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"By the faith of my body," then said the young man, 55 "It is but five little mile."

Then Robin he hasted over the plain, He did neither stint nor lin, Until he came unto the church, Where Allin should keep his wedding. 60

"What hast thou here?" the bishop then said, "I prithee now tell unto me:"

"I am a bold harper," quoth Robin Hood, "And the best in the north country."

"O welcome, O welcome," the bishop he said, 65 "That musick best pleaseth me:"

"You shall have no musick," quoth Robin Hood, "Till the bride and the bridegroom I see."

With that came in a wealthy knight, Which was both grave and old, 70 And after him a finikin lass, Did shine like the glistering gold.

"This is not a fit match," quod bold Robin Hood, "That you do seem to make here, For since we are come into the church, 75 The bride shall chuse her own dear."

Then Robin Hood put his horn to his mouth, And blew blasts two or three; When four and twenty bowmen bold Came leaping over the lee. 80

And when they came into the church-yard, Marching all on a row, The first man was Allin a Dale, To give bold Robin his bow.

"This is thy true love," Robin he said, 85 "Young Allin, as I hear say; And you shall be married at this same time, Before we depart away."

"That shall not be," the bishop he said, "For thy word shall not stand; 90 They shall be three times askt in the church, As the law is of our land."

Robin Hood pull'd off the bishops coat, And put it upon Little John; "By the faith of my body," then Robin said, 95 This cloth does make thee a man."

"When Little John went into the quire, The people began to laugh; He askt them seven times in the church, Lest three times should not be enough. 100

"Who gives me this maid?" said Little John; Quoth Robin Hood, "That do I, And he that takes her from Allin a Dale, Full dearly he shall her buy."

And thus having ende of this merry wedding, 105 The bride lookt like a queen; And so they return'd to the merry green-wood, Amongst the leaves so green.

22. Nicke.


From _A Collection of Old Ballads_, i. 90. The full title is: _Robin Hood rescuing Will Stutley from the sheriff and his men, who had taken him prisoner, and were going to hang him, &c. To the tune of Robin Hood and Queen Catherine_. The same in Ritson's _Robin Hood_, ii. 106.

When Robin Hood in the green wood stood, _Derry, derry down_, Under the green wood tree, Tidings there came to him with speed, Tidings for certainty; _Hey down, derry, derry, down_.

That Will Stutly surprized was, 5 And eke in prison lay; Three varlets that the king had hir'd, Did likely him betray.

Ay, and to-morrow hang'd must be, To-morrow as soon as day; 10 Before they could the victory get, Two of 'em did Stutly slay.

When Robin Hood did hear this news, Lord! it did grieve him sore; And to his merry men he said, 15 (Who altogether swore)

That Will Stutly should rescu'd be, And be brought back again; Or else should many a gallant wight For his sake there be slain. 20

He cloath'd himself in scarlet then, His men were all in green; A finer shew, throughout the world, In no place could be seen.

Good lord! it was a gallant sight 25 To see them all a-row; With ev'ry man a good broad sword, And eke a good yew bow.

Forth of the green wood are they gone, Yea, all couragously, 30 Resolving to bring Stutly home, Or every man to dye.

And when they came to the castle near Wherein Will Stutly lay, "I hold it good," said Robin Hood, 35 "We here in ambush stay,

"And send one forth some news to hear, To yonder palmer fair, That stands under the castle wall; Some news he may declare." 40

With that steps forth a brave young man, Which was of courage bold; Thus he did say to the old man: "I pray thee, palmer old,

"Tell me, if that thou rightly ken, 45 When must Will Stutly dye, Who is one of bold Robin's men, And here doth prisoner lye?"

"Alas, alas," the palmer said, "And for ever woe is me! 50 Will Stutly hang'd will be this day, On yonder gallows tree.

"O had his noble master known, He would some succour send; A few of his bold yeomanry 55 Full soon would fetch him hence."

"Ay, that is true," the young man said; "Ay, that is true," said he; "Or, if they were near to this place, They soon would set him free. 60

"But fare thou well, thou good old man, Farewel, and thanks to thee; If Stutly hanged be this day, Reveng'd his death will be."

No sooner he was from the palmer gone, 65 But the gates were open'd wide, And out of the castle Will Stutly came, Guarded on every side.

When he was forth from the castle come, And saw no help was nigh, 70 Thus he did say unto the sheriff, Thus he said gallantly:

"Now seeing that I needs must dye, Grant me one boon," said he, "For my noble master ne'er had man 75 That yet was hang'd on tree.

"Give me a sword all in my hand, And let me be unbound, And with thee and thy men I'll fight, Till I lye dead on the ground." 80

But this desire he would not grant, His wishes were in vain; For the sheriff swore he hang'd should be, And not by the sword be slain.

"Do but unbind my hands," he says, 85 "I will no weapons crave, And if I hanged be this day, Damnation let me have."

"O no, no, no," the sheriff said, "Thou shalt on gallows dye, 90 Ay, and so shall thy master too, If ever in me it lye."

"O dastard coward!" Stutly cries, Faint-hearted peasant slave!

If ever my master do thee meet, 95 Thou shalt thy payment have.

"My noble master thee doth scorn, And all thy cowardly crew; Such silly imps unable are Bold Robin to subdue." 100

But when he was to the gallows gone, And ready to bid adieu, Out of a bush steps Little John, And goes Will Stutly to.

"I pray thee, Will, before thou dye, 105 Of thy dear friends take leave; I needs must borrow him a while, How say you, master sheriff?"

"Now, as I live," the sheriff said, "That varlet will I know; 110 Some sturdy rebel is that same, Therefore let him not go."

And Little John most hastily Away cut Stutly's bands, And from one of the sheriffs men, 115 A sword twich'd from his hands.

"Here, Will Stutly, take thou this same, Thou canst it better sway; And here defend thyself awhile, For aid will come straightway." 120

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