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1 In somer, when the shawesi be sheyne2,

And leves be large and long,
Hit is full mery in feyre foreste
To here the foulys' song:

2 To se the dere draw to the dale,

And leve the hilles hee,
And shadow hem in the leves grene,
Under the grene-wode tre.

3 Hit befel on Whitsontide,

Erly in a May mornyng,
The son np feyre can* shyne,
And the briddis mery can syng.

4 'This is a mery mornyng,' seid Litull John,

'Be6 hym that dyed on tre;
A more mery man then» I am one
Lyves not in Christiante.

5 'Pink np thi hert, my dere mayster,'

Litull John can* sey,
And thynk hit is a full fayre tyme
In a mornyng of Hay.'

6 'Ye, onT thyng greves me,' seid Eobyn,

'And does my hert mych woo;
That I may not no solem day
To mas nor matyns goo.

1 'Hit is a fourtnet and more,' seid he,
'Syn I my savyour see»;
Today wil I to Notyngham,

With the myght of mylde Marye.'

* Than spake Moche. the mylner sun», Ever more wel hym betydel

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'Take twelve of thi wyght yemenio,

Well weppynd, be thi side.
Such on wolde thi selfe slonu,

That twelve dar not abyde12.'

9 'Of all my mery men,' seid Robyn,
'Be my feith I wil non have,
But Litull John shall beyre my bow,
Til that me list" to drawe.'

10 'Thou shall beyre thin own,' seid Litull


'Maister, and I wyl beyre myne, And we well shete a penyi*,' seid Litull Jon,

'Under the grene-wode lyne>s.'

11 'I wil not shete a peny,' seyd Bobyn Hode,

'In feith, Litull John, with the, But ever for on asi' thou shetis,' seide Robyn,

'In feith I holde" the thre.'

12 Thus shet thei forth, these yemen too18,

Bothe at buskei» and brome20,
Til Litull John wan of his maister
Five shillings to" hose and shone22.

13 A ferly28 strife fel them betwene,

As they went bi the wey;
Litull John seid he had won five shillings,
And Robyn Hode seid schortly nay.

14 With that Robyn Hode lyed2* Litul Jon,

And smote hym with his hande;
Litul Jon waxed wroth therwith,
And pulled out his bright bronde.

15 'Were thou not my maister,' seid Litull


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'Thou shuldis by" hit ful sore;
Get the a man wher thou wilt,
For thou getis me no more.'

16 Then Robyn goes to Notyngham,

Hym selfe mornyng allone,
And Litull John to mery Scherwode,
The pathes he knew ilkone2'.

17 Whan Bobyn came to Notyngham,

Sertenly withouten layn",
He prayed to God and myld Mary
To bryng hym out save2' agayn.

18 He gos in to Seynt Mary chirch,

And kneled down before the rode2»;
Alle that ever were the church within
Beheld wel Robyn Hode.

19 Beside hym stod a gret-hedid munke,

I pray to God wooso he be!
Fful sone he knew gode Robyn,
As sone as he hym se.

20 Out at the durre he ran,

Fful sone and anon;
Alle the gatis of Notyngham
He made to be sparredsi everychon.

21 'Rise up,' he seid, 'thou prowde schereff,

Buske112 the and make the bowness;
I have spyed the kynggis felon,
Ffor sothe he is in this town.

22 'I have spyed the false felon,

As he stondis at his masse;
Hit is longs* of the,' seide the munke,
'Andas ever he fro us passe.

23 'This traytur name is Robyn Hode,

Under the grene-wode lynde;
He robbyt me onys86 of a hundred pound,
Hit shalle never out of my mynde.'

24 Up then rose this prowde shereff,

And radly87 made hym yare";
Many was the moder son

To the kyrk with hym can fare.

25 In at the durres thei thToly's thrast,

With staves ful gode wone88;

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'Alas, alas,' seid Robyn Hode,
'Now mysse I Litull John.'

26 But Robyn toke out a too-hond sworde,

That hangit down be his kne;
Ther asi the schereff and his men stode
Thedurwarde wolde he.

27 Thryes thorowout them he ran then

For sothe as I yow sey,
And woundyt mony a moder son,
And twelve he slew that day.

28 His sworde upon the schireff hed

Sertanly he brake in too;
'The smyth that the made,' seid Robyn,
'I pray God wyrke hym woo.

29 'Ffor now am I weppynlesse,' seid Robyn,

'Alasse! agayn my wylle;
But if2 I may fle these traytors fro,
I wot thei wil me kyll.'

30 Robyn in to the churche ran,

Throout hem everilkon,"

31 Sums fel in swonyng as thei were dede,

And lay stil as any stone;
Non of theym were in her mynde
But only Litull Jon.

32 'Let be your rule4,' seid Litull Jon,

'Ffor his luf that dyed on tre,
Ye that shulde be dughty men;
Het is gret shame to se.

33 'Oure maister has bene hard bystode*

And yet scapyd away;
Pluk up your hertis, and leve this mone,
And harkyn what I shal say.

