The Thief At Robins Castle




Let me tell you a story about a thief at Robins castle.


There came a Thief one night to Robin's Castle,
He climbed up into a Tree;
And sitting with his head among the branches,
A wondrous Sight did see.

For there was Robin supping at his table,
With Candles of pure Wax,
His Dame and his two beauteous little Children,
With Velvet on their backs.

Platters for each there were shin-shining,
Of Silver many a pound,
And all of beaten Gold, three brimming Goblets,
Standing the table round.

The smell that rose up richly from the Baked Meats
Came thinning amid the boughs,
And much that greedy Thief who snuffed the night air-
His Hunger did arouse.

He watched them eating, drinking, laughing, talking,
Busy with finger and spoon,
While three most cunning Fiddlers, clad in crimson,
Played them a supper-tune.

And he waited in the tree-top like a Starling,
Till the Moon was gotten low;
When all the windows in the walls were darkened,
He softly in did go.

There Robin and his Dame in bed were sleeping,
And his Children young and fair;
Only Robin's Hounds from their warm kennels
Yelped as he climbed the stair.

All, all were sleeping, page and fiddler,
Cook, scullion, free from care;
Only Robin's Stallions from their stables
Neighed as he climbed the stair.

A wee wan light the Moon did shed him,
Hanging above the sea,
And he counted into his bag (of beaten Silver)
Platters thirty-three.

Of Spoons three score; of jolly golden Goblets
He stowed in four save one,
And six fine three-branched Cupid Candlesticks,
Before his work was done.

Nine bulging bags of Money in a cupboard,
Two Snuffers, and a Dish
He found, the last all studded with great Garnets
And shapen like a Fish.

Then tiptoe up he stole into a Chamber,
Where on Tasselled Pillows lay
Robin and his Daule in dreaming slumbers
Tired with the summer's day.

That Thief he mimbled round him in the gloaming,
Their treasure for to spy,
Combs, Brooches, Chains, and, Rings, and Pins and Buckles
All higgledy, Piggle-dy.

A Watch shaped in the shape of a flat Apple
In purest crystal set
He lifted from the hook where it was ticking
And crammed in his Pochette.

He heaped the pretty Baubles on the table,
Trinketsi Knick-knackerie,
Pearls, Diamonds, Sapphires, Topazes, and Opals-
All in his bag put he.

And there in night's pale Gloom was Robin dreaming
He was hunting the mountain Bear,
While his Dame in peaceful slumber in no wise heeded
A greedy Thief was there.

And that ravenous Thief he climbed up even higher,
Till into a chamber small
He crept where lay poor Robin's beauteous Children,
Lovelier in sleep withal.

Oh, fairer was their Hair than Gold of Goblet,
'Yond Silver their Cheeks did shine,
And their little hands that lay upon the linen
Made that Thief's hard heart to pine.

But though a moment there his hard heart faltered,
Eftsoones be took them twain,
And slipped them into his Bag with all his Plunder,
And soft stole down again.

Spoon, Platter, Goblet, Ducats, Dishes, Trinkets,
And those two Children dear,
A-quaking in the clinking and the clanking,
And half bemused with fear,

He carried down the stairs into the Courtyard,
But there he made no stay,
He just tied up his Garters, took a deep breath,
And ran like the wind away.

Past Forest, River, Mountain, River, Forest-
He coursed the whole night through,
Till morning found him come into a Country,
Where none his bad face knew.

Past Mountain, River, Forest, River, Mountain-
That Thief's lean shanks sped on,
Till Evening found him knocking at a Dark House,
His breath now well-nigh gone.

There came a little maid and asked his Business;
A Cobbler dwelt within;
And though she much misliked the Bag he carried,
She led the Bad Man in.

He bargained with the Cobbler for a lodging
And soft laid down his Sack-
In the Dead of Night, with none to spy or listen-
From off his weary back.

And he taught the little Chicks to call him Father,
And he sold his stolen Pelf,
And bought a Palace, Horses, Slaves, and Peacocks
To ease his wicked self.

And though the Children never really loved him,
He was rich past all belief;
While Robin and his Dame o'er Delf and Pewter
Spent all their Days in Grief.

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The Thief At Robins Castle
The Thief At Robins Castle



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