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by Steven "Prometheus" Hoey
Thrum! So deep the resonant string
That breaks the stillness of the dawn,
And hurls with force its deadly sting
To quiet the heart of the grazing fawn;
Others take flight and at once are gone,
Leaving eddied trails of morning mists
To cover the victim prone ’pon the lawn:
The first flesh of the day to be sweetly kissed
Swiftly taken from the living; forever to be missed.
Tire Fruck munched on freshly roasted haunch,
Wolfing it down with gluttonous delight;
He belched and he stretched, patting his paunch,
Which swelled neath his habit, stretching it tight.
A pugilist parson, Fruck, ever eager for the fight:
Against taxes, their collectors, and all Satan’s imps,
To settle the score on the side of right
He left behind the cloister and its docile, monkish wimps
To taste creation'’s fruits (ande perhaps nook with nymphs).
Deeply did Fruck drink from life’s brimming cup;
As companion and soul guide to his troubled friend
Once toppled from a bridge — the lordling soggy pup,
Now leader of a band of green-clad merry men:
The better with forest their dappled forms to blend,
And travel with stealth amidst verdant bough,
Pursued by the sheriff with hopes to apprehend:
This clan of thieves you well know now,
‘From the rich unto the poor,’ their solemn holy vow!
‘Robin,’ cried Fruck, ‘give a man a drink!’
The hooded man started from his pensive stance
And passed the skin along with a wrysome wink,
Touching each of his men with a knowing glance;
Each one would die for him given half a chance —
He had bound them to him for better or worse,
Seeking lives of action, adventure and romance;
Relieving wealthy travellers of the coins within their purse.
Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, inspire this humble verse!
Rogue Robin Hood, once landed lord:
A Huntingdon earl, near Nottinghamshire;
Fallen from grace to live by the sword,
Put out by the sheriff, schirner and liar.
His name now made legend harked by town cryer:
A bandit, an outlaw, yet doer of good,
Forced now to live amongst tree, bush and briar,
And hide from the law cloaked with green hood —
The king of his kind in the forest of Sherwood.
Marion looked out from her cold, lonely tower
That dominated the castle barren and bleak.
A prisoner she was, in the cruel sheriff’s power:
Never in her life had she felt so weak.
Yet resolute in one thing — her freedom to seek
Her love flowered boldly for only one man —
Earl Robin — the first to caress her fair cheek,
And brush her hair of gold with his sure hand,
Kissing her eyes of amber to clear the graine of sand.
The bright yellow carriage made its slow way,
Laden with lords and ladies Byronic;
Drawn by four horses, stately and gay,
Followed by footmen both thick and moronic,
Each carrying four cases of gin and tonic.
Sounds of revelry issued from the coach,
Disturbing the wood with voices histrionic,
As they feasted on quail and hot buttered brioche,
Foie gras and truffles and sweet salmon poach.
‘Hold!’ cried Robin perched on a branch;
His bow at the ready an arrow to fly,
The travellers fell silent, their faces a-blanch;
Lord Oakley got out, straightening his tie,
Looking arrogant and macho, standing six feet four high.
He opened his breeches to show his contempt,
And showered the rogue right in the eye.
The hiss of the arrow made clear Rob’s intent —
Childe Harold the love act no more would attempt!
Whilst Chris sorely howled, Dan Juan stepped out,
Resplendent in silk, violet and gold brocade;
His unicornian codpiece hid the mythic trout
Both feared and desired by nun, wench and maid.
On his arm, Karen, her beauty high praised;
Her fortune still higher if Rob knew Dan’s style;
The rest of the lot peered out with eyes glazed
As Robin’s men circled, each wearing a smile:
This was their fattest catch in a while!
‘I say, sir, release us,’ commanded lord D.J.
‘We’re pilgrims devout, Newstead Priory bound:
I’m told the monks there give the best confession.’
Robin leaped down, cat-like, without sound;
His sword quickly brandished, like fang of the hound,
And ordered them stripped of all wordly wealth:
Every jewel, every trinket, to the very last pound!
And whilst they were plucked by cunning and stealth,
She lived in his dreams; Robin feared for her health.
To be continued ...