When the king did see how Robin did flee, He was vexed wondrous sore; With a hoop and a hallow he vowed to follow, 55 And take him, or never give ore.
"Come now, let's away," then crys Little John, "Let any man follow that dare; To Carlisle we'l hye with our company, And so then to Lancaster." 60
From Lancaster then to Chester they went, And so did king Henry; But Robin [went] away, for he durst not stay, For fear of some treachery.
Says Robin, "Come, let us for London goe, 65 To see our noble queens face; It may be she wants our company, Which makes the king so us chase."
When Robin he came queene Katherin before, He fell low upon his knee: 70 "If it please your grace, I am come to this place, For to speak with king Henry."
Queen Katherine answered bold Robin again,[L73]
"The king is gone to merry Sherwood: And when he went away, to me he did say, 75 He would go and seek Robin Hood."
"Then fare you well, my gracious queen, For to Sherwood I will hye apace; For fain would I see what he would with me, If I could but meet with his grace." 80
But when king Henry he came home, Full weary, and vexed in mind, And that he did hear Robin had been there, He blamed dame Fortune unkind.
"You're welcome home," queen Katherin cryed, 85 "Henry, my soveraign liege; Bold Robin Hood, that archer good, Your person hath been to seek."
But when king Henry he did hear, That Robin had been there him to seeke, 90 This answer he gave, "He's a cunning knave, For I have sought him this whole three weeks."
"A boon! a boon!" queen Katherin cry'd, "I beg it here of your grace;-- To pardon his life, and seek not strife," 95 And so endeth Robin Hoods chase.
5, then did.
52, he ... was.
73, Robin Hood.
LITTLE JOHN AND THE FOUR BEGGERS.
"From an old black-letter copy in the collection of Anthony a Wood: the full title being, _A new merry song of Robin Hood and Little John, shewing how Little John went a begging, and how he fought with the four beggers_. _The tune is, Robin Hood and the Begger._" RITSON'S _Robin Hood_, ii. 132.
All you that delight to spend some time, _With a hey down, down, a down, down_, A merry song for to sing, Unto me draw neer, and you shall hear How Little John went a beggng.
As Robin Hood walked the forest along, 5 And all his yeomandree, Sayes Robin, "Some of you must a begging go, And, Little John, it must be thee."
Sayes John, "If I must a begging go, I will have a palmers weed, 10 With a staff and a coat, and bags of all sort, The better then I may speed.
"Come, give me now a bag for my bread, And another for my cheese, And one for a peny, whenas I get any, 15 That nothing I may leese."
Now Little John he is a begging gone, Seeking for some relief; But of all the beggers he met on the way, Little John he was the chief. 20
But as he was walking himself alone, Four beggers he chanced to spy, Some deaf, and some blind, and some came behind; Says John, "Here's brave company.
"Good-morrow," said John, "my brethren dear, 25 Good fortune I had you to see; Which way do you go? pray let me know, For I want some company.
"O what is here to do?" then said Little John, "Why ring all these bells?" said he; 30 "What dog is a hanging? come, let us be ganging, That we the truth may see."
"Here is no dog a hanging," then one of them said, "Good fellow, we tell unto thee; But here is one dead that will give us cheese and bread,[L35] 35 And it may be one single penny."[L36]
"We have brethren in London," another he said, "So have we in Coventry, In Barwick and Dover, and all the world over, But ne'er a crookt carril like thee. 40
"Therefore stand thee back, thou crooked carel, And take that knock on the crown:"
"Nay," said Little John, "Ile not yet be gone, For a bout will I have of you round.
"Now have at you all," then said Little John, 45 "If you be so full of your blows; Fight on all four, and nere give ore, Whether you be friends or foes."
John nipped the dumb, and made him to rore, And the blind he made to see, 50 And he that a cripple had been seven years,[L51]
He made run then faster than he.
And flinging them all against the wall, With many a sturdie bang, It made John sing, to hear the gold ring, 55 Which against the walls cryed twang.
Then he got out of the beggers cloak Three hundred pound in gold; "Good fortune had I," then said Little John, "Such a good sight to behold." 60
But what found he in the beggars bag, But three hundred pound and three?
"If I drink water while this doth last, Then an ill death may I dye.
"And my begging trade I will now give ore, 65 My fortune hath bin so good; Therefore Ile not stay, but I will away To the forrest of merry Sherwood."
And when to the forrest of Sherwood he came, He quickly there did see 70 His master good, bold Robin Hood, And all his company.
"What news? What news?" then said Robin Hood, "Come, Little John, tell unto me; How hast thou sped with thy beggers trade? 75 For that I fain would see."
"No news but good," said Little John, "With begging ful wel I have sped; Six hundred and three I have here for thee, In silver and gold so red. 80
Then Robin took Little John by the hand, And danced about the oak tree: "If we drink water while this doth last, Then an il death may we die."
So to conclude my merry new song, 85 All you that delight it to sing, 'Tis of Robin Hood, that archer good, And how Little John went a beggng.
35, 36. The allusion is of course to the dole at funerals.
51, that could not.
THE NOBLE FISHER-MAN,
OR, ROBIN HOODS PREFERMENT:
Shewing how he won a prize on the sea, and how he gave the one halfe to his dame, and the other to the building of almes-houses. The tune is, _In summer time_, etc.
"From three old black-letter copies; one in the collection of Anthony a Wood, another in the British Museum, and the third in a private collection." RITSON'S _Robin Hood_, ii. 114.