Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 5 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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The king was higher than the rest,
And Robin thought he had An abbot been whom he had seen ;
To rob him he was glad.
He took the kings horse by the head,
"Abbot," says he, " abide; I am bound to rue such knaves as you,
That live in pomp and pride."
" But we are messengers from the king,"
The king himself did say; " Near to this place his royal grace
To speak with thee does stay."
" God save the king," said Robin Hood, "And all that wish him well;
He that does deny his sovereignty, I wish he was in hell."
" Thyself thou cursedst," says the king,
" For thou a traitor art:" " Nay, but that you are his messenger,
I swear you lie in heart.
" For I never yet hurt any man
That honest is and true; But those who give their minds' to live
Upon other mens due.
" I never hurt the husbandmen,
That use to till the ground : Nor spill their blood who range the wood
To follow hawk or hound.