34 'He has servyd Oure Lady many a day,

And yet wil, securlyi;
Therfor I trust in hir specialy
No wyckud deth shal he dye.

35 'Therfor be glad,' seid Litul John,

'And let this mournyng be;
And I shal be the munkis gyde,
With the myght of myldc Mary.

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37 'Loke that ye kepe wel owre tristil-tre',

Under the levys mule,
And spare non of this venyson,
That gose in thys vale.'

38 Fforthe then went these yemen too,

Litul John and Moche on fere*,
And lokid on Moch emys hows",
The hye way lay full nere.

39 Litul John stode at a wyndow in the

And lokid forth at a stage";
He was war wher the munke came ridyng,
And with hym a litul page.

40 'Be my feith,' seid Litul John to Moch,

'I can the tel tithyngus" gode;
I se wher the munke cumys rydyng,
I know hym be his wyde hode.'

41 They went in to the way, these yemen


As curtes men and hende11;
Thei spyrred18 tithyngus at J« the munke,
As they hade bene his frendeis.

42 'Ffro whens come yet' seid Litull Jon,

'Tel us tithyngus, I yow pray,
Off a false owtlay, callid Bobyn Hode,
Was takyn yisterday.

43 'He robbyt me and my felowes bothe

Of twenti marke19 in serten;
If that false owtlay be takyn,
Ffor sothe we wolde be faynif.'

*t '8o did he me,' seid the munke,
Of a hundred pound and more;
I Iayde furst hande hym apon,
Ye may thonke me therfore.'

45 'I pray God thanke you,' seid Litull John,
'And we will when we may;
We will go with you, with your leve,
And bryng yow on your way.

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46 'Ffor Bobyn Hode hase many a wilde

I tell you in certen;
If thei wist ye rode this way,
In feith ye shulde be slayn.'

47 As thei went talking be the way,

The munke and Litull John,
John toke the munkis horse be the hede,
Fful sone and anon.

48 Johne toke the munkis horse be the bed,

Ffor sothe as I yow say;
So did Much the litull page,
Ffor he shulde not scape away.

49 Be the golettis 0f the hode

John pulled the munke down;
John was nothyng of hym agast,
He lete hym falle on his crown.

BO Litull John was sore agrevyd,

And drew owt his swerde in hye;
This munke saw he shulde be ded,
Lowd mercy can he crye.

51 'He was my maister,' seid Litull John,

'That thou hase browght in bale";
Shalle thou never cum at our kyng,
Ffor to telle hym tale.'

52 John smote of the munkis bed,

No longer wolde he dwell;
So did Moch the litull page,
Ffor ferd lest he wolde tell.

53 Ther thei beryed hem bothe,

In nouther mosse nor lyngf,
And Litull John and Much infere
Bare the letturs to oure kyng.

He knelid down upon his kne:
'God yow save, my lege lorde,
Jhesus yow save and se!

55 'God yow save, my lege kyng!'

To speke John was full bolde;
He gaf hym the letturs in his hond,
The kyng did hit unfold.

56 The kyng red the letturs anon,

And seid, 'So mot I theTM,
Ther was never yoman in mery Inglond
I longut so sore to se.

is throat-band 20 neither moss nor

la barm heather

21 may I thrive

67 'Wher is the munke that these shuld have

Oure kyng can say:
'Be my trouth,' seid Litull John,
•He dyed after" the way.'

68 The kyng gaf Moch and Litul Jon

Twenti pound in sertan,
And made theim yemen of the crown,
And bade theim go agayn.

69 He gaf John the seel in hand,

The sheref for to bere,
To bryng Bobyn hym to,
And no man do hym dere23.

60 John toke his leve at2* oure kyng,
The sothe as I yow say;
The next way to Notyngham
To take, he yede" the way.

•t Whan John came to Notyngham
The gatiB were sparred ychon;
John callid up the porter,
He answerid sone anon.

62 ''What is the cause,' seid Litul Jon,

'Thou sparris the gates so fast?' 'Because of Bobyn Hode,' seid tho porter, 'In depe prison is cast.

63 'John and Moch and Wyll Scathlok,

Ffor sothe as I yow say,
Thei slew oure men upon our wallis,
And sawten2' us every day.'

64 Litull John spyrred after the schereff,

And sone he hym fonde;
He oppyned the kyngus prive seell,
And gaf hym in his honde.

65 Whan the scheref saw the kyngus soell,

He did of21 his hode anon:
'Wher is the munke that bare the letturs?'
He seid to Litull John.

66 'He2* is so fayn of2» hym,' seid Litul


'Ffor sothe as I yow say.
He has made hym abot of Westmynster,
A lorde of that abbay.'

67 The scheref made John gode chere,

And gaf hym wyne of the best;

22 upon 2« assault

23 harm 27 put off

24 of 28 1. e., the king 2> went 2» pleased with

At nyght thei went to her bedde,
And every man to his rest.

68 When the scheref was on slepe,

Dronken of wyne and ale,
Litul John and Moch for sothe
Toke the way unto the jale.

