Sparrow Hall Farm, Edlesborough, Buckinghamshire, LU6 2ES
So an arrow with a golden head
And shaft of silver white,
Who won the day should bear away
For his own proper right.
Tidings came to brave Robin Hood,
Under the green-wood tree:
'Come prepare you then, my merry men,
We'll go yon sport to see.'
With that stept forth a brave young man,
David of Doncaster:
'Master', said he, 'be ruld by me,
From the green-wood we'll not stir.
'To tell the truth, I'm well informed
Yon match is a wile;
The sheriff, I wiss, devises this
Us archers to beguile.'
'O thou smells of a coward,' said Robin Hood,
'Thy words does not please me;
Come on't what will, I'll try my skill
At yon brave archery.'
O then bespoke brave Little John:
Come, let us thither gang;
Come listen to me, how it shall be
That we need not be kend.
Our mantles, all of Lincoln green,
Behind us we will leave;
We'll dress us all so several
They shall not us perceive.
One shall wear white, another red,
One yellow, another blue;
Thus in disguise, to the exercise
We'll gang, whateer ensue.
Forth from the green-wood they are gone,
With hearts all firm and stout,
Resolving [then] with the sheriff's men
To have a hearty bout.
So themselves they mixed with the rest,
To prevent all suspicion;
For if they should together hold
They thought [it] no discretion.
So the sheriff looking round about,
Amongst eight hundred men,
But could not see the sight that he
Had long expected then.
Some said, If Robin Hood was here,
And all his men to boot,
Sure none of them could pass these men,
So bravely they do shoot.
'Ay,' quoth the sheriff, and scratchd his head,
'I thought he would have been here;
I thought he would, but, tho he's bold,
He durst not now appear.'
O that word grieved Robin Hood to the heart;
He vexed in his blood;
Eer long, thought he, thou shalt well see
That here was Robin Hood.
Some cried, Blue jacket! another cried, Brown!
And the third cried, Brave Yellow!
But the fourth man said, Yon man in red
In this place has no fellow.
For that was Robin Hood himself,
For he was cloathd in red;
At every shot the prize he got,
For he was both sure and dead.
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