A Ballad of Merry Men

Just a ballad about Robin Hood really :) For Creative Writing class , constructive criticism welcomed!


1. A Ballad of Merry Men


In silence they watched as the cart drew up,

As the guardsmen leapt to the ground,

And as four boys, hardly yet grown up,

Raised their heads and looked around


In desperation, for some familiar face,

To stop the approaching doom,

But no one stepped forward to save their lives

As they searched the oppressing gloom.


“For stealing bags of flour,

These boys are meant to hang!”

The guardsman said in his loudest voice,

Over the church bells that slowly rang


To give out the news that someone would die

On this, the darkest of days;

Yes, four young boys would die this dawn,

For their thieving, dishonest ways.


The gallows man now brought the boys up,

So their faces were seen by all,

The faces of boys who stole to live,

And in moments would be wrapped in a pall.


The boys were stood on separate stools,

And the cloth placed over their face,

And the nooses placed around their necks,

And their heads hung in disgrace.


For stealing bags of flour,

These boys were to be hung.

For merely trying to save their skin,

Their requiem’s had to be sung.


The mothers of these poor, doomed boys

Wept as the prayers were said,

For when the bells did cease their toll,

Their dear sons would be dead.


But wait! a flash of Lincoln green,

Amongst the grey and brown.

A green that one would never see

In the walls of Nottingham Town.


A green known well for being

The colour of Sherwood.

A green known well for being

The colour of Robin Hood.


The hangman of a sudden collapsed,

As though he had been slain,

But he was still alive (for now),

And clutching his chest in vain.


For out of his chest bloomed an arrow,

As feathered as a hen,

And within moments he was dead,

And the bells were rung again.


For stealing bags of flour,

The boys should have been killed,

But alas! without a hangman,

The deed could not be fulfilled.


“Is there any to fill the post

Our departed hangman has left?

For these boys are sentenced to die this day

For their grievous theft.”


And it seemed as though there was none

To kill the boys today.

It seemed as though they just might live

To see another day.


But then a man stepped forward,

And said he’d make them die,

And the mothers who’d lately started to smile

Again began to cry.


He stepped upon the gallows,

And stood prepared to kill,

When a horn was heard from quite close by,

Clear and loud and shrill.

And Lincoln green appeared from nowhere,

In the middle of the crowd,

And they pushed their way towards the front,

Fearless, brave and proud.


Said Robin to the guardsmen,

“I’m afraid you have me wrong.

It is not innocents I slay;

‘Tis you who shan’t live long.”


“Attack, attack!” A guardsman cried,

But his men feared for their life,

And backed away into the fort,

For fear of further strife.


The one remaining guardsman

Dropped his sword and ran,

But he did not get far before he heard

That unmistakable twang.


An arrow sped towards his head,

He did not have a chance.

The arrow pierced his brains

As well as would a knight’s long lance.


And with him dead, the boys were free,

And the outlaws let them down.

And one by one they all shook hands,

And then they did agree


To come to Sherwood and become

A part of Robin’s gang.

It seemed a far preferable fate,

Than be told again to hang.


For stealing bags of flour,

These boys were meant to die,

But their lives were saved,

Their souls their own,

And as Merry Men made their names anew.


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