, "I trowe thou canst well shote;"
Thus our kynge and Robyn Hode Togeder than they met.
Robyn behelde our comly kynge 225 Wystly in the face, So dyde syr Richarde at the Le, And kneled downe in that place;
And so dyde all the wylde outlawes, Whan they se them knele: 230 "My lorde the kynge of Englonde, Now I knowe you well.
"Mercy," then Robyn sayd to our kynge, Under his trystyll tre,[L234]
"Of thy goodnesse and thy grace, 235 For my men and me!
"Yes, for god," sayd Robyn, "And also god me save; I aske mercy, my lorde the kynge, And for my men I crave." 240
"Yes, for god," than sayd our kynge, "Thy peticion I graunt the, With that thou leve the grene wode, And all thy company;
"And come home, syr, to my courte, 245 And there dwell with me."[L246]
"I make myn avowe to god," sayd Robyn, "And ryght so shall it be.
"I wyll come to your courte, Your servyse for to se, 250 And brynge with me of my men Seven score and thre.
"But me lyke well your servyse, I come agayne full soone, And shote at the donne dere, 255 As I am wonte to done."
4, and yf, W.
15. Not in Cumberland, as Ritson states, but, says Hunter, a part of the forest of Knaresborough, in Yorkshire.
59, your, OCC.
72, blyth, Ritson.
96. Under the grene wode tre, W.
112. I vouche it halfe on the, W.
125, seale, C.
160, and browne, W.