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Robin Hood and the Tanner

In Nottingham there lived a jolly tanner
With a hey, down, down a down down
His name was Arthur a Bland
There is not a squire in Nottinghamshire
Dare bid bold Arthur stand.

And as he rode out in a summer's morning
With a hey …
In the forest of merry Sherwood
To view the red deer that range here and there,
there met he with bold Robin Hood

"Why what art thou, thou bold fellow?
That ranges so boldly here?
In sooth, to be brief, thou lookst like a thief
That comes to steal our king's deer."

"I'll yield to thy weapon," said jolly Robin
"Since thou wilt not yield to mine.
For I have a staff of another oak graft
Not half a foot longer than thine."

"But let me measure," says jolly Robin
"Before we begin our fray.
For I'll not have mine to be longer than thine,
For that would be called foul play."

And knock for knock they lustily dealt
Which held for two hours or more.
Till all the wood rang at every bang,
They plied their work so sore.

"Oh what is the matter?" then said Little John.
"Master, I pray you tell.
Why do you stand with your staff in your hand?
I fear that all is not well."

"Oh, man, I do stand and he makes me to stand,
This tanner that stands me beside.
He is a bonnie blade and master of his trade
For soundly he hath tanned my hide."

"He's to be commended, then," said Little John,
"If such a feat he can do.
If he be so stout, we will have a bout
And he shall tan my hide too."

"Hold thy hand, hold thy hand," said Robin Hood
"For as I do understand
He's a yeoman good and of thine own blood
For his name is Arthur a Bland."

Then Little John threw his staff away
As far as he could it fling,
Then ran out a hand to Arthur a Bland
And about his neck did cling.

And ever hereafter, as long as I live
We three will be all one.
The woods shall ring and old wives sing
of Robin Hood, Arthur, and John.

 
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