Robin Hood and the Butcher (A)
BUT Robin he walkes in the greene forrest,
As merry as bird on boughe,
But he that feitches good Robins head,
Hee'le find him game enoughe.
But Robine he walkes in the greene forrest,
Vnder his trusty-tree;
Sayes, Hearken, hearken, my merrymen all,
What tydings is come to me.
The sheriffe he hath made a cry,
Hee'le have my head i-wis;
But ere a tweluemonth come to an end
I may chance to light on his.
Robin he marcht in the greene forrest,
Vnder the greenwood scray,
And there he was ware of a proud bucher,
Came driuing flesh by the way.
The bucher he had a cut-taild dogg,
And at Robins face he flew;
But Robin he was a good sword,
The bucher's dogg he slew.
`Why slayes thou my dogg?' sayes the bucher,
`For he did none ill to thee;
By all the saints that are in heaven
Thou shalt haue buffetts three.'
He tooke his staffe then in his hand,
And he turnd him round about:
`Thou hast a litle wild blood in thy head,
Good fellow, thou'st haue it letten out.'
`He that does that deed,' sayes Robin,
`I'le count him for a man;
But that while will I draw my sword,
And fend it if I can.'
But Robin he stroke att the bloudy bucher,
In place were he did stand,
`I am a younge bucher,' sayes Robin,
`You fine dames am I come amonge;
But euer I beseech you, good Mrs Sheriffe,
You must see me take noe wronge.'
`Thou art verry welcome,' said Master Sherriff's wiffe,
`Thy inne heere up to take;
If any good fellow come in thy companie,
Hee'st be welcome for thy sake.'
Robin called for ale, soe did he for wine,
And for it he did pay:
`I must to my markett goe,' says Robin,
`For I hold time itt of the day.'
But Robin is to the markett gone,
Soe quickly and beliue,
He sold more flesh for one peny
Then other buchers did for fiue.
The drew about the younge bucher,
Like sheepe into a fold;
Yea neuer a bucher had sold a bitt
Till Robin he had all sold.
When Robin Hood had his markett made,
His flesh was sold and gone;
Yea he had receiued but a litle mony,
But thirty pence and one.
Seaven buchers, the garded Robin Hood,
full many time and oft;
Sayes, We must drinke with you, brother bucher,
It's custome of our crafte.
`If that be the custome of your crafte,
As heere you tell to me.
Att four of the clocke in the afternoone
At the sheriffs hall I wilbe.'
. . . .
`If thou doe like it well;
Yea heere is more by three hundred pound
Then thou hast beasts to sell.'
Robyn sayd naught, the more he thought:
`Mony neere comes out of time;
If once I catch thee in the greene forest,
That mony it shall be mine.'
But on the next day seuen butchurs
Came to guard the sheriffe that day;
But Robin he was the whightest man,
He led them all the way.
He led them into the greene forest,
Vnder the trusty tree;
Yea, there were harts, and ther were hynds,
and staggs with heads full high.
Yea, there were harts and there were hynds,
And many a goodly fawne;
`Now praised be God,' says bold Robin,
`All these they be my owne.
`These are my horned beasts,' says Robin,
`Master Sherriffe, which must make the stake;'
`But euer alacke, now,' said the sheriffe,
`That tydings comes to late!'
Robin sett a shrill horne to his mouth,
And a loud blast he did blow,
And then halfe a hundred bold archers
Came rakeing on a row.
But when the came befor bold Robin,
Even there the stood all bare:
`You are welcome, master, from Nottingham:
How haue you sold your ware?'
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
It proues bold Robin Hood.
`Yea, he hath robbed me of all my gold
And siluer that euer I had;
But that I had a verry good wife at home,
I shold haue lost my head.
`But I had a verry good wife at home,
Which made him gentle cheere,
And therfor, for my wifes sake,
I shold haue better favor heere.
`But such favor as he shewed me
I might haue of the devills dam,
That will rob a man of all he hath,
And send him naked home.'
`That is very well done,' then dsays his wiffe,
`Itt is well done, I say;
You might haue tarryed att Nottingham,
Soe fayre as I did you pray.'
`I haue learned wisdome,' sayes the sherriffe,
`And, wife, I haue learned of thee;
But if Robin walke easte, or he walke west,
He shall neuer be sought for me.'
Version A in Child