Ballads Of Robin Hood
Robin Hood's Death - Both Versions (Child Ballad 120)
Robin Hood's death at Kirklees Priory
‘I WILL neuer eate oor drinke,’ Robin Hood said,
‘Nor meate will doo me noe good,
Till I haue beene at merry Churchlees,
My vaines for to let blood.’
‘That I reade not,’ said Will Scarllett,
‘Master, by the assente of me,
Without halfe a hundred of your best bowmen
You take to goe with yee.
‘For there a good yeoman doth abide
Will be sure to quarrell with thee,
And if thou haue need of vs, master,
In faith we will not flee.’
‘And thou be feard, thou William Scarlett,
Att home I read thee bee:’
‘And you be wrothe, my deare master,
You shall neuer heare more of mee.’
* * * * *
‘For there shall noe man with me goe,
Nor man with mee ryde,
And Litle Iohn shall be my man,
And beare my benbow by my side.’
‘You’st beare your bowe, master, your selfe,
And shoote for a peny with mee:’
‘To that I doe assent,’ Robin Hood sayd,
‘And soe, Iohn, lett it bee.’
They two bolde children shotten together,
All day theire selfe in ranke,
Vntill they came to blacke water,
And over it laid a planke.
Vpon it there kneeled an old woman,
Was banning Robin Hoode;
‘Why dost thou bann Robin Hoode?’ said Robin,
. . . .
* * * * *
. . . .
‘To giue to Robin Hoode;
Wee weepen for his deare body,
That this day must be lett bloode.’
‘The dame prior is my aunts daughter,
And nie vnto my kinne;
I know shee wold me noe harme this day,
For all the world to winne.’
Forth then shotten these children two,
And they did neuer lin,
Vntill they came to merry Churchlees,
To merry Churchlees with-in.
And when they came to merry Churchlees,
They knoced vpon a pin;
Vpp then rose dame prioresse,
And lett good Robin in.
Then Robin gaue to dame prioresse
Twenty pound in gold,
And bad her spend while that wold last,
And shee shold haue more when shee wold.
And downe then came dame prioresse,
Downe she came in that ilke,
With a pair off blood-irons in her hands,
Were wrapped all in silke.
‘Sett a chaffing-dish to the fyer,’ said dame prioresse,
‘And stripp thou vp thy sleeue:’
I hold him but an vnwise man
That will noe warning leeve.
Shee laid the blood-irons to Robin Hoods vaine,
Alacke, the more pitye!
And pearct the vaine, and let out the bloode,
That full red was to see.
And first it bled, the thicke, thicke bloode,
And afterwards the thinne,
And well then wist good Robin Hoode
Treason there was within.
‘What cheere my master?’ said Litle Iohn;
‘In faith, Iohn, litle goode;’
. . . .
. . . .
* * * * *
‘I haue upon a gowne of greene,
Is cut short by my knee,
And in my hand a bright browne brand
That will well bite of thee.’
But forth then of a shot-windowe
Good Robin Hood he could glide;
Red Roger, with a grounden glaue,
Thrust him through the milke-white side.
But Robin was light and nimble of foote,
And thought to abate his pride,
Ffor betwixt his head and his shoulders
He made a wound full wide.
Says, Ly there, ly there, Red Roger,
The doggs they must thee eate;
‘For I may haue my houzle,’ he said,
‘For I may both goe and speake.
‘Now giue me mood,’ Robin said to Litle Iohn,
‘Giue me mood with thy hand;
I trust to God in heauen soe hye
My houzle will me bestand.’
‘Now giue me leaue, giue me leaue, master,’ he said,
‘For Christs loue giue leaue to me,
To set a fier within this hall,
And to burne vp all Churchlee.’
‘That I reade not,’ said Robin Hoode then,
‘Litle Iohn, for it may not be;
If I shold doe any widow hurt, at my latter end,
God,’ he said, ’wold blame me;
‘But take me vpon thy backe, Litle Iohn,
And beare me to yonder streete,
And there make me a full fayre graue,
Of grauell and of greete.
‘And sett my bright sword at my head,
Mine arrowes at my feete,
And lay my vew-bow by my side,
My met-yard wi
WHEN Robin Hood and Little John
Down a down a down a down
Went oer yon bank of broom,
Said Robin Hood bold to Little John,
We have shot for many a pound.
But I am not able to shoot one shot more,
My broad arrows will not flee;
But I have a cousin lives down below,
Please God, she will bleed me.
Now Robin he is to fair Kirkly gone,
As fast as he can win;
But before he came there, as we do hear,
He was taken very ill.
And when he came to fair Kirkly-hall,
He knockd all at the ring,
But none was so ready as his cousin herself
For to let bold Robin in.
‘Will you please to sit down, cousin Robin,’ she said,
‘And drink some beer with me?’
‘No, I will neither eat nor drink,
Till I am blooded by thee.’
‘Well, I have a room, cousin Robin,’ she said,
‘Which you did never see,
And if you please to walk therein,
You blooded by me shall be.’
She took him by the lily-white hand,
And led him to a private room,
And there she blooded bold Robin Hood,
While one drop of blood would run down.
She blooded him in a vein of the arm,
And locked him up in the room;
Then did he bleed all the live-long day,
Until the next day at noon.
He then bethought him of a casement there,
Thinking for to get down;
But was so weak he could not leap,
He could not get him down.
He then bethought him of his bugle-horn,
Which hung low down to his knee;
He set his horn unto his mouth,
And blew out weak blasts three.
Then Little John, when hearing him,
As he sat under a tree,
‘I fear my master is now near dead,
He blows so wearily.’
Then Little John to fair Kirkly is gone,
As fast as he can dree;
But when he came to Kirkly-hall,
He broke locks two or three:
Until he came bold Robin to see,
Then he fell on his knee;
‘A boon, a boon,’ cries Little John,
‘Master, I beg of thee.’
‘What is that boon,’ said Robin Hood,
‘Little John, thou begs of me?’
‘It is to burn fair Kirkly-hall,
And all their nonnery.’
‘Now nay, now nay,’ quoth Robin Hood,
‘That boon I’ll not grant thee;
I never hurt woman in all my life,
Nor men in woman’s company.
‘I never hurt fair maid in all my time,
Nor at mine end shall it be;
But give me my bent bow in my hand,
And a broad arrow I’ll let flee;
And where this arrow is taken up,
There shall my grave digged be.
‘Lay me a green sod under my head,
And another at my feet;
And lay my bent bow by my side,
Which was my music sweet;
And make my grave of gravel and green,
Which is most right and meet.
‘Let me have length and breadth enough,
With a green sod under my head;
That they may say, when I am dead
Here lies bold Robin Hood.’
These words they readily granted him,
Which did bold Robin please:
And there they buried bold Robin Hood,
Within the fair Kirkleys.