The Witchery of Archery
By: Maurice Thompson
The joy is great of him who strays
In shady woods on summer days,
With eyes alert and muscles steady,
His long-bow strung, his arrows ready.
At morn he hears the wood-thrush sing,
He sees the wild rose blossoming,
And on his senses soft and low
He feels the brook song ebb and flow.
Life is a charm, and all is good
To him who lives like Robin Hood,
Hearing ever, far and thin,
Hints of the tunes of Gamelyn.
His greatest grief, his sharpest pain,
Is when the days are dark with rain
That for a season he must lie
Inert while deer go bounding by ;
Lounge in his lodge, and long and long
For Allen a Dale’s delightful song,
Or smack his lips at thought of one
Drink from the friar’s demijohn.
But when the sky is clear again,
He sloughs his grief, forgets his pain,
Hearing on gusts of charming weather
The low laugh of his arrow feather
Flying from the spicewood brake,
Or from the maze the brambles make,
Well-sent to where is hammering
The scarlet-crowned woodpecker king.