With that bespake one Clifton then, Full quickly and full soone; "Measure no markes for us, most soveraigne liege, Wee'l shoot at sun and moone."
"Ful fifteene score your marke shall be, 85 Ful fifteene score shall stand;"
"I'll lay my bow," said Clifton then, "I'll cleave the willow wand."
With that the kings archers led about, While it was three and none; 90 With that the ladies began to shout, "Madam, your game is gone."
"A boone, a boone," queen Katherine cries, "I crave it on my bare knee; Is there any knight of your privy counsel 95 Of queen Katherines part will be?
"Come hither to mee, sir Richard Lee, Thou art a knight full good; For I do knowe by thy pedigree Thou sprung'st from Gowers blood. 100
"Come hither to me, thou bishop of Herefordshire,"
For a noble priest was hee; "By my silver miter," said the bishop then, "Ile not bet one peny."
"The king hath archers of his own, 105 Full ready and full light, And these be strangers every one, No man knowes what they hight."
"What wilt thou bet," said Robin Hood, "Thou seest our game the worse?" 110 "By my silver miter," then said the bishop, "All the money within my purse."
"What is in thy purse?" said Robin Hood, "Throw it downe on the ground."
"Fifteen score nobles," said the bishop; 115 "It's neere an hundred pound."
Robin Hood took his bagge from his side, And threw it downe on the greene; William Scadlocke then went smiling away, "I know who this money must win." 120
With that the kings archers led about, While it was three and three; With that the ladies gave a shout, "Woodcock, beware thy knee!"
"It is three and three, now," said the king, 125 "The next three pays for all:"
Robin Hood went and whisper'd the queen, "The kings part shall be but small."
Robin Hood hee led about, Hee shot it under hand; 130 And Clifton, with a bearing arrow, Hee clave the willow wand.
And little Midge, the millers son, He shot not much the worse; He shot within a finger of the prick: 135 "Now, bishop, beware thy purse!"
"A boone, a boone," queen Katherine cries, "I crave it on my bare knee, That you will angry be with none That are of my partie." 140
"They shall have forty daies to come, And forty daies to goe, And three times forty to sport and play; Then welcome friend or foe."
"Thou art welcome, Robin Hood," said the queene, 145 "And so is Little John, And so is Midge, the millers son; Thrice welcome every one."
"Is this Robin Hood?" now said the king; "For it was told to me 150 That he was slain in the palace gates, So far in the north country."
"Is this Robin Hood?" quoth the bishop then, "As I see well to be: Had I knowne it had been that bold outlaw, 155 I would not [have] bet one peny.
"Hee tooke me late one Saturday at night, And bound mee fast to a tree, And made mee sing a masse, God wot, To him and his yeomandree." 160
"What an if I did?" saies Robin Hood, "Of that masse I was faine; "For recompence of that," he saies, "Here's halfe thy gold againe."
"Now nay, now nay," saies Little John, 165 "Master, that shall not be; We must give gifts to the kings officers; That gold will serve thee and mee."
65. Ground near Moorfields, London, famous in old times for the archery practised there. "In the year 1498," says Stow, "all the gardens which had continued time out of minde, without Mooregate, to wit, about and beyond the lordship of Fensberry, were destroyed. And of them was made a plaine field for archers to shoote in." _Survay of London_, 1598, p. 351. See also p. 77, where it is observed that "about the feast of S. Bartlemew ... the officers of the city ...
were challengers of all men in the suburbes, ... before the lord maior, aldermen, and sheriffes, in FENSBERY FIELDE, to shoote the standarde, broade arrow, and flight, for games."
[The Finsbury] archers are mentioned by Ben Jonson, in _Every man in his humour_, act i, scene 1: "Because I dwell at Hogsden, I shall keep company with none but the archers of Finsbury."
The practice of shooting here is alluded to by Cotton, in his _Virgile travestie_ (b. iv.), 1667:
"And arrows loos'd from Grub-street bow, "In FINSBURY, to him are slow;"
and continued till within the memory of persons now living. RITSON.
ROBIN HOODS CHASE:
Or, a merry progress between Robin Hood and King Henry: shewing how Robin Hood led the king his chase from London to London; and when he had taken his leave of the queen, he returned to merry Sherwood. To the tune of _Robin Hood and the Beggar_."
"From an old black-letter copy in the collection of Anthony a Wood."
RITSON'S _Robin Hood_, ii. 96.
Come, you gallants all, to you I do call, _With hey down, down, an a down_, That now are in this place; For a song I will sing of Henry the king, How he did Robin Hood chase.
Queen Katherin she a match did make,[L5] 5 As plainly doth appear, For three hundred tun of good red wine, And three [hundred] tun of beere.
But yet her archers she had to seek, With their bows and arrows so good; 10 But her mind it was bent, with a good intent, To send for bold Robin Hood.
But when bold Robin he came there, Queen Katherin she did say, "Thou art welcome, Locksley," said the queen, 15 "And all thy yeomen gay;
"For a match of shooting I have made, And thou on my part, Robin, must be."
"If I miss the mark, be it light or dark, Then hanged I will be." 20
But when the game came to be played, Bold Robin he then drew nigh; With his mantle of green, most brave to be seen, He let his arrows fly.
And when the game it ended was, 25 Bold Robin wan it with a grace; But after the king was angry with him, And vowed he would him chace.
What though his pardon granted was, While he with him did stay; 30 But yet the king was vexed at him, Whenas he was gone his way.
Soon after the king from the court did hye, In a furious angry mood, And often enquired both far and near 35 After bold Robin Hood.
But when the king to Nottingham came, Bold Robin was in the wood: "O come now," said he, "and let me see Who can find me bold Robin Hood." 40
But when that bold Robin he did hear The king had him in chase, Then said Little John, "Tis time to be gone, And go to some other place."
Then away they went from merry Sherwood, 45 And into Yorkshire he did hye; And the king did follow, with a hoop and a hallow, But could not come him nigh.
Yet jolly Robin he passed along, And went strait to Newcastle town; 50 And there he stayed hours two or three, And then to Barwick is gone.[L52]