At last Kits oke caught Robin a stroke, 85 That made his head to sound; He staggerd, and reelde, till he fell on the fielde, And the trees with him went round.
"Now holde your handes," cried Little John, And soe said Scarlett eke; 90 "Our maister is slaine, I tell you plaine, He never more will speake."
"Now, heaven forefend he come to that end,"
Said Kit, "I love him well; But let him learne to be wise in turne, 95 And not with poore peddlers mell.
"In my packe, God wot, I a balsame have got, That soone his hurts will heale;"
And into Robin Hoods gaping mouth He presentlie powrde some deale. 100
"Now fare ye well, tis best not to tell, How ye three peddlers met; Or if that ye doe, prithee tell alsoe, How they made ye swinke and swett."
Poor Robin in sound they left on the ground, 105 And hied them to Nottingham, Whilst Scarlett and John, Robin tended on, Till at length his senses came.
No sooner, in haste, did Robin Hood taste The balsame he had tane, 110 Then he gan to spewe, and up he threwe The balsame all againe.
And Scarlett, and John, who were looking on Their master as he did lie, Had their faces besmeared, both eies and beard, 115 Therewith most piteouslie.
Thus ended that fray; soe beware alwaye How ye doe challenge foes; Looke well aboute they are not to stoute, Or you may have worst of the blowes. 120
THE BOLD PEDLAR AND ROBIN HOOD.
From Dixon's "_Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of England_," Percy Society, vol. xvii. p. 71.--"An aged female in Bermondsey, Surrey, from whose oral recitation the editor took down the present version, informed him, that she had often heard her grandmother sing it, and that it was never in print; but he has of late met with several common stall copies."
There chanced to be a pedlar bold, A pedlar bold he chanced to be, He rolled his pack all on his back, And he came tripping o'er the lee.
_Down, a down, a down, a down, Down, a down, a down._
By chance he met two troublesome blades, 5 Two troublesome blades they chanced to be; The one of them was bold Robin Hood, And the other was Little John so free.
"Oh! pedlar, pedlar, what is in thy pack, Come speedilie and tell to me?" 10 "I've several suits of the gay green silks, And silken bow-strings two or three."
"If you have several suits of the gay green silk, And silken bow-strings two or three, Then it's by my body," cries Little John, 15 "One half your pack shall belong to me."
"O nay, o nay," says the pedlar bold, "O nay, o nay, that never can be; For there's never a man from fair Nottingham Can take one half my pack from me." 20
Then the pedlar he pulled off his pack, And put it a little below his knee, Saying, "If you do move me one perch from this, My pack and all shall gang with thee."
Then Little John he drew his sword; 25 The pedlar by his pack did stand; They fought until they both did sweat, Till he cried, "Pedlar, pray hold your hand."
Then Robin Hood he was standing by, And he did laugh most heartilie; 30 Saying, "I could find a man of a smaller scale, Could thrash the pedlar and also thee."
"Go you try, master," says Little John, "Go you try, master, most speedilie, Or by my body," says Little John, 35 "I am sure this night you will not know me."
Then Robin Hood he drew his sword, And the pedlar by his pack did stand, They fought till the blood in streams did flow, Till he cried, "Pedlar, pray hold your hand! 40
"Pedlar, pedlar, what is thy name?
Come speedilie and tell to me:"
"My name! my name I ne'er will tell, Till both your names you have told to me."
"The one of us is bold Robin Hood, 45 And the other Little John so free:"
"Now," says the pedlar, "it lays to my good will, Whether my name I chuse to tell to thee.
"I am Gamble Gold of the gay green woods, And travelled far beyond the sea; 50 For killing a man in my father's land, rom my country I was forced to flee."
"If you are Gamble Gold of the gay green woods, And travelled far beyond the sea, You are my mother's own sister's son; 55 What nearer cousins then can we be?"
They sheathed their swords with friendly words, So merrilie they did agree, They went to a tavern and there they dined, And bottles cracked most merrilie. 60
ROBIN HOOD AND THE BEGGAR:
Shewing how Robin Hood and the Beggar fought, and how he changed cloaths with the Beggar, and how he went a begging to Nottingham: and how he saved three brethren from being hang'd for stealing of deer. To the tune of =Robin Hood and the Stranger=.
"From an old black-letter copy in the collection of Anthony a Wood."
Ritson's =Robin Hood=, ii. 126.
The three pieces which follow are all different versions of what is called the Second Part of this ballad.
Come and listen, you gentlemen all, _Hey down, down, an a down_, That mirth do love for to hear, And a story true Ile tell unto you, If that you will but draw near.
In elder times, when merriment was, 5 And archery was holden good, There was an outlaw, as many do know Which men called Robin Hood.
Upon a time it chanced so Bold Robin was merry disposed, 10 His time to spend he did intend, Either with friend or foes.
Then he got upon a gallant brave steed, The which was worth angels ten, With a mantle of green, most brave to be seen, 15 He left all his merry men.
And riding towards Nottingham, Some pastime for to 'spy, There was he aware of a jolly beggar, As ere he beheld with his eye. 20
An old patcht coat the beggar had on, Which he daily did use to wear; And many a bag about him did wag, Which made Robin to him repair.[L24]
"God speed, God speed," said Robin Hood, 25 "What countryman? tell to me:"
"I am Yorkshire, sir; but, ere you go far, Some charity give unto me."
"Why, what wouldst thou have?" said Robin Hood, "I pray thee tell unto me:" 30 "No lands nor livings," the beggar he said, "But a penny for charitie."
"I have no money," said Robin Hood then, "But [am] a ranger within the wood; I am an outlaw, as many do know, 35 My name it is Robin Hood.
"But yet I must tell thee, bonny beggar, That a bout with [thee] I must try; Thy coat of gray, lay down I say, And my mantle of green shall lye by." 40
"Content, content," the beggar he cry'd, "Thy part it will be the worse; For I hope this bout to give thee the rout, And then have at thy purse."
So the beggar he had a mickle long staffe, 45 And Robin had a nut-brown sword;[L46]
So the beggar drew nigh, and at Robin let fly, But gave him never a word.