Go no further
yee of little merry
for this be a tale
to make even the coldest of hearts happy
Come, let us learn of Robin Hood
and his band of merry men
in the Sherwood forest
and the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Fly away straight as an arrow
if you are not ready
to turn the page
and be gay!
Robin Hood and His Merry Men
Once upon a time, in Merry Old England
lived Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men.
There were a lot of them, a 140 to be exact
and they hid in the woods so as not to be attacked
for they were outlaws, though by no harm of their own
but rather as a consequence of being persecuted by the thrown
for not being able to pay their taxes
or being deprived of an inheritance
pushed off their land with forbearance
by the King’s hand and tight fist.
Together they gathered in the forest of Sherwood
alongside a man the greatest shot in all of Nottingham
named Robin Hood.
He too was driven from town
after accidentally killing a man, when few were around
who had taunted him making him feel like a clown
saying there was no way his shot could be the best
when he had only recently stopped suckling from his mother’s breast.
At 18 years of age, his blood boiled
and after the turmoil the jester lay slain
Robin knowing he must flee, never to be seen
in Nottingham again.
In the forest Robin would feast
with the other merry men, on venison meat
and they would drink ale and be happy and free
living together as one big family.
Robin Hood was their leader, but they all had
each others backs, in the event of a surprise attack.
For the Sheriff of Nottingham wanted them gone
for he perceived they were doing wrong.
You see, Robin and his Men in their Lincoln Green
would steal from the rich and give to the poor
while always honoring the principle
to never hurt a woman, nor child, nor widow.
And so, the townfolk saw them as heroes
not villans, for they only took from those who
dealt their own injuries
and gave to those most in need.
And so, while oppressed by the king
nevertheless the poor peasants
from Robin received great charity
in the form of barleygrain or money.
One day, Robin Hood was out and about
when he came across a man who was big and stout
they mixed words, were heard
and decided to write their own afterword
with staffs, parries, lunges and thrusts
a test of mettle for all their fuss.
Indeed, the man who Robin tossled with
was tall and swift, swinging the rod around quick
turning at the hip sideways and at oblong angles
this and more in their tangles
til eventually both received shots to the head and ribs
and did Robin fall over the side of a bridge.
Wet from head to toe, together they had stood
in trading wood, now filled with admiration
at the efforts of the other’s demonstration
an equal match, this man quite a find,
quite a catch.
And so they buried the hatchet, celebrating one another
each with skills to match the other, new-found brothers
the man Big and Tall was named Little John
and agreed to join Robin Hood’s band
indeed to be his right-hand man,
second only to himself in command.
And so they did sing tales and tell yarns
and drink October ales and eat feasts
while sitting on moss green
in Sherwood forest
staring at the night’s ceiling.
One day, the Sheriff of Nottingham
put a ransom out on Robin Hood’s head
willing to pay handsomely the man who could
capture him, or better still make him dead.
A Messenger was sent to the Ole Blue Boar Inn
where a Tinker was found within,
a traveler with hammer in hand
who would do what he can to make things out of tin.
But he was a man not only of metal but of mettle
and so agreed to the challenge of capturing Sir Robin
and so went into the forest of Sherwood
to find him.
And there they did meet, passers-by they did greet
one another and soon became friends,
such confidence the Tinker held in him
that he did tell Robin of his plan to capture thee.
Intelligently, Robin brought him back to the tavern
so that the Tinker through libation this plan could un-learn,
to wake up confused from throat-burn
only to have the innkeeper demanding from him
what they had both consumed
as Robin slipped away into the Night’s Blue.
But then, no sooner than later did he see this alligator
the Tin-Man walking through the forest woods
and recognizing one-another
the Tinker got into would-haves could-haves
They did fight it out with staffs more-than
laugher had-been before, knocking on each-other’s door
blood did flow forth in re-course, but in the end
clearly Robin Hood was the victor.
He did then offer the Tinker to join his band of brothers
an offer gladly accepted by the man
who was not interested in seeing what the Sheriff would think
of his plan foiled, hat handed back to him, so to speak.
