James Henry Leigh Hunt

(19 October 1784 – 28 August 1859 / Southgate, London)

Robin Hood, An Outlaw.


Robin Hood is an outlaw bold
Under the greenwood tree;
Bird, nor stag, nor morning air
Is more at large than he.

They sent against him twenty men,
Who joined him laughing-eyed;
They sent against him thirty more,
And they remained beside.

All the stoutest of the train,
That grew in Gamelyn wood,
Whether they came with these or not,
Are now with Robin Hood.

And not a soul in Locksley town
Would speak him an ill word;
The friars raged; but no man's tongue,
Nor even feature stirred;

Except among a very few
Who dined in the Abbey halls;
And then with a sigh bold Robin knew
His true friends from his false.

There was Roger the monk, that used to make
All monkery his glee;
And Midge, on whom Robin had never turned
His face but tenderly;

With one or two, they say, besides,
Lord! that in this life's dream
Men should abandon one true thing,
That would abide with them.

We cannot bid our strength remain,
Our cheeks continue round;
We cannot say to an aged back,
Stoop not towards the ground;

We cannot bid our dim eyes see
Things as bright as ever;
Nor tell our friends, though friends from youth,
That they'll forsake us never:

But we can say, I never will,
Friendship, fall off from thee;
And, oh sound truth and old regard,
Nothing shall part us three.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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