Two Poems by Connor Rose

Mr. Lindsey, AKA King Henry V & Connor Rose, AKA the Duke of Athens, Sir Theseus (an honorable Knight).

In my 2018 literature class we put on a Medieval feast (with everybody in costume) to celebrate the end of the school year. We had a fantastic time jousting, acting like barbarians, and gorging ourselves on turkey legs and ancient recipes passed down from The Wife of Bath, Beowulf, Macbeth, and other motley characters.

Last year in Ancient Literature, one of my students, Connor, wrote a poem titled “Up the Mast,” rhyming couplets, which was inspired by our reading of Odysseus’ spectacular exploits in The Odyssey.

This year Connor attended my Medieval Literature course, in which he was inspired to write a couple more poems: “Running Through the Forest,” inspired whilst reading The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood; and “When Sin Runs Rampant” is a work Connor composed while we were studying The Divine Comedy.

I hope you enjoy the work of Connor Rose, a young man of intellectual deftness, sensibility, and exceptional artistry.

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The Tale of Robin Hood

Finally, a third poem surrounding the life and death of Robin Hood and His Merry Men, one composed by Ellen Miller. I am blessed by some brilliant students in my Medieval Literature class at Coram Deo Academics—a homeschooling adjunct located in Owosso, Michigan.

Move over, Phillip Levine! Watch out world! For I have three brilliant academics in my class who will blow the lid off the world of prosody and poesy. I’m happy to be the first to present the works of these fantastic students.

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The Tale of Robin Hood

By Ellen Miller

Deep in the heart

Of Sherwood Forest

Many tales have been woven

Of a great man and his band

Of merry followers and friends.

Not all started out as friends:

In fact, barely any at all,

Including me—ah yes, me;

We are now best of friends,

But that was certainly not always so.

 

We met on a bridge─

A log, more like:

He wanted to pass first,

But I had been there first

(Though he would say opposite).

So we had a quarrel,

A fight ensued;

I had to admit, he wasn’t bad,

But in the end, I knocked him off

With my broad quarterstaff.

 

After that (believe it or not),

We became best of friends.

This jest was the name he christened me:

“Little John,” how droll,

As I tower above them all.

So many adventures,

The two of us had,

With other merry men,

We made a name for ourselves,

And many good times and memories were made.

 

Alas—it was not to last,

For Robin Hood, I must say,

Was not loved by all;

This cousin, a nun,

Brought him down by her “healing” hands.

Did I say, “We are now best of friends?”

Make that we were,

For yes, Robin Hood died.

I was with him in his final moments,

And I shall never forget.

 

He raised his bow;

How he had the strength, I’ll never know,

And he shot one last arrow.

He told me to bury him

Where that last arrow fell.

And so our merry adventures

Came to an end.

But the memories and friendship will last,

And the tale will be told for centuries,

Of one man and his merry band.

 

Copyright © 2013, Ellen Miller

All rights reserved

The Life and Times of Robin Hood

At the end of our study of The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (by Howard Pyle) in Medieval Literature, I offered students the opportunity to write a poem for dear old Robin. The only limitation for the assignment was to say something about our beloved Robin’s death in one of the lines. Oh, and the poem had to be at least three stanzas comprised of 10 lines each. The following poem was written by one of the brightest students in my class at Coram Deo Academics, which is a homeschooling adjunct.

Robin Hood's Tomb

Robin Hood’s Tomb

The Life and Times of Robin Hood

By Katherine Miller

Robin Hood’s dead!

What more can I say?

He died a sad death,

Rather than see a new May.

It wasn’t his fault.

It was that of treachery,

In the house of some nuns.

Yes, in the nunnery!

‘Twas his cousin who did it.

A fiend so cruel,

Well, she couldn’t hide him!

Her poor nunnish head

Would be severed for sure!

You see, Robin Hood, good,

Was in trouble with King,

For Robin liked Sherwood,

And preferred to sing!

Oh, the life Robin led!

With many a scare,

But a story for all!

The short and the fair!

He stole from the rich,

To give to the poor,

More “borrow,” he’d say,

But we all know what for!

And Little John, tall,

With a temper for sure,

But nothing like Tuck’s

A grouch who lived in a moor!

And sweet Allan a’ Dale!

Ah, the voice of a lark!

But where was his wife?

Why, mentioned at the start!

His life was exciting,

Oh, yes, for sure!

He robbed many fat friars

And one skinny one more.

What could Robin do

when outlawed so long?

Well, kill all the king’s deer!

What else would he do?

He knew the bad Sheriff,

A chum, you could say,

But only one-sided,

For Robin Hood may . . . .

The Sheriff was grouchy,

Robin Hood was a pain!

He could no longer go out

Without being robbed once again.

Hood was a good bow,

Too good, you might say,

For with every bull’s eye

His head became a balloon in the sky.

Lincoln green was his color,

That’s all he would wear!

He dashed about in green tights,

He scared the King’s men far from there!

And how far they would run!

But nobody knew if they ran

From his tights or his toes!

For little curled toes,

That’s what his shoes showed;

Sometimes they were called:

The Curly’s  of woes!

But Robin Hood died.

Boy, what a tragic tale.

It would be great fun!

If his cousin wasn’t such a pill.

But it is all done.

His merry men cried,

And now I cry too,

For Robin Hood died.

But I must say, “Farewell!”

For there is no more to tell.

© by Katherine Miller (February 11, 2013), All Rights Reserved.

Oh Happy Day!

“Oh Happy Day” is a poem written by Emily Shaull, one of my students in a Medieval Literature course I’m teaching at Coram Deo Academics. Students were given an assignment to write a poem which includes their conceit regarding Robin’s death in the epilogue of The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.

We all have distinct perspectives with regard to literature and language. Emily rejoiced at the end of the book. I wept! I believe Emily really did enjoy the book, notwithstanding the poetic conceit she conveys in “Oh Happy Day!”

ROBIN LETS HIS LAST ARROW FLY!
ROBIN LETS HIS LAST ARROW FLY!

Oh Happy Day!

I once embarked on a journey

To meet the legendary Robin Hood.

I read of his adventures and stories,

To see if they were any good.

Robin was bold and brave;

He was an arrogant knave.

He claimed to be the best

At archery, sword and staff.

From his praise of his skill,

He would never rest.

Alas, after many adventures and brawls,

The great Robin Hood died.

But I wasn’t sad at all.

I can’t even say that I cried.

I have to admit, I rejoiced.

I do not miss his jolly voice;

I’m glad that the stories are done.

I’m happy that he wanders Sherwood no more.

In the end, I’m happy King John won,

For reading of Robin was a bore.

Yes, his death was a tragedy

When his cousin went berserk

And decided to bleed him to death.

Oh my, what a jerk!

But I do not miss jolly Robin,

Not even a little bit,

For I believe that his merry men

Had more skill, strength and wit.

Farewell, Robin, may you rest in peace!

Never having to hear of you again puts my heart at ease.

─ © Emily Shaull

4 February 2013