Thieues were at all times euer to be had, Examples by the good Thiefe and the bad.1 And England still hath bin a fruitfull Land Of valiant Thieues, that durst bid true men stand. One Bellin Dun, a famous Thiefe suruiu’d,2 From whom the towne of Dunstable’s deriv’d; And Robin Hood with little John agreed To rob the rich men, and the poore to feede. The Priests had here such small meanes for their liuing, That many of them were enforc’d to Thieuing. Once the fift Henry could rob ex’lent well, When he was Prince of Wales, as Stories tell. Then Fryer Tucke, a tall stout Thiefe indeed, Could better rob and steale, then preach or read. Sir Gosselin Deinuill, with 200. more,3 In Fryers weedes, rob’d and were hang’d therefore. Thus I in Stories, and by proofe doe finde, That stealing’s very old, time out of minde, E’r I was borne, it through the world was spred, And will be when I from the world am dead.
John Taylor the Water Poet
Original has ‘cowne’ for ‘towne’.