ROBIN HOOD RESCUING WILL STUTLY
As Robin Hood in the green wood stood
Under a green wood tree
Sad tidings came to him with speed
Tidings for certainty
That Stutly he surprised was,
In Aiken prison lay.
Three varlets whom the king had hired
Did basely him betray.
When Robin Hood these news did hear,
He grieved was full sore
And likewise his brave bowmen bold,
Who all together swore
That Stutly he should rescued be,
Unto the woods again
Return with them to hunt the deer,
Or in his cause be slain.
"Will send one forth the news to hear
From yonder palmer there,
Whose cell is near the castle wall;
Some news he may declare."
Then stepped forth a brisk young man,
Of courage stout and bold,
And straight unto the palmer went,
Saying, "Ye palmer old,
"Tell me, if you can rightly tell,
When must Will Stutly die,
Who is of Robin Hood's brave men
That here in prison lie?"
"Alas, alas," the palmer said,
"That ever woe is me,
This day Will Stutly must be hung
Upon yon gallows tree.
"But did his noble master know,
He soon would succor send;
A few of his brave bowmen bold
Would save him from this end."
"That is true," the young man said,
"He soon would set him free;
So fare thee well, thou good old man,
With many thanks to thee."
Then Robin dressed himself in red,
His merry men all in green,
With swords and buckles and long bows
Most glorious to be seen.
Not long from jail the young man went
The gates were open wide
When from the castle Stutly came,
Guarded on every side.
Not far from castle they had gone,
When appeared Little John,
And straight unto the sheriff went
And said to him, " Anon,
"Mr. Sheriff, with your leave,
I'll speak with him a while."
"No," said the sheriff, "you'll me seize;
Thou art an outlaw vile.
"I'll not consent," the sheriff said,
"But hanged he shall be,
And so shall his vile master be
When in my custody."
Then in haste did Little John
Away cut Stutly's bands,
And from a man he twisted soon
The sword out of his hands.
Saying, " Will, take you this sword a while,
You can it better sway,
And now defend thy life from harm
For aid will come straight way."
And then they turned them back to back
And fought with valor good,
Until at length approached near
The valiant Robin Hood.
Then quick an arrow Robin sent
Which near the sheriff flew
And quickly made him for to run
And all his coward crew.
"O stay a while," said Will Stutly
"And do not from us start;
O stay and hang up Robin Hood
Before you do depart.
"Thanks, o thanks, my master dear,
We'll in the green woods meet
Where we will make our bowstrings twang
Music for us most sweet."
from Arthur Davis, Jr, Traditional Ballads of Virginia
TUNE FILE: ROBHDWST
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