Robin Hood and the Sheriff

Robin Hood 's to Nottinghame gane,
Wi a linkie down and a day,
And there he met wi an auld woman,
Coming weeping alang the highway.

‘Weep ye for any of my gold, auld woman?
Or weep ye for my fee?
Or weep ye for any warld's gear
This day I can grant to thee?’

‘I weep not for your gold, kind sir,
I weep not for your fee;
But I weep for my three braw sons,
This day condemned to die.’

‘O have they parishes burned?’ he said,
‘Or have they ministers slain?
Or have they forced maidens against their will?
Or wi other men's wives hae they lain?’

‘They have not parishes burned, kind sir,
They have not ministers slain;
They neer forced a maid against her will,
Nor wi no man's wife hae they lain.’

‘O what hae they done then?’ quo Robin Hood,
‘I pray thee tell unto me:’
‘O they killed the king's fallow deer,
And this day are condemned to die.’

‘O have you mind, old mother,’ he said,
‘Since you made my merry men to dine?
And for to repay it back unto thee
Is come in a very good time.’

Sae Robin Hood 's to Nottinghame gane,
With a linkie down and a day,
And there he met an old beggar man,
Coming creeping along the high way.

‘What news, what news, old father?’ he said,
‘What news hast thou for me?’
‘There 's three merry men,’ quo the poor auld man,
‘This day condemned to die.’

‘Will you change your apparel wi me, old father?
Will you change your apparel for mine?
And twenty broad shillings I 'll gie ye to the boot,
To drink gude beer or wine.’

‘Thine is of the scarlet fine,
And mine is baith ragged and torn;
Sae never let a young supple youth
Laugh a gude auld man to scorn.’

‘Change your apparel wi me, old churl,
And quickly change it for mine,
And thirty broad shillings I 'll gie to the boot,
To drink gude beer or wine.’

When Robin put on the auld man's hat,
It was weary high in the crown;
‘By the hand of my body,’ quo Robin Hood,
‘I am lang whan I loot down.’

Whan Robin put on the auld man's cloak,
There was mony a pock therein;
A pock for meal, and a pock for maut,
And a pock for groats and corn,
And a little wee pockie that hung by his side
That he put in his bugle-horn.

Sae Robin Hood 's [to] Nottinghame gane,
Wi a linkie down and a day,
And there he met wi the high sheriff,
Coming riding alang the high way.

‘O save you, O save you, high sheriff,’ he said,
‘And weel saved mote you be!
And what will you gie to the silly auld man
Your hangman for to be?’

‘Thirteen pence,’ the sheriff replied,
‘That is the hangman's fee,
But an the claiths of the three young men
This day condemned to die.’

‘I never hanged a man in a' my life,
And intend not to begin;
But ever I hang a man in my life,
High sheriff, thou 's be the ane.

‘But I have a horn in my pocket,
I gat it frae Robin Hood,
And gif I tak out my little horn,
For thee it will no blaw gude.’

‘Blaw, blaw, bauld beggar,’ he said,
‘Blaw, and fear nae doubt;
I wish you may gie sie a blast
Till your eyne loup out.’

Then Robin he gave a skip,
And he skipped frae a stick till a stane;
‘By the hand of my body,’ quo the high sheriff,
‘You are a supple auld man.’

Then Robin set his horn to his mouth,
And he blew baith loud and shrill,
Till sixty-four of bold Robin's men
Cam marching down the green hill.

‘What men are these,’ quo the high sheriff,
‘That comes sae merrily?’
‘They are my men,’ quo Robin Hood,
‘And they 'll pay a visit to thee.’

They tack the gallows out of the glen,
And they set it in a slap;
They hanged the sheriff upon it,
And his best men at his back.

They took the gallows out o the slap,
And they set [it] back in the glen,
And they hanged the sheriff upon it,
Let the three young men gae hame.
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