ROBIN HOOD AND THE BISHOP OF HEREFORD
No. 144, VERSION A
From The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
by Francis James
this one because it's a well-known, well-told story about Robin Hood's
robberies. Many of Robin's enemies are clergymen - such as the Abbot and Cellarer of St. Mary's in A Gest of Robyn Hood. This particular bishop reappears in the ballad Robin Hood and Queen Catherin, complaining about this robbery. Scenes from this ballad were also the inspiration of a series of stained glass.]
Some they will talk of bold Robin Hood,
But I'll tell you how he servd the Bishop of
the ending verse to another, shorter, version of the ballad.
he robbed him of his gold.
As it befel in merry Barnsdale,
under the green-wood tree,
The Bishop of Hereford was to come by,
'Come, kill a venson,' said bold Robin Hood,
kill ne a good fat deer;
The Bishop of Hereford is to dine with me
shall pay well for his cheer.
'We'll kill a fat venson,' said bold Robin
dress it by the highway-side;
And we will watch the Bishop narrowly,
some other way he should ride.'
Robin Hood dressd himself in shepherd's attire,
six of his men also;
And, when the Bishop of Hereford came by,
about the fire did go.
'O what is the matter?' then said the Bishop,
for whom do you make this a-do?
Or why do you kill the king's venson,
your company is so few?'
'We are shepherds,' said bold Robin Hood.
we keep sheep all the year,
And we are disposed to be merry this day,
to kill of the king's fat deer.'
'You are brave fellow!' said the Bishop,
the king of your doings shall know;
Therefore, make haste and come along with
the king you shall go.'
'O pardon, O pardon,' said bold Robin Hood.
For it becomes not your lordship's coat
take so many lives away.'
pardon, no pardon,' says the Bishop,
Therefore make haste, and come along with me,
before the king you shall go.'
Robin set his back against a tree,
his foot against a thorn,
And from underneath his shepherd's coat
pulld out a bugle-horn.
put the little end to his mouth,
a loud blast did he blow,
Till threescore and ten of bold Robin's men
running all on a row;
making obeysance to bold Robin Hood;
a comely sight for to see;
'What is the matter, master,' said Little John,
you blow so hastily?'
here is the Bishop of Hereford,
no pardon we shall have:'
'Cut off his head, master,' said Little John,
throw him into his grave.'
pardon, O pardon,' said the Bishop,
For if I had known it had been you,
have gone some other way.'
pardon, no pardon,' said Robin Hood.
Therefore make haste and come along with me,
to merry Barnsdale you shall go.'
Robin he took the Bishop by the hand,
led him to merry Barnsdale;
He made him stay and sup with him that
drink wine, beer, and ale.
in the reckoning,' said the Bishop,
me thinks it grows wondrous high:'
'Lend me your purse, Bishop,' said Little
I'll tell you bye and bye.'
Little John took the bishop's cloak,
spread it upon the ground,
And out of the bishop's portmantua
told three hundred pound.
money enough, master,' said Little
a comely sight 't is to see;
It makes me in charity with the Bishop,
he heartily loveth not me.'
Hood took the Bishop by the hand,
he caused the music to play,
And he made the Bishop to dance in his boots,
glad he could so get away.
'Come, sing us a mass,' sayes bold Robin Hood,
sing us a mass all anon;
Come, sing us a mass,' sayes bold Robin Hood,
a kick in the a--se, and be gone.'
NEXT: Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne