I hear merry men


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They happend to meet on a long narrow bridge,
And neither of them would give way;
Quoth bold Robin Hood, and sturdily stood, I'll show you right Nottingham play.

With that from his quiver an arrow he drew, A broad arrow with a goose-wing:
The stranger reply'd, I'll liquor thy hide,
If thou offerst to touch the string.

Quoth bold Robin Hood, Thou dost prate like an child,
For were I to bend but my bow,
I could send a dart quite thro thy proud heart,
Before thou couldst strike me one blow.

'Thou talkst like a coward,' the stranger re-ply'd;
'Well armd with a long bow, you stand,
To shoot at my chest, while I, I protest, Have nought but a staff in my hand.'

'The name of a coward,' quoth Robin, 'I scorn,
Wherefore my long bow I'll lay by;
And now, for thy sake, a staff I will take, The truth of thy manhood to try.'

Then Robin Hood stept to a thicket of trees,
And chose him a staff of ground-oak;
Now this being done, away he did run
To the stranger, and merrily spoke:

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