19th Century

Robin Hood’s Grave: A Poem (1827) | “J.A.”

The following poem, written by “J.A.” and titled “Robin Hood’s Grave” appeared in the Newcastle Magazine in November 1827. It has been transcribed by Stephen Basdeo.[1]

“Alas! My own sworn brother—

Woe is me, my captain true;

Art thou the merry forester

So faint and wan of hue,

Whose step so bold on the green sward

Was, and whose lusty horn

So blithely call’d us forestward

At break of early morn?”

Said Little John: “and now to see

Thee in such plight, my captain good,

Is woeful sight for me!”

Then thus spake Robin Hood:—

“O! well I love the forest shade

And the bonny purple bell—

‘Twas merry to rove the lonely glade

And the silent shady dell.

O! Sherwood is a blithesome wood,

Its trees are tall and fair;

And its stags their stately heads to toss

More proudly than elsewhere.

And when I’m dead I fain would lie

Beneath the greenwood tree—

The spot my goodly arrow strikes,

That spot my grave shall be.”

Bold Robin drew his trusty bow

For the last time—his arrow free

Did straightaway to the greenwood go,

And quivered in a tree.

“Farewell to thee, glad morning sun—

Farewell to thee, my bonny dell—

Farewell to thee, my trusty bow—

My brothers sworn, farewell!

O! think of me in the greenwood

When I am dead and gone!”

“Merry England’s choicest forester,

Farwell!” said Little John:

“The pride of Sherwood blithe is flown

With thee, thou archer true—

The day that saw thee dead and gone

Its merry men may rue.

For Christendom has many kings;

But thou, bold Robin Hood,

Wert greater than their proudest kings—

King of the free greenwood.”

[1] J.A. ‘Robin Hood’s Grave’, The Newcastle Magazine, November 1827, 515.