Back to top

Robin Hood

Robin Hood! Robin Hood! a lawgiver good,
Kept his High Court of Justice in merry Sherwood.
No furr'd gown, or fee, wig, or bauble had he;
But his bench was a verdant bank under a tree!

And there sat my Lord of his own good accord,
With his Peers of the forest to keep watch and ward;
To arbitrate sure between rich and poor,
The lowly oppress'd and the proud evil doer.

His nobles they are without riband or star,
No 'scutcheon have they with a sinister bar;
But Flora with leaves them a coronet weaves,
And their music is -- hark! when the horn winds afar.

The chaplain to shrive this frolicsome hive
Is a fat curtail Friar, the merriest alive!
His quarter-staff, whack! greets a crown with a crack!
And, 'stead of rough sackcloth, his penance is sack!

The peerless in beauty receives their fond duty,
Her throne is the greensward, her canopy flowers!
What huntress so gay as the Lady of May?
The Queen of the Woodlands, King Robin's, and ours!

His subjects are we, and 'tis centuries three
Since his name first re-echo'd beneath this roof-tree!
With Robin our King let the old rafters ring!
They have heard their last shout! they have seen their last spring!

And though we may sigh for blythe moments gone by,
Yet why should we sorrow, bold foresters, why?
Since those who come after their full share of laughter
Shall have, when death's sables have veil'd you and I.