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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Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone,
With a link a down and a down, And there he met with the proud Sheriff,
Was walking along the town.
' O save, O save, O Sheriff,' he said,
' O save, and you may see! And what will you give to a silly old man
To-day will your hangman be :
' Some suits, some suits,' the Sheriff he said,
' Some suits I'll give to thee; Some suits, some suits, and pence thirteen
To-day's a hangman's fee.'
Then Robin he turns him round about,
And jumps from stock to stone ; ' By the truth of my body,' the Sheriff he said,
' That's well jumpt, thou nimble old man.'
' I was ne'er a hangman in all my life,
Nor yet intends to trade ; But curst be he,' said bold Robin,
' That first a hangman was made !
' I've a bag for meal, and a bag for malt,
And a bag for barley and corn ; A bag for bread, and a bag for beef,
And a bag for my little small horn. 624
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