"Let me see that warrant," said Robin Hood, 45 "Ile see if it bee right; And I will do the best I can For to take him this night.
"That will I not," the tinker said, "None with it I will trust; 50 And where hee is if you'll not tell, Take him by force I must."
But Robin Hood perceiving well How then the game would go, "If you would go to Nottingham, 55 We shall find him I know."
The tinker had a crab-tree staff, Which was both good and strong; Robin hee had a good strong blade, So they went both along. 60
And when they came to Nottingham, There they both tooke their inn; And there they called for ale and wine, To drink it was no sin.
But ale and wine they drank so fast, 65 That the tinker hee forgot What thing he was about to do; It fell so to his lot,
That while the tinker fell asleep, Robin made then haste away, 70 And left the tinker in the lurch, For the great shot to pay.
But when the tinker wakened, And saw that he was gone, He call'd then even for his host, 75 And thus he made his moan:
"I had a warrant from the king.
Which might have done me good, That is to take a bold outlaw, Some call him Robin Hood. 80
"But now my warrant and mony's gone, Nothing I have to pay; But he that promis'd to be my friend, He is gone and fled away."
"That friend you tell on," said the host, 85 "They call him Robin Hood; And when that first hee met with you, He ment you little good."
"Had I but known it had been hee, "When that I had him here, 90 Th' one of us should have tri'd our might Which should have paid full dear.
"In the mean time I will away, No longer here Ile bide, But I will go and seek him out, 95 Whatever do me betide.
"But one thing I would gladly know, What here I have to pay;"
"Ten shillings just," then said the host; "Ile pay without delay; 100
"Or elce take here my working-bag, And my good hammer too; And if that I light but on the knave.
I will then soon pay you."
"The onely way," then said the host, 105 "And not to stand in fear, Is to seek him among the parks, Killing of the kings deer."
The tinker hee then went with speed, And made then no delay, 110 Till he had found bold Robin Hood, That they might have a fray.
At last hee spy'd him in a park, Hunting then of the deer; "What knave is that," quoth Robin Hood, 115 "That doth come mee so near?"
"No knave, no knave," the tinker said, "And that you soon shall know; "Whether of us hath done any wrong, My crab-tree staff shall show." 120
Then Robin drew his gallant blade, Made then of trusty steel; But the tinker he laid on so fast, That he made Robin reel.
Then Robins anger did arise; 125 He fought right manfully, Until he had made the tinker Almost then fit to fly.
With that they had a bout again, They ply'd their weapons fast; 130 The tinker threshed his bones so sore, He made him yeeld at last.
"A boon, a boon," Robin hee cryes, "If thou will grant it mee;"
"Before I do it," the tinker said, 135 "Ile hang thee on this tree."
But the tinker looking him about, Robin his horn did blow; Then came unto him Little John, And William Scadlock too. 140
"What is the matter," quoth Little John, "You sit on th' highway side?"
"Here is a tinker that stands by, That hath paid well my hide."
"That tinker then," said Little John, 145 "Fain that blade I would see, And I would try what I could do, If hee'l do as much for me."
But Robin hee then wish'd them both They should the quarrel cease, 150 "That henceforth wee may bee as one, And ever live in peace.
"And for the jovial tinkers part, A hundred pounds Ile give In th' year to maintain him on, 155 As long as he doth live.
"In manhood he is a mettled man, And a mettle-man by trade; Never thought I that any man Should have made mee so afraid. 160
"And if hee will bee one of us, "We will take all one fare; And whatsoever wee do get, He shall have his full share."
So the tinker was content 165 With them to go along, And with them a part to take: And so I end my song.
ROBIN HOOD AND THE SHEPHERD.
Shewing how Robin Hood, Little John, and the Shepherd fought a sore combate.
The shepherd fought for twenty pound, and Robin for bottle and bag, But the shepherd stout gave them the rout, so sore they could not wag.
Tune is, Robin Hood and Queen Katherine.
"From two old black-letter copies, one of them in the collection of Anthony a Wood, the other in that of Thomas Pearson, Esq.," [now in the British Museum.] Ritson's _Robin Hood_, ii. 55.
The same story, with verbal coincidences, serves for the first part of _King Alfred and the Shepherd_.
All gentlemen and yeomen good, _Down, a down, a down, a down_, I wish you to draw near; For a story of gallant bold Robin Hood Unto you I will declare.
As Robin Hood walkt the forrest along, 5 Some pastime for to spie, There he was aware of a jolly shepherd, That on the ground did lie.
"Arise, arise," cried jolly Robin, "And now come let me see 10 What's in thy bag and bottle, I say, Come tell it unto me."
"What's that to thee, thou proud fellw?
Tell me as I do stand; What hast thou to do with my bag and bottle? 15 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 thy woe." 20
"The devil a drop, thou proud fellw, Of my bottle thou shalt see, Until thy valour here be tried, Whether thou wilt fight or flee."
"What shall we fight for?" cries Robin Hood, 25 "Come tell it unto me; Here is twenty pound in good red gold, Win it, and take it thee."
The shepherd stood all in a maze, And knew not what to say; 30 "I have no money, thou proud fellow, But bag and bottle I'le lay."