robin hood by Irving Fox
Robin is a merry child, and at the age of nine
He loves to hide in the Sheriff's wood
And wonders why, althought he's good
He must needs be clandestine.
Robin is yet very young
With laughing eyes and rhyming tongue:
He walks in the woods in the summertime
And knows that if he's found in there,
Caught and taken unaware,
He'll be hanged at dawn in the market square
To discourage the public from crime.
A handsome and a gentle youth,
In love with the open air,
In Sherwood Forest he spends his days,
Learns from the creatures the wild wood's ways,
Climbs like a squirrel and runs like a hare,
Hand in hand with Marion, his damsel fair.
The Sheriff kills with never a thought:
What to Robin is murder, to the Sheriff is sport:
His heart is a void that can only be filled
With the corpses of creatures
His armour has killed ...
Greedy for gold, his word is Law,
His hand is iron, his face is stone
Surrounded by servants but always alone,
His pleasure is torture, his peace is war.
Camouflaged in the green
Of their cloaks and hoods,
Men live unseen in the Sheriff's woods:
Hid from all eyes, they live under the skies -
Little John, Friar Tuck,
Sweet maid Marion are there,
With brave Robin Hood and Alan a'Dair
They live 'neath the trees with never a care,
Dream of freeing the forest for all men to share.
Gold dust gleams in the slow sunbeams
That stipple the dappled glade;
Flowers and ferns and rippling streams
Paint patterns of light and shade.
Calm and grave, the ancient trees
Whisper and sway in the gentle breeze -
Their graceful, tender, stately dance
Brings Robin in wonder to his knees,
Transfixed and in a trance.
He loves his damsel, he loves the deer,
He loves the greenwood tree:
He sees the forest crowned with light
And he knows what it means to be free.
"No Sheriff, no man-at-arms," he vows,
"Shall take my love from me."
And the rest, as they say, is history.
The forest is a car-park now,
The motorway runs through,
Nottingham City tip, hard by,
Offers its refuse to the sky.
The Sheriff's men are everywhere
All in their coats of blue,
Protecting the private property
Of all but me and you.
But along the branching axons
Of the cortical canopy
That recall the tangled branches
Of the long-dead greenwood tree,
Swift as thought, as arrows,
Fly shafts of electrotonicity ...
Retinal rhythms of light and shade
Induce patterns of perceptivity
And, hid from the eyes of the Sheriff's spies,
Wherever the hearts of men are free
And defy the Sheriff right merrily
There creation is crowned in full panoply.
In the neural network of the brain
There the forest still remains:
The Dove of Peace and Discovery's Hind
Elude the hunt and refuge find;
The Sheriff there has no domain:
To impose his law he strives in vain
And I'll tell you this for the hope it gives -
Robin Hood lives!
© irving foxrobin hood - global warming - climate change - global dimming
• George Monbiot Climate Change Demo speach outside US Embassy, London, 4th Nov 2006
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