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An Hour of Robin Hood

O for an hour with Robin Hood, deep, deep in the forest green,
With fern and budding bramble waving o'er me as a screen,
   In mid noon shade,
   Where the hot-breath'd Trade
Came never the boughs between.

O for an hour of Robin Hood, and the brave health of the free,
Out of the noisome smoke to where the earth breathes fragrantly,
   Where heaven is seen,
   And the smile serene
Of heavenliest liberty.

O for the life of Robin Hood, to wander an outlaw free
Rather than crawl in the market-place of human slavery:
   Better with men
   In the wildest glen,
Than palaced with Infamy.

My life for a breath of Robin Hood, with the arrow before my eye
And a tyrant but within bow-shot reach: how gladly could I die
   With the fame of Tell,
   With Robin so well
Embalm'd in history.

O but to rest, like Robin Hood, beneath some forest-green,
Where the wild-flowers of the coming spring on my mouldering heart may lean;
   For England's sward
   Is trampled hard
With the journeyings of the Mean.