Page images

A boon, a boon, said the curtal friar,

The like I gave to thee; Give me leave to put my fist to my mouth,

And whute * whutes three.

That I will do, said Robin Hood,

Or else I were to blame ; Three whutes in a friar's fist

Would make me glad and fain.

The friar he set his fist to his mouth,

And he whuted him whutes three; Half an hundred good ban dogs

Came running over the lea.

Here is for every man a dog,

And I myself for thee;
Nay, by my faith, said Robin Hood,

Friar, that may not be.

Two dogs at once to Robin did go,

The one behind, and the other before ; Robin Hood's mantle of Lincoln green

Off from his back they tore.

* Whistle,

And whether his men shot east or west,

Or they shot north or south,
The curtal dogs, so taught they were,

They caught the arrows in their mouth.

Take up thy dogs, said Little John,

Friar, at my bidding thee;
Whose man art thou, said the curtal friar,

That comes here to prate to me ?

I am Little John, Robin Hood's man,

Friar, I will not lie;
If thou take not up thy dogs anon,

I'll take them up and thee.

Little John had a bow in his hand,

He shot with might and main ; Soon half a score of the friar's dogs

Lay dead upon the plain.

Hold thy hand, good fellow, said the curtal friar,

Thy master and I will agree ;
And we will have new orders taken,

With all haste that may be.

If thou wilt forsake fair Fountain Dale,

And Fountain Abbey free,
Every Sunday throughout the year

A noble shall be thy fee.

Every Sunday throughout the year,

Chang'd shall thy garments be,
If thou wilt to fair Nottingham go,

And there remain with me.

The curtal friar had kept Fountain Dale,

Seven long years and more ; There was neither knight, lord, nor earl,

Could make him yield before.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

OME listen to me, you gallants so free,

All you that love mirth for to hear, And I will tell you of a bold outlaw,

That liv'd in Nottinghamshire.

As Robin Hood in the forest stood,

All under the greenwood tree, There was he aware of a brave young man,

As fine as fine might be.

The youngster was clothed in scarlet red,

In scarlet fine and gay ;
And he did frisk it o'er the plain,

And chaunted a roundelay.

As Robin Hood next morning stood

Amongst the leaves so gay,
There did he 'spy the same young man

Come drooping along the way.

The scarlet he wore the day before,

It was cast clean away ;
And ev'ry step he fetch'd a sigh,

Alack and well a day!

Then stepped forth brave Little John,

And Midge the miller's son, Which made the young man bend his bow,

When he did see them come.

Stand off, stand off, the young man said,

What is your will with me ? You must come before our master straight,

Under yonder greenwood tree.

And when he came bold Robin before,

Robin asked him courteously, O hast thou any money to spare

For my merry men and me?

« PreviousContinue »