The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Tuesday, Robin Hood and Chicks


Robin Hood
By John Keats


To a Friend

No! those days are gone away,
And their hours are old and gray,
And their minutes buried all
Under the down-trodden pall
Of the leaves of many years:
Many times have winter’s shears,
Frozen North, and chilling East,
Sounded tempests to the feast
Of the forest’s whispering fleeces,
Since men knew nor rent nor leases.

No, the bugle sounds no more,
And the twanging bow no more;
Silent is the ivory shrill
Past the heath and up the hill;
There is no mid-forest laugh,
Where lone Echo gives the half
To some wight, amaz’d to hear
Jesting, deep in forest drear.

On the fairest time of June
You may go, with sun or moon,
Or the seven stars to light you,
Or the polar ray to right you;
But you never may behold
Little John, or Robin bold;
Never one, of all the clan,
Thrumming on an empty can
Some old hunting ditty, while
He doth his green way beguile
To fair hostess Merriment,
Down beside the pasture Trent;
For he left the merry tale
Messenger for spicy ale.

Gone, the merry morris din;
Gone, the song of Gamelyn;
Gone, the tough-belted outlaw
Idling in the “grenè shawe;”
All are gone away and past!
And if Robin should be cast
Sudden from his turfed grave,
And if Marian should have
Once again her forest days,
She would weep, and he would craze:
He would swear, for all his oaks,
Fall’n beneath the dockyard strokes,
Have rotted on the briny seas;
She would weep that her wild bees
Sang not to her—strange! that honey
Can’t be got without hard money!

So it is: yet let us sing,
Honour to the old bow-string!
Honour to the bugle-horn!
Honour to the woods unshorn!
Honour to the Lincoln green!
Honour to the archer keen!
Honour to tight Little John,
And the horse he rode upon!
Honour to bold Robin Hood,
Sleeping in the underwood!
Honour to Maid Marian,
And to all the Sherwood-clan!
Though their days have hurried by,
Let us two a burden try.

--------

dementordelta came up on Monday to see Robin Hood with me! We loved it -- the screenplay had some flaws and the pacing was a bit slow at the start, but it picked up quite a bit in the second half in terms of both the action and the humor, and the acting was enjoyable throughout. We loved Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett -- I wish we'd seen the latter kicking arse a bit earlier in the movie but I'd rather her grab a sword at the end after being relatively conservative at the start than come out flying, then get reduced to screaming like Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's Marion in the Kevin Costner film. We really loved the castles and helicopter shots of the English countryside and the beaches near Dover, the Celtic crosses and sculptures, the music -- Alan Doyle does a fine job acting as well as singing, and it's such a kick to see him onscreen after having seen Great Big Sea in concert several times! King John was quite entertaining, though I was very disappointed in Eleanor of Aquitaine, who should never come across as timid or a prude. Danny Huston's Richard the Lionheart was not in the film for long but I appreciated him a lot too. Also, we cracked up at the Beautiful Mind moment when one of the Merry Men said they should not pursue the prettiest girl but go for the less attractive ones for the best chance of success.

The history is crack, but keep in mind that this is coming from someone who watches The Tudors so obviously that doesn't ruin things for me. And it's certainly no sillier than the Costner version, which we decided after we stopped for samosas and crepes that we really needed to watch because the Sheriff of Nottingham in the new film doesn't hold a candle to Alan Rickman, despite having similar hair -- he lacks both The Voice and a good sense of humor ("Call off Christmas!" and "I'm going to cut your heart out with a spoon!" are the two best lines in Prince of Thieves). Watching Costner definitely made us appreciate Crowe; I'm sure someone is going to tell me that Russell doesn't quite nail the Midlands accent, but Costner sounds about the same in Prince of Thieves and J.F.K. (and really, since Slater's Will Scarlet sounds American too and Connery's Richard the Lionheart sounds like he only just left Scotland, I don't see how people can be too nasty about Costner).

Adam made this very funny video for a science project. We had homemade pad thai and yellow curry tofu for dinner, not that I was very hungry after the crepes, and watched MythBusters episodes on the Discovery Channel about alien solar systems and the varieties of moons in our own solar system. I inherited a friend's Superpoke Pet and did a bit of fiddling on that site, so I had little time to play with photos, though dementordelta and I did walk a bit around the lake near the movie theater looking for ducklings and goslings (we saw geese and ducks, but not babies), so here is a chicken and her chicks from Star Gazing Farm last month:

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