Twas faer the day in the city streets.The sun be standing tall.
The shadows turned to nothyngness.
The crowe begaen to call.
Yon Sheriff sat astride his horse
And watched the village clock.
The short hand pointed straight at twelve,
The long hand back a knock.
And as the bells begaen to toll
His attention he did turn
Up the trail to the edge of towne
Where the dust begaen to churn.
The Outlaw came a-walking
With his hat pulled ‘cross his eyes.
His long grine coat hid weapons.
In his hand, a bag of lies.
“I’m come for ye, daer Sherriff,”
becried the bonny gent.
“To visit out my justice
And to force thee to repent.”
“This golde ye tore asunder
from the people of this towne.
I take it back in their good name
And spit upon the crowne.”
The Sherriff nodded wearily
And yea did he dismount
To meet the Outlaw faece to faece
And start the bloody count.
Twenty paces parted them.
Their weapons they held slack—
The Sherriff’s from his saddlebag
The Outlaw’s from his back.
Across the street of Nottinghym
They watched each other’s gaze.
Will he draw first and smite me down?
Will I in glory blaze?
And seemingly together
Lo, they both raised up their bows.
They quickly notched an arrow,
Drew it back and let it go.
But while the Sherriff’s aim was close,
He struck the bag of golde.
Twas Robyn’s arrow straight and true
That pierced the Sheriff’s fold.
And on that day there rose a cheer
That passed from fact to lore.
Of the hero who doth rob the rich
To feed the graetful poor.