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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." Child #141 from Arthur Davis, Jr, Traditional Ballads of Virginia SOF
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!