Ballads Of Robin Hood

The Jolly Pinder of Wakefield (Child Ballad 124)

Percy Folio ballad. Robin's attempts to enter Wakefield are hindered by a vigilant pinder who attempts to charge a toll

Version A

IN Wakefield there lives a jolly pinder,
In Wakefield, all on a green;
In Wakefield, all on a green;

‘There is neither knight nor squire,’ said the pinder,
‘Nor baron that is so bold,
‘Nor baron that is so bold,
Dare make a trespasse to the town of Wakefield,
But his pledge goes to the pinfold.’
But his pledge goes to the pinfold.’

All this beheard three witty young men,
’Twas Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John;
With that they spyed the jolly pinder,
As he sate under a thorn.

‘Now turn again, turn again,’ said the pinder,
‘For a wrong way have you gone;
For you have forsaken the king his highway,
And made a path over the corn.’

‘O that were great shame,’ said jolly Robin,
‘We being three, and thou but one:’
The pinder leapt back then thirty good foot,
’Twas thirty good foot and one.

He leaned his back fast unto a thorn,
And his foot unto a stone,
And there he fought a long summer’s day,
A summer’s day so long,
Till that their swords, on their broad bucklers,
Were broken fast unto their hands.

* * * * *
‘Hold thy hand, hold thy hand,’ said Robin Hood,
‘And my merry men euery one;
For this is one of the best pinders
That ever I try’d with sword.

‘And wilt thou forsake thy pinder his craft,
And live in the green wood with me?
. . . .
. . . .

‘At Michaelmas next my covnant comes out,
When every man gathers his fee;
I’le take my blew blade all in my hand,
And plod to the green wood with thee.’

‘Hast thou either meat or drink,’ said Robin Hood,
‘For my merry men and me?
. . . .
. . . .

‘I have both bread and beef,’ said the pinder,
‘And good ale of the best;’
‘And that is meat good enough,’ said Robin Hood,
‘For such unbidden guest.

Wilt thou forsake the pinder his craft,
And go to the green wood with me?
Thou shalt have a livery twice in the year,
The one green, the other brown shall be.’

‘If Michaelmas day were once come and gone
And my master had paid me my fee,
Then would I set as little by him
As my master doth set by me.’

Version B

* * *
‘BUT hold y . . hold y . . . ’ says Robin,
‘My merrymen, I bid yee,
For this is one of the best pindars
That euer I saw with mine eye.

‘But hast thou any meat, thou iolly pindar,
For my merrymen and me?’
. . . .
. . . .

‘But I haue bread and cheese,’ sayes the pindar,
‘And ale all on the best:’
‘That’s cheere good enoughe,’ said Robin,
‘For any such vnbidden guest.

‘But wilt be my man?’ said good Robin,
‘And come and dwell with me?
And twise in a yeere thy clothing shall be changed
If my man thou wilt bee
The tone shall be of light Lincolne greene,
The tother of Picklory.’

‘Att Michallmas comes a well good time,
When men haue gotten in their fee;
I’le sett as litle by my master
As he now setts by me,
I’le take my benbowe in my hande,
And come into the grenwoode to thee.’