Robin Hood Rescuing Will Stutly

When Robin Hood in the green wood liv'd,
Derry, derry down,
Under the green wood tree,
Tidings there came to him with speed,
Tidings for certainty:
Hey down, derry, derry down;

That Will Stutly surprized was,
And eke in prison lay;
Three varlets that the sheriff had hired,
Did likely him betray:

" I, and to-morrow hanged must be,
To-morrow as soon as it is day;
Before they could this victory get,
Two of them did Stutly slay. "

When Robin Hood he heard this news,
Lord! he was grieved sore;
And to his merry men he did say,
(Who altogether swore),

That Will Stutly should rescued be,
And be brought " back" again;
Or else should many a gallant wight
For his sake there be slain.

He cloathed himself in scarlet " red,"
His men were all in green;
A finer shew, throughout the world,
In no place could be seen.

Good lord! it was a gallant sight
To see them all on a row;
With every man a good broad sword,
And eke a good yew bow.

Forth of the green wood are they gone,
Yea all couragiously,
Resolving to bring Stutly home,
Or every man to die.

And when they came the castle neer,
Whereas Will Stutly lay,
I hold it good, saith Robin Hood,
Wee here in ambush stay,

And send one forth some news to hear,
To yonder palmer fair,
That stands under the castle wall,
Some news he may declare.

With that steps forth a brave young man,
Which was of courage bold,
Thus did hee speak to the old man:
I pray thee palmer old,

Tell me, if that thou rightly ken,
When must Will Stutly die,
Who is one of bold Robin's men,
And here doth prisoner lie?

Alack! alass! the palmer said,
And for ever wo is me!
Will Stutly hanged must be this day,
On yonder gallows-tree.

O had his noble master known,
He would some succour send;
A few of his bold yeomandree
Full soon would fetch him hence.

I, that is true, the young man said;
I, that is true, said he;
Or, if they were neer to this place,
They soon would set him free.

But fare " thee" well, thou good old man,
Farewell, and thanks to thee;
If Stutly hanged be this day,
Reveng'd his death will be.

Hee was no sooner from the palmer gone,
But the gates " were" open'd wide,
And out of the castle Will Stutly came,
Guarded on every side.

When hee was forth of the castle come,
And saw no help was nigh,
Thus he did say to the sheriff,
Thus he said gallantly:

Now seeing that I needs must die,
Grant me one boon, said he,
For my noble master nere had a man,
That yet was hang'd on the tree.

Give me a sword all in my hand,
And let mee be unbound,
And with thee and thy men Ile fight,
Till I lie dead on the ground.

But his desire he would not grant,
His wishes were in vain;
For the sheriff had sworn he hanged should be,
And not by the sword be slain.

Do but unbind my hands, he saies,
I will no weapons crave,
And if I hanged be this day,
Damnation let me have.

O no, O no, the sheriff said,
Thou shalt on the gallows die,
I, and so shall thy master too,
If ever in me it lie.

O, dastard coward! Stutly cries,
Thou faint-heart pesant slave!
If ever my master do thee meet,
Thou shalt thy paiment have.

My noble master " doth thee" scorn,
And all thy " coward" crew;
Such silly imps unable are,
Bold Robin to subdue.

But when he was to the gallows come,
And ready to bid adiew,
Out of a bush leaps Little John,
And comes Will Stutly " to":

" I pray thee, Will, before thou die,
Of thy dear friends take leave: —
I needs must borrow him for a while,
How say you, master " shrieve"? "

Now, as I live, the sheriff he said,
That varlet will I know;
Some sturdy rebell is that same,
Therefore let him not go.

Then Little John most hastily,
Away cut Stutly's bands,
And from one of the " sheriffs" men,
A sword twicht from his hands.

" Here, Will, here, take thou this same,
Thou canst it better sway;
And here defend thyself awhile,
For aid will come straightway. "

And there they turn'd them back to back,
In the middle of them that day,
Till Robin Hood approached near,
With many an archer gay.

With that an arrow by them flew,
I wist from Robin Hood;
Make haste, make haste, the sheriff he said,
Make haste, for it is good.

The sheriff is gon, his " doughty" men
Thought it no boot to stay,
But, as their master had them taught,
" They" run full fast away.

O stay, O stay, Will Stutly said,
Take leave ere you depart;
You neere will catch bold Robin Hood,
Unless you dare him meet.

O ill betide you, quoth Robin Hood,
That you so soon are gone;
My sword may in the scabbord rest,
For here our work is done.

I little thought, " Will Stutly said,"
When I came to this place,
For to have met with Little John,
Or seen my masters face.

Thus Stutly was at liberty set,
And safe brought from his foe:
" O thanks, O thanks to my master,
Since here it was not so:

And once again, my fellows [all],
We shall in the green woods meet,
Where we [will] make our bow-strings twang,
Musick for us most sweet. "
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