The Bow

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The Bow

   A cheer for Robin Hood
   And Nottingham's famed wood;
When the greensward was the merry men's resort:
   When the tough and springy yew,
   Was the bravest tree that grew,
And the Bow held foremost place in English sport.

   Right glorious, I ween,
   Was the olden, forest scene;
When bugles rang and sturdy yeomen met:
   When the flying bird was hit,
   The willow sapling split;
And Bow and shaft had fame unrivalled yet.

   In the fields our fathers won
   We shall find the Bow has done
Some work our annals proudly may record;
   Did they prove it bent in vain,
   On Poictiers or Cressy's plain?
Had the arrow there less glory than the sword?

   The whizzing barb that flew,
   Bore its message home and true;
As swift as sun-ray, free as eagle's wing;
   And many a haughty foe
   Was taught to feel and know
What English arms could do with wood and string.

   See, see the hunter hold
   His weapons, firm and bold,
With spreading chest, and clear, uncovered brow;
   The arrow 'neath his eye,
   Drawn to the head--let fly--
Fixed in the prey. Ha! ha! who scorns the Bow?

   Then a cheer for Robin Hood
   And Nottingham's famed wood,
When the greensward was the merry men's resort;
   When the tough and springy yew,
   Was the bravest tree that grew,
And the Bow held foremost place in English sport.
Additional Information:
"The Bow" has appeared in editions of Eliza Cook's poems since 1840; its exact date of composition is unknown.  There are several minor variations in the text of the poem, and readers may wish to consider earlier editions of Cook's poetry.  The text of "The Bow" used in The Robin Hood Project has been taken from the 1870 edition of The Poetical Works of Eliza Cook.