The Oxford Book of Ballads - online book

A Selection Of The Best English Lyric Ballads Chosen & Edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch

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ROBIN HOOD AND BISHOP OF HEREFORD
' We'll kill a fat ven'son,' said bold Robin Hood, ' And dress't by the highway-side,
And narrowly watch for the Bishop, Lest some other way he should ride.'
v
He dress'd himself up in shepherd's attire,
With six of his men also ; And the Bishop of Hereford came thereby,
As about the fire they did go.
VI
' What matter is this ?' said the Bishop ;
' Or for whom do you make this a-do ? Or why do you kill the King's ven'son,
When your company is so few ?'
VII
' We are shepherds,' said bold Robin Hood,
' And we keep sheep all the year; And we are disposed to be merry this day,
And to kill of the King's fat deer.'
VIII
' You are brave fellowes,' said the Bishop, ' And the King of your doings shall know ;
Therefore make haste, come along with me, For before the King you shall go.'
IX
' O pardon, O pardon,' says bold Robin Hood,
' O pardon, I thee pray ! For it never becomes your lordship's coat
To take so many lives away.'
613
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