"Sir, I will avow that I have done, The deeds that here be dight, Upon all the land-es that I have, As I am a true knight. Wend-e forth, sirs, on your way, And doth no more to me, Till ye wite our king-es will What he will say to thee."
The sheriff thus had his answ-er, Without an-y leas-ing, Forth he yode to London town, All for to tell our king. There he told him of that knight, And eke of Robin Hood, And also of the bold arch-ers, That noble were and good. "He would avow that he had done, To maintain the outlaws strong; He would be lord, and set you at nought, In all the north lond."
"I will be at Nottingham," said the king, "Within this fortnight, And take I will Robin Hood, And so I will that knight. Go home, thou proud sher-iff, And do as I bid thee, And ordain good arch-ers enow, Of all the wide countree."
The sheriff had his leave i-take, And went him on his way; And Robin Hood to green wood Upon a certain day; And Little John was whole of the arrow, That shot was in his knee, And did him straight to Robin Hood, Under the green wood tree. Robin Hood walked in the for-est, Under the leav-es green, The proud sher-iff of Nottingham, Therefore he had great teen.
The sheriff there failed of Robin Hood, He might not have his prey, Then he awaited that gentle knight, Both by night and by day. Ever he awaited that gentle knight, Sir Richard at the Lee. As he went on hawking by the river side, And let his hawk-es flee, Took he there this gentle knight, With men of arm-es strong, And led him home to Nottingham ward, I-bound both foot and hond.
The sheriff swore a full great oath, By him that died on a tree, He had liever than an hundred pound, That Robin Hood had he.
Then the lad-y, the knight-es wife, A fair lad-y and free, She set her on a good palfr-ey, To green wood anon rode she. When she came to the for-est, Under the green wood tree, Found-e she there Robin Hood, And all his fair meyn-e.
"God thee save, good Robin Hood, And all thy compan-y; For our deare Ladyes love, A boon grant thou to me. Let thou never my wedded lord Shamefully slain to be; He is fast i-bounde to Nottingham ward, For the love of thee."