Robin Hood’s Progress to Nottingham
No: 139; variant: 139A
- ROBIN HOOD hee was and a tall young man,
Derry derry down
And fifteen winters old,
And Robin Hood he was a proper young man,
Of courage stout and bold.
Hey down derry derry down
- Robin Hood he would and to fair Nottingham,
With the general for to dine;
There was he ware of fifteen forresters,
And a drinking bear, ale, and wine.
- ‘What news? What news?’ said bold Robin Hood;
‘What news, fain wouldest thou know?
Our king hath provided a shooting-match:’
‘And I’m ready with my bow.’
- ‘We hold it in scorn,’ then said the forresters,
‘That ever a boy so young
Should bear a bow before our king,
That’s not able to draw one string.’
- ‘I’le hold you twenty marks,’ said bold Robin Hood,
‘By the leave of Our Lady,
That I’le hit a mark a hundred rod,
And I’le cause a hart to dye.’
- ‘We’l hold you twenty mark,’ then said the forresters,
‘By the leave of Our Lady,
Thou hitst not the marke a hundred rod,
Nor causest a hart to dye.’
- Robin Hood he bent up a noble bow,
And a broad arrow he let flye,
He hit the mark a hundred rod,
And he caused a hart to dy.
- Some said hee brake ribs one or two,
And some said hee brake three;
The arrow within the hart would not abide,
But it glanced in two or three.
- The hart did skip, and the hart did leap,
And the hart lay on the ground;
‘The wager is mine,’ said bold Robin Hood,
‘If ‘twere for a thousand pound.’
- ‘The wager’s none of thine,’ then said the forresters,
‘Although thou beest in haste;
Take up thy bow, and get thee hence,
Lest wee thy sides do baste.’
- Robin Hood hee took up his noble bow,
And his broad arrows all amain,
And Robin Hood he laught, and begun to smile,
As hee went over the plain.
- Then Robin Hood hee bent his noble bow,
And his broad arrows he let flye,
Till fourteen of these fifteen forresters
Vpon the ground did lye.
- He that did this quarrel first begin
Went tripping over the plain;
But Robin Hood he bent his noble bow,
And hee fetcht him back again.
- ‘You said I was no archer,’ said Robin Hood,
‘But say so now again;’
With that he sent another arrow
That split his head in twain.
- ‘You have found mee an archer,’ saith Robin Hood,
‘Which will make your wives for to wring,
And wish that you had never spoke the word,
That I could not draw one string.’
- The people that lived in fair Nottingham
Came runing out amain,
Supposing to have taken bold Robin Hood,
With the forresters that were slain.
- Some lost legs, and some lost arms,
And some did lose their blood,
But Robin Hood hee took up his noble bow,
And is gone to the merry green wood.
- They carryed these forresters into fair Nottingham,
As many there did know;
They digd them graves in their church-yard,
And they buried them all a row.