"O what is the matter?" then said the bishop, "Or for whom do you make this a-do?
Or why do you kill the kings ven'son, When your company is so few?"
"We are shepherds," said bold Robin Hood, 25 "And we keep sheep all the year, And we are disposed to be merry this day, And to kill of the kings fat deer."
"You are brave fellows!" said the bishop, "And the king of your doings shall know: 30 Therefore make haste, and come along with me, For before the king you shall go."
"O pardon, O pardon," said bold Robin Hood, "O pardon, I thee pray!
For it becomes not your lordships coat 35 To take so many lives away."
"No pardon, no pardon," said the bishp, "No pardon I thee owe; Therefore make haste, and come along with me, For before the king you shall go." 40
Then Robin set his back against a tree, And his foot against a thorn, And from underneath his shepherds coat He pull'd out a bugle horn.
He put the little end to his mouth, 45 And a loud blast did he blow, Till threescore and ten of bold Robins men Came running all on a row,
All making obeysance to bold Robin Hood; 'Twas a comely sight for to see. 50 "What is the matter, master," said Little John, "That you blow so hastily?"
"O here is the bishop of Hereford, And no pardon we shall have:"
"Cut off his head, master," said Little John, 55 "And throw him into his grave."
"O pardon, O pardon," said the bishop, "O pardon, I thee pray, For if I had known it had been you, I'd have gone some other way." 60
"No pardon, no pardon," said bold Robin Hood, "No pardon I thee owe; Therefore make haste, and come along with me, For to merry Barnsdale you shall go."
Then Robin he took the bishop by the hand, 65 And led him to merry Barnsdale; He made him to stay and sup with him that night, And to drink wine, beer, and ale.
"Call in a reckoning," said the bishop, "For methinks it grows wond'rous high:" 70 "Lend me your purse, master," said Little John, "And I'll tell you bye and bye."
Then Little John took the bishops cloak, And spread it upon the ground, And out of the bishops portmantua 75 He told three hundred pound.
"Here's money enough, master," said Little John, "And a comely sight 'tis to see; It makes me in charity with the bishop, Tho' he heartily loveth not me." 80
Robin Hood took the bishop by the hand, And he caused the music to play; And he made the bishop to dance in his boots, And glad he could so get away.
ROBIN HOOD AND THE BISHOP.
Ritson's _Robin Hood_, ii. 22.
Shewing how Robin Hood went to an old woman's house and changed cloaths with her to scape from the bishop; and how he robbed the bishop of all his gold, and made him sing a mass. To the tune of _Robin Hood and the Stranger_.
"From an old black-letter copy in the collection of Anthony a Wood."
Two trifling corrections have been made from the copy in _Old Ballads_, 1723, (ii. 39,) which is very nearly the same.
Come, gentlemen all, and listen awhile, _Hey down, down, an a down_, And a story Ile to you unfold; Ile tell you how Robin Hood served the bishop, When he robbed him of his gold.
As it fell out on a sun-shining day, 5 When Ph[oe]bus was in his prime, Then Robin Hood, that archer good, In mirth would spend some time.
And as he walk'd the forrest along, Some pastime for to spy, 10 There was he aware of a proud bishop, And all his company.
"O what shall I do," said Robin Hood then, "If the bishop he doth take me?
No mercy he'l show unto me, I know, 15 But hanged I shall be."
Then Robin was stout, and turn'd him about, And a little house there he did spy; And to an old wife, for to save his life, He loud began for to cry. 20
"Why, who art thou?" said the old woman, "Come tell it to me for good:"[L22]
"I am an out-law, as many do know, My name it is Robin Hood;
"And yonder's the bishop and all his men, 25 And if that I taken be, Then day and night he'l work my spight, And hanged I shall be."
"If thou be Robin Hood," said the old wife, "As thou dost seem to be, I'le for thee provide, and thee I will hide, From the bishop and his company.
"For I remember one Saturday night, Thou brought me both shoes and hose; Therefore I'le provide thy person to hide, 35 And keep thee from thy foes."
"Then give me soon thy coat of grey, And take thou my mantle of green; Thy spindle and twine unto me resign, And take thou my arrows so keen." 40
And when Robin Hood was thus araid, He went straight to his company, With his spindle and twine, he oft lookt behind For the bishop and his company.
"O who is yonder," quoth Little John, 45 "That now comes over the lee?
An arrow I will at her let flie, So like an old witch looks she."
"O hold thy hand, hold thy hand," said Robin Hood then, "And shoot not thy arrows so keen; 50 I am Robin Hood, thy master good, And quickly it shall be seen."
The bishop he came to the old womans house, And called with furious mood, "Come let me soon see, and bring unto me, 55 That traitor Robin Hood."
The old woman he set on a milk-white steed, Himselfe on a dapple gray; And for joy he had got Robin Hood, He went laughing all the way. 60
But as they were riding the forrest along, The bishop he chanc'd for to see A hundred brave bowmen bold, Stand under the green-wood tree.
"O who is yonder," the bishop then said, 65 "That's ranging within yonder wood?"
"Marry," says the old woman, "I think it to be A man call'd Robin Hood."
"Why, who art thou," the bishop he said, "Which I have here with me?" 70 "Why, I am an old woman, thou cuckoldy bishop; Lift up my leg and see."
"Then woe is me," the bishop he said, "That ever I saw this day!"
He turn'd him about, but Robin Hood stout[L75] 75 Call'd him, and bid him stay.
Then Robin took hold of the bishops horse, And ty'd him fast to a tree; Then Little John smil'd his master upon, For joy of that company. 80
Robin Hood took his mantle from 's back, And spread it upon the ground, And out of the bishops portmantle he Soon told five hundred pound.
"Now let him go," said Robin Hood; 85 Said Little John, "That may not be; For I vow and protest he shall sing us a mass, Before that he goe from me."
Then Robin Hood took the bishop by the hand, And bound him fast to a tree, 90 And made him sing a mass, god wot, To him and his yeomandree.