The Two Maidens

The wind had taken the tree-tops
Upon Sherwood, the noble wood,
Two maidens met in the windy ways
Held speech of Robin Hood.

And the first maid to the second said
" He keeps not tryst to-day. "
And the second said to the first maiden,
" Mayhap he is far away. "

And far away on the upland
The last trees broke in the sky
As they brought him out of grey Kirkleas
To bend his bow and die.

High on the moors above Kirkleas
The mighty thief lay slain,
The woman that had struck him down
He would not strike again.

And the maid cried as the high wind
In the broken tree-tops cries,
" They have taken him out of the good greenwood,
And I know not where he lies.

" The world is a wind that passes
And valour is in vain
And the tallest trees are broken
As the bravest men are slain.

" Deep in the nettles of a ditch
He may die as a dog dies
Or on the gallows, to be the game
Of the lawyers and the lies.

" The wood is full of wicked thieves,
Of robbers wild and strong,
But though he walked the gallows way,
Of him I had no wrong.

" Because he scorned to do me scathe
I walked forth clean and free
And I call my name Maid Marian
Because he honoured me. "

" I too am only a simple maid,
Our stories are the same.
As your green gown to my blue gown
Your name is like my name.

" The world is full of wicked men,
Of robbers rich and strong,
To plot against my maiden fame,
But of him I had no wrong.

" And because he scorned to do me scathe
I have travelled many a mile
To bring you a word out of his mouth
To lift your face and smile.

" He is not dead in the ditch-nettles,
Or on the gallows-tree;
But a great king has taken him
To ride with his chivalry.

" And made him a master of bowmen
For the memory of the day
When one that died at the king's right hand
Was a thief on the king's highway.

" And I have travelled many a mile
From a city beyond the sea
To give you news of your true-love
Because he honoured me. "
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