Robin Hood The Rest of the Story
by Little John and Elizabeth Hensley
Many People do not realize Robin Hood was a real Person , or I should say, "is" because he is no doubt in Heaven. The following is a true story. The first part is supposed to be by Little John and may indeed be so. The second part, "the rest of the story" is by me because what happened to Robin Hood's bones a few hundred years after his death is fascinating and amusing and should become part of his legend, Because it is such a fitting thing to have happened to his bones because it let him evade a Sheriff one more time! Back story is Kirkly-Hall where Robin Hood was murdered got turned first into a ladies monastery but let's just say the Nuns there got a reputation for being anything but well behaved, hense the "merry goings on." Then it got turned back into a private residence. In the 18th century the Owners wanted to install an irrigation system for their lawn and garden. A skeleton was found while digging that, and I will let my continuation of Little John's ballad explain the rest! :-)
Little John's part of the ballad.
Down a down a down a down
Went oer yon bank of broom,
Said Robin Hood bold to Little John,
We have shot for many a pound,
But I am not able to shoot one shot more,
My broad arrows will not flee;
But I have a cousin lives down below,
Please God she will bleed me.
NOW Robin he is to fair Kirkly gone,
as fast as he can win;
But before he came there, as we do hear,
He was taken very ill.
And when he came to fair Kirkly Hall,
He knocked all at the ring,
But none was so ready as his Cousin herself
For to let bold Robin in.
'Will you please sit down, Cousin Robin,'
"And drink some beer with me?'
'No, I will neither eat nor drink,
Till I have been blooded by thee'
"Well, I have a room Cousin Robin,' she said,
'Which you did never see,
And if you please to walk therein,
You blooded by me shall be.'
She took him by the Lilly-white hand
And let him to a private room,
And there she blooded bold Robin Hood,
While one drop of blood would run down,
She blooded him in a vein of the arm,
And locked him up in the room;
Then did he bleed all the live-long day,
Until the next day at noon.
He then bethought him of a casement there,
Thing for to get down;
But was so weak, he could not leap,
He could not get him down.
He then bethought him of his bugle-horn,
Which hung lown down to his knee;
and he set his horn unto his mouth,
and blew out weak blasts three.
Then Little John, when hearing him,
As he sat under a tree.
'I fear my master is now near dead,
He blows so wearily.'
Then Little John to fair Kirkly is gone,
As fast as he can dree;
But when he came to Kirkly-Hall,
He broke locks two or three:
Until he came to bold Robin to see,
Then he fell on his knee.
"A Boon, a boon,' cries Little John,
Master, beg of thee.'
'What is that boon?' said Robin Hood,
'Little John (Thou) beg of me?'
'It is to burn Kirkly-Hall,
and all their nunnery.'
'Now nay, now nay,' quoth Robin Hood,
'Than boon I'll not grant thee;
'I never hurt a women in all my life,
Nor men in a woman's company.
'I never hurt fair maid in all my time,
Nor at mine end shall it be;
But give me my bent bow in my hand,
And an arrow I'll let flee;
And where this arrow is taken up,
There shall my grave digged be.
Lay me a green sod under my head,
And another at my feet;
And lay mey bent bow by my side,
Which was my music sweet.
And make my grave of gravel and green,
Which is most right and meet.
'Let me have length and breadth enough,
With a green sod under my head;
that they may say when I am dead,
Here lies bold Robin Hood.'
These words they readily granted him,
Which did bold Robin please:
And there they buried bold Robin Hood,
Within the fair Kirklys.
Thus he who never feared bow or spear
Was murdered by letting blood;
So loving friend, the story ends
Of valiant Robin Hood.
There's nothing remains but his epithet now,
Which reader you now have.
To this very day, which read you may,
As it is upon his grave.
Hey derry down a derry derry down.
Robert Earl of Huntington
Lies under this little stone
No archer was like him so good
His wildness nam'd him Robin Hood
Full thirteen years and something more
These northern parts he vexed sore:
Such out-laws as he and his men
May England never know again.
And now the rest of the story!
For five hundred years
Robin lay in the ground,
Lay in the ground!
Lay in the ground!
With the blue blue sky
And the green green grass
And the rains fell sweet
and the cold winds blew
And the Sun warmed his bones and kept them.
And the wildflowers grew and the lilies pure
And springs and winters came and swept them.
Angels and gods and the Good Lord Himself
Knew where he lay,
But Man himself
They did forget him!
(For the stone they put to mark his bones
Were not where they'd really set them.)
For his men had bragged a tad too much
Of the length of his last arrow's flight.
So his bones lay quite a closer pace
That kept merry goings on in sight!
But one day in the month of May
A Gardener came a digging.
His shovel hit a cold white stone
And that stone was Robin's shinbone!
And hi s face went white when he saw the skull!
To know a fellow man was resting!
Resting besides great, green oaks!
Beneath the grass! Beneath the skies!
Peaceably a nesting!
Where he had lay a rest for five hundred years!
When Kings and Queens
Had come and gone around him!
And Kirklees abbess
That had caused such mirth
Had become a private dwelling.
The Gardener ran like the wind to tell his Maid
And the Maid ran and fetched the Sheriff!
The Sheriff came and collected his bones.
So the law finally had our Robin!
Oh the law finally had!
The law finally had
The law finally had our Robin!
But clever Robin though dead and cold
And nothing more than a pile of bones
Lay there just as clever as a thing of dust
As he had been when he was lively!
So again he slipped away!
For even as ashes our Robin can dance!
Oh yes! Even as dust our Robin can dance!
And he danced a dance with the dust of a dozen others!
So to this day no Sheriff knows the whereabouts
Of Robin Earl of Huntington
And in Heaven his Laughing spirit still dances!
And the other Merry Men too
And Little John loudest of all!
To clarify: The 18th century Sheriff determined that the bones were old, but he was not aware of the story of Robin Hood, at least not enough to know where he had been buried, The man just determined if it had been a murder it had happened centuries earlier, so catching what we would call the perps in his time was not doable. So he had the bones cremated and they were literally mixed with other cremains that no longer were of interest to this 18th century CSI (and the relatives were either not findable or too poor to afford a better send off.) Then they were taken to what is for us, an unknown location and disposed of. So Robin got away again! And yes, again I remind you this is indeed a true story, but there is no website for fan-reality, so I am posting it here.