"It is," then said the knight, "A poor pres-ent to thee."
"Come now forth, Little John, And go to my treasur-y, And bring me there four hundred pound, The monk over-told it to me. Have here four hundred pound, Thou gentle knight and true, And buy horse and harness good, And gild thy spurs all new: And if thou fail an-y spend-ing, Come to Robin Hood, And by my troth thou shalt none fail The whiles I have any good. And brook well thy four hundred pound, Which I lent to thee, And make thyself no more so bare, By the counsel of me."
Thus then holp him good Rob-in, The knight of all his care. God, that sitteth in heaven high, Grant us well to fare.
Now hath the knight his leave i-take, And went him on his way; Robin Hood and his merry men Dwelled still full many a day. Lithe and listen, gentle men, And hearken what I shall say, How the proud sheriff of Nottingham Did cry a full fair play; That all the best archers of the north Should come upon a day, And they that shoot all of the best The game shall bear away.
'He that shooteth all of the best Furthest fair and law, At a pair of fynly butts, Under the green wood shaw, A right good arrow he shall have, The shaft of silver white, The head and the feathers of rich red gold, In England is none like.'
This then heard good Rob-in, Under his trystell tree: "Make you ready, ye wight young men, That shooting will I see. Busk you, my merr-y young men, Ye shall go with me; And I will wete the sheriff's faith, True an if he be."
When they had their bows i-bent, Their tackles feathered free, Seven score of wight young men Stood by Robin's knee. When they came to Nottingham, The butts were fair and long, Many was the bold arch-er That shooted with bow-es strong.
"There shall but six shoot with me, The other shall keep my head, And stand with good bow-es bent That I be not deceived."