Robin Hood and Queen Katherine

Gold tane from the kings harbengers,
Downe, a downe, a downe,
As seldome hath beene seene,
Downe, a downe, a downe,
And carried by bold Robin Hood
For a present to the queene,
Downe, a downe, a downe.

If that I live a yeare to an end,
Thus gan queene Katherine say,
Bold Robin Hood, I will be thy friend,
And all thy yeomen gay.

The queene is to her chamber gone,
As fast as she can wen;
She calls unto her lovely page,
His name was Richard Patrington.

“Come thou hither to mee, thou lovely page,
Come thou hither to mee;
For thou must post to Nottingham.
As fast as thou can dree;

And as thou goest to Nottingham,
Search all the English wood,
Enquire of one good yeoman or another,
That can tell thee of Robin Hood.”

Sometimes hee went, sometimes hee ran,
As fast as hee could win;
And when hee came to Nottingham,
There hee tooke up his inne.

And when he came to Nottingham,
And had tooke up his inne,
He cals for a pottle of Rhenish wine,
And dranke a health to his queene.

There sate a yeoman by his side,
Tell mee, sweet page, said hee,
What is thy businesse and the cause,
So far in the north countrey?

This is my businesse and the cause,
Sir, I'le tell it you for good,
To enquire of one good yeoman or another,
To tell mee of Robin Hood.

“Ile get my horse betimes in the morne,
By it be break of day,
And I will shew thee bold Robin Hood,
And all his yeomen gay.”

When that he came at Robin Hoods place,
Hee fell down on his knee:
“Queen Katherine she doth greet you well,
She greets you well by mee;

She bids you post to fair London court,
Not fearing any thing;
For there shall be a little sport,
And she hath sent you her ring.”

Robin Hood tooke his mantle from his back,
It was of the Lincolne greene,
And sent it by this lovely page,
For a present unto the queene.

In summer time, when leaves grow green,
It's a seemely sight to see,
How Robin Hood himselfe had drest,
And all his yeomandry.

He clothed his men in Lincolne greene,
And himselfe in scarlet red;
Blacke hats, white feathers, all alike,
Now bold Robin Hood is rid:

And when hee came at Londons court,
Hee fell downe on his knee.
Thou art welcome, Locksly, said the queen,
And all thy good ‘yeomandree.’

The king is into Finsbury field
Marching in battle-ray,
And after follows bold Robin Hood,
And all his yeomen gay.

Come hither, Tepus, said the king,
Bow-bearer after mee;
Come measure me out with this line,
How long our mark must be.

What is the wager? said the queene,
That must I now know here.
“Three hundred tun of Rhenish wine,
Three hundred tun of beere;

Three hundred of the fattest harts
That run on Dallom-lee.”
That's a princely wager, said the king,
That needs must I tell thee.

With that bespake one Clifton then,
Full quickly and full soone,
Measure no markes for us, most soveraigne liege
Wee'l shoot at sun and moone.

“Full fifteene score your marke shall be,
Full fifteene score shall stand.”
Ile lay my bow, said Clifton then,
Ile cleave the willow wand.

With that the kings archers led about,
While it was three, and none;
With that the ladies began to shout,
“Madam, your game is gone.”

A boone, a boone, queene Katherine cries,
I crave it on my bare knee;
Is there any knight of your privy counsèl
Of queen Katherines part will be?

Come hither to mee, sir Richard Lee,
Thou art a knight full good;
For I do knowe by thy pedigree
Thou sprung'st from Gowers blood.

Come hither to me, thou bishop of Herefordshire:
For a noble priest was hee.
By my silver miter, said the bishop then,
Ile not bet one peny.

The king hath archers of his own,
Full ready and full light,
And these be strangers every one,
No man knowes what they hight.

What wilt thou bet? said Robin Hood,
Thou seest our game the worse.
By my silver miter, then said the bishop,
All the money within my purse.

What is in thy purse? said Robin Hood,
Throw it downe on the ground.
Fifteen score nobles, said the bishop;
It's neere an hundred pound.

Robin Hood took his bagge from his side,
And threw it downe on the greene:
William Scadlocke then went smiling away,
“I know who this money must win.”

With that the kings archers led about,
While it was three and three;
With that the ladies gave a shout,
“Woodcock, beware thy knee!”

It is three and three, now, said the king,
The next three pays for all.
Robin Hood went and whisper'd the queen,
The kings part shall be but small.

Robin Hood hee led about,
Hee shot it under hand;
And Clifton with a bearing arrow,
Hee clave the willow wand.

And little Midge, the millers son,
Hee shot not much the worse;
Hee shot within a finger of the prick:
“Now, bishop, beware thy purse!”

A boone, a boone, queene Katherine cries,
I crave ‘it’ on my bare knee,
That you will angry be with none
That are of my partie.

“They shall have forty daies to come,
And forty daies to goe,
And three times forty to sport and play;
Then welcome friend or foe.”

Thou art welcome, Robin Hood, said the queene,
And so is Little John,
And so is Midge, the millers son;
Thrice welcome every one.

Is this Robin Hood? now said the king,
For it was told to me
That he was slain in the palace gates,
So far in the north country.

Is this Robin Hood? quoth the bishop then,
As ‘it seems’ well to be:
Had I knowne ‘it’ had been that bold outlàw,
I would not [have] bet one peny.

Hee tooke me late one Saturday at night,
And bound mee fast to a tree,
And made mee sing a masse, God wot,
To him and his ‘yeomandree.’

What, an if I did, saies Robin Hood,
Of that masse I was faine;
For recompence of that, he saies,
Here's halfe thy gold againe.

Now nay, now nay, saies Little John,
Master, that shall not be;
We must give gifts to the kings officèrs;
That gold will serve thee and mee.
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