69 Litul John callid up the jayler,

And bade hym rise anon;
He seyd Eobyn Hode had brokyn prison,
And out of hit was gon.

70 The porter rose anon sertan,

As sone as he herd John calle;
Litul John was redy with a swerd,
And bare hym to the walle.

71 'Now wil I be porter,' seid Litul John,

'And take the keyes in honde': He toke the way to Eobyn Hode, And sone he hym unbonde.

72 He gaf hym a gode swerd in his hond,

His hed therwith for to kepe1,
And ther as2 the walle was lowyst
Anon down can thei lepe.

73 Be that the cok began to crow,

The day began to spryng;
The scheref fond the jaylier ded,
The eomyn* bell made he ryng.

74 He made a crye thoroout al the town,

Wherler he be yoman or knave,
That cowthe bryng hym Bobyn Hode,
His warison* he shuld have.

75 'Ffor I dar never,' said the scheref,

'Cum before oure kyng;
Ffor if I do, I wot serten
Ffor sothe he wil me heng.'

76 The scheref made to seke Notyngham,

Bothe be strete and stye5,
And Robyn was in mcry Scherwode,
As light as lef on lynde*.

77 Then bespake gode Litull John,

To Robyn Hode can he say,
'I have done the a gode turn for an evyll,
Quyte7 the whan thou may.

78 'I have done the a gode turne,' seid Litull


1 guard B alley

2 where 6 linden tree

3 public 7 quit (1. c, clear the t reward debt)

'Ffor sothe as I yow Bay;
I have brought the under grene-wode lyne«;
Ffare we], and have gode day.'

78 'Nay, be my trouth,' Beid Bobyn Hode,
'So shall hit never be;
I make the maister,' seid Bobyn Hode,
'Off alle my men and me.'

80 'Nay, be my trouth,' seid Litull John,

'So shalle hit never be; But lat me be a felow,' Beid Litull John, 'No noder kepc I be8.'

81 Thus John gate Bobyn Hod out of prison;

Sertan withoutyn layn9,
Whan his men saw hym hoi and sounde,
Ffor sothe they were full fayne.

82 They filled in wyne, and made hem "glad.

Under the levys smale,
And geteio pastes of venyson,
That gode was with ale.

83 Than worde came to oure kyng

How Robyn Hode was gon,
And how the seheref of Notyngham
Durst never loke hym upon.

S4 Then bespake oure cuinly kyng,
In an angur hye:
'Litull John hase begyled the sehereff,
In faith so hase he me.

85 'Litul John has begyled us bothe,
And that full wel I se;
Or ellis the sehereff of Notyngham
Hye hongutu shnlde he be.

8« 'I made hem yemen of the crowne,
And gaf hem feei* with my hond;
I gaf hem grith'3,' seid oure kyng,
1 Thorovrout all mery Inglond.

87 «I gaf theym grith,' then Beid oure kyng;

'I say, so mot I the,
Ffor sothe soch a yeman as he is on**
In all Inglond ar not thre.

88 'He is trew to his maister,' seid our kyng;

'I Bey, be swete Seynt John,
He lovys better Robyn Hode
Then he dose us ychon.

« no other care I to be

• lying (i. e., truly) nmonov

10 got is security

11 banged it one

89 'Bobyn Hode is ever bond to hym,

Bothe in Btrete and stalle*5;
Speke no more of this mater,' seid oure

'But John has begyled us alle.'

90 Thus endys the talkyng of the munke

And Robyn Hode i-wysse'9;
God, that is ever a crowned kyng,
Bryng us all to his blisse.'


1 The Perse1 owt2 off Northombarlonde,

and avowe to God mayd he
That he wold hunte in the mowntayns

off Chyviat within days thre,
In the magger of3 doughte Dogles,

and all that ever with him be.

2 The fattiste hartes in all Cheviat

he sayd he wold kyll, and cary them away:

"Be my feth," sayd the dougheti Doglas agayn,

"I wyll let* that hontyng yf that I may.''

3 Then the Perse owt off Banborowe cam,

with him a myghtee meany5, With fifteen hondrith archares bold off blood and bone; the8 wear chosen owt of shyars' thre.

4 This begane on a Monday at morn,

in Cheviat the hillys so he;
The chylde may rue that ys unborn,
it wos the more pitte.

5 The dryvars" thorowe the woodiis went,

for to reas the dear;
Bomen byckarte0 uppone the benti"
with ther browd aros cleare'i.

6 Then the wyldis thorowe the woodes went,

on every syde shear'3; Greahondes thorowe the grevis'* glent15, for to kyll thear dear.

15 i. e., abroad and at borne la Indeed

1 The family of Percy was an old one of northern


2 came out » skirmished

3 maugre, In spite of io field

4 prevent n bright

5 band "gnme

e they 13 several, separate

7 shires i« groves

sstalkers 15 darted

•Probably old In 1550. Sidney mentions "the olde song of Percy and Duglas." There Is a later version which Is commonly known as Chevy Chace.

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