Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology

Mapping Keats’s Progress
A Critical Chronology

Robin Hood

TO A FRIEND

  • No! those days are gone away,
  • And their hours are old and gray,
  • And their minutes buried all
  • Under the down-trodden pall
  • Of the leaves of many years:
  • Many times have winter’s shears,
  • Frozen north, and chilling east,
  • Sounded tempests to the feast
  • Of the forest’s whispering fleeces,
  • Since men knew nor rent nor leases.
  • No, the bugle sounds no more,
  • And the twanging bow no more;
  • Silent is the ivory shrill
  • Past the heath and up the hill;
  • There is no mid-forest laugh,
  • Where lone Echo gives the half
  • To some wight, amaz’d to hear
  • Jesting, deep in forest drear.
  • On the fairest time of June
  • You may go, with sun or moon,
  • Or the seven stars to light you,
  • Or the polar ray to right you;
  • But you never may behold
  • Little John, or Robin bold;
  • Never one, of all the clan,
  • Thrumming on an empty can
  • Some old hunting ditty, while
  • He doth his green way beguile
  • To fair hostess Merriment,
  • Down beside the pasture Trent;
  • For he left the merry tale
  • Messenger for spicy ale.
  • Gone, the merry morris din;
  • Gone, the song of Gamelyn;
  • Gone, the tough-belted outlaw
  • Idling in the “grene shawe”;
  • All are gone away and past!
  • And if Robin should be cast
  • Sudden from his turfed grave,
  • And if Marian should have
  • Once again her forest days,
  • She would weep, and he would craze:
  • He would swear, for all his oaks,
  • Fall’n beneath the dockyard strokes,
  • Have rotted on the briny seas;
  • She would weep that her wild bees
  • Sang not to her — strange! that honey
  • Can’t be got without hard money!
  • So it is: yet let us sing,
  • Honour to the old bow-string!
  • Honour to the bugle-horn!
  • Honour to the woods unshorn!
  • Honour to the Lincoln green!
  • Honour to the archer keen!
  • Honour to tight little John,
  • And the horse he rode upon!
  • Honour to bold Robin Hood,
  • Sleeping in the underwood!
  • Honour to maid Marian,
  • And to all the Sherwood-clan!
  • Though their days have hurried by
  • Let us two a burden try.

🗙 Cite this page:

MLA Style: Works Cited

Keats, John. “ Robin Hood.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, by G. Kim Blank. Edition 3.3 , University of Victoria, 5 September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_robin_hood.html.

Chicago Style: Note

John Keats, “ Robin Hood,” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.3 , last modified 5th September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_robin_hood.html.

Chicago Style: Bibliography

Keats, John. “ Robin Hood.” Mapping Keats’s Progress: A Critical Chronology, Edition 3.3 , last modified 5th September 2020. https://johnkeats.uvic.ca/poem_robin_hood.html.