Literary Gazette, 4th January, 1823, Page 12
Written after seeing Maid Marian performed.
Oh, for the days of the bow and the spear,
And the hawk and the hound and the good red deer!
I rather would dwell in the forest bower
Than in princely hall or in knightly tower,
Amid hearts as free as the shaft of their bow,
The tall oaks above, the soft grass below.
Oh, down and the purple canopy,
Are not worth the shade of the greenwood tree!
My Love would look well in the Lincoln green,
With his blade, and his bow, and his arrows keen;
And the hazel glance of his falcon eye
The maiden would love, and the warrior fly.
I would ask no gems but the flowers of spring,
No music but what the birds could sing;
And we'd lead a life like a fairy tale,
As free and as fresh and as light as the gale.
Oh, sweet and wild the hours would be
We past in the shade of the greenwood tree!
Oh, cities are all of smoke and care,
And gold is the curse that is laid on all there,
And feelings grow cold, and hearts lie dead,
And the fresh leaves of hope are withered!
But sweet is the cry when the wild buck bells,
And sweetly the horn of the hunter swells;
And life is of love and of liberty,
When past in the shade of the greenwood tree!
L. E. L.