And so instead of Robin’s downfall,
his band of Merry Men only grew stronger
as they drank together
the sweet Ale of October.
Frustrated and angry, the Sheriff of Nottingham
decided that there should be an archery contest
held, with a great prize to be had,
to lure in his catch Robin who surely wouldn’t be deemed
cowardly for not competing in the proceedings.
And indeed, Robin Hood caught wind of the
festivities and games and would be not afraid
to enter and even win if possible
the prize an arrow made of pure gold.
But alas, he could not show up plain-faced
but he and his men-merry must show-up covered-up
in disguise, tom-foolery to thee Sheriff
for thinking you could catch Me Robin
we will not be foolish but rather do as you wish
though you won’t be able to detect our presence.
And indeed, he did step right up and string his bow
with an eye-patch disguise and a tattered robe
scarlet velveteen rabbit hops in and Yes Wins!
hitting the bulls-eye right in front of
and yet besides the Sheriff’s watch-ful
but mis-placed eyes.
Little does he know, he then offers this mystery man
a place in tow, to be dressed in fine robes
and paid a worthy salary, but Robin does say succinctly
“No Thank You, I desire to be free”
only further angering the Sheriff already-moody.
And the next day, he begrudgingly wondering
how-it-could-be that Robin Hood did not show up
to the event, where he had pitched his tent
and lay waiting, now at the table grazing
with those around him in pondering
when through the window did whizz in an arrow
containing a scroll explaining:
Alas, what we already know:
“Yesterday, Robin Hood was indeed at the festival
you missed your chance to catch him
instead giving him the blue ribbon
sorry for the inconvenience,
enjoy your mutton Gents!”
How angry was he Sheriff of Notting-ham
or so it seems, roasting in his own juicings
no boasting only bruisings, ego hurt he-go
to the King himself to ask for help
to catch this rogue who lives in the Woods
to catch the man they call Robin Hood.
But the King was not so dear to thee
for bringing up such complaining,
rather wondering why the Sheriff couldn’t capture
the thief, but no need for explaining.
Soon came the haranguing and the threat
that if he could not execute his Sheriff-ic scheme
to re-deem himself of this folly,
he too would suffer dis-honorably.
The fire lit, he could no longer quit
and so did the Sheriff seek this time not through
legality or deceit, but rather might replete
to overcome the bandit for all to see.
He along with men-many would enter the woods
and find Robin Hood, to do him no-good
for the sake of for-good… if he could!
Like a bird, Robin heard the Sheriff’s twitter
and instead of confronting him decided
to hiber-nate like winter, to hide for the sake
of saving lives, for he knew if they met face to face
many men would surely die.
And after the eighth day came, Robin sent a man
out Will-ing to see if the Sheriff’s posse was still
standing around, this way and that,
or if they had-enough and had-gone-back.
Will Stutely was the man, brave as any
he went to the Old Blue Boar Inn to see
and did-he indeed notice the Sheriff’s men there drinking
cloaked though he was in the robes of a priest
nevertheless beneath they saw his Lincoln green.
They did pounce on him, engaged in fighting
Will fought bravely, de-spiting their numerous advantage
unfortunately in the end they did manage
to get him bird in a cage
and to bring him to the Sheriff to be hanged
the next day.
Robin and his men receiving the sad news
would do everything in their power to rescue their brother
their friend Will-do everything for him, as he did for we,
off to Nottingham to rescue thee!
And there they did see him being led to the gallows
where together come the three roads
in a nexus for all to see his woe-ful plight
at the hands of the Sheriff’s might
but the light burned in Robin and his men’s hearts
they would finish what had been start
and so dressed once again as normal townsmen
they went there too, to save their friend.
And that they did, over-coming the guards
by catching them off-guard, dealing swift blows
but none lethal, to kill no-one just to save their equal
Will freed from his slavery, the rope hangs for no-body
the Sheriff again angry, but no longer will he try
to catch the Man named Robin Hood nor his team
of Men, merry and gay, wearing Lincoln